‘This is how all new products should be designed’: An intelligent boot and housing for older women named among Australia’s top designs of 2022

Monash University staff and students have won a total of 10 awards in the prestigious 2022 Good Design Awards, announced on Friday, 16 September. Associate Professor Leah Heiss received the 2022 Australian Women in Design Award, and a hi-tech boot concept for healthcare workers, a guide to designing housing for older women, and a transformative pedagogy for teaching design each took out gold.

Monash’s Design Health Collab and SensiLab partnered with Blundstone Australia to create a hi-tech boot concept designed to address the specific needs of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The teams incorporate the latest technology and design techniques to increase personal safety and comfort in demanding healthcare environments.

The Intelligent Blundstone Boot

The Intelligent Blundstone Footwear concept won Gold in the 2022 Good Design Awards.

The Good Design Awards Jury said the research-informed concept was “exceptional” and “how all new products in the 21st century should be designed”.

“It is rare coming across a product in which the design is so well informed by research,” they said.

“The project not only brings together excellent design research, appropriate co-design practices, new and emerging technologies, and advanced materials, but it also showcases a beautiful and considered product at the end.”

PhD candidate Samantha Donnelly, from Monash’s XYX Lab, along with Ms Sophie Dyring, Director of Schored Projects, created A Design Guide for Older Women's Housing that unearths design strategies that address older women’s health and wellbeing, a sense of belonging and social connection, and the importance of being provided with the choice about whether to participate.

Professor Shane Murray, Dean of Monash Art, Design and Architecture, said the 10 awards highlighted the University as an innovative hub using design to address major global challenges.

A Design Guide for Older Women's Housing - Illustration of Entry: Individual Unit by Samantha Donnelly.

"I am immensely proud of the contributions and ongoing positive impact our designers continue to achieve,” he said.

“These awards are great recognition of our faculty's research and learning that is transformative, and responds to the challenges of our time and fosters thriving communities.

It is especially worth noting that our experts have received recognition across a broad range of disciplines - which is a testament to the breadth of experience, knowledge and innovation our faculty has become known for”.

The Monash University winners are:

Australian Women in Design Award

Associate Professor Leah Heiss, Monash University Eva and Marc Besen International Research Chair 
Read more about Professor Heiss’ win.

Good Design Award (Gold)

Professor Lisa Grocott, Department of Design
Designing Transformative Learning Category: Design Research

Design Health Collab and Sensilab
Blundstone Intelligent Footwear for Healthcare Category: Design Research 

PhD candidate Samantha Donnelly; Sophie Dyring, Director, Schored Projects; and XYX Lab
A Design Guide for Older Women's Housing Category: Design Research

Good Design Award Winner

XYX Lab - Gender + Place
YourGround Category: Social Impact
TramLab Toolkits Category: Design Research

Mr Ian Wong, Department of Design 
EVERYDAY Australian Design Category: Architectural Design Installation Design)
Victorian Premier's Design Awards Showcase Category: Design Research

Design Health Collab and Sensilab
MiEye - Wearable Light Sensor Category: Design Research 

PhD candidate Lisa Fu
Getting on board: designing the user experience of bicycles on Melbourne’s future metro trains Category: Next Gen (Student)