Finalists in the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards have been officially announced by the Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson and are now available to view on the Premier’s Design Awards website. 


The finalists for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards have been announced, showcasing the many ways that Victorian designers and architects are leading the way and designing a new future.

Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson announced the 97 finalists for the 2020 awards, which generated a record 365 submissions.

From a solar-powered car to a low-cost sustainable way to keep mosquitos at bay, the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards recognise the many disciplines within the field of design.

The awards shine a light on projects across eight categories including architectural, product, service, fashion, digital and communication design, as well as design strategy.

With Victorian universities leading the way in design education, the student design category recognises excellent projects by the next generation of Victorian designers.

The finalists will now be considered by a panel of design and architecture experts to determine category winners and the overall winner of the Victorian Premier’s Design of the Year.

Winners will be announced at the annual Victorian Premier’s Design Awards ceremony which, for the first time, will be held as part of Melbourne Design Week in March 2021.

The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards were established in 1996 to acknowledge the Victorian designers and businesses that display excellence in the way they use design. The awards are delivered by Good Design Australia on behalf of the Victorian Government.

The awards provide an opportunity for businesses and the community to better understand the role of design in making products, services, spaces and experiences more functional, safe, efficient and attractive.

The awards also raise awareness about the impact design can have on productivity and business outcomes and the role design plays in tackling the challenges of the day to shape a better environment and society.

For a full list of finalists for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson   

“Design has always been important but as we emerge from the pandemic, designers are playing a vital in helping to shape new COVIDSafe ways to live.”

“Congratulations to the talented designers and architects who have been shortlisted this year. Their collective work is an impressive showcase of Victoria’s reputation as a place of innovation with creativity at its core.”

Finalists undergo a Second Round Evaluation where the Best in Category Winners and coveted Victorian Premier’s Design Award of the Year are decided by a panel of experts from the design and architecture community.

“It is so encouraging to see such a high calibre of entries in this year’s Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. Making it through as a Finalist is a great achievement and on behalf of the First Round Jury and Creative Victoria, congratulations to the designers and architects behind these inspirational projects,” said Celina Clarke, Chair of the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards

Winners will be announced at the annual Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Ceremony which, for the first time, will be held as part of Melbourne Design Week in March 2021.

Below is a selection of standout Finalists across the eight categories in this year’s Victorian Premier’s Design Awards.


Photo: Tatjana Plitt

RMIT Capitol Theatre
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Architectural Design

Six Degrees Architects (Architects)
Michael Taylor Architects (Heritage)
GHD (Building Services, Structure, Project Management)
Slattery (Quantity Surveyor)
Schuler Shook (Audio Visual)

The Capitol Theatre was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney in 1924 and is regarded as one of the finest cinemas ever designed. The RMIT Capitol Theatre reactivation brings together students, academics, the public and industry within one exceptional venue in the Melbourne CBD. The project retains, restores and showcases the significant heritage fabric of the Capitol Theatre, while also reactivating the building for uses that include teaching, research, cinema, art and performance.

Bardolph Gardens
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Architectural Design

Breathe Architecture

Taking cues from its surrounding context, Bardolph Gardens consists of two single-storey dwellings that set an example for delivering sustainable, affordable and well-designed rental housing. Occupying an under-utilised open space behind two Californian bungalows, Bardolph Gardens is both house and garden. The dwellings are architecturally and formally respectful to the immediate context whilst the interiors are generous, light-filled and warm with outlook to greenery. Designed with a priority towards sustainability, Bardolph Gardens is carefully designed to maximise thermal performance through its building envelope, double glazing and orientation and operates from a fossil-fuel-free services system.

Energy Affordability Training Partnership
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Communication Design

Consumer Policy Research Centre
Community Information and Support Victoria

Electricity and gas prices for Victorian households have increased by almost 200% since the deregulation of Victoria’s energy market in 2002. Research shows that many vulnerable groups including older people, those with limited digital proficiency and low English literacy are unlikely to switch providers and get the best deal. These are often the same groups facing challenges with energy efficiency. The Energy Affordability Training Partnership delivers a human-centred design process to co-create materials and resources with caseworkers, tasked with coaching the most vulnerable of Victorians on energy consumption and affordability.

Melbourne International Jazz Festival Brand and Campaign
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Communication Design


The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is a world-class jazz festival that has been held annually in Melbourne since 1998. The festival takes the underground above ground, showcasing and celebrating jazz culture by leading international artists alongside leading and emerging local talent. Motherbird has worked to reinvigorate the Festival identity, giving it a new lease on life to be a standout amongst a crowded Melbourne festival scene. The preconceived notions of jazz needed to be shattered and put on an exciting new path. The brief: Make room for the past while bringing in the future.

Human-Centred Design Playbook
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Design Strategy

Mathan Ratinam
Sophie Turner
Peta Fawcett

This design guide has been created for Victorian public servants who are designing, procuring or managing human-centred design (HCD) projects. It was developed primarily for public servants who are new to the HCD practice to expand their design literacy, increase the success rate of design-led projects, and to promote the most optimal collaborations and outcomes with design teams embedded in government departments and external design agencies.

