Last Saturday, the creative community that makes up the Australian Graphic Design Association and its surrounds, gathered in Hobart for the 2014 Australian Design Biennale awards dinner. Situated in Peppermint Bay, the awards dinner was the final official event of the Biennale, after a host of talks, parties and activities entertained the crowds that had travelled from the mainland’s capital cities, New Zealand, and even China.
All in all, 67 distinctions were given out and five Pinnacles were awarded to the most outstanding projects of the year. Over numerous categories and subcategories (which encompassed the commendable inclusions of ‘Design Effectiveness’, ‘Design Craft’, ‘Spatial’, and ‘Design For Good’) most of the awards still went out within ‘Graphic Design’ — a category still characterised by print work — showing that despite the rapid changes within the industry, the foundations of the practice of design still resonated with the judges, designers and the wider audience.
New Zealand’s Alt Group, Christopher Doyle & Co, Garbett design, Frost*collective and RE: were familiar presences upon the stage throughout the night, which was proof to the point made during the judging process by Futurebrand’s Shane Greeves, that Australian design is not characterised by big studios, but rather, large accounts being handled by tiny studios, who were leading Australia upon the world stage.
“The awards committee did an absolutely phenomenal job and I say that as someone who has been part of running an AGDA awards,” Paul Garbett, of Garbett design, told us. ”Hobart and MONA were a delight to explore and Peppermint Bay was an absolutely stunning backdrop for the awards night. It was a fantastic opportunity to catch up with other designers and industry people from across Australia and New Zealand.”
Vince Frost expressed gratitude on behalf of his team. “The judging process is rigorous and the awards attract the very best work from the agencies in this region that are at the top of their game. As a young designer in Australia, you dream of winning an AGDA award, so my team and I were very excited last night”, he enthused.
Jessica Lowe, who took out an award for her international publication-phenomenon Cat People Magazine, told us: “I’m thrilled to have won a Distinction for Cat People at the AGDA awards. Wish we could have been there!”
Reactive, who took out a Digital Design Pinnacle award for The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented, described themselves as “delighted to see such recognition of the power of using technology in a creative way to enable positive change.”
“Business owners Tim Fouhy, Tim O’Neill and I [Tim Kotsiakos] are very proud of Tim Buesing and the Sydney creative teams efforts.”
“The good work is all due to having enough Tims in the group,” added Tim Buesing.
“It was a brilliant weekend,” reported Jake Smallman, of Self-titled, who took out a graphic design award. ”The location of the actual awards was breathtaking and felt a little more intimate than other years. A lot for the next hosts to live up to.”
AGDA’s student awards are yet to be announced, with will happen soon at a separate event.
Until then, the finalists and winners are in the process of being updated on the ABD website.