Hear from our experts on what it's like to study the Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours) at RMIT.
Suzie Attiwill: Hello, everyone, welcome an thank you for joining our session this afternoon. My name is Suzie Attiwill and I'm the associate Dean of interior design. Joining the presentation, you'll also meet Phoebe Whitman, program manager of the bachelor of interior design honors, as well as three students who are currently studying the bachelor program, Anh, Cat, and Nathan. Please feel welcome to ask us questions, lots of questions, and you can do this in the chat on the right hand side of the screen. There are staff members from interior design on hand to respond directly.
There will also be an opportunity to raise questions at the end when we will be responding directly to you, the five of us that are on the screen. We will also be posting a frequently answered questions document in the chat. This will detail a lot of what is presented here today with links to relevant sites, including our Instagram pages and more. Also, this presentation is going to be recorded and made available so you can access it again if you need. Next slide, please.
To begin with on behalf of us here in RMIT, I would like to acknowledge the people of the Woi Wurrung and Boon Wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unseeded lands we teach and research. RMIT respectfully acknowledges their ancestors and elders past and present, and extends this to the traditional custodians and the ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we practice, teach and research. Next slide, please.
RMIT's commitment to reconciliation is embedded in all of our teaching and engagement. Next slide. On the left, the box-like building with this circular glass discs all around it, this is our home where we teach, where our studios workshops and staff officers are located. It's at the corner of Victoria on Swanston Street. So the city is right on our doorstep. It's called the RMIT Design Hub, and it's designed by the architecture, Sean Godsell, opened in 2012 and won the international award for architecture in 2013. The black and white facade behind is an apartment building designed by Ashton Raggat McDougall, it's not part of RMIT, but very much part of our context. This facade from different viewpoints becomes visible as a face. This is the face of William Barrack, an artist, an influential crusader for original social justice and an authority on Wurundjeri cultural law throughout the 19th century. Walking along the main street in Melbourne Swanston Street, his face becomes apparent from different angles.
You'll also see here in this slide, the lecture theater inside the design hub and studio spaces, including here some first year students putting up their work as part of an exhibition. Interior design is located in the school of architecture and urban design, and we're situated with the other disciplines, architecture and landscape architecture.
Next slide. Now, we approach Melbourne very much as an urban laboratory and run sites of specific projects within the city and engaging with actual environment and its conditions. Here, you can see a laneway project that the students were doing, and on the right, testing grounds, which is a public space where we often have exhibitions, public events and celebrations. Thank you. Next slide.
In 2019, we celebrated 80 years of interior design at RMIT. RMIT has been offering an interior design program since 1939 with the oldest and longest running dedicated interior design program in Australia, and sit amongst others internationally, such as the interior design program at Parsons New York in New York City, where we have lots of collaborations and exchanges with, who established their program as a leader in the interior design profession throughout the 20th century.
Our bachelor program was established, a four-year bachelor program, which we are talking about today was established in 1949. And as you can imagine, after 70 years, there are many alumni who have come from that program who are now practicing in all region around the world. And they have been very active in establishing interior design as a profession through their advocacy as well as their actual practice in their offices. Amongst them we have esteemed alumni including Sue Carr and Mary Featherstone, both of whom received an Order of Australia in recognition for their significant service to interior design.
As you'll see in Phoebe's presentation of the bachelor program, at RMIT, we have established the value and contribution of interior as an expansive practice. And what we mean by this is that it's more than just designing rooms inside buildings and decoration, the international Federation of interior architects and designers, the global body for the profession, defines the role of the practitioner as someone who determines the relationship between people and space, in terms of physical and psychological parameters to improve the quality of life. Leading off from this, we position interior design as one of the most important professions of the 20th century, because it addresses the relationship between people and their surroundings and has the ability to transform their lives. Next slide, please.
We approach the teaching of interior design as idea-led, industry-partnered, project-based, and student-centered teaching us through projects like working in a design practice. And these projects come from industry partners, not for profit organizations, local governments, locally and internationally. And the students work with tutors who are also practitioners to address contemporary concerns. The RMIT mantra is, learning through doing, and this approach is vital to educating students who are going to be interior designers practicing for the next 40 years, right into 2060. So our students are work ready for a global context connected in through an international network of alumni. Next slide please.
