The calibre of shopfitting designs are on the rise and this was demonstrated at the 2012/2013 Laminex Group/ASOFIA Interior Fitout Awards, which was held as part of the recent Australian Shop and Office Fitting Industry Association’s 18th National Conference in Hamilton Island.

A total of 13 shopfitters from around the country were recognised for projects that were completed within Australia over the past 18 months across 27 award categories.

The Hugo Boss store on King St, Sydney, completed by Sidgreaves Group, took out the National Fitout Award, while Crosbie Projects won the NSW Interior Fitout of the Year Award with their work on Emporio.

Gerard Ryan, CEO of ASOFIA, said he has witnessed a distinct shift from the ‘standard’ shop and office fitout, to more elaborate fitouts in the health, fitness, leisure and high end fashion industries in this year’s entries.

“Every company who walked away with an Interior Fitout Award this year presented judges with a stand out project deserving of recognition,” he said.

“The industry has come through tough times stronger. It is refreshing to see members not simply achieving the ‘same old thing’, but rather challenging themselves and the industry by venturing into new directions.

“We have seen greater levels of creativity and innovation from our members showcasing their award winning talents.”

For the first time the awards program also featured The Australian Made category, created to encourage individuals to use Australian materials, promote Australian manufacturing, and support local skills and resources. Stag Shopfitters took out the Retail Australian Made Award with their work at Paspaley at the Crown Complex.

“The 2013 Interior Fitout Awards created a new benchmark in the standard of fitouts that is set to only move higher with each ensuing year,” Ryan said.

“This elevated benchmark has been driven by a number of factors; client expectations; new technologies and the evolution of shopping centres into experiential environments.

“It is certainly a welcome shift for the profile of our industry. The ASOFIA members have done the industry proud.”