Darebin Intercultural Centre - 8 of 15 - Photography by Peter Bennetts - lores
Darebin Intercultural Centre. Photography by Peter Bennetts – lores
  • Post-pandemic, designs have a softer edge and a more holistic approach
  • Designs are creating a sense of calm, calling people to dwell
  • Awards will be revealed on 2 June 2023

This year, the Australian Interior Design Awards celebrates its 20th year. The awards recognise work across residential, commercial and public sectors, and celebrate excellence in interior design, conferring national and international significance. 

The awards have seen a record-breaking 215 projects shortlisted this year, with the jury convened by Geraldine Maher, Director of Maher Design, and comprising:

  • Melissa Bright, Founding Director, Studio Bright (VIC) 
  • Jeremy Bull, Principal, Alexander and Co (NSW) 
  • Maria Danos, Principal, Maria Danos Architecture (VIC) 
  • Brian Donovan, Principal, BVN (NSW) 
  • Stuart Krelle, Director, Luchetti Krelle (NSW) 
  • Rosie Morley, Principal, Fender Katsalidis (VIC) 
  • Georgie Shepherd, Director, Georgie Shepherd Interior Design (SA) 
  • Aaron Wooster, Former Lead of Interior Design, Smart Design Studio (VIC) 

From the judges

The Property Tribune asked one of the award judges, Rosie Morley, about what trends could be seen across this year’s shortlisted projects and whether there was a ‘winning formula’.

“There is no ‘winning formula’,” said Morley, “Good design principals, yes – understanding of form, light, texture and composition are a given. It is more about the long term message and the level of innovation that makes good design great.”

Design has more recently focussed on creating a sense of calm and security, said Morley, when asked about how design has changed over the course of the Covid 19 pandemic.

“We see a softer edge, a more holistic approach to design. Generally, design in the commercial realm appears to have relaxed whereby the key aim is to put people at ease; calling people to dwell and feel compelled to return to public spaces, whilst statements are bold and dynamic, there is a gentle undertone to the outcomes we see this year.”

Do big budgets trump sensible and affordable? That’s something we wondered about and put to Morley, who told The Property Tribune: “We saw smaller scale, simpler projects be awarded this year. The truly pioneering projects are less about grand gestures and big budgets, and more about generating something new that calls us to explore further.”

Stunning workspaces make a splash

For the workplace and public design categories, 47 projects were shortlisted, featuring a stunning multiplicity of projects that spanned everything from museums to major offices, and more.

Some notable projects include:

  • Spowers for Sovereign Hill Museum Association (Australian Centre for Gold Rush Collection and Centre for Rare Arts and Forgotten Trades), VIC (Public Design)
  • Sibling Architecture for Darebin Intercultural Centre, VIC (Public Design)
  • Hassell for Suncorp HQ, QLD (Workplace Design)
  • SJB for Yirranma Place, NSW (Workplace Design)
  • Studio Tate for Mecca Support Centre, VIC (Workplace Design)
  • Design Office for The Commons Surry Hills, NSW (Workplace Design)

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