RMIT design celebrated at the 2023 Good Design Awards

RMIT design celebrated at the 2023 Good Design Awards

RMIT researchers and students have picked up big wins at this year’s Good Design Awards for their outstanding innovations in Indigenous design, circular economy and sustainable fashion.

The Good Design Awards are the highest honour for design and innovation in the country, celebrating the best new products and services on the Australian and international market.

Nicola St John and Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan stand in front of  a wall painting of a black cockatoo by Jeswri x Mukulri Creative. L-R: Dr Nicola St John and Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan created Solid Lines alongside the Jacky Winter Group. Credit: James Henry

Solid Lines

By Dr Nicola St John, Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan and the Jacky Winter Group

Solid Lines, Australia’s first illustration agency dedicated to representing First Nations creatives, took home two awards on the night — the Indigenous Design Award and the Good Design Award in the Social Impact category. 

Developed by RMIT researcher Dr Nicola St John and Emrhan Tjapanangka Sultan (Western Arrarnta, Luritja and Kokatha) alongside the Jacky Winter Group, Solid Lines consulted with many First Nations creatives to ensure culturally safe and supportive representation for artists and a business structure that gives back to community projects.

“We want our agency to break down expectations of what First Nations art and design is and let our artists define their work for themselves,” said Sultan.

“As proud storytellers, our work is grounded by country, community, and cultural identity.

“Winning the Indigenous Design Award is a huge honour and recognises the importance of First Nations voices with the design industry and the important work Solid Lines is doing to support First Nations artists to be represented fairly.”

Allister Hill, Simon Lockrey, Liam Fennessy and Helen Millicer outside the RMIT Design Hub building. L-R: Allister Hill, Associate Professor Simon Lockrey, Dr Liam Fennessy and Helen Millicer from One Planet Consulting. Credit: Carelle Mulawa-Richards

Enabling Design for Environmental Good 

By Associate Professor Simon Lockrey, Associate Dean Liam Fennessy, Allister Hill, Associate Professor Karli Verghese, Dr Juliette Anich, Arcadis and One Planet Consulting

Winning the Good Design Award in the Design Research category, the ‘Enabling Design for Environmental Good’ report unveils a critical roadmap to transition Australia to a circular economy through design.

Led by RMIT researchers in collaboration with Arcadis Australia and One Planet Consulting, the report highlights opportunities for Australia to use design to improve the sustainability of production processes, materials, products and business models across local industries, as well as the risks of not doing so.

Project lead and RMIT Associate Professor, Simon Lockrey, said the award win is a crucial step forward to helping Australia transition to a circular economy by 2030.  

“This call for a new and coordinated approach to designing sustainable products and industries is not a nice-to-have, but an urgent necessity,” said Lockrey, from the School of Design.

“This Good Design Award for our project represents national recognition by the design industry that both co-design research and sustainability strategy are timely and pertinent for the sector. 

“We hope this will lead to greater awareness and uptake of circularity by both those who design, and those who manage and fund the design process."

A navy coloured box with an orange colour design. The words "Fashion Futuring toolkit" is on the bottom right side. Next to the box a bunch of cards from the toolkit. PhD student Clarice Carvalho Garcia won the Good Design Award for Fashion Impact.

Fashion Futuring

By Clarice Carvalho Garcia, Beatriz Verissimo and Joao Pedro Freitas

PhD student Clarice Carvalho Garcia won the award for Fashion Impact for her toolkit to help fashion businesses build better strategies for a sustainable future.

Working with UXUI designers Beatriz Verissimo and Joao Pedro Freitas, Garcia materialised ‘Fashion Futuring’ - a design fiction methodology that helps fashion stakeholders to rethink fashion meanings for sustainable fashion into a user-friendly toolkit. The toolkit challenges current fashion futures practices to embrace more long-term, humane and environmentally conscious values in the fashion industry.  

The Fashion Futuring toolkit is available to download free of charge with the hopes it can reach a wide audience. 

“Winning the Good Design Awards was an amazing opportunity to demonstrate how practice-based doctoral research can extrapolate academic boundaries and be transformed into an actionable tool to help industry stakeholders to transition not only process and materials towards sustainability, but also mindsets and worldviews,” said Garcia.  


Story: Shu Shu Zheng

14 September 2023


14 September 2023


  • Research
  • Sustainability
  • Design
  • DSC
  • Indigenous
  • Arts and culture

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.