An investigation of international design awards with respect to evaluation criteria, related semantics and an Australian case study

  • Brandon Gien

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis has investigated design award programs at a national and international level with the aim of developing new knowledge and understanding about the characteristics of these programs and their respective design evaluation systems, especially in the context of an Australian case study. The Australian International Design Awards program (AIDA) has been investigated in detail, along with a selection of comparable, international design award programs employed in major industrial countries. Particular attention has been directed to analysing the respective design evaluation methods used in these programs and the associated theory and criteria on which they are based. A critical review of literature and information on product and industrial design evaluation methods has not detected any comprehensive, theoretical and empirical studies, which could be used to improve the Australian International Design Awards case. The design evaluation criteria used in all of these programs is often unclear, and frequently expressed as abstract concepts whose meanings or semantic content require further clarification in order to improve communications between all the parties concerned. Consequently, there is a need for further research in this area of professional design to establish the rationale and pragmatic basis of these programs. In this inquiry, novel, conceptual models of a design evaluation system have been developed based on a substantial theoretical and empirical investigation employing a mixed-methods research design. A useful database of empirical information has been established for future reference and study. The writer’s close association with the coordination of the Australian International Design Awards over many years, informed by critical feedback from industry, judges and participants, has been a major motivating factor underpinning this research. It is anticipated that the findings of this investigation will be applied to future Australian International Design Awards program operations in which products from international as well as national manufacturers are evaluated by expert panels of judges. Recommendations are also made for future research in the AIDA and other design award contexts, with the possibility of deploying findings in other countries.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorElivio Bonollo (Supervisor), Carlos Montana Hoyos (Supervisor) & Don Carson (Supervisor)

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