Category Description

At The Design Files, we see all creative disciplines as connected. After all, it’s not uncommon to see Architects commission locally made sculpture, lighting and bespoke finishes, or interior designers working with furniture makers, artists and stylists to realise a shared vision. Collaboration has become a defining feature of the Australian creative and design industries.

This category seeks to award one collaborative design project, where two or more separate creative practitioners, businesses or entities have come together to create one collaborative product, product range, installation, built structure or other creative project.


One winning project in the Collaboration category will be awarded a $2000 cash prize. Up to two commendations will also be awarded. Where two or more Applicants enter jointly but do not hold an ABN as a partnership, one nominated individual will receive payment on behalf of the Applicants (and the prize will have been deemed to have been received by the relevant Applicant. The Design Files will not split payment of prize monies.)

Applications have been shortlisted by The Design Files team. Shortlisted entries will be assessed by three expert judges, on the following criteria :

Fulfilment of the client brief / project objective

Originality – something we haven’t seen before, something invented from scratch.

Visual Appeal – beauty, boldness, aesthetic appeal.

Craftsmanship – how well does this project demonstrate mastery of a craft?

Function – how well does the object deliver the desired functional outcomes?

Sustainability – how well does this project contribute to positive environmental outcomes, with specific consideration of local environmental impact, management and reduction of waste, water and energy consumption?

Visionary thinking – does this project push boundaries, does it achieve something bigger than the intended commercial outcomes?

Bonus points will be awarded to projects with pro bono or community focussed outcomes, and/or projects limited by an unusually tiny budget.

Amanda Henderson

Amanda Henderson launched her event design and visual merchandising business, Gloss Creative, 19 years ago. What ensued has been a stellar career of incredible large-scale event design and visual merchandising concepts, including a spectacular recreation of Versailles inside a racing marquee, collaborating with artist Bill Henson, and even making it rain on a fashion runway.

Jeremy Wortsman

Jeremy Wortsman is the founder and director of creative services agency, The Jacky Winter Group, its associated gallery space Lamington Drive, and guesthouse and artist residency, Jacky Winter Gardens. He is also the host of the Melbourne chapter of Creative Mornings, and a founding member of The Contemplary.

Megan Morton

Megan Morton is a celebrated stylist and award-winning author. She has been called on to style, design and work her `house whispering’ magic for celebrities, magazines and her next-door neighbours. Megan’s work has been featured on the covers of several glossies, including Elle Decoration UK, Vanity Fair, Vogue Living and Inside Out.

Arthur Seigneur + Adam Goodrum, Exquisite Corpse

Using the 17th century art of straw marquetry, each piece of cabinetry in this three-piece collection is decorated with more than 4000 pieces of coloured straw. The kaleidoscopic designs are inspired by the natural geometry of the lotus blossom.

Manapan Furniture x Foolscap Studio, Gulnura Furniture Suite

Crafted from local gum, this family of bespoke boardroom furniture designed for the Melbourne Airport is inspired by the Gulnura (the Yolngu word for ‘lightning snake’) local to Milingimbi Island/Yurrwi.

Edition Office & Daniel Boyd, For Our Country 

Made primarily of basalt shard, For Our Country is the inaugural National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, commissioned by the Australian War Memorial and located on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country. The monument privileges an Indigenous gaze, both of the landscape and surroundings of the site, but also to the history, service and sacrifice that came before it.

Centre for Appropriate Technology + Elliat Rich + Outside Assembly, Wren Furniture Suite for ApMurra Furniture 

An indoor-outdoor hybrid furniture suite inspired by the native fairywren. This range was produced by Centre for Appropriate Technology (CfaT), a training organisation that provides funding support and a platform for Aboriginal Australians to be employed and trained as apprentices.

Nicholas Johnston + Kristian Klein, Krof Cutlery 

A perfectly balanced stainless steel cutlery collection brings the elegance of modern dining to the home dinner table.

Edition Office + Yhonnie Scarce, In Absence 

The fifth annual NGV Architecture Commission, In Absence, is a collaboration between contemporary artist and Kokatha and Nukunu woman Yhonnie Scarce, and Melbourne architecture studio Edition Office. Two towering timber chambers containing handblown glass yams are separated by a void, which represents the fallacy of terra nullius.

Pan After + Alice Oehr, Paper Pattern Collection

A collection of original patterns constructed into a collection of layered paper vessels. This handcrafted range was crafted by a collective of women employed by the Wola Nani project in South Africa.

Obus + Olana Janfa, Olana x Obus

The Melbourne fashion label approached Ethiopian-Norwegian artist, Olana Janfa, to produce a series of colourful, character-filled prints to adorn its distinct silhouettes.

Nudie Jeans x Waverley Mills, Recycled Blanket

Nudie Jeans and Waverley Mills pioneer a new process to transform deadstock denim into a soft, merino blend blanket. 

The Big Group + Koichi Takada Architects, Landmark by Lexus

Japanese design and Australian sensibility align seamlessly to create a three-storey temporary pavilion at Flemington Racecourse, inspired by the native paperbark tree.