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IDEA launches the Mark Robinson Community Award

IDEA launches the Mark Robinson Community Award


The Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) is proud to announce the IDEA Community Services category will be renamed to honour the late Mark Robinson, former principal of Flack Studio.

Mark Robinson worked alongside David Flack since the establishment of Flack Studio in 2015, a world-renowned, Melbourne-based multidisciplinary practice of architects and designers. 

A film director by vocation, Robinson worked in the film industry for 20 years before joining Flack to focus on clients’ experience of the process and of the brand. 

Until his passing in December 2022, Robinson was a dedicated advocate who promoted using one’s voice and resources to create a more inclusive and positively impactful design community. 

The IDEA Mark Robinson Community Award launch video

He supported the creation of the studio’s Rhonda Alexander Mentorship Program for people who could not get a foot in the door of the design industry, hosted the monthly Plinth Drinks featuring local artists and makers, and was the driving force behind opening Flack Studio’s library for people to share the studio’s world and talk about books.

Robinson’s important legacy will live on in the spaces he helped design, the communities he fostered and now also through the IDEA Mark Robinson Community Award.

A new purpose for the IDEA Community Services category

The original IDEA Community Services category was introduced in 2021 to acknowledge the positive impact interior design and architecture have had on our community or not-for-profit sectors. In 2024, this category will be renamed and its criteria changed in honour of Robinson.

Eligibility for the Mark Robinson Community Award acknowledges that an individual’s or business’ impact within the built environment can go beyond the physical structures they design, build or contribute to, and extends to the programs they devise, the organisations they run or initiatives they support.

The Mark Robinson Community Award criteria

To be eligible for this award the individual or business must have: 

  • completed the project or facilitated the program or initiative between January 2021 and May 2024
  • provided a platform to support marginalised or disadvantaged groups/peoples
  • encouraged collaboration both within the built environment community as well as the broader community. This could include initiating or supporting programs that foster dialogue or partnerships with local organisations to achieve positive outcomes, and 
  • encouraged inclusivity in the built environment community by overcoming barriers to access and cultivating a diversity of voices within it. This could be through providing opportunities such as mentorships, access to employment or development resources, the running of programs to enhance diversity within the industry, or providing specialist or expert services to those who would not ordinarily have access to them. 
How to enter

Entries into all IDEA 2024 categories open 5 March 2024.

As part of their application, entrants will be asked to submit a 300-word description, or 2-3 minute video, expressing how your program or project benefits the community, vulnerable groups and/or neighbourhoods. Judges will be looking in particular at the measurable impact the programme or project has had on the group concerned. 

All entry fees for this category will be donated to the charity of the winning individual or businesses choice.

Designing healthier communities

In the words of Robinson, politics is always at the heart of art and of any form of expression. 

“As designers, and I call designers artists, you have to know what your voice is and what are you trying to say – and that’s political,” Robinson says in old recordings used in the IDEA category launch video by Paola Morabito and Ceinwen Berry.

“We’re not interested in a world that’s transactional, it has to be something that gives back and that only makes our community and ourselves better. We have become better people from becoming engaged in our greater community.”

If your company ethos aligns with the Mark Robinson Community Award and you’re actively exploring opportunities to amplify your impact, we encourage you to reach out to IDEA. Let’s have a conversation about supporting this vitally important industry award and the charity of your choice.  Please contact elizabeth.distefano@niche.com.au

Film credits: Creative direction and Film Production by Paola Morabito and Ceinwen Berry. Music ‘Close 1.2 [2016 Export wav]’ by Flume 


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