And this is all supported by great facilities located in the RMIT Design Hub, including workshops from hand making through to large machinery, 3D printers to robots, and also gallery spaces such as the Design Hub Gallery. Next slide. Thank you.
So RMIT interior design is a discipline that has three programs, and today we're going to be focusing on the bachelor, but we're very happy to take questions about the masters and PhD in question time as well. There's also three programs in the vocational area. There's a certificate in interior decoration, a diploma of interior design, an associate degree in interior decoration and design that offer pathways into our bachelor program. Next slide, please.
Now I'd like to introduce Phoebe Whitman who's going to guide you through the bachelor of interior design on this program. Thanks Phoebe.
Phoebe Whitman: Thank you, Suzie. Hello everyone. Thank for coming along today and for your interest in interior design. I'm going to discuss the bachelor program as Suzie mentioned in a bit more detail now, and go through aspects such as activities, and projects, and events that you may experience while still studying in the program, as well as discussing approaches to teaching and learning, and some of the opportunities you'll have such as internships.
Our agenda is to challenge assumptions about interior design and to test those ideas through design projects and through the act of designing and making. Interior and interiority are increasingly affected and transformed by contemporary concerns and technologies, as well as the social economic and cultural forces of our time. We talk about interior design in an expansive way, and this means that interiors are not just always confined to the inside of buildings, we ask questions about ways of considering the interior and opening up to various relationships and scales such as the urban environment or to that of a finally crafted object, the design of a virtual interior or an atmosphere.
So as a student in this program, you will develop a range of sensibilities and sensitivities as well as critical thinking regarding imagining, speculating, discussing, and designing interiors. So students will experiment with these ideas, research, and project the future of interior design practice throughout their time in the program. Next slide please.
I'll just talk a little bit over the program structure. As you can see this diagram here indicates the four years within the program. Each semester of each year is centered around a design studio, which is really the focus of the program. Studios are then accompanied by other courses, such technology, communications, history theory, and in the latter years, what we call specializations as well as professional practice and research strategies courses.
There are also opportunities to do university electives, which are open to all students across the university, and allow you to undertake subjects from a range of areas such as business, ceramics, photography, and language course, just to name a few examples. So each semester you can see here, you do three courses, a design studio accompanied by two other complementary courses. Students attend a minimum of 12 hours of class per week and are expected to do work outside of class. So in total, it comes to a full-time load of about 36 hours a week. However, sometimes this can vary, especially depending around assessment periods and presentations, which occur at various points throughout the semester, especially at mid-semester and the end of each semester. Next slide.
Can you go to the back one? Thank you. So I'll talk about first year now. In first year, students will be introduced to interior design and will start to develop a way of thinking and operating as a designer through learning a range of ideas and technologies and communication techniques. First year really introduces students to a broad range of social skills, as well as you'll be studying in groups and presenting to each other and your tutor. These images here show a range of activities that have been undertaken recently in first year, where you can see that first year, you can go from cooking and eating together and being in a social space, to intervening into sites and taking photographs and learning how to think about the relationship between body and space, as well as a series of ways of thinking through modeling and material and digital environments. Next slide.
These images here show you how you might build your skills and thinking as an interior designer to enable you to proceed into the following three years of the program. So you can see here that you'll learn to draw and render, make models, and you'll do this through both analog and digital processes. You'll learn how to explore different ways of making and how to understand how things come together and how things get put. As well as developing skills and thinking through the design in relationship to technologies, you'll learn how to work together and how to discuss and communicate your ideas with your peers and with your tutors. So we really don't expect you to know any of these things before you start the course, but that you will be learning these things through first year, and this will also prepare you for the progressing years in the remainder of the program. Next slide.
