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Designers share an IDEA shelfie


Entries to the 2024 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) open on Tuesday 5 March! Another round of last year’s winners have taken a ‘shelfie’ showing off their trophy contextualised with their own design practice or aesthetic.

Every year, IDEA shines a light on the best of Australian interior and product design. And, every year, the designers and architects responsible for bringing these award-winning interior designs and products to life take home the coveted IDEA trophy, designed by Axolotl.

The trophies not only provide a lasting memento of the IDEA winners’ hard work, but they’re also a tribute to the Axolotl team’s expert craftsmanship. The solid cast nickel material provides a lustrous hand-polished finish, while the delicately engraved logo and winner’s names add a personal touch to each trophy.

With the IDEA trophies now sitting proudly on shelves in studios and homes, Australian Design Review asked the winners to share a ‘shelfie’ that shows off the trophy in its new home to fuel some inspiration for this year’s entrants. 

Kennedy Nolan
Kennedy Nolan shelfies

Last year, Melbourne-based architecture practice Kennedy Nolan took home the awards for both the Residential Single category and the Overall Project of the Year – the top award at IDEA.

The winning project that impressed the jury was Somers House, an unmistakably Australian coastal house in the Victorian seaside town of Somers.

Somers House replaced a building that was the repository of good memories but was also damp, poorly organised and at the end of its useful life. Kennedy Nolan integrated these existing and future memories into a well-organised, functional and zoned abode.

Nickolas Gurtler Office
Nickolas Gurtler shelfie

Nickolas Gurtler Office, an interior design studio also based in Melbourne, won the Institutional award for Ocean Cosmetics, an aesthetic medicine clinic located in the beachside locale of Cottesloe in Western Australia.

The overall design was inspired by the Thierry Mugler Angel perfume bottle.

“We also looked at some obscure sources for inspiration, as we often do, like the nautilus shell, which informed the radial floor plan,” Gurtler told ADR in December.

“I think this project embodied our style as a studio, but also was bold and pushed the boundaries of what this type of space typically looks like.”

Smart Design Studio
Smart Design Studio shelfie

Smart Design Studio in Sydney was victorious in the IDEA Workplace Under 1000sqm category for its project Bridge 17.

Better known for their residential work, founder William Smart says it was wonderful for the team to receive recognition in the workplace category.

“What an incredible field of shortlisted projects – some of the best in the country, which makes winning even more special for us,” he says.

Carr shelfie

Carr has had many IDEA trophies to house over the years. The Melbourne-based architecture and interior design studio was recognised in the Residential Multi category at the past two IDEA programs, most recently for the project 835 High Street, a refined apartment complex located on a busy Armadale thoroughfare.

“The designers successfully balanced the dichotomy between the regularity and strength of form, and the loose, casual and calm flow of spaces it frames,” said jury member Byron George.

Studio Bright
Bright Studio IDEA

Another Melbournian practice, Studio Bright, won the IDEA in the Event category for ‘Barbara Hepworth: In Equilibrium’, an artist survey exhibition curated by the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne.

It was no small feat for a practice that had never taken on an exhibition design project prior.

The design of Barbara Hepworth: In Equilibrium makes an intentional shift away from the white cube gallery and ​​toward rich textures and colours intended to evoke sensory qualities and complement artwork materials. 

View our first round of IDEA 2023 shelfies here.


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