What makes a great restaurant experience? Why do you choose to shop in one store versus another? What is it that makes you intuitively relax or enjoy a space instead of run back out the door? The answer: good design.
Design influences every single experience throughout our entire day. Decisions made by a team of creative minds have purposefully directed how you interact with a space, whether you realize it or not. If it’s good design, you won’t even notice this subconscious power. If it’s bad design… well that’s noticable in its own right. And not in a pleasing way.
The Eat Drink Design Awards aim to recognize and award the most successful designs in Australia and New Zealand. It divides entries into 6 categories: bar, restaurant, cafe, retail, temporary, and visual identity.
Design provokes an emotional response in us, whether it be a feeling of nostalgia, of delight, or a satisfying sense that we’re in the know. – Eat Drink Design Awards
I first stumbled upon these awards while living in Melbourne. The design firm I was working with had entered a recent project in the “Best Bar Design” category, and I was responsible for submitting the entry, liaising with the representative of the awards for any questions, and handling some of the PR. As such, I learned quite a bit about our competitors, and the Australian design scene in general. Let me tell you, it is impressive.
You can see from the above photo. It pictures The Smith Restaurant & Bar, designed by Tarryn Joyce and Demie Manolas, and photographed by Adrianne Miller. This trendy Melbourne location is on the shortlist for “Best Restaurant Design” (see full entry, with more photos, here). Clean lines, a mix of materials with the use of wood, metal, and brick – this is a perfect example of what embodies Australia style. Somewhat Scandinavian in influence, but still very much their own take. With stunning results.
Here are a few examples from each category – be sure to click the links to see the full entry, with all the photos.
Best Bar Design
- Captain Melville, by Breathe Architecture: photographed by Andrew Wuttke (see full entry here)
- The Bourbon, by Paul Kelly Design: photographed by Murray Fredericks (see full entry here)
- Hihou, by Denton Corker Marshall: photographed by Itsuka Studio (see full entry here)
Best Restaurant Design
- Gazi, by March Studio: photographed by Mark Ashkanasy (see full entry here)
- Milse, by Cheshire Architects Ltd: photographed by Jeremy Toth (see full entry here)
- The Hudson Restaurant, by Squillace Architects: photographed by Stephen Clarke (see full entry here)
Best Cafe Design
- Gordon St Garage, by Foolscap Studio: photographed by Penny Lane Photography (see full entry here)
- Industry Beans Cafe, by Figureground Architecture: photographed by Luke Brice (see full entry here)
- Top Paddock Cafe, by Six Degrees Architects & Nathan Coleman Design: photographed by Albert Comper (see full entry here)
Best Temporary Cafe
- Kitchen by Mike On Wheels, by Koskela Pty Ltd: photographed by Ashley Jones (see full entry here)
- ‘The Florist’ Myer Marquee, by Gloss Creative with Myer In House Creative team: photographed by Marcel Aucer (see full entry here)
- Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar, by HASSELL: photographed by Bonnie Savage (see full entry here)
Best Retail Design
- T2B, by Landini Associates: photographed by Sharrin Rees (see full entry here)
- The Kapiti Store, by Studio Gascoigne: photographed by Matt Gascoigne (see full entry here)
- Peter G Bouchier Butcher, by Doherty Lynch: photographed by Derek Swalwell (see full entry here)
Best Visual Identity Design
- Bib & Tucker, by End of Work Romie Alwill Wil Dangar: photographed by Jason Loucas (see full entry here)
- Gowings Bar & Grill, by Fabio Ongarato Design: photographed by Peter Bennetts (see full entry here)
- Pope Joan, by Racket: photographed by Rochelle Seator (see full entry here)
These are just a few examples from each category – there are many more entries. Make sure to hop over to the website, take a look at the categories for this year. You can also view the gallery with the 2013 shortlist, and see the 2012 winners, high commendations, and entries for each category. After that, I would suggest logging onto your favorite travel booking site, and reserve that plane ticket. Try out some these spots for yourself!