Rohan Nicol wins Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award

Nov 18, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor

The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award has been presented to Wagga Wagga-based designer, Rohan Nicol, for his pendant light design, Peppered Sunlight. Selected from the list of ten finalists, Nicol wins a cash prize of $30,000 and a trip to Milan for the 2010 Salone del Mobile.

Nicol is a graduate of Canberra School of Art, and began his career working as a jeweller and metalsmith. ‘Peppered Sunlight’ is inspired by the way light filters through the trees. The jury praised his entry for the dimmable globe, height adjustable facilities and lightweight material.

Nicol plans to use the prize money to grow international interest in the winning product ahead of the design fair in Milan, and develop future projects and collaborations with other emerging Australian designers.

The Design Discovery Award is presented annually to promote the work of emerging Australian designers and support the growth of the local design community. Now in its seventh year, the award received a record number of 90 entries this year, with ten designers selected as finalists in September.

The award was this year presented by VIP guest, Maarten Baas, at the awards dinner held at the Establishment Hotel on 18 November. The acclaimed Dutch designer was named Design Miami Designer of the Year in 2009, and is well known for his experimental projects that push the boundaries of design – including his first collection, ‘Smoke’.

Colin Rochester, Managing Director of Bacardi Lion, said the Design Discovery Award continues to go from strength to strength, “not only in the standard of entries we receive but also in the level of enthusiasm we receive from the design community”.

The four runners up, who each received a prize of $2,500, were Adam Cornish for ‘Twist’, Daniel.Emma (Daniel To and Emma Aiston) for ‘Solids’, Gary Galego for ‘Carbonwood’ and Tomek Archer for ‘Pegleg’.

The remaining five finalists received $1,000 each. They were Helen Kontouris for ‘Breathe’, Kain Lucas for ‘Victoria Side Table’, Marcel Sigel for ‘Weddel’, Joseph Ormrod for ‘Genus side table’ and David Knott for ‘The Daily Grind’.

The work of all ten finalists is on show as part of the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award Exhibition, on display at the Gin Garden, Establishment Hotel in Sydney until 28 November. The exhibition will then travel to Melbourne and Brisbane in early 2010.

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