Design graduates have shone at the Design Institute Australia's prestigious Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA).
RMIT University graduates took home prizes in an outstanding six of nine categories for their design talents.
The awards - now in their sixth year - are a primary platform for emerging designers and attracted entries from nine tertiary institutions across Victoria and Tasmania who nominated their top graduate talents from 2013.
Dominic Russo, Design Institute Australia's Victoria Tasmania President, said: "The DIA is proud to have established the prestigious graduate of the year awards for recognising high calibre graduates from across the design disciplines."
A panel of judges from each design discipline assessed anonymous portfolios in fields including Interior Design and Decoration, Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Jewellery Design, Fashion and Textile Design.
Each portfolio was evaluated on apparent design solutions, transferrable workplace skills and the graduates' predicted impact on the Australian design industry, with up to four finalists selected from each category for interview.
Interior Design and Decoration graduate Hoda Afra, who won the Interior Design and Decoration category as well as the Colourways Colour Award, received 12 months' mentoring with industry designers Danielle Scandrett Interiors.
Ms Afra said RMIT's emphasis on industry experience enabled her to seek valuable advice regarding furniture design and fabrication processes, as well as modern drafting practices from an experienced practitioner.
"RMIT provided the opportunity for me to design through developing my own design response in relation to a range of design briefs from the conceptual to real life situations," she said.
"At RMIT, most assignments have been designed to encourage students to think about innovative solutions and creative design.
"RMIT assists students to work more productively so they become designers who are confident, adaptable, and thrive to learn."
The judges were impressed with Ms Afra's elaborate details and creative solutions in her interior design concepts, which focused around real Melbourne neighbourhoods, with an aim to emulate the needs of the community and culture of those areas.
Rachel McGuigan, who was a runner up in the Fashion and Textile Design category, said the nomination was a great experience and not only encouraged her to be more creative but strengthened confidence in her skills.
Ms McGuigan, a Textile Design and Development graduate, said RMIT had a large role to play in the design landscape and was at the forefront within many of the disciplines.
"The teachers have been incredibly supportive and encouraging through my time at RMIT, I certainly feel that I have grown and am a more rounded designer under their guidance and expertise," she said.
"I've also met some very talented students who have been just inspiring - the opportunities that have been given to us whether it has been taking real industry briefs or creating experimental textile installations have been invaluable experience."
Other RMIT graduates recognised in the GOTYA VIC TAS awards:
- Bethwyn Mill, Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) (Gold and Silversmithing) - Graduate of the Year in Jewellery Design
- Richard Benson, Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) - Runner Up in Industrial Design
- Ed Turner, Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) - Runner Up in Furniture Design
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