03 November 2014

A Look at Our 2014 Finalists: Andrew Hayley and Sam McDonnell

You already know the big winners from this year's bathroom innovation award but we can't forget the impressive designs submitted by all our finalists.

This week we're continuing our closer look at all the 2014 finalists and their BIA designs with professional finalist Andrew Hayley and student finalist Sam McDonnell.

Andrew Hayley
2014 BIA Professional Finalist


[Zen by Andrew Hayley]

Having spent most of his career as an automotive designer, Andrew's entry into the 2014 BIA was inspired in part by a desire to do something "completely removed' from his every day work.

"I'm so used to designing cars so having the chance to do something totally different was really enticing", Andrew said.

Recognising the growing importance of nature in the bathroom, Andrew said he "wanted to create something that improved quality of life beyond the aesthetic, something that would filter the air. There are a lot of chemicals used in the bathroom so I wanted to find some passive way to do that".

The result was Zen, a vanity that integrates plants into the unit to act as filters while adding a natural element to the bathroom space. The plants are cared for and watered by a modified off-the-shelf bypass valve that diverts water to the plants while waiting for it to heat.

Now a freelance designer, Andrew is turning his attention to furniture with a particular focus on designing with glass, a design delicacy that's evident in his Zen vanity design. According to Andrew, the opportunity to explore and share his design capabilities was a bit part of the BIA's appeal.

"[The BIA] is good because it allows people to showcase their abilities" he said. "This competition gives you the freedom to put an idea out there without any constraints. It's an opportunity to design something out-of-the-box that is less conservative".

We look forward to more out-of-the-box BIA designs from Andrew in future competitions.

Samuel McDonnell
2014 BIA Student Finalist

Vanity unit

[Vanity unit by Samuel McDonnell]

For third year University of Technology Sydney student Samuel McDonnell, a “knack for creativity” and strong drawing skills made a career in industrial design an obvious choice – once he’d discovered it.

“I’d never heard of industrial design until I flicked through the uni guide but once I realised what it encompassed it became an easy decision,” Samuel said. “To me, industrial design is the perfect balance as it’s more creative than engineering, more practical than art, and more hands on than graphic design.”

Prompted to enter the BIA as part of his course, Samuel took a user-driver, minimalist approach to developing his 2014 entry, balancing both form and function.

“My approach was to cut everything back to only what you need, then I built up some subtle elements from there like the mixer tap. It has to be a piece of bathroom furniture that would invite you into a space – a place where you can be peaceful.”

Samuel's resulting vanity design captures that balance perfectly, conveying an on-trend sense of Scandinavian warmth and tactility through its integrated storage, the architectural lines of its basin and its overall minimalist feel.

According to Samuel, it was the opportunity to share his work with industry and tackle a real world brief that most excited him about this year’s competition.

"It's real. You're made to follow a real brief to a professional standard and it's a real world challenge that takes you out of the classroom bubble. It pushes you to challenge yourself and put your skills into practice".

We're glad so many other students took up the challenge and look forward to seeing how they tackle next year’s BIA brief.

Visit our finalists page for more details about all the 2014 BIA finalists as well as past winners and finalist designs.

Stay Connected

Immerse yourself in the world of bathroom design. We'll bring you design inspiration, latest innovation, advice from our professional judging panel and insights from past winners. Direct to your inbox!