A message from us about the IDEA Gala

Aug 20, 2020
  • Article by Elisa Scarton

These last few months have been tough.

We feel particularly for our vibrant creative and design community – the talented individuals and small businesses that are experiencing unprecedented challenges in unprecedented circumstances.

Our sincerest gratitude rests with the frontline health and essential workers, both locally and globally, who have dedicated their days, nights and sometimes their lives to help those in need.

As editors and publishers of inside, AR and Australian Design Review, part of our role is determining how and when to host our annual Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Gala. We were overwhelmed by the industry’s response to this year’s program. The projects are incredible and the people behind them inspirational. 

For 18 years, IDEA has recognised excellence in Australian architecture and interior design.

As one of the country’s oldest award programs, we see ourselves as more than just an outlet for celebrating and honouring the year’s best architecture and interior design, but also a tool for connecting the community and a platform for promoting studios and practices both big and small, in our capital cities and rural and regional areas. 

A huge part of this is our annual gala. Affectionately known within the industry as “the party of the year”, our gala is an opportunity for architects and designers to come together to celebrate their peers, to network, catch up, connect, collaborate and just unwind as we head into the summer holidays.

It’s also a really important way for us, as editors and publishers, and for our sponsors, to give back to the industry, say thank you and honour all the shortlisted, highly commended and winning projects in the best way possible.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve discussed having a digital awards ceremony to announce this year’s winners, but we decided it just wouldn’t be right for us.

We believe this wouldn’t do our shortlisted projects, or the designers and architects who worked so hard on them, justice.

It wouldn’t recognise the tireless work our judges Hana Hakim, Simone Haag, Anna Spiro, Jeremy Bull, Brendan Wong, Rachel Luchetti and Andrew Parr have put in in the most difficult of circumstances. And it would go against the spirit of IDEA as a connecting force within the industry.  

We’re also incredibly fortunate to have the full support of our amazing sponsors in this decision. We are proud to be associated with the very best retailers, manufacturers and associated industries. Their support encourages the Australian design professional and applauds its triumphs.

In such a tumultuous time, we feel like forums for community are all the more important. We want to be able to bring the industry together safely and securely to recognise its peers and to celebrate as one. In the grand scheme of things, a little party isn’t much, but it’s something to look forward to, something we can all get excited about. 

It’s for this reason that we’ve decided not to resort to a virtual event, but to put a hold on our IDEA Gala until the time when we can do what we have been doing for 18 years: bringing the A&D community together, in person.

That may be possible late 2020 or early 2021, though at this stage nobody can say. We will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that when we are able to celebrate together, we can do so safely and securely in the name of amazing Australian design. 

If you have any questions about IDEA or this year’s gala, please email us at idea@niche.com.au.

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