So moving into second and third year of the program, you'll undertake a range of courses as well. Except there's a slight shift in second and third year in that the design studios, which are at the heart of the program, will be continued to be complimented by other courses. But at the beginning of each semester, you're actually presented with a suite of courses that you actually get to choose from. We call this a balloting process. And through this process of selecting the courses that you are interested in, each student gets to start to navigate their way through the program based on the things that they're interested in. So this really develops individual way of starting to practice relationship to interior design.
So like I said, at the beginning of each semester, you are presented a suite of courses that offer a variety of ideas and projects, which allow you the opportunity to select from. And each studio is led by an academic or industry practitioner who leads that studio by offering a project, which really asks critical questions regarding social, technological, environmental, and cultural concerns. These studios change every semester. So no studio really repeats, which is really important to our program because we feel like this shows the kind of relevancy of the way the world is operating and how this is reflected in the way that we teach and the kinds of ideas that we're researching.
So, as each studio changes each semester, you're exposed to a variety of ways of practicing and thinking about interiors and interior design practice. And through studios being varied, we believe that this really supports students in developing their individual way of thinking and practicing based on your own interests. And this supports really the individual's trajectory within the program. Next slide.
This slide here shows a range of design studios that have been recently offered. The large image on the bottom right, the colorful purple one is image from a student in second year, who did a studio called Home is Where the Heart is. And this was a studio that was exploring virtual design processes, and really explored and questioned, what the difference between a house and a home is, which is a very relevant topic, given that we're all in the time of COVID quite home bound.
So students were really asked to question the relationship to what a home is and define what the difference to a house is. Given the intensities that are going on with living environments at the moment, this offered up a lot to the students to explore. And it was also offered online and actually it connected up and was done in collaboration with students from the spacial interior design program at Chelsea School of Art in the UK, which is one of the exciting opportunities that's come out of teaching in virtual environments is that they can become global studios.
Some of the other images in this slide show the variety of studios that have been undertaken. There's images here that show how cities are working within the city and designing and activating the city through notions of place making. There's another studio here that really designed or redesigns abandoned warehouse on the river's edge in Maribyrnong which is in the Western suburbs of Melbourne and thinking about it as an event cultural space, whilst another studio was really questioning the idea of communal living. Next slide, please.
Alongside design studios, you'll do technical studies. Technical studies is a course that runs through first, second, and third year. So you really develop a range of multimedia skills across those three years. And it's about exploring and developing ways of designing and communicating your ideas through lots of different technologies from digital software to also analog processes. So you learn things in terms of like collaging and drawing and making and rendering, you'll have the opportunity to learn digital programs from Rhino, Revit, AutoCAD, which are all industry standards. And we also are really developing a whole lot of virtual environments through AI technologies, which is really exciting. Next slide, please.
And communications also supports this way of thinking through the communication of your ideas and also engages with technologies through digital and analog processes. So in addition to what you do in technology, in communications, it's really a way of helping you resolve and think through your design intentions and communicate those things both visually and verbally. So you'll learn things from Photoshop and InDesign, as well as the 3D printing opportunities that you have in the Design Hub. As Suzie mentioned, the facilities in the Design Hub to allow for a whole lot of different prototyping. We also have state of the art robots, and lots of different kinds of fabrication and making machinery. So through both technology and communication courses, you will have the opportunity to experiment with these ways of thinking through technology and communication with the facilities, and explore many different ways of making and designing. Next.
History theory. This is taught throughout first, second and third year within the program. And we believe learning about different histories and theories really assists students in contextualizing their design thinking, and learning to think not just contextually, but also analytically. So history theory is not always just about histories, although that's a big part of this subject, but it also engages with contemporary theories of design, as well as other spatial related practices and philosophies. So the history theory course comprises of learning how to write and analyze and think academically through essay writing, and learning how to write and develop your skills in writing. But it also engages with students in developing research skills, ones that are both ethical, creative and critical, which we feel is really fundamental to a student developing and forming a way of thinking, discussing, writing, and designing interiors in a contemporary way. Next slide, please.
Specializations. In the latter years of the program, in third and fourth year, students can undertake specializations. So each semester, again, there's a suite of different specializations offered that students can select from, and these are really project-based ways of learning in terms of industry practitioners coming into the program that have a specialized field. That can range from things such as lighting design, exhibition design, web design, furniture design, production design, interior design, architectural design, landscape design, lots of different specialized fields all relating to interior design practice.
