Is Australian Design The Best In The World? It Sure Is!

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It’s Unanimous: Australian Design Is Among The Best In The World!

If the 2017 global Shaw Contract Design Awards revealed anything, it’s that Australian designers really know how to embrace change and take a risk.

  • BKM Headquarters and Showroom by Hollander Design Group

  • Frank Bartlett Library & Service Centre by FJMT

  • Ground Floor Reid Library Refurbishment by SCHIN Architects

  • HRA Advisors by CHACOL

  • KBTG Building by Progressive Building Management Co., Ltd

  • The Summit at University City by Sixthriver Architects



BY Alice Blackwood

September 20th, 2017


When you’re up against 500 global design projects vying for the top award, the stakes are nothing but high. Among this year’s Global Award Winners in the Shaw Contract Design Awards are FJMT’s Frank Bartlett Library and Service Centre in Moe. The People’s Choice Winner meanwhile emerged as SCHIN Architects’ Ground Floor Reid Library Refurbishment in Perth. It’s a big coup for the two Australian design firms, who competed against a world’s worth of talent: 497 entries from 32 countries.

 

Awards judge and managing principal at architectus, Andrew Schunke, was one of the four expert judges assessing this year’s Finalists entries. If this year’s judging process revealed anything, he says, it’s that “Australian designers push boundaries. We adopt a people focused design solution that celebrates our unique light and spatial understanding,” he says.

 

“This year is no exception with a beautifully detailed and community focused project [Frank Bartlett Library and Service Centre] one of the clear winners.”

 

With so many design awards available to us in the Australia, Schunke is no stranger to the awards drill. In his view it takes a unique awards program to really stand out. “As an international awards program, the Shaw Contract Design Awards  captures a broad range of project types, scales and design professional submissions without being elitist or style driven. The quality and thoughtful submissions reflected the esteem in which these awards are held and the personal approach to awarding the winners creates a very memorable experience for the design teams,” he says.

 

Schunke was on the ground in New York for the Finalists judging, joining three other US judges – all independent industry experts. “We spent a number of days getting to know each other and the shortlisted projects. We discussed and debated the merits of each project at length with many heated and varied outcomes.”

 

Five projects hailing for the US, Thailand and Australia, emerged as the clear winners – “each one standing out for different reasons, but with a clarity of design thought and experience focused outcome”, notes Schunke.

 

Global Award Winners are as follows:

 

  • Frank Bartlett Library & Service Centre by FJMT | Moe, Australia
  • The Summit at University City by Sixthriver Architects | Philadelphia PA, USA
  • KBTG Building (KASIKORN Business – Technology Group Building) by Progressive Building Management Co.,Ltd. | Bangkok, Thailand
  • BKM Headquarters and Showroom by Hollander Design Group | San Diego CA, USA
  • HR&A Advisorsby CHA:COL | Los Angeles CA, USA

 

People’s Choice Winner:

 

  • Ground Floor Reid Library Refurbishment by SCHIN Architects |  Perth, Australia

 

While the caliber of entries varied widely the winners were clear trend setters. Within that mix, the Australian projects revealed a “maturity and clarity of thought that showed us [that is, Australia] as continued leaders in interior design on the world stage”, Schunke says.

 

Explore the full lineup of this year’s winners! 


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