It's awards season in Architecture-land and once again the national awards program include a People's Choice category, a great initiative that aims to engage with the public and encourage discussions about good design. This year, there are 14 finalists ranging from houses by the beach, to houses in the suburbs, and in the bush. All of these will be visited by the national jury before the awards are bestowed in Sydney on 3 November.
While judging architectural projects by images alone is not advisable - architecture is after all about the experience of space and light, and how those elements are combined, manipulated and configured - you can breathe easy knowing that this shortlist has been whittled down from hundreds of entries by judges in each state, who have visited them in person.
If you plan to vote - and it's well worth it with a range of prizes on offer - try and look at the photos and imagine what it would be like to inhabit the spaces. Do they offer good views? Do they connect with gardens or outdoor spaces? Do they encourage family interaction, and offer opportunities to retreat? Thinking about architecture and design in terms of how buildings function, not just how they look, is an important first step to understanding why good design matters.
You can view the projects and vote here.