A crowd numbering in the hundreds spilled out on to the footpath when Object: Australian Design Centre celebrated the launch of its beautifully presented new premises on William Street, Darlinghurst on Monday, 25 May.

The new Centre marks an historic shift from a single gallery space to a much larger series of interconnected exhibition spaces, workshops and a new artist-in-residence program. It occupies three linked shop-fronts on ground-floor level and is surrounded by the density and creativity of Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and the Sydney CBD.

On launch night, Object also unveiled the first of the new Australian Design honorees, a handpicked selection of leading Australian designers, thinkers, makers and innovators.

A number of UNSW Art & Design alumni and staff were recognised among the leading names in Australian design. The first 50 honorees announced at the launch of new spaces included staff and alumni; Louise Olsen & Stephen Ormandy (Dinosaur Designs), Dr Susan Cohn, Dr George Khut and Associate Professor Liz Williamson.

The Australian Design Honours program will evolve as an online hub and publishing platform as well as a physical exhibition showcase. A further 150 honorees will announced throughout the course of the year. Australian Design Honours is the first exhibition to be displayed in the new Australian Design Centre and will be on show from Monday May 25 until July 10.

Object: Australian Design Centre is one of the nation's leading centres for contemporary design and plays a pivotal role in building a significant design culture for this country. It is also centre stage in celebrating the work of Australian artists who embrace the highest degree of craftsmanship and who continually explore material, process and ideas to advance contemporary design practice. Object nurtures innovative thinkers and inspires audiences to use design in their lives.

UNSW Art & Design enjoys a longstanding partnership with the Australian Design Centre and congratulates everyone involved.