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Who Is Our Design Industry’s Greatest Influencer In 2018? I’m Glad You Asked…

  •   22 July 2018

Here are the top design professionals pushing for positive change in our combined industries. According to our INDE jury, they’re the next big thing!


How does design change our world for the better? The Influencer is a concept, person, product or project that represents how design impacts the region and the world at large. The Influencer demonstrates what progressive design can do to improve the world. We’re passionate at Indesign Media that design can be more than simply beautiful or functional – it can be something that improves us and changes how we live for the better. The best design should do more than simply linger in your memory – it should change the way we are. This is why we choose to honour design than is influential and inspirational at INDE 2018.


Presenting the Winner of the 2018 Influencer INDE.Award:
Microlibraries by SHAU

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Photography: SHAU and Sanrock Studio


With this celebration of influential and forward thinking design in mind, it’s with pride and excitement that we announce the 2018 winner of The Influencer award. The entries were of an incredibly high quality for the 2018 iteration of the award, with the resulting shortlist serving as a reminder of how influential and forward thinking our region is. Ultimately, the Microlibraries designed by SHAU is more than deserving of the gold medal. A huge congratulations is in order for SHAU for their inspired projects.

The Microlibraries project began with the desire to make learning attractive and accessible in Indonesia through architectural design. With the 2030 economic forecast for Indonesia being optimistic, yet the current infrastructure not supporting the improvement of its Human Development Index, change was needed. Eager-learning students are hindered by the lack of facilities and libraries are far from being popular. SHAU believe that beautiful design could make libraries attractive again, encouraging learning and a sense of community.

Individually designed and always paired with other activities, each Microlibrary is a uniquely designed prospect, planned to fit into the demands of its community and serve the potential of the site. Due to different partners and funding models of each Microlibrary, the design and implementation approaches vary. However, the constant is not only the mission but the urbanistic approach, being to implement Microlibraries in places that are being used by local communities.

Many aspects are taken into consideration when implementing a Microlibrary. The buildings have a low construction cost, and the budget only stretches to include electricity, WiFi and in some cases water for public toilets.

SHAU’s Microlibraries serve as an opportunity to produce creative solutions when working under severe constraints. This is a design laboratory to test ideas about community, materiality, construction, sustainability, typology and small-scale building – something truly inspired and, we hope, influential.


Honourable Mention:
The Nightingale Model by Breathe Architecture and Nightingale Housing

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Photography: Kate Longley


Everyone needs a home and everyone deserved a roof over their head. Why shouldn’t those homes also be beautiful? Homes built for people, not profit – this was at the core of The Nightingale Model, from Breathe Architecture and Nightingale Housing – our highly commended entrant from the shortlist.

Creating homes that enable individual and collective wellbeing through environmental, financial and social sustainability, the Nightingale Model emerged from a collective dismay at the state of lower income friendly housing. A group of Melbourne architects banded together to try something better. They came from the conviction that our cities and communities deserve considered, affordable, well-built homes – apartments designed for a better life.

Nightingale is a triple-bottom-line model, designed to deliver sustainable, affordable, liveable homes that connect residents with the community. It’s a financially transparent model, which delivers carbon-neutral apartments at cost.

A fundamentally flawed system, the current development market is a profit-based model that doesn’t deliver long-term sustainable outcomes for residents, instead focusing on investment return – The Nightingale Model asks us why we don’t want more? Why can’t design be for the benefit of us all? This is influential and beautiful design done right.


The 2018 Influencer Award is Proudly Presented by Geberit

If imitation is the sincerest form of flatters, few have been more acclaimed than Geberit. In every field, progress can be measured on a curve. Generally speaking, progress in design follows a clear trajectory that is set by a select, forward-thinking few. At the head of every curve is someone who sets the pace, determining the contours of the curve and the exact pathway it will take.

Thanks to decades at the vanguard of plumbing and water management systems, Geberit is well positioned to comment on what makes a true influencer in design. Around the world, Geberit products have long represented the gold standard in plumbing design and inspired competitors to strive toward enhanced levels of performance, style, and innovation. The company is an influencer in the truest sense, having been the originator of a number of major plumbing trends including the concealed cistern and branch inlet system for stacked drainage systems.

We’re proud to have partnered with Geberit in awarding The Influencer award for INDE 2018.


The INDE.Awards 2018 Gala

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Dr Florian Heinzelmann and Daliana Suryawinata of SHAU accepting their trophy from Daniel Looi of Geberit. Photography: Mark Lee


For the second INDE.Awards, we wanted to create a bigger and better event than the first year. Australia and the Asia Pacific’s best came together to celebrate great design, which is what we at Indesign Media Asia Pacific are all about. The event was launched last year with the intent of recognising Asia Pacific’s most exciting and forward thinking design on the global stage. Our many contexts are unique, and so are the designs that respond to them. The INDE.Awards are the new benchmark for design accolades across our diverse and dynamic region, assessing Asia Pacific’s designers and designs on the region’s own terms, not the terms of the world’s other design centres.

The entire category of The Influencer is to honour those designs and designers who strive for something beyond simply the beautiful; a look to a brighter future; something truly extraordinary. At this year’s INDE.Awards, we saw that in droves. We thank our sponsor Geberit and give sincere congratulate all shortlisted entries, and a huge round of applause to our very deserving hold medal winners. SHAU are your 2018 Influencer, and we can’t wait to see what they create next.


Geberit and Indesign Media congratulate SHAU, Breathe Architecture and Nightingale Housing on influencing the future of our industry.