DIA Designers win inaugural Green House Design Challenge at Queensland Premier's Design Awards

09 July 2010
Brisbane (Australia) – The Design Institute of Australia (DIA), Queensland branch's socially responsible design practice group design:action! has won the one-hour pressure test at the Premier's Design Awards with a 'handmade trade' box to facilitate social sustainability and community connectivity with young people through adaptive reuse.
Brisbane (Australia) – The Design Institute of Australia (DIA), Queensland branch's socially responsible design practice group design:action! sawed, hammered, sewed and stapled their way through the Premier's Design Awards last night in a one-hour pressure test - winning the challenge with a 'handmade trade' box to facilitate social sustainability and community connectivity with young people through adaptive reuse.

The challenge, centred around the theme 'green house', was to use the same recycled materials as other teams to create a finished product that assisted in creating homes that are smarter, stronger, greener, and healthier.

The DIA's design:action! team consisted of team leader Scott Bagnell (Interior Designer, Cottee Parker Architects and Co-president DIA Queensland Branch), Georgia Bedford (Interior Designer, HASSELL), Grace Bitner, (Interior Designer, Conrad Gargett), Tamagin Blake-Smith (Interior Designer, Riddel Architecture) Darren Giddy (Architectural Student QUT), and Ben Grassick (Industrial Designer, Conrad Gargett).

Above: The winning design by the design:action! team. Image courtesy of DIA.

The winning concept consisted of a timber box with open sides made from a timber crate, and a recycled plastic cloth satchel that could be hung from the front fence of your home as a means to encourage kids to create toys by using everyday objects, and then share and swap these creations with other kids by placing them in the 'handmade trade' box.

Scott Bagnell, Co-president DIA Queensland Branch said, "The green minds of our young people have a pivotal role to play in our sustainable future. This concept looks at building smarter kids by encouraging design-led thinking and strengthening community connection."

"It encourages people to start thinking beyond the end use of a product, challenge democratic consumer capitalism of newer, bigger, faster, better, and look at opportunities for adaptive reuse, swapping, and relifeing objects and materials in new ways, to minimise landfill and combat some of the current recycling trends of sustaining the unsustainable."

The socially responsible design group – DIA design:action! –focuses on the practice and promotion of socially responsible design and showcases the powerful effect design can have in creating significant positive change in our local & global communities.

The Group is comprised of design professionals from a variety of disciplines including Interior Design, Product Design and Graphic Design. Designers work pro-bono alongside their clients in a world-leading consensus design approach, to ensure an egalitarian collaborative outcome for each project, and tackle real issues and provide real solutions and advocacy to assist those in need.

DIA design:action! is currently involved in the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland Office Refurbishment, SPACE Community Endeavours Community Hall Refurbishment at Kenmore, and Livingin Independent Living Housing Project.

Natalie Wright, co-president DIA Queensland Branch and Queensland branch portfolio chair for DIA design:action! said "Our current project Livingin Independent Living is a collaboration between DIA, Queensland University of Technology and Kyabra Community Association."

"It is focused on the research, design & construction of two co-located dwellings for a person with an intellectual disability & their parents to live independently, with security of tenure and ongoing care as the parents age."

"We currently have 51 families who also hope their children can live independent, active and meaningful lives within their own community in the future."

"25 designers from 6 different disciplines are currently working on the project, and we are due to complete the design of the first prototype by April next year." Wright said. Wright said "It is time that designers take action and share their tools to imagine and build a better future. We need to engage in responsible design practices that address environmental, social and political issues and embrace ethical, emotional and humanitarian values."

This action group also provides real world design experience to enhance the knowledge and skills of practising design professionals, while providing valuable mentorship for students & graduates.

For further media information, please contact:

Scott Bagnell
DIA National Director
DIA Queensland Branch Co-President
PR & Communications
T: +61 4 1455 3827
F: +61 7 3112 6106

About Design Institute of Australia (DIA)

The Design Institute of Australia is the voice of professional design in Australia and peak professional body representing professional designers who provide specialised design services for industry sectors such as manufacturing, built environment, communications and business. The DIA has been actively improving the community recognition and status of designers since 1947. It is the only multidisciplinary organization representing designers from all design disciplines from interior and graphic designers to industrial and fashion designers. The DIA is funded primarily by member subscriptions and sponsorship from businesses with design industry connections. It is a national organisation managed by a permanent secretariat staff and directed by a board of its members elected from its state branches. It has six state branches operated by the volunteer services of its members.

About DIA Queensland Branch

The Queensland Branch operates several events throughout the year. These events aim to inspire, recognise, contribute and provide vision and information to design professionals from all professional design disciplines. Our vision is to raise awareness and increase the profile of the design profession within the community and establish Queensland as an epicentre of design innovation and creativity - where the contribution of leading Queensland designers is recognised.