Breville launches John O’Brien Young Designer Award

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Breville has launched an innovative award named after its late chairman, John O’Brien, which will provide the winning third-year industrial design student with a 12 month work placement with the company.

Design submissions will be received from Monday 5 June until 31 July and the winner will commence the year-long paid internship with the company from 1 February 2007.

Four of the most innovative entries will be chosen as finalists and flown to Sydney for a week of final product creation and presentation to the Breville design team in August.

The competition winner will be announced at an intimate dinner with Breville in September.

According to Breville general manager – marketing, Cameron Searle, the new initiative demonstrates the small appliance manufacturer’s position as a leader in innovation as well its commitment to the development of Australian industrial design.

“As a brand known for innovation, we strongly believe in creating opportunity for the next generation of industrial designers. The John O’Brien Young Designer Award will allow some of the country’s best new talent to have access to one of Australia’s leading design teams.

“We are working closely with universities around the country to ensure this competition is not only a great success but also relevant and appealing to the designers of tomorrow,” said Searle.

“Breville sees the award as a long-term initiative that will continue to gain momentum and help cultivate new design talent. We hope the award scheme will be responsible for kicking off great design careers and we wait with great anticipation to see a high calibre of entries submitted,” he said.

“It’s an investment in design and a commitment to our competitive edge, which is innovation and design, and inspired by our late chairman – John O’Brien.”

To win the first John O’Brien Young Designer Award, students must create a Healthy Food Preparation small appliance, based on a brief developed by Breville’s award-winning design department.

The concept of healthy food preparation is timely following the strong consumer interest in the George Foreman grill as well as significant marketing investments by Salton Australia and Tefal in recent weeks to promote the food steamer category.

Australia is also experiencing high levels of obesity, and diabetes continues to grow in many parts of the world, including Australia. 

“Breville is an active supporter of healthy lifestyle choices, so it is only natural that the design brief for this competition is centred around making healthy food,” said Searle.

Searle believes this award is completely different to others which are also marketed at final year industrial design students.

“There are other awards,” he said.

“The Australian Design Awards Student Award is sponsored by Dyson and we are aware of that. But we have tried to differentiate our award from others. We certainly feel that the prize we are offering is of a completely different nature and we are also not offering money.”

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