Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design
In 1967 HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, became involved with the Industrial Design Council of Australia and established an annual award in his name to promote greater awareness of good design in Australian engineering. The purpose of the prize was 'to recognise a product or system of Australian design closely associated with Australian life and industry, and to recognize a product which has made or is likely to make a substantial contribution to Australia's economic progress.'
- significance of the economic contribution to Australia industrial advance
- economy in production
- standard of manufacture or construction
- where appropriate, marketability of the product both in Australia and overseas
- inventiveness in design and originality of concept
- aesthetic standards
- efficiency in operation
(from The Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design Entry Application Form, 1967)
The first Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design was awarded by the Prince during a luncheon on 31st May 1968 at The Stawell Gallery in Melbourne. Over 90 entries were received and the winning entry was a self-propelled grain header, designed by Kenneth Gibson and entered by David Shearer Ltd of Mannum, South Australia. At the presentation ceremony Prince Philip proclaimed, 'I hope this whole exercise will provoke a great deal of discussion and argument on the subject of Industrial Design. I don't mind in the least if people disagree violently with our choice because it will mean that this is a subject worth attention and worthy of well-informed criticism'
The Prince Philip Prize was awarded in a number of categories including agriculture, building, domestic and office equipment, industrial equipment, operational systems and scientific and electronic products. It was awarded until 1985 when the Australian Design Award became the highest accolade.
Other early winners of the Prince Philip Prize were:
Transtar villa 1969
A complete prefabricated modular housing system designed and manufactured by Transtar Villas in Adelaide. It was regarded as a breakthrough in house construction - completely fitted out and ready for occupation by a family.
Repco Self Twist Spinning machine 1970
Developed by CSIRO Wool Research and Repco it increased the speed of output of yarn tenfold compared with conventional equipment with half the floor space and power consumption.
Ore slurry probe 1972
X ray system for analysing ore slurries - or mixtures of ore and water - during processing. Developed by the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (now called ANSTO) it uses radioisotopes to help identify the metal content of ores, improving mineral separation and recovery. It was exported to 30 countries.
Cafe Bar compact 1974
Designed by Nielsen Design Associates in Sydney for Cafe Bar this product changed the office environment, replacing tea ladies with the self-serve system. This model featured futuristic styling and came in avocado green, beige, blue and burnt orange, colours that suited the groovy fashion of the times.
Curedale R., The development of industrial design consulting in Australia, Masters of Design thesis, University of Technology, Sydney, 1990
IDCA Delegate Report 22, June 1968
The Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design Entry Application Form, 1967, Industrial Design Council of Australia Archive, Powerhouse Museum Collection 2006/135/1
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