AFDA talks to Fenella Kernebone

What is good design?

Good design is design that is incorporated into process and meets a real need. How well does design answer a question? The answer to this of course depends on what you are designing and the problem that is being solved. We keep redesigning the same things, it’s important to ask ourselves if the product or service is needed? Is it accessible? Can it be used by anyone and is it a sustainable solution?.

Can design influence?

Design has the potential to have global reach and influence across disciplines in several ways. For instance, this is evident if you look at how empathetic design has been incorporated into medical and technological device development. Glenn Murcutt’s motto, ‘touch the earth lightly’ has influenced and impacted how architects think about sustainability, suitability and living. 

What are some of the changes over the last decade that have affected Australian design?

Other than material development, incorporating sustainability into the design process has been one of the major changes over the last decade. Star ratings for buildings have now become a selling point in architecture and interior design.

How has your exposure to various design disciplines affected your perspective of design?

As a broadcaster, interviewer and journalist my perspective of design is re-imagined every time I talk to someone. Language can shape the way we think, people can be incredibly influential through language, and this has been very rewarding.

Having judged a number of awards, what are the things you look for when judging?

Firstly, you have to answer the criteria. In addition to this you are looking for something that stands out, something unique and beautiful. Judging is a collaborative process which includes consultation and negotiation.