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DIA WA AWARDS
Economically, Western Australia has had an
interesting few years -- we've experienced a
mining boom, a financial crisis and now, we find
ourselves on the brink of another period of rapid
growth thanks to various resource-driven projects
gearing up in the north of the state.
rough all the peaks and troughs, however,
commercial design has continued to evolve and
judging from the number of entries in the DIA
(WA) 09 Awards, WA designers had a busy year.
According to the judges, the quality of
the submissions is something the WA design
community should be proud of -- it seems we
are holding our own as professional practice
standards are on a par with our eastern states
DISCIPLINES AND CATEGORIES
Now in its seventh year, the DIA (WA) Awards aim
to encourage good design, while rewarding and
acknowledging WA designers. Increasing public
awareness of designers' capabilities is a welcomed
by-product of the initiative.
e DIA (WA) Design Awards are open to both
professional designers and students across the
following disciplines: Interior Spaces, Product
Design and Visual Communication.
Each discipline is divided up into sections
and in the case of Interior Spaces, these
include Interior Design, Interior Decoration,
TV/Film/ eatre Set Design and Exhibition
& Display. Within Interior Design, categories
include Corporate, Hospitality & Retail, Public/
Institutional and Residential.
RECOGNITION, NOT A COMPETITION
Importantly, the awards program is not a
competition, but rather an "annual recognition
of professional design practice".
ere are two types of awards -- the Award of
Merit, awarded to projects that demonstrate the
highest level of achievement within their category
in accordance with the judging criteria; and
the Commendation -- awarded to projects that
demonstrate high standards of professional design
achievement in accordance with the judging
criteria, but not to the level of an Award of Merit.
According to the awards criteria, "more than
one Award of Merit or Commendation, or none
may be awarded in each category".
at is, if WA design has a cracker year,
we're likely to see several awards in each
category; on the flipside, if no projects are
deemed worthy, then nobody wins.
Not only does it add credibility to the awards,
it makes them that much more highly coveted.
is year's submissions for the Interior Spaces
discipline encompassed existing buildings,
building refurbishments and new buildings.
For each of them, the judges assessed how
the project solution responded to the client brief,
looking at elements like design philosophy, cost
effectiveness, material choice, environmentally
sustainable design initiatives, specific challenges
and limitations and innovation.
Of 35 entries, the judges deemed five projects
worthy of special acknowledgement, awarding
one Award of Merit, one Commendation and
"shortlisting" three other projects.
QUALITY by design
Since the inaugural event in 2002, the DIA (WA) Awards have borne witness to some stunning designs.
Despite a global financial crisis, 2009 was no exception, particularly in the "Interior Spaces" discipline
where five projects stood head and shoulders above the rest. WORDS Jacinta Bydder
SKM by HBO+EMTB
Image courtesy of HBO+EMTB, photography Adrian Lambert, Acorn Photo Agency
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