Rethinking Supreme Court Access
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Design Strategy

Paper Giant
Supreme Court Victoria

Court can feel intimidating and exclusive to the general public, making it less likely they will claim their democratic right to pursue justice. Access to justice can also be measured by the backlog of cases: are people who seek justice being heard in a timely manner? The Supreme Court of Victoria Registry asked Paper Giant to design a researched-based strategy to make Court more inclusive and accessible while improving process, culture and capability to achieve a low case backlog. Together with Court users and staff, they co-designed design interventions to enable the court to develop and achieve their strategic goals.

Early Algal Warning System
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Digital Design

The Early Algal Warning System monitors water quality and health risks in near real-time reducing reporting turnaround time from weeks to days. It uses combined satellite-based detection and data visualisation systems that monitor algal activity and visualises trends to report on water health. The system monitors rising concentrations of algae across areas of jurisdiction and enables local councils and state authorities to issue alerts and address mitigation as quickly as possible.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Digital Design

Isobar Australia
Cox Inall Ridgeway
Dentsu Aegis Network

For over 60,000 years, generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have passed down traditions, knowledge and stories. Ngarandi (which means “to know” in the Dharawal language) was created to bring these stories into the spotlight. Using innovative technology and developed in consultation with the indigenous community, the app seamlessly layers augmented 3D graphics and sounds over the real-world to recreate Aboriginal stories at locations around Australia. The first two experiences are derived from the Eora people, the traditional owners of the areas around Sydney. Users can craft a traditional “Nawi” canoe or catch fish using the techniques of Eora Fisherwomen. Ngarandi is a collaboration between Indigenous specialist agency Cox Inall Ridgeway and digital agency Isobar Australia, incubated by Dentsu Aegis Network’s (DAN) Innovation Council.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Fashion Design


After launching in 2016, MNDATORY had operated via concurrent Ready-to-Wear/Made-to-Order business models, releasing two seasonal fashion collections per year, alongside a perennial Made-to-Measure tailoring service for Melbourne customers. Having observed the purchasing behaviour of MNDATORY consumers, key patterns emerged prompting the trial of a new hybrid model (Co-Creation), commencing with the collection ‘Chameleon’ in 2019. Built on MNDATORY’s distinct brand and business DNA, this concept has been further developed with the collection ‘ACRIDIDAE’ – a seasonal fashion collection featuring designer garments that facilitate customisation and personalisation on a mass-scale.

Hew Clothing
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Fashion Design


Kat Phillimore is a Melbourne based artist with a beautiful illustrative style. Her focus on fauna and flora drawings transfer across to digital prints which creates minimal dye waste. The collection uses biodegradable cotton which has been certified by the independent certification system SO Oeko-Tex. The use of coconut buttons reinforces a strong focus on biodegradable materials with more than 70% of the garments produced in Melbourne at ECA certified factories.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Product Design


Bauhaus is a highly versatile seating system. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria and inspired by the NGV’s Great Hall stained glass ceiling and Alma Seidhoff-Buscher’s timber Bauhaus building blocks. Bauhaus encourages play and interaction, ideally suited across a diverse range of interior workspaces, public seating or education environments.

TOM Organic Period Cup
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Product Design

TOM Organic
Ideation Design

The TOM Organic Period Cup is the first Australian designed and made menstrual cup to be ranged in major supermarkets. The cup’s unique and functional design breaks down barriers to use and brings reusable period care to the masses. The Period Cup is sold with an innovative, first-of-its-kind steriliser case allowing the cup to be discreetly sterilised in the microwave in just 1 minute.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Service Design

Your Creative Agency
Moreland City Council

Presented with the issue of unutilised, unloved vacant properties in an area of Melbourne with a vibrant creative and maker community, Morespace is a unique responsive design kit that activates public thoroughfares and showcases local creative talent while deterring vandalism on retail premises. Morespace can be adapted and applied to any window regardless of size, condition or age. In partnership with local woodworkers, the design solution is a custom retrofittable window box that can be moved and resized to fit the space thus increasing the longevity and overall sustainability of the project.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Service Design

Nous Group

Nous and Whitelion worked together to develop innovative ways of combatting youth unemployment. Y4Y was designed to consider how opportunities available through the gig economy can be used in employment programs to improve prospects of disadvantaged young people.

ATN GT Solar Car (Priscilla)
2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Student Design

Matt Millar
Simon Curlis
Sarawit (Richie) Hongladaromp

Priscilla is a hyper-efficient solar car that promotes sustainable futures for a post-fossil fuel world. The car has a vehicle body designed, developed, and constructed in Victoria by RMIT University Design and Engineering students and staff. It was one of the top contenders in the International 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge (BWSC). Featuring five square meters of solar array, which lifts to face the sun from sunrise to sunset when parked, our solar sports car carries two people, has cargo space for golf bags and luggage for two and is perfect for weekend trips away.

2020 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards Finalist, Student Design


Quito is a low-cost and sustainable CO2-based mosquito trap designed to reduce mosquito populations, targeted at the context that is most ideal for mosquito-borne diseases transmission — tropical tourism.

Entomological studies on mosquito behaviour point out that mosquitoes use a combination of CO2 trace from our respiration, our skin scent, and our body heat to land on our blood vessel, the inspiration behind the device that reproduces those cues to capture them in a cleverly designed product form.


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