So really specialized allow students to direct themselves towards a particular field. And that's often helping them contextualize where they might start to move into in the latter years and certainly after graduation. So they're exposed to different ways of thinking about residential, hospitality, lighting, and exhibition design for instance. And they provide an opportunity for students to develop their own individual design profile, and start to position themselves in relationship to these specific areas of interior design practice.
So as projects, specializations really focus on this specialized field related to interior design and allow our students to start designing in a very specific way. So it also connects up with work integrated learning experiences. So specializations, we feel are really dynamic and relevant way of thinking through how students can apply the knowledge and the skills that they've already developed by third and fourth year and applying these within a real life simulated workplace environment. And they're doing that through the projects, but also through what we refer to as placements, which are really opportunities to do internships. So this again is a way of connecting up and starting to expand their thinking relationship to industry or community, which is really integral to the students learning.
These images here just show a wide variety of specializations recently offered. Some of these images were in collaboration with a Melbourne organization called Hip vs Hype which is based in Brunswick, and they were designing their retail space, which was a bit of an event space on the street. There was a yoga studio, so really exploring notions of health and wellbeing. At the top, there's an image of students working at the offices at Carr design, which is again an opportunity to be in an actual commercial workspace. Next slide please.
So connecting up with specializations and internships and starting to think about ways of operating out in the world with industry within the field of interest, we really do encourage students to find their direction through these courses. And so we also encourage students to think about taking on internships, which allows them to test their ideas within a particular field. And so we offer industry-partnered learning, which really allows students to apply this within a design practice and workplace. So this experience allows students to grow their understanding of their professional practice and start to really build confidence of what they're learning. And so we ask students to apply for positions, and through an application process, they have the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio and a CV, which are really important steps towards working towards work readiness.
And so we have lots of different relationships. Just to name a few, because there's a lot, our industry partners presently are with the National Gallery of Victoria, so that's for students who are maybe really interested in exhibition design. We also have relationships with commercial practices such as Bates Smart, Hassle, Billard Leece, Foolscap, Wowowa, Sibling, Design Office, Peddle Thorp. We're also affiliated with ACMI with which is the Australian Center of Moving Image. And so that's just to name a few of the opportunities. Next slide please.
So global opportunities, travel studios, and exchange. So once you move into second and third year of the program, we do offer international travel studios, and provide students with an opportunity to engage in projects and workshops that bring into a focus, the issues surrounding space and local customs, society and contemporary culture. So the program really advocates for travel studios to occur when they can, and for global exchange to happen when students are prepared to go overseas in the third year, and we encourage this as we really believe that it tests the student's thinking and design skills within a global network.
So in travel students, for instance, the students focus on developing projects that explore contemporary concerns in response to the culture of the cities that they're located. And these images here in this slide show that, the top one is a design studio that happened in 2018 where students went to Woods Bagot, where they, Woods Bagot has a Hong Kong office and students were able to work from the office and engage in a project that was taking place there. The bottom image is a recent studio that was offered in Detroit in the United States in 2019, where students were able to actually collaborate with other students from the University of Michigan. And in previous years, we've had lots of different other locations like India, Mexico, Germany, South Korea and Morocco.
We also have lots of students who come and study with us, which is really great and contribute to this cultural social thinking through the studios that they come in and study. We are very aware that with travel restrictions presently that traveling is actually on hold, but we are very hopeful that opportunities will return in the future. And RMIT really does have a strong commitment to this, and so does our program, and it's something that we are going to try and organize another one as soon as we can. So, if there's any questions around that, maybe pop that into the Q&A as well. Next slide, please.
So moving into the final year of the program, the fourth year. This final year involves students undertaking a year long self-directed research major project as part of their design studio, which alongside their design studio major project, they also undertake a research strategies course and professional practice course, which allow students to learn about ethics and legalities of commercial as well as other related design practices. The left hand image here actually shows Rose, a student who graduated a couple years ago, presenting to a panel of guests from Bates Smart as we have affiliation with Bates Smart and there's a Bates Smart award given to a final year student. And the top image is a work by Grace Carver. It was her final presentation exhibition. Next slide, please.
