Industrial Design Council of Australia

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(established 1958)

Funded by the Commonwealth government in response to pressure from a number of Australian design associations, the IDCA was established in 1958 under the directorship of Colin Barrie to promote industrial design as an important aspect of successful manufacturing industry. Its first chair was the industrialist Essington Lewis and inaugural director design educator Colin Barrie. Many of IDCA's initiatives followed on from those of the Council of Industrial Design (see Design Council) in Britain: the establishment in 1960 of the black Good Design Label that bore the message ‘Selected as Good Design for Australian Design Index—Industrial Design Council of Australia’; the opening of the first Australian Design Centre in Melbourne in 1960 in which the IDCA featured ‘Good Design’; and the launch in 1967 of Design Australia, the IDCA's official journal (ceasing publication in 1975). Prince Philip also instituted his Prize for Australian Design in 1974, in place for eleven years, which also had a Good Design Label, in this case a silver tag with black logo. In 1978 the IDCA instituted the Australian Design Award to replace the original Good Design Label (which had ceased in 1975). In 1970 the IDCA had gained sponsorship from Dunhill for the setting up of a lecture series that involved many leading international designers, including Misha Black (1970), Marco Zanuso (1971), and Kenji Ekuan (1973). In 1978 the Australian government withdrew its funding for the IDCA, causing it to seek self‐sufficiency through the support of industry, state, and other federal funding opportunities. In the following year the IDCA instituted its Design Council Selection Policy, a less prestigious level of design recognition than the Australian Design Award but identified by a green variant of the blue labelling of the latter. Again, like earlier initiatives, this could be traced to the promotional design activities of the British Design Council. In 1980 the Australian Design Centre was launched in Sydney in 1981. In 1992 design awards were given an additional profile when the Powerhouse began a series of annual ‘Selections’ from products in the Australian Design Award competition. The IDCA was reformulated in 1987 after a government review and was renamed the Australian Designe Council, taking on the additional role of design training. In the same year the Australian Design Award was rebranded with a DA logo in blue, white, and red. However, in 1993, after a review by representatives of government, the design profession, and industry, management of the Australian Design Award was handed over to the Design and Development Division of Standards Australia and relaunched as the Australian DesignMark Programme.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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