Australian Design Alliance - Designing for a better Australia

AdA Achievements 2010 to 2021

From its inception in 2010 the Australian Design Alliance became the national representative voice for the design industry advocating for good design, delivering case studies; working with stakeholders on a national design policy vision; and promoting design education at all levels.

The AdA has expanded its membership to include engineering, architecture, building design, film, theatre and event design, along with its original members spanning graphic design, urban planning, landscape architecture, product and industrial design, interior design, fashion and textile design, visual arts, craft and media arts.

This collective commitment by so many professional bodies representing a huge swathe of designers working in small to medium businesses and embedded in large corporations is unique. There is no other organisation in the world that has managed to set aside individual agendas and work together for the big picture – a new vision for an Australia made better by design for all Australians.

Partnerships have been forged with state governments, educational institutions, corporate sector organisations and funding bodies.  Events have been held to profile the design industry and spearhead the design policy conversation with government and key stakeholders. Papers have been written and published with industry professionals participating at all levels in discussions. The AdA has represented the design industry on key committees and events.

More recently the AdA held “Context Workshops” across Australia to develop an understanding of the current landscape of design in Australia.

Together we have begun the conversation in earnest to create a National Design Policy.


The State of Play

A rapid and ever increasing rate of change is with us. It shows no sign of abating. Design is no longer perceived to be just about products and things – it is about equipping us for change; enabling business and government to design services for people and remain competitive globally. We need to educate our designers to work in this new world; we need to enable non-designers to be able to use design processes to create value and meet needs.

Governments around the world are realising this with more and more developing design policies that value good design as the key to future prosperity, good outcomes for people and sustainable management of resources.

Good design is invisible. Good design works and makes sense to everyone. Good design understands the human condition and enhances lives. Ignoring design is expensive, wasteful and disrespectful.


Designing for a better Australia

The Australian Design Alliance is committed to designing for a better Australia.

Our intention for the next three years is to mount a campaign that demonstrates the value of good design and shows by example the good design that is already happening here.

We want to look to the rest of the world and be inspired by what designers, governments, communities and businesses are doing to make things better.

Unashamedly, we want to talk about the great things that are being done and the impact they are having.

We want to play a leadership role and inspire others to use design as a process for improvement.

We want all Australians to know and understand what good design is and how they can bring it into their own lives.

We do not want a country that ignores design.

We want design to give us a stronger more competitive economy; a fairer and more inclusive society; and a sustainable future.

We cannot do this alone. We need the Federal Government to take a leadership role and work with industry to design a national design policy that:

  • Increases the local and international competitiveness of business.
  • Improves the delivery of government services.
  • Equips the nation to solve tomorrow’s problems.


How will we do this?

The Australian Design Alliance, through its expanding network of members, will do this by continuing to engage people in the conversation; by seeking ways to demonstrate the value of good design; by advocating with leaders in business and government to make a commitment to move forward together with a design vision for Australia.

Our first priority is to step up discussions with the Federal Government on a national policy for design. A policy that will bring Australia into step with many other governments around the world that have recognised and understood the critical leadership role they must play to fully integrate design for a successful future.