The Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA) has launched the 2019 Australian Contemporary Emerging Design Awards (ACE). The official launch was held in the magnificent showrooms of Catapult Design Sydney.

The spectacular space that showcases the very best of current Australian Contemporary furniture and lighting provided the perfect backdrop to launch the 2019 Awards for Australian contemporary emerging design and address the need to improve communication between industry and the design community.

The products at Catapult Design speak of how incredible Australian talent can be promoted, and the opportunities that exist for collaboration and innovation.

AFA CEO Patrizia Torelli spoke openly and passionately of the industry.

“The future of Australian furnishing design lies in the hands of emerging designers,’ says AFA CEO Patrizia Torelli.

The role of the AFA is to provide an arena to acknowledge and showcase the work and the potential of these amazing creative Australians to national and international markets,’ she said.

‘The Australian Contemporary Emerging (ACE) Design Awards reflect the vision of the industry and are open to students, emerging designers and masters from all fields related to the furnishing industry.

These NATIONAL Australasian Furnishing Industry Awards represent a tremendous opportunity for all sectors of the furnishing industry to engage in a collaborative way to put the Australian Furnishing Industry on the world map – and help achieve the ultimate goal of Australian Furniture for every room in the world!’ concluded Ms Torelli.

Industry leader and ACE Ambassador, Andrew Brown followed on with a special announcement speaking of the philosophy of industry icon Tony Parker.

‘Tony was unfortunately unable to attend but sent his best wishes to the next generation of Australian designers and reinforcing his confidence in the fact that they will bring renewal and growth to the industry,’ he said.

‘In my capacity as Ambassador for ACE, I have delighted in highlighting the works of the great masters of the industry who continue to support and believe in the evolution of the industry which includes future disruptive technologies and innovation in both design and distribution. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to announce the new award category – the Rob Cooper Lightmakers lighting design award,’ he announced.

‘The importance of Lightmakers contribution to Australian lighting manufacture from the 70s to the 90s cannot be underestimated and should be held up as an example to young aspiring lighting designers to work toward,’ he concluded.

Andrew cited the incredible lighting design on display at the launch by LAAL, Ben-Tovim, Lumil and Paul Townsin and the incredible international success of Melbourne designer Christopher Boots as additional inspiration for those emerging designers.

The evening was indeed one of industry and design community coming together as one and finding that there is so much common ground and room for discussion and collaboration.

In one of Australia’s best showcases of local design Catapult Design directors Leigh Johnson and Aaron Zorzo showed incredible generosity in providing the perfect venue for this sophisticated and intimate event where many new connections were made, and future collaborations planned.

Nominations for the 2019 ACE Design Awards are now open and the winners will be announced in June 2019.



ENTER HERE – EMERGING DESIGNERS (5 years or less experience)