This slide shows process work that fourth year students produce through lots of experimentation, and developing their curiosity, and developing their design research. This takes place in the first semester of fourth year, which is really an opportunity for students to begin to explore their individual interests in interior design and develop their own processes and thinking as well as discovering what their own personal motivations are for interior design practice. And so we have encouraged students to engage in thinking about contemporary concerns through their design research. And they spend this semester developing a body of research based on all the accumulated skills and interests that they've experienced so far in the program, and really starting to hone in on those and develop them further. So we encourage them to theorize and specialize and push conventional boundaries through their interior design projects. And these images show some of the process thinking, the model making and mapping and curiosity that they're starting to communicate. Next slide, please.
So by the end of fourth year, students move into, in the final semester of their studies, what we refer to as a major project. So they take all of that experimentation and research that they've developed in the first part of fourth year, and start to resolve it through what we call a major project. And this major project really allows students to develop a way that they've identified their emerging design practice. And at the end of the semester, they present this final project to a panel of academic and industry practitioners.
These images here show a variety of outcomes produced through the major project, from projects that address the designing of archives and exhibitions through object and furniture making, to the design of a community center. Also, the design of an interior for health and wellbeing and rituals of wellbeing. And the large image on the right hand side, is a project that was produced last year from a student who is from Hong Kong and she was really interested in exploring and developing ways that people commute through such large urban cities like Hong Kong and the encounters that they can have, the habitual encounters they might have with their movements. So you can see there's quite a diversity of outcomes that allow students to really start honing in on the things that they're interested in and the way that they will continue to practice. Next slide, please.
At the end of fourth year, we hold an event called INEX. So INDEX is the final year graduate exhibition, and each year generates a unique exhibition event. And it's really a project in its own right. So students come together collectively and design and build INDEX. And it really brings together the community around interior design. So it brings together industry, and staff, and academic staff, and all the tutors, as well as the students and their families and friends, to celebrate the discipline of interior design. And it's an exhibition that really gives a platform to the future of thinking and practicing of interior design that these emerging designers are developing.
So usually we intervene into really interesting, often abandoned sites, in the city. But obviously last year with COVID and being in lockdown, we took the opportunity to experiment with a virtual platform called Mozilla Hub. So the top image for instance is some of the ways that we worked within this digital INDEX exhibition. It is a significant event in the design community and one that is really greatly celebrated. Next slide, please.
s.IDA, so s.IDA is the first and third year student organization that really in a way is at the core of some of the philosophies we have in the program around the way that students can initiate events and exhibitions, and are encouraged to come together at various times to show their work, to discuss and exhibit their ideas, and engage with community. So INDEX is at the very end of their learning whereas s.IDA allows students to engage in those ways of thinking and discussing through exhibition and events from first year onwards.
And the wonderful thing about s.IDA is that it is student-initiated and supported by the staff and the program. So they put on events and exhibitions, which really is a large part of our program, and the kind of philosophy that we have about coming together and connecting and forming a network of peers that really you progress with, even after your time in the program, that you graduate with and even your endeavors out in the world you connect up to. So exhibition and events really contribute a lot to the time in the program and really support the social and cultural philosophies that we have. Next slide, please.
Now I'm going to introduce you to three students who will just speak briefly about their experience in the design program. So we'll hear from Cat, Anh and then Nathan. First of all, this is Cat who is currently in her final year and final semester. So she's going to speak to some of her experiences in the program. I hand it over to you, Cat.
Cat Hucker: Thanks Phoebe. Hi, everyone. It's nice to be here. I joined the course from a visual merchandising and event design background. And I guess I had some preconceived ideas about what interior design entailed until I joined the course and I realized how dynamic it could be. So you can really tailor the course to your curiosity and interests. And that's just something that just seems to keep, continually evolving. And I guess for me, it's the capacity to define your own creative practice that's really exciting. And you do that by the classes that you take part in, the projects you get exposed to, and the practitioners that teach a lot of these classes.
