The international competition takes in entries from design projects across the globe and is increasingly becoming one of the most respected award ceremonies in this industry.
While the winners from the different categories vary, there appears to be a strong theme of modern innovation and leading-edge thinking in the winner’s pool.
Named ‘Winner Education Project of the Year 2011,’ Stadmissionen School in Stockholm encapsulates the innovative thinking so obviously favoured by judges. Designed by architectural firm Codesign, the building is a converted industrial warehouse that has been designed with the incorporation of recycled glass classrooms with an emphasis on modernity and colourful furnishings and flooring.
As the building has a short life span due to its proposed demolition in a few years time, recycled materials have been largely used. Speed and efficiency posed challenges to the designers, but in meeting these time restrictions successfully while creating a modern, clever building with a unique sense of flow, the project has truly earned the judges’ notice.
Meeting these same unofficial criteria is Rabobank, Utrecht in the Netherlands, which took home the prize for ‘Winner Workspace Project of the Year 2011.’ The design approach for this innovative workspace has been biomorphic, with designers Sander Architecten taking inspiration from natural design forms in order to create a space that promotes well being. That design helps foster a more positive mood as well as better behaviour and increased productivity among workers working at the site.
With a founding design ideology of natural flow and peacefulness, the interior’s design is modern in its simplicity, cool in its colour palette and incredibly sympathetic to creating a gentle and calm atmosphere.
Also moving away from traditional design schemes is Robina Hospital Queensland, which took home ‘Winner Healthcare Project of the Year 2011.’ With interiors designed by BVN architecture, the development is far removed from the old-fashioned institutional hospitals of yesteryear and has created a highly contemporary space bursting with colour.
While last year’s Australian Interior Design Awards favoured the classical, it is clear the international judges leaned in a different direction. In both competitions, however, the concept of innovation highly-regarded.
That makes it clear that designers will have to look beyond aesthetics and function. Offering something innovative that has a purpose and offers additional positive effects is proving to be the key to design acclaim on any platform.