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Kia’s widely lauded Optima has scored another tick for design with the bestowing of a Design Award at the gala Australian International Design Awards function in Melbourne.

The international judging panel praised the Optima’s sweeping lines, the many premium inclusions in the car and the outstanding value.

“Its sculptured forms and contrasting elements are fascinating,” the panel said. “Premium cues and very successful styling make this a lot of car for the money.”

Presented by Good Design Australia, the Australian International Design Awards is Australia’s foremost design endorsement scheme, rewarding companies that differentiate their products and services through design.

This year, 232 Australian and internationally-designed products were physically assessed by a panel of international design experts, with 127 making the finals. Of the finalists 47 products, ranging from an airline seat to a horse bit, were awarded a Design Award in recognition of design and innovation excellence.

The remaining 80 finalists were recognised as Good Design.

For a product or service to qualify for the Design Award trademark, it must exceed the five criteria for good design and additionally, meet the criterion for design excellence, innovation, in the expert opinion of the Design Awards judges.

Brandon Gien, Managing Director of Good Design Australia, said all entries underwent a thorough physical inspection assessing form, function, quality, safety, sustainability, innovation and best in class design.

“There are many products that are not good designs, there are quite a few that are a good design but very few that are excellent designs,” Mr Gien said. “Award winners are the result of unwavering dedication to good design and commitment to a professional design process. Innovation, creativity and attention to detail are clearly at the heart of each project.”

The Peter Schreyer designed Optima has previously won design recognition with a “Best Of The Best” accolade at this year’s Red Dot awards in Europe.

It is also ECOcar Australia’s reigning Car Of The Year.