So for me, there's been a really central focus on technology and analog processes, and that ties into my interest in diagrammatic language. And today I just thought I'd talk through two of the studios that have really informed the way that I work. And the first being a travel studio that Phoebe has mentioned in Detroit, Michigan. This was a really amazing opportunity to practice and produce work in a really different way.
Being in intensive studio within three weeks, you work at a really different speed, you are adapting with what's available around you and really working on your feet. And for a lot of us, that really meant leaning into analog processes, and it was just a really great time to really experiment with what we were interested in and how we wanted to produce work within that time and context. And it was really a privilege to be able to work within a context and a culture with such a rich and complicated set of histories as well. And for me, it really changed my outlook in the way that I wanted to practice as a designer. It highlighted the sensitivity we need as designers, and I really try and implement that in all the work that I do within RMIT and out.
And so the second studio that was really impactful in my learning was a live project called Abacus. And that was a really rewarding process to be a part of, because it focused on diagrammatic language to explore and speculate different conditions to support ABA therapy. So the body of work that the students did, a part of that studio was sent to the nominated architects for this project, and that was used as a reference for them to then design the space, which was really exciting. It was a great opportunity to see the dynamics of a live project with client audience and what the scope of research, what that can entail. And for me on a personal level, it was just a really great example to see how interior design can support different programs that have a real lasting social impact. So that was really, really important to me.
And I guess just lastly for me, you just get to meet so many amazing people in this course, practitioners and students alike. It's just, everyone comes from a very different set of lived experiences and it's really exciting to see how that plays out in people's work. And your tutors just come from, they have really exciting practices outside of RMIT, so it's just a really good time to be inspired and experiment and just really test things out to see what works for you and what doesn't and just go from there. But that's all from me today. Thank you.
Phoebe Whitman: Thanks, Cat. And next we will hear from Anh. So Anh, if we can go to the next slide. Yeah, that's great. And Anh is presently in second year, so Anh's going to talk about some of her experience in the first year and then what it's like being in the second year of the program, and some of her experiences with working as well in the industry. So Anh, I hand it over to you.
Anh Tran: Thank you, Phoebe. Thank you, Cat and Suzie. My name is Anh and I'm actually doing a second year, but I came from, before interior design, I actually came from a background that is not relevant to design or art, which is business. So when I started the course, I was pretty nervous, but the fact that there was a great mix of student from different background and also a different age group has helped me to get along and make a lot of friends at school. And also the support and opportunity to work collaboratively with different students presenting and also went to site together actually helped build a lot of friendships.
In the first year when we have to study a new computer program such as Rhinoceros or Adobe Suite, we got a lot of support from student in third and fourth year, showing us how they went through and also actually supporting the teacher as well. When I started, it actually happened before COVID, but when we had to transfer to the online learning mode, we were introduced to different online platforms such as Canvas, Miro, and also the teacher, again, introduced us to a lot of different tool and computer programs that help us to adapt to the digital world of interior design so that we can improve on our design skills.
What I like about interior design at RMIT are the two things, which is developing process in second year, because I got to choose the interesting subjects that it actually build my knowledge outside the norm that interior has to be inside a home. So what you are seeing is one of my project that I did last semester, designing an intervention for a future memorial park in Melton for the next a 100 years. So this really helped me to expand my thinking about the interior, apply that to a very large scale, which is a farming land, and then this will be transformed into the use of how, what we think about the future of what this cemetery can be.
And the final thing that I love about this course is the opportunity that we are introduced to work placement at the very early stage. Even though Phoebe mentioned that we will be taught and we'll have the opportunity to apply for work placement in third and fourth year, but actually we were introduced to that kind of opportunity even at the end of our first year, which I think is very valuable for me in the course. And that's for me so far.
Phoebe Whitman: Thanks, Anh. Now we will go to Nathan, who is actually in Perth, in Fremantle in Western Australia, who's joining us from afar. So Nathan, I'll hand it over to you.
