RMIT University industrial design student Rebecca Crooke has won a top award at The Edge 2014 national design competition.
The third year Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) student won the "Concept" award with Paperclip, a quirky re-envisioning of the common desk lamp made from anodized aluminium, with an LED strip and acrylic diffuser.
Ms Crooke was awarded the prize for the aptly named design, which takes on the form of a paperclip, at the Australian International Furniture Fair in Sydney.
In total, RMIT had 11 finalists in the competition, which is Australia’s premier industry platform for new design talent.
Her winning project was conceived inside a studio class led by Copper ID, a Melbourne industrial design duo, who encouraged second and third year students to explore designing and prototyping lighting as production-ready examples.
The class also included a unique focus on the business side of the design industry.
The task lighting piece creates a functional workspace with a streamlined and stylish form. Photo: Julia Nance.
Ms Crooke said the studio class – titled "How to make it" – was both practical and inspiring.
"Within the class we had our major project, which was to create a lighting piece," she said.
"But the class also focused on how to ’make it’ in the Melbourne design industry and we also learnt a significant amount about how to promote ourselves as emerging designers."
As part of the training in promotion of design, the studio class organised an exhibition, Switched On RMIT, which was held in December last year.
Exhibited at Design Director Chris Connell’s flagship gallery, the studio’s results were met with industry acclaim, with some works even featured on TV’s The Block.
Though she took home the $500 award from The Edge, Ms Crooke said the competition offered a chance to gain an even greater prize – vital contact with industry professionals.
"It was amazing to get to meet the other designers in the competition, both students and established professionals, and to make many valuable industry connections with The Edge organisers, exhibitors, as well as visiting retailers, designers and manufacturers," she said.
Ms Crooke plans to use her final two years at RMIT to further develop Paperclip for commercial sale and to continue to explore and expand her knowledge of electronic prototyping and interactive systems.
The Industrial Design program’s collaboration with Copper ID was an invaluable opportunity for designers of the future, she said.
"I found this studio to be really enjoyable and gained many skills from Viktor and Ed’s fantastic tutoring."
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