RMIT University graduates have performed exceptionally at the Design Institute of Australia’s Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA), receiving several top prizes.
Design industry leaders, educators and sponsors joined representatives from the Victorian Government’s Department of Business and Innovation to celebrate the 4th Graduate of the Year Awards, recognising Victoria and Tasmania’s top design graduates for 2011.
RMIT Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) graduate Dean Benstead was named the Overall Graduate of the Year and was also awarded the Industrial Design prize.
Mr Benstead’s major final-year project – a working air-powered motorcycle prototype – was unveiled to great acclaim at the 2011 Sydney Motorcycle and Scooter Show.
The judges praised his projects for appearing production ready and described his designs as “beautifully researched, realised and presented“.
The Textile Design GOTYA was awarded to Sarah Strickland, a Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) graduate whose creative design solutions showed her understanding of multi-disciplinary design processes, according to the award judges.
Ms Strickland dazzled the judges with her passion for design, which they said would sustain her as a brilliant designer in the future.
Eight tertiary institutes nominated more than 60 of their most talented 2011 graduates for the awards.
The design graduates’ anonymous portfolios were assessed and up to four finalists were selected from each category for interview with a panel of judges from each design discipline.
Graduates were evaluated on their apparent design solutions, transferrable workplace skills and predicted impact on the Australian design industry.
A High Commendation was awarded in the Interior Decoration category to Kate Pieters, who graduated with a Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration from RMIT.
For the first time this year, Colourways Colour Awards were offered and presented to GOTYA finalists in each category, with RMIT winning three out of the five awards in Industrial Design (Tate Anson), Textile Design (Mara Kapsis) and Interior Design and Decoration (Kate Pieters).
Category GOTYA winners qualify for entry into the DIA Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards, to be announced in Sydney at designEx in May.