Since 1978, Academy Tiles has set a high bar for its fellow Australian tile suppliers. Boasting an unrivalled range of tiles, mosaics, decorative wood, and wallpaper products, Academy Tiles has earned a reputation as one of the nations’ foremost suppliers of unique, cutting-edge surface coverings and screens. The brand has twice been named Australia’s Most Trusted Tile Brand by the prestigious annual Architecture & Design Trusted Brands survey, and is synonymous with quality, performance, and – above all – innovation.
Though the Academy Tiles product offering is diverse, it is united by a fearless approach to design that challenges the conventional limitations of form and material. From richly textured ceramics to stunning, multi-faceted 3D tiles and striking tactile screens, Academy Tiles brings together designs from some of the best local and international designers and manufacturers. Their range includes KAZA concrete tiles from the eponymous Hungarian brand, which has been integral to the global rebranding of concrete – a formerly industrial material – as the contemporary material of choice for designers seeking to create sophisticated bespoke surfaces.
This year, Australia’s most trusted tile brand and the Hungarian design powerhouse are doubling down on their partnership, teaming up to present the Academy KAZA Tile Design Competition. The inaugural competition offers to aspire and established designers alike the unique opportunity to see their original 3D tile design transformed from a dream into reality.
Designers are invited to respond to KAZA’s virtually unlimited technological capabilities and Academy Tiles’ ethos of fearless creativity by designing their own decorative 3D concrete tile. The competition prompts designers to reconsider the age-old design dictum of ‘form before function’, and instead carefully consider the unique opportunities provided by concrete in comparison with other materials.
The design may comprise several different shaped tiles that form a homogenous surface when assembled, and are limited only by the designer’s imagination: KAZA’s unique manufacturing technology allows them to produce bespoke concrete tiles in any conceivable shape, with minimal limitations on size and thickness. Designers must also ensure that tiles use only a single colour, which must be selected from KAZA’s library of 25 base colours and 6 metallic shades.
Entries will be judged by a jury featuring some of the Australian architecture and design industry’s most prominent practitioners. Entrants to this year’s competition will have their work considered by: Angela Ferguson, Managing Director of Futurespace Design, Colin Bell, Creative Director of Red Design Group, Greg Natale, Director of Greg Natale Design, Kirsten Stanisich, Director of SJB and NSW President of the Design Institute of Australia, Philip Chia, Founder and Director of The Uncarved Block, and Sue Fenton, Senior Associate of Woods Bagot.
The winning design will be manufactured by KAZA and promoted across Australia by Academy Tiles. It will join the prestigious ranks of KAZA’s official concrete selection and will be made globally available through KAZA’s extensive network of distributors. The winning designer will also receive an expenses-paid trip to Budapest to tour the KAZA Concrete production faculty, with return flights and 3 nights’ accommodation at the Four Seasons Hotel Budapest included in the prize package.
To enter, designers must submit orthographic 2D or 3D illustrations of their tile design, including annotations for dimensions and scale. This must be accompanied by a maximum 500-word description of the submission. Entries to the Academy KAZA Tile Design Competition are now open and will close on 16 July 2018, with the winning entry announced on 29 August 2018. Learn more about the competition and browse Academy Tiles’ stunning catalogue here.