Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator

glass-looking plastic in geometric layering
Detail of 'Tide' table by Adam Goodrum and Ella Williams, made from recycled ocean plastic, 2020. Purchased 2020. Photo by Emma Bjorndahl.

The annual Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator, supported by a generous bequest from Carl and Judy Nielsen, recognises the achievements of Australian industrial designers working in sustainable design.

A selection panel of industry experts will select one project designed or released in Australia in the previous 12 months that demonstrates outstanding design for sustainability, to receive a bespoke program of industry and financial support tailored to the individual recipient. The project must be either complete and available on the market, or a working prototype.

The accelerator program will subsequently be tailored to the recipient and may include industry mentorship, access to production facilities and expertise, research assistance or outreach support. Powerhouse may also seek to acquire the winning project into the collection.

The selection panel includes Adam Laws (Director of Nielsen Design Associates), Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla (Director, Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology, UNSW), Andrew Simpson (Designer, Vert Design) and Angelique Hutchison (Curator, Powerhouse).

The recipient will be announced at an annual event during Sydney Design Week, commencing in 2023. All recipients will be invited to participate in Sydney Design Week the following year.

Early to mid-career industrial designers (up to 10 years post-graduation) are invited to apply now.

  • Applications open 17 March 2023
  • Applications close 5pm 26 May 2023



Carl Nielsen, photo by Anthony Browell

‘Carl Nielsen had a major influence on establishing the Industrial Design profession in Australia during its early formative years. He helped guide and mentor numerous designers who now have leading roles in the industry. The Carl Nielsen Design Accelerator has been developed to continue his legacy of supporting industrial designers to achieve their full potential.’

– Adam Laws,
Managing Director, Nielsen Design