Over our 65-year history, the world of design hasn’t stopped evolving. This means our Australian Good Design Awards program has had to follow suit, adapting and transforming in line with innovations that raise the bar year in and year out.

That’s where the Special Accolades come in. Not only recognising, rewarding and celebrating the designs that show future-shaping potential, they extend the spotlight to the designers and the design processes that empower them. They are unique Awards embodying history, tomorrow’s world and the incredible communities within the design field.

In the words of Good Design Australia’s CEO and Chair of the Awards, Dr Brandon Gien: “Great design is all about solving meaningful problems that will have a profound impact on our lives.” 

These Special Accolades push that vision forward. Read on to explore each Special Accolade and their criteria.

Australian Design Prize

The Australian Design Prize recognises an individual designer who is making or has already made a significant contribution to Australian design. Last year, the prize was awarded to Robert Pataki OAM for a lifetime of ingenuity and commitment to innovative design. Pataki is recognised as one of Australia’s leading designers, with the world’s first multi-plug power adapter and the iconic baby seat that cradled a newborn Prince William just two of the many achievements under his belt. His wider portfolio includes work with clients such as Motorola, Phillips, Kambrook, and Fisher & Paykel.

Robert Pataki OAM – Winner of the 2022 Australian Design Prize

Good Design Team of the Year Award

This Award was created to inspire the instigation and preservation of design-led cultures within organisations. First included in 2018, it honours a design team whose work consistently appears in the annual Australian Good Design Awards and other international programs. The criteria requires a company to provide evidence that design is instilled in their DNA and cultivated at every organisational level. Past winners include Meld Studios (2022), Design + Industry (2020) and Caroma Design Team (2019).

Meld Studios – Winner of the 2022 Good Design Team of the Year Award

Michael Bryce Patron’s Award

The Michael Bryce Patron’s Award recognises the best Australian-designed product, service or project. It’s presented by the Patron of Good Design Australia to an entry that has the potential to ignite positive change on economic, social, cultural and environmental levels. The Award honours the late Michael J.S. Bryce AM AE KStJ. Michael Bryce championed the Australian design movement throughout his lifetime. He’s best known for his work in graphic design, despite also dabbling in architecture, industrial, interior and urban design. Bryce was Good Design Australia’s inaugural Patron and this Award ensures his remarkable legacy justly endures. 

Groote Archipelago Housing Programme – Winner of the 2022 Michael Bryce Patron’s Award

Women in Design Award

At the forefront of diversity and equality, the Women in Design Award was introduced to help combat the notable gender imbalance within leadership roles in the design industry. It hopes to encourage better representation and celebrate women who have made outstanding contributions to the Australian design sphere. The 2022 Award was presented to Dr Leah Heiss who is dedicated to improving the development of wearable technologies, systems and services. 

Dr Leah Heiss – Winner of the 2022 Women in Design Award

Indigenous Design Award

The Indigenous Design Award recognises the vital contribution of Australia’s First Nations designers to the Australian Design community and profession. Proudly presented by RMIT University, the Award encourages nominations from across the entire scope of design disciplines and practices. The incredible augmented reality experience, Yalinguth: Can You Hear the Land, won the Award in 2022. Walking through Fitzroy/Ngar-go, listeners have access to First Nations stories that are embedded to Country and include first-person accounts of social, political and cultural life that move through time. 

Yalinguth: Can You Hear the Land – Winner of the 2022 Indigenous Design Award

Good Design Award for Sustainability

Established in 2007, the Good Design Award for Sustainability recognises projects that embody excellence in design for sustainability and circular economy principles. Aligned with Good Design Australia’s commitment to celebrate design innovating for a safer, considerate and more prosperous world for all, this Award aims to inspire change towards a more sustainable, design-led future. Vaulta’s Simply Superior Battery Casing Technology took home last year’s Award – a battery module working to eliminate battery waste by simplifying their recycling and reuse.

Vaulta’s Simply Superior Battery Casing TechnologyWinner of the 2022 Good Design Award for Sustainability

Automotive Design Award

The Automotive Design Award rewards excellence in the Automotive and Transport Category for superior automotive design and styling. Vehicles entered in the running will be considered for both the Best Exterior Design Award and the Best Interior Design Award. The criteria evaluate values such as function, predicted durability and security. 2022 saw the Genesis GV60 and its ‘crystal sphere’ center console take out the Best Interior Design Award and the style-focused Hyundai i30 Sedan N be awarded the Best Exterior Design Award. 

The Hyundai i30 Sedan N – Winner of the Automotive | Best Exterior Design Award

Powerhouse Design Award

Part of the annual Awards program since 1992, the Powerhouse Design Award is presented to a project set to enhance the health and wellbeing of Australians and their environments. The Award focuses on projects that are significant to Australian culture and acknowledge design’s role in combatting scientific and technological challenges. Winners like the 2018 Award recipient, Fashion Revolution Australia, have gone on to lead a global fashion movement that encourages stakeholders to take action against supply chain issues.

Fashion Revolution Australia – Winner of the 2018 Powerhouse Design Award


Submissions for the 2023 Australian Good Design Awards are now open. Its acclaimed panel of design leaders and experts are ready to preview the emerging design innovations from all corners of the design world. Early bird entries close on 17th March, 2023.


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