Most prestigious accolade.

Good Design Australia was host to its annual Good Design Awards, now in its 60th year, at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday evening.

The Awards attracted record entries of 536 designs with 269 projects selected to receive a Good Design Award. Of these, there are 30 best in class award winners from which the Good Design Award of the Year is chosen.

Winners were presented with their trophies with special guest Jan Utzon, son of Jorn, who designed the Sydney Opera House. This year, the award was tied between two finalists and jointly awarded to Melbourne-based Blamey Saunders for their Facett modular hearing aid and Sydney-based Meld Studios for their project: Growing Human-Centred Design Across Queensland Government.

Facett is the world’s first modular hearing aid, co-designed with hearing aid users, that provides ease of use, upgradability options and aesthetic appeal. It also features magnetic modules that click easily into place, simplifying daily tasks and empowering people with dexterity issues and visual impairments.

As well as being awarded the Good Design Award of the Year, Facett is honoured with the CSIRO Design Innovation Award. The judges said, “This product has incredible potential to make a very positive impact on people’s lives who suffer from hearing loss. The use of rechargeable batteries and magnetic coupling is highly innovative.”

The Growing Human-Centred Design Across Queensland Government project aims to embed human-centred design manifesting in the outcomes of policy and government procedure.

The judges said, “Total standout project, absolutely inspirational in scope, scale, process and outcome. A gold standard for the Good Design Awards and shining example of impeccable human-centred service design. A comprehensive capability toolkit that is well-designed for the problems it needs to address and well-suited to the audiences and end-users who have to use, as well as exemplary description of the process the design team went through. The Jury applauds this project at every level.”

Good Design Australia CEO, Dr Brandon Gien said, “These two projects are a perfect representation of the breadth and diversity of entries in the Good Design Awards and reflect the endless potential of good design to impact everything from something as small as a hearing aid to the complexity of systems and processes within government. To have these two very different projects receive Australia’s highest design honour on our 60th anniversary is an ideal outcome.

“One tells a story of where the awards originated with its rich history in product design and the other paints an exciting picture of where design is going and the incredible potential it has to actually help design a better world.”