In 1958, a small group of design and industry professionals established the Industrial Design Council of Australia (IDCA), funded by the Australian Government.

The IDCA was created as an independent body dedicated to promoting Australian design and explaining the value of design to business, industry and consumers. Through initiatives such as the Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design, the Australian Design Award, the Dunhill Industrial Design Lecture Series, and the Good Design Index for Australian Design, the IDCA paved the way forward for promoting Australian design and innovation on the world stage.

Good Design Index for Australian Design (1964)

In an era when the concept of professional design was still very much in its infancy, the goal of the IDCA was to educate manufacturers and consumers on the value of design, encourage and promote high standards of design in manufactured goods and foster an appreciation of good design among the wider community.

His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke Of Edinburgh presenting the Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design (1968)

In 1968, the inaugural Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design was introduced as the highest honour bestowed on an Australian company. At the Awards presentation, Prince Philip said: “I hope this whole exercise will provoke a great deal of discussion and argument on the subject of Industrial Design. I don’t mind in the least if people disagree violently with our choice because it will mean that this is a subject worth attention and worthy of well-informed criticism.”


Australian Design Award Logo, IDCA (1974)

The Australian Design Award program was introduced in 1974 and became a valuable promotional tool for manufacturers and designers. During this time, publicity was at an all time high with televised coverage of the Australian Design Awards Ceremony on ABC television reaching audiences of more than 4 million.

Ita Buttrose presenting the Australian Design Awards on ABC Television (circa 1980)

In 1987, in an effort to reinvigorate the movement, the Government re-launched the IDCA as the Australian Design Council and the Prince Philip Prize was replaced by the Australian Design Award as Australia’s most prestigious design accolade.

Australian Design Council (1987)

In 1991, the Australian Government handed the Australan Design Council to Standards Australia, Australia’s national standards body. Closely aligned with Standards Australia’s aim of providing guidance to encourage basic levels of acceptability for products and services, the program was promoted as an important motivator of continual improvement and international best practice for design and innovation.

After almost 20 years under Standards Australia’s stewardship, the program is handed to Good Design Australia, an independent design promotion organisation. Under Good Design Australia’s custodianship, the awards program is re-structured to include expanded design categories and is renamed as the Australian Good Design Awards.

Australian Good Design Awards Ceremony (2013)

60 years on, Good Design Australia proudly continues the important legacy of promoting the value and importance of design to business and industry, government and consumers and end-users of design.

Through our annual Good Design Festival, Good Design Awards and other signature design events, we continue to promote the transformative power of design and it’s ability to create better and more efficient products, services and spaces and more competitive businesses. Ultimately, we see design contributing to a better society and a more sustainable and prosperous world for us all.

2018 Good Design Awards Ceremony and 60th Anniversary Celebration, Sydney Opera House, May 17 2018

As part of our 60th Anniversary celebrations, our Good Design Awards Ceremony will be held at the iconic Sydney Opera House on Thursday 17 May 2018.

The Ceremony will be followed by the 3-day Good Design Showcase Exhibition at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay from Fri 25 – Sun 27 May 2018.

We invite you to share this significant milestone as we celebrate six decades of promoting design excellence. Join us as we embark on a year of design- reflections, design-celebrations and design-futures.

If you are interested in participating in the 60th Anniversary as an Event Partner, please contact us for more information.

More on our 60 year history here.

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