AFTRS is a proud supporter of the APDG Awards, having sponsored the very first 
Emerging Design Award in 2012, and in every subsequent year. This important award acknowledges someone of exceptional creative talent, giving them the recognition with their peers and key creatives to propel their career to the next level.
Having taught Production Design to many young students and emerging designers at AFTRS over the past 10 years, this award means a lot to me and to the people who receive it.  I am constantly excited by the work our emerging screen designers produce – they are creative, resourceful and hardworking.   They believe that anything is possible in the wonderful world of screen design, whether its production design, costume design, animation, VFX Design or a combination of all of these skills. 
To apply for the Emerging Design Award, designers and graduating students must be a member of the APDG, which is available at a reduced rate for two years after graduation. Membership of the APDG introduces them to the Australian screen and performance design community in all of its rich diversity.
The Award is judged based on an APDG Emerging Designer members’ designed sets, costumes, animation, or VFX for a screen production in any genre of screen including commercial, web series, short film, feature film and music video.
AFTRS Production Design Alumni who have won the Emerging Design Award include Laura Murray in 2013, Sally Addinsal in 2014 and Emma Bourke in 2019.
Emma’s project was, judged by a panel of industry designers on three merits, integrity, quality and skill. On accepting her award in 2019 for her work on Sweet Tooth, Emma invited NIDA Alumni costume designer Sabina Myers onto the stage and thanked for her rich costume designs that supported the production design and the characters in the short film. 
Emma’s speech was a great moment for me as it highlighted the respect that emerging designers have for each other and for the creative contribution made by other craft areas.
Furthering this spirit of cooperation, from 2021, the Emerging Design Award may be awarded to more than one collaborator on the design team in recognition of the collaborative nature of the work. 
I look forward to presenting the award again this anniversary year on behalf of AFTRS, and I already know that there will be many terrific projects that will be submitted that will showcase new emerging and young Australian designers.
 – Igor Nay APDG, AFTRS Head of Production Design and APDG’s ASIG Rep.