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What does it mean to win? INDE.Awards winners reflect

As we await news from our INDE.Awards jury on the winning projects and practices of 2022, we talk to last year’s winners about what it means to receive an INDE accolade.

What does it mean to win? INDE.Awards winners reflect

Winning moments at INDE.Awards 2019 gala, STUDIO WILLS + Architects Singapore accept their Living Space award for PROJECT #13.

While the 2022 INDE.Award’s jury deliberates over this year’s entries, it’s the perfect time to reflect on last year and some of the many projects and practices that received INDE accolades.

Winning an award at the INDEs is indeed a momentous occasion for any practice and when the jury recognises outstanding work from around our region, the accolade is indeed special. Last year many special projects and talented practices were highlighted, winning distinction for their studio, people and achievements.

Some of our past winners describe how it feels and what it means to win recognition at the INDE.Awards – to be distinguished across the Indo-Pacific region for impressive design and lauded on the global stage.

Of course, as the INDE.Awards is a regional program, so there is the opportunity to connect with other countries and practices within the Indo-Pacific.

Winner of The Shopping Space in 2021 was Ministry of Design with Architectural QP: Space Design Architects for their Citi Wealth Hub in Singapore.

Colin Seah, founder and director of design at Ministry of Design comments, “Winning an INDE made our day! It’s such an endorsement from the industry and a real motivation for our team to keep on innovating!”

Past INDE.Winners
Winner of The Shopping Space 2021, Citi Wealth Hub, photography by KHOOGJ.

Smart Design Studio based in Sydney, Australia walked away with three awards, at the 2021 INDE.Awards – The Multi-Residential Building for Pipi, The Design Studio and was joint-winner of The Work Space category, both categories for its own studio.

William Smart, creative director, Smart Design Studio succinctly captures the moment, “The INDE.Awards are the world’s only architecture and design awards programme to encompass the entire region so it’s an honour to have projects such as our new studio and the Pipi development at Bondi Beach receive this kind of recognition. We were also thrilled to be awarded The Design Studio in 2021 out of such strong contenders from over 14 countries across the Indo-Pacific. This is invaluable for Smart Design Studio’s international profile.”

Past INDE.Winners
Left, William Smart of Smart Design Studio, photography by Ted O’Donnell; right, Smart Design Studio, photography by Romello Pereira.

Winner of The Building category in 2021 was RTA Studio and Irving Smith Architects from New Zealand with an exemplar project, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata : SCION Timber Innovation Hub.

Dr Jeremy Smith, partner, Irving Smith Architects, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Auckland says, “Winning The Building Award at the 2021 INDE.Awards has helped platform a greater conversation about design and sustainability with a wider community throughout the Indo-Pacific Region. After all, architecture is about participating with people and places, and people and places are everywhere.”

Related: Interview INDE.Awards juror and Jasmax principal, Elisapeta Heta

Past INDE.Winners
Winner of The Building 2021, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata : SCION Timber Innovation Hub, photography by Patrick Reynolds.

And so it is not only the recognition of winning an INDE award for an outstanding practice but a wonderful way for a studio to come together and celebrate its achievements.

Receiving two awards, The Learning Space and the ultimate accolade, Best of the Best, was School of Design and Environment 1 in Singapore by Special Projects, NUS School of Design and Environment with CPG Consultants.

Erik L’Heureux, FAIA, Dean’s Chair Associate Professor, Master of Architecture Program Director, Director, Special Projects reflects, “The INDE.Award 2021 has been an important validation of years of effort to integrate design and sustainability on our university campus in Singapore. Receiving a design award for The Learning Space category and the Best of The Best not only recognised those years of design effort but has helped to build and expand confidence with the larger university, setting a benchmark for all future buildings. The INDE.Awards also encourages us to be bolder as we strive for a carbon neutrality with design at the centre of all that we do.”

Past INDE.Winners
Winner of The Learning Space and Best Of The Best 2021, School of Design and Environment 1 in Singapore, photography by Ong Chan Hao, Erik L’Heureux.

Finally, the last inspiring words go to Phil Grey, principal, Warren and Mahoney who shares his thoughts on winning The Wellness Space category with MacMurray Medical Centre in New Zealand.

He says, “It is a privilege to have received the 2021.INDE Award for The Wellness Space at a time when the world is collectively focused on the importance of wellbeing. We’re incredibly proud to receive acknowledgement for the design of the MacMurray Centre in Auckland, which aims to evoke a sense of familial calm to people who may be feeling very vulnerable.

Our reputation in healthcare design continues to grow and we’re being awarded more work in this space. An INDE Award is one way of showcasing independent endorsement of our abilities to the sector.”

Winner of The Wellness Space 2021, MacMurray Medical Centre in New Zealand, photography by Jono Parker.

Beautifully said, and thank you to all those who have shared their thoughts about the INDE.Awards and what it means to receive recognition for exemplary design throughout the Indo-Pacific region as winners of an INDE award.

By connecting with the INDEs and entering the programme there is the opportunity to join the Indesign family, to showcase your work and applaud your studio team – perhaps even become the recipient of a category best award or, dare to dream, become the Best of the Best.


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