RMIT textile designers are revelling in the spotlight, with students taking the lead in industry-based projects.
Students in the Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) program have illustrated their professional expertise through successful industry partnerships with Dryen Australia and Country Road.
Dryen Australia’s longstanding partnership with RMIT aims to inspire students and foster their skills through industry-based collaboration.
Over the last seven years, final year Textile Design students have had the opportunity to work with RMIT lecturers and members of the Dryen design team on specific commercial briefs.
This year, students were asked to tap into the masculine market, creating printed bed linen and an accessory range.
Utilising a combination of hand-generated artwork and digital textile design, students had the chance to foster their design portfolios, receive industry feedback and enhance their market awareness.
Dryen presented student Amy Yu with the first place award and Sarah Chan with the second place award for the project.
Third place was awarded to Catherine Flynn, while Jackie Young was presented with the Highly Commended award.
Ms Yu said her design process was organic, beginning with mark-making and spontaneous brush work paired with pastels layered over various concrete textures.
“Industry experience allows students to build rapport between students and figures within the industry, which is very important,” she said.
“I feel very grateful for the opportunity; it was a big confidence booster and it showed me that I am capable of designing for a commercial brand.”
Niomie Varady, from Dryen’s Sales and Marketing team, said this year’s designs were of an impressive commercial standard.
“What set these students apart was the way they approached the designs as a collection; they had a good grasp of creating a co-ordinated range,” Ms Varady said.
“Our partnership enriches the students’ theoretical knowledge with a practical approach.”
Meanwhile, third-year Textile Design student Sophie Murphy was awarded the $3,500 Cotton Australia scholarship for her paper croquis and screenprinted swatches for the allocated Country Road project brief for Summer 14/15.
The scholarship has enabled Ms Murphy to complete her final design project and pay for her project materials.
Ms Murphy said RMIT’s push for work integrated learning had really solidified her passion for textile design, with various opportunities to engage with industry offered during her studies including projects with Linen House, Maxwell and Williams, and the Royal Agricultural Society Victoria.
“The industry-based experiences were really valuable: it allowed us to experience interacting with industry clients and receive feedback on our design work,” she said.
Ms Murphy, who has also had a show bag design produced and sold at the Royal Melbourne Show, said her time at RMIT was brightened by her fellow students and lecturers.
“The lecturers are amazing and encourage you to develop your own unique design style,” she said.
“It’s great to meet a group of super talented people who are so supportive of each other and varied in their approach to every brief.”
Through the Industry Partnership Awards scheme final-year students have also developed a range of woodland themed ceramic home ware designs for Melbourne based brand Maxwell and Williams.
Students Sarah Chan, Sophie Murphy, Aliki Batzios and Mengyu Su all received key awards and have had their work taken through to production for release into local and international markets in 2015.
RMIT’s Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) is Australia’s leading textile design program, with students and graduates receiving work experience and employment in renowned companies worldwide.