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  • Writer's pictureRegional Design Service

PLAN RAND Recognised with Good Design Award Gold Accolade

The winners of Australia’s peak international design awards (in fact, the highest honour for design and innovation in the country…) were announced today during the 2020 Good Design Week. As a studio, we were elated to learn PLAN RAND received a prestigious Good Design Award “Gold Accolade” in the ‘Architectural Design, Urban Design and Public Spaces’ category; in recognition of outstanding design and innovation.

The annual Good Design Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prominent international Awards for design and innovation, dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design, design strategy, social impact design and young designers.

More than 55 Jurors evaluated each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in good design and convince the Jury they are worthy of recognition at this level.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award is a significant achievement given the very high calibre and record number of entries received in 2020. 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 make our lives better. These projects showcase the sheer brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world.”

Phillip, Design Director at Regional Design Service said “We feel immensely proud and honoured to have been recognised at this level, and for PLAN RAND which was such an important project within our local community. We’re passionate about delivering innovative and sustainable design for our surrounding communities and this Award reinforces to us that we are working in the right way.”

Commissioned by the Rand Town Improvement Committee, Regional Design Service co-designed and collaboratively delivered PLAN RAND; a strategic vision for community members of the small rural township of Rand to refer to when applying for government grants.

PLAN RAND collated and articulated the communities’ vision, proposed ongoing placemaking projects and armed interested locals with the means to instigate ongoing investment and development in their township. It is used by community members when communicating with Government representatives to ensure they efficiently and effectively understand the context of Rand, and why each small project could build towards larger Placemaking Strategies.

Engagement with PLAN RAND has been an undeniable success. From a commercial perspective, the community was awarded almost 25% of the Federation Council region’s $1M Drought Funding in 2019. In addition to securing funding and engaging professional services, in less than 12 months since delivery of PLAN RAND, that community has completed upgrades to accessible amenities in two community venues, engaged a landscape architect to deliver a plan for the new railway corridor parklands and finished various other town improvements.

“We believe that community ownership is critical to the success of rural placemaking projects. Any designer or consultant can deliver a strategy, but to enable legitimate engagement of that community to own and deliver the outcomes is another thing.” Said Director and Designer, Aaron.

Whilst the initiative aimed to deliver better built outcomes for this community specifically, PLAN RAND can also now act as a crucial reference piece for other small rural communities to work towards enhancing outcomes in their own context.

“While community planning is generally coordinated by local councils, this project provides a case study for direct engagement between the community and design specialists.” Said Phillip.

The Good Design Awards Jury praised PLAN RAND, commenting: “A refreshing and ambitious project, this is an excellent design initiative by Regional Design Service. The impact is meaningful because the local community is now equipped with the tools to self-initiate ongoing financial investment and development in their township within the context of sound placemaking principles.”

So, what’s next? As a studio, in addition to delivering an increasing and exciting pipeline of residential projects in the months ahead, Phillip and Aaron are steadfast in their commitment to continuing advocacy with rural communities and Local Government - to see value in developing strategic community plans for smaller townships.

“Our focus will continue to remain on delivering meaningful, thought-provoking and sustainable design outcomes for our surrounding communities.” Said Aaron.

See the other Good Design Awards 2020 winners here!


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