The major award winner was selected from the winners of the four professional designer prize categories – built environment design, communication design, fashion and textiles design, and product design.

Designs were awarded for their overall design excellence and innovation, but other factors were also taken into account. These included responsiveness to the social, cultural and economic environment of the design’s market, users or audience; the way

in which the submission provided new insight or ways of thinking in terms of design process and outcomes; and the design’s significance and impact in terms of developing Victoria’s design culture and reputation.

The overall winner of the Premier’s Design Award received $40 000 from the Victorian government.

And the winners are...

Susan Dimasi and Chantal McDonald of Material by Product won the Premier’s Design Award for 2006 with their innovative submission, Punch Out. The piece is a manifestation of their unique approach to garment design, in which they view themselves as designers of ‘systems’ rather than garments.

Punch Out, a draped and layered garment, is waste-free by integrating the entire length of the cloth into the design. The process begins with a fabric ‘lay’ arranged on a fabric length. Pattern pieces are cut out and separated to create inner and outer frames.

The fabric punched out from the frame becomes the ‘classic’, a tailored garment created with traditional European techniques, while the remnants form the ‘anti’. Both are equally important in the finished garment.

This technique relies on a geometric, mathematical approach, as well as an understanding of the fabric’s character.

The Premier’s Student Design Award went to Monash University product design students Jess Cameron-Wootten and Benjamin Last for their Melbourne Public Transport 2020 concept.

Their submission proposed an overhaul of Melbourne’s most recognised mode of public transport by devising a single-track tram. The new tram, which is stabilised by a gyroscope, allows for much-needed road space in inner-city areas.

The Premier’s Leadership Design Award went to joint winners Ken Cato and Rob Adams.

Ken Cato has had an influence on Victoria’s design community through his company Cato Purnell Partners, which was established in Melbourne in 1970. Cato Purnell also has offices in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and Spain.

The firm’s work includes corporate identity design for Qantas, Channel Seven, Coles and the Commonwealth Bank. 

Professor Rob Adams, design director for the City of Melbourne, has long been a champion of urban design in Australia. He has driven projects such as Postcode 3000, Birrarung Marr, the Sandridge Bridge, the Lane-ways Project, MeatMarket and QV.

He is in large part responsible for the transformation of Melbourne’s city into a vibrant hub of activity and culture.

Winner of the Premier’s Product Design Prize was Charlwood Design for the Queen’s Relay Baton for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. The baton successfully blended form and function to create a technologically advanced product that could withstand varied weather conditions over the course of a year.

The baton’s highly sophisticated equipment, with around 2000 individual parts, enabled information such as the runner’s name, image, location, speed and direction to be transferred directly to the Games’ website via a global positioning system.

Winner of the Built Environment Prize was Sean Godsell Architects for the design of a house at St Andrews Beach in Victoria.

The beach house forms part of an ongoing attempt to discover an architecture that reflects the informality of the Australian family as well as this country’s cultural diversity.

The veranda, for instance, is an iconic element found in both the Asia region and Australian colonial architecture.

The Communication Prize was awarded to Stuart Geddes and Jeremy Worstman for Is Not Magazine, a bimonthly publication found on Melbourne’s inner-city walls.

The magazine is an experiment in design and publishing, aiming to foster a new form of reading whereby passers-by begin reading a story at one location and finish it at another.

The City of Melbourne Sustainability Award went to Katrina Logan for Lumi Illuminated Rainwater Storage, which manages to integrate water conservation and architecture while paying attention to aesthetics.

Lumi is designed to be displayed rather than hidden down the side of a house. It has a sculptural satin acrylic casing that glows in sunlight, making rainwater reserves visible; at night it is illuminated by internal lights.

The remaining student prizes went to Steven Swain of RMIT University for the built environment category; Nicole Manks, University of Ballarat, for communication design; and Fiona Lau, RMIT University, for fashion and textile design.  

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