Australian design is about barbecues and wetsuits

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The Independent Online

Australia's biggest design awards are more on the pragmatic than the cutting-edge side of things, yielding more finalists than ever this year.

Several barbecue grill designs as well as a lightweight wetsuit by surfer brand Billabong catch the eye in the list of more than a hundred nominees (announced March 12) meant to improve Australian everyday life.

But there are lots of other items nominated that aren't quite as foreseeably linked to the Australian lifestyle, such as a portable ultrasound device, an underground residential gas system, and a termite detection service.

The Australian International Design Awards are the continent's highest design accolade. Program director Stephanie Pemberton said: "With more products shortlisted than ever before, this year's judging panels were faced with an immense task. They cooked, cleaned, pulled products apart, self-diagnosed with medical devices, and even ran with high-tech sporting equipment," adding that "products [...] incorporating some level of innovation and environmentally-responsible decisions, rated highly with the judges."

Final winners of the prize will be announced in Sydney on June 4. The full list of nominated designs can be found here: