Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year.”
“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,” he said.
The Gold award, in the Service design category, is the first won by ThinkPlace and was awarded for the City of Willoughby Engagement Strategy, created by designers from ThinkPlace Sydney and Canberra studios.
That project revolutionised the way that local government engages with communities, using social media outreach, co-design and gamification techniques to enlist a large and diverse group of people in a challenging strategic discussion about the long term future of the City of Willoughby.
The Good Design Awards Jury praised the Willoughby project, calling it “a perfect example of how community engagement should be facilitated.”
“With 3,500 thoughts, ideas and comments collected, this has been an extensive customer engagement process. The project has led to a much more informed council with positive social impact,” they said.
READ MORE ABOUT THE WINNING PROJECT HERE
The second award was presented to ThinkPlace Melbourne Studio for the Our Languages Matter project, which has created a world-first innovative process for recognising and replacing place names that are offensive to Aboriginal people and has created new partnerships that allow Aboriginal languages and culture to be better represented in future place-naming across Victoria.
The problem addressed by Our Languages Matter is one that is highly relevant to contemporary Australia and the recognition for this work comes during the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
The project addressed several clear needs: Naming authorities have too often been confused by how to engage with Aboriginal communities. Communities have felt unvalued, ignored and degraded by a lack of engagement and unaware of how decisions about naming are being made outside of their input.
The challenge for ThinkPlace was to create a space and a process that would allow diverse people and interests to come together, using innovative methods and resources to drive shared understanding and purpose.
“This is a project that applies co-design approaches to a sensitive and complex topic, and the adoption of visual techniques to work around language challenges,” the award judges said.
“The Jury appreciated the connection between participation and positive impact for the communities involved - creating value through both process and outcome. It's heartening to see both social impact and the potential for economic advancement. Well done.”
ThinkPlace designers work all over Australia and across the world on projects that “shift the needle” on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our unique blend of innovative methods is successfully tackling some of the world’s most complex problems combining a human-centred focus on the end user with an ability to understand and map complex systems.
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