Design South Australia

Local design excellence is celebrated with the beautiful publication Design South Australia, an Integrated Design Commission initiative that showcases the diversity of design in this state.

With the Integrated Design Commission (IDC) set to close (to be partly replaced by The Office of Design and Architecture), IDC’s Commissioner Tim Horton hopes the publication will continue once the IDC is gone.

“Perhaps every two years something like this gets published, we hope,” Horton says. “It’s a lot less clear now with the Commission handing over and evolving into other organisations next year, as to whether the budget will hold for this kind of work. Maybe this can be seen as a prototype to move up the value of a book like this and see who we can get to partner next year to continue this work.”

Design South Australia features 52 recent case studies that showcase the breadth of local design talent. From architecture to art to theatre and jewellery, it’s all covered in Design South Australia. The book won’t be available to purchase in bookstores, however, as the first edition is a prototype that has a limited print run of 2000.

“We’ve identified key names, agencies, partners, friends of the Commission here and around Australia and around the world, so we will push it out, not so much as a promotion exercise, but as a measure of where South Australia is at a point in time. The original aim was that a book like this would become an annual feature of the design landscape for South Australia, the idea being that by putting something out there of exceptional quality, we are in some ways gently lifting the bar by demonstrating how we operate here in South Australia.”

Copies of Design South Australia will be available at universities and schools and Horton wants to talk to high-end hotels for them to carry copies as well. Then there should be a PDF version available online, as well as plans for an interactive app. While the publication is promoting design excellence the book isn’t limited to design projects. The radio show The Plan makes the cut as Horton says the Radio Adelaide program falls under the five principles that drive the Integrated Design Commission: Design at every stage, a collaborative culture, environmental leadership, evidence through research and inform, engage and educate.

“Those five principles set up the structure of the book,” Horton explains. “Then the editorial board, who I cannot speak highly enough of, chaired by Tanya Court, went through a pretty vigorous process over the space of about eight months of seeking and exploring through the design networks; through peak bodies, through the awards programs, through word of mouth and sound judgement, began the process of refining and distilling them down into a series of examples.”

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