Public vote open on Aberdeenshire Design Awards

The general public can now participate in a project intended to raise and recognise the standard of design in Aberdeenshire.

Aberdeenshire Council’s well-established biennial design awards have this year been revised to mark the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

Although an expert judging panel will help determine the winners, a public vote is now open to allow local people to have a say on their favourite designs.

Entries to the awards are expected to focus on conceptual design based on innovation, rather than completed projects as in previous years.

This change was intended to encourage more student entrants, as well as established architects and developers, contributing to the awards’ aim to encourage the very best in design into the future.

Projects must show exceptional quality and merit to receive an award.

Chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, David Aitchison, said: “We recognise that good design is important to the public realm and in a wider context believe that development must be of benefit to the people.

“I would encourage anyone who has an interest to have their say on the submissions made to this year’s awards and help to push up the standard of design.”

ISC vice chair, Stephen Smith, said: “Our Design Award scheme has operated since 1997 as a means of raising the profile of good design and has been an excellent means of not only stimulating greater awareness, but of promoting excellence and innovation.

“We hope the revised awards will help to boost that even further and the public vote is an important element of that.”

Seven projects successful at Phase 1, submitted as conceptual designs, will be formally judged. But they are also being put forward for a separate public vote.

Anyone can go online now and view short videos outlining each of the projects before casting their vote on the Aberdeenshire Council website.

The vote will close on Monday, July 18 and the winners will be announced in an award ceremony at Banchory’s Woodend Barn on September 1.