The Australian Good Design Awards are now open for entry with this year’s theme, the Design Effect, not just about aesthetics or functionality but the ripple effect that design can have on individuals, communities and the world.

The theme is about pushing boundaries, challenging conventions and harnessing the power of good design to positively transform products, services, places and spaces.

The Design Effect is a movement, an idea, a concept and set of principles coined by design figurehead, social entrepreneur and the patron of Good Design Australia, Dr. Jan Owen AM, in her opening address at last year’s Australian Good Design Awards Ceremony in Melbourne. 

“The idea of the Design Effect came up during last year’s Women’s World Cup. The ‘Matilda Effect’ became this whole vernacular that had an impact on everyone in Australia, even people who’d never watched football or thought about football at all. When everyone came together, it was like we had this unlimited access pass to the game that opened the doors to an army of young girls ready to face massive challenges such as diversity, equality and inclusion,” she said.

“I was also inspired by the UK Design Council galvanising 1.97 million people across the design space through their Design for Planet initiative to help address the climate crisis and achieve net zero, making design regenerative and not extractive.

“They said that we needed to redesign every aspect of how we live our lives. The result was incredible, people just flooded in with design ideas and proved that everybody in the design community wants to be part of the solution.”