Design and Innovation Celebrated in NQ

The CleanSpace EX is an Australian design previously entered in the Good Design Australia awards, designed by PAFtec Australia Pty Ltd. IMAGE: Courtesy of Good Design Australia

Townsville entrepreneurs, designers and innovators are being given a chance to shine, with entries for the inaugural NQ Design and Innovation Awards open until Monday.

The awards are a new initiative aimed at promoting and celebrating excellence in North Queensland design-led innovation, with categories from product design, architectural and landscape design through to design strategy and student design concepts and prototypes.

Good Design Australia CEO Dr Brandon Gien said entrepreneurs and design innovators are becoming increasingly active across North Queensland, and that the Awards seek to encourage continued innovation through recognition and greater awareness.

“One discussion we had at the 2016 Townsville Festival of Ideas centred around how to raise the profile of innovators, projects and innovative businesses in the Townsville and North Queensland area generally, and what mechanism would allow us to put a spotlight on some of the interesting things happening in that space. We formulated a working panel and decided to create these design and innovation awards specifically for the region,” Dr Gien said.

“For any designer or entrepreneur, trying to get a project or idea off the ground is often the hardest step. If you have attention drawn to it, whether it’s in or outside the region, it always helps. We find that with our own international awards program: smaller companies with smaller budgets that have good innovative ideas are celebrated, and that awareness is one of the biggest benefits you can get.”

Dr Gien said the NQ Design and Innovation Awards would help solidify a forward-thinking identity for the North Queensland region.

“I’ve been involved in running Australian Good Design Awards for the last 22 years and what I find really interesting is – because we also run a number of smaller state-based awards – each of the regions have unique projects that do come out: whether it’s Western Australia with a particular focus on innovation in the mining sector or North Queensland and the idea of business in the tropics, I’m interested to see unique things that are innovative and relevant to the region.

“It is a long-term strategy we have here, and it’s to help build and develop local designers and innovators into the future.”

Applications are now open for the 2017 NQ Design and Innovation Awards, and will close on Monday 2 October. Award categories include architectural and landscape design; design strategy; digital design; product design; service design; designer makers; and student design. Enter now at

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