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4 March 2015. Good Design Australia, who promote the best in cutting edge design and innovation through the annual Good Design Awards, is waging a war to make design thinking a priority for business and a sure-fire way to stimulate innovation in Australia.  


The Awards, which are calling for entries across the globe, are backed by business heavyweights such as Deloitte’s Maureen Thurston and Catherine Livingston, the Chair of Telstra. They believe that there is a growing and urgent need for design-led innovation in Australia.


Countless businesses are beginning to understand the value of a design-led approach to business and have begun integrating design thinking into their business processes and strategy. Stand out examples include: Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, and PWC.


A ‘Design Thinking’ approach can impact anything from the design of a product, to the design of a staff performance system, to designing a more user-centric service, to designing the government’s next budget and policy framework.


Under the leadership of Dr Brandon Gien, the CEO of Good Design Australia and President of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) the Awards this year have introduced two new categories to promote the expanding role of design in business and society including a new Award for Social Innovation and Business Model Design.


Dr Gien said that design needs to be a number one priority for any modern business to remain competitive in today’s tough market.  


“A design based approach in business offers many capabilities including creativity, problem solving, deep questioning and most importantly, a framework to drive innovation.”


“At the heart of it, designers are really good at asking the right questions to get to the core of the problem and then offer a range of solutions based on a customer centric approach. They are always looking for alternative and better ways of doing things,” said Dr Gien.


“Business leaders with a focus on design belong in the boardrooms and advisory boards across the globe.”


“Design is everywhere. Unfortunately there is a lot of bad design out there as well. Consumers today are spoilt for choice with an abundance of products and services at their fingertips. If businesses want to engage their customers at a deeper level, then they need to ensure they are committed to good design at every level,” Dr Gien went on to say.


“Innovation has been the buzzword in business and government for many years but without a design based approach, innovation can send a business in circles without any tangible, commercial outcomes.”


“We have launched two new categories in the Good Design Awards to recognise the role that applied design plays in driving business success through the Business Model Design Category and Social Innovation Award” Together, these new categories hope to promote businesses that are using design strategically to help drive positive change and market success,” Dr Gien said.


Dr Gien is urging Australian government and industry to have a “very active” Plan B for when Australia’s resources boom runs out.


“Design-led companies like Apple, Dyson, Google, Facebook and Nest are bolstering UK and US economies. We have some very innovative companies here in Australia but we risk falling behind in the area of design to turn them into multi-national success stories.”


“My mission is to try to get government to understand that we will eventually run out of stuff to dig up and export. China has already slowed down and we are seeing the impact of this. The big question is: How do we create a prosperous business environment that encourages the export our ideas and intellect? How do we grow more Apples, Googles and Dysons in Australia? Design is at the heart of this.”


Maureen Thurston, Principal of Design Thinking at Deloitte Australia believes that design is making the journey from the fringes to the centre of business.


“Design and innovation is about exploring opportunities and challenging traditional ways of thinking to make the client experience better. Businesses that integrate design as a strategic tool understand that it is so much more than just designing a better product or service, they see design as a core differentiator to their entire business model and overall strategic direction,” Ms Thurston said.



  1. gooddesignaustralia.com

Good Design Australia is an international design promotion organisation responsible for managing Australia's annual Good Design Awards program as well as a number of leading industry award programs including the Victorian Premier's Design Awards and the Hills Young Australian Design Awards program.



  1. good-design.com

With a proud heritage dating back to the Industrial Design Council of Australia (IDCA) established in 1958, the Australian Good Design Awards is recognised by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) as Australia’s peak design endorsement program.

The Good Design Awards is Australia’s longest standing national design award and promotion program, and one of the few forums for professional Industrial Designers and manufacturers to showcase their design expertise to national and international audiences. As a result of more than 50 years of design benchmarking, the program has focused on progressively raising the standard of design and innovation in Australia.


Entries to the 2015 Good Design Awards are open now and close on 20 March. Entries are open to Australian and international businesses.