Nathan Tilghman: Thanks, Phoebe. Hello everyone. My name's Nathan Tilghman and I'm speaking from [inaudible 00:40:06] in Fremantle [inaudible 00:40:08] Western Australia, as Phoebe just mentioned. This is currently my second year in the program. And because of COVID, it's actually, I've only experienced this program online, which comes with its own challenges, but really also opportunities. Cat and Anh have done a great job already explaining amazing aspects of the course, but I guess I really want to discuss my own alternative perspective into what interiors in the program can be, ones you might not normally think of.
For me experiencing this program entirely online, it's allowed me to examine the idea of an interior in a completely different approach. I've learned that it's really something that's transcendental. It moves between the mental, the virtual, and the actual, and especially during times of COVID, I'm really questioning the meaning of what the actual is. I've quite a esoteric practice that touches different aspects of art, design and artifacts in my daily life. I find inspiration in almost everything around me, nature, art, food, language, animation, film, all these things have relationship to space and place. And this program really supports you in exploring these relationships in your own way.
From day one, you're given the agency to really define your own meaning of what the interior is, or it means to you. And just from these images on the screen here, just in the space of a few months, these are just a series of screenshots work in progress, material tests projections, and day-to-day things I do in the course. I've grown mushrooms on native grasses, built clay coral models to study underwater non-human interiors, studied narrative space and sci-fi films and projected oceans onto sides of buildings. These are all just things of me following my own path of what an interior means to me. So yeah, I guess if you join this program, I'd just say, you get to be weird, test, stretch, play, eat, grow, laugh, and make things and destroy things. And I really hope to see a few of you as fellow colleagues in the future.
Phoebe Whitman: Thank you, Nathan. Thanks Nathan and Cat and Anh for that. That was really wonderful. So now I'm just going to talk through the career pathways. So really what do our graduates do? And they really do go into a diverse range of different types of design practices, which really is a reflection on the way that we do teach here at RMIT as you've just heard from Anh, Cat and Nathan, the diversity of thinking about interiors and interiority, materiality, technologies, the everyday, really shape the way that students move out into the world and the kinds of careers that they move into.
So predominantly, students do move into commercial design practices and work within residential or architectural interior design practices that address retail spaces, hospitality, for instance. But we also have many students who go into exhibition, lighting and event design, and even an increasingly large number of students who are moving into virtual realities and gaming design. We've also had a number of graduates who have had successful careers in film and television production as well as furniture design and theater design. And there's also opportunities to move into design publishing and writing as a career. So we do maintain strong connections with our alumni and we spend time staying connected with them. And so we're able to understand and map the direction and career directories that alumni have taken.
If we can move to the next page. This is an example of some of the alumni projects. This shows some recent projects from alumnis. Laura Casey, is a student who graduated a number of years ago and she, for instance, went on to work in a number of different Melbourne practices, such as Golden, Carr Design and Hassle. She also has her own practice as well, which she balances with working in commercial practices.
Hexin Bi, you can see the image at the very top, this is a project that Hexin has produced. He's currently working with Zaha Hadid Architects. So when Hexin was in the program, a number of years ago, he went on exchange to Milan Polytech, and this opportunity as a student really enabled him to think globally about where he would like to practice. And he was involved in the Milan Furniture Fair for instance. And he actually went on to do a masters in London, and is now practicing at Zaha Hadid Architects.
Giselle is another alumnus, who also teaches back into the program at times, which is really great. When she first practiced as a graduate, she was working for a small practice called Studio Wonder, and then moved on to a bigger practice called Hecker Guthrie where she's now in this project Piccolina, has just been shortlisted for the interior design awards, which is really exciting.
And the large image on the right is a work by An Bui, who also teaches back into our program at times. And she's currently working at the firm Carr Design, and this was the design of a foyer space within one of the prominent Melbourne buildings in the CBD. So again, just gives you a bit of an indication of the variation that graduates and alumni moving into through their careers. Next slide, please.
So now I'm coming to this point in the presentation where I'm going to talk about entry requirements and just talk through some of the administration and processes involved with applying. So in terms of applying for the bachelor of interior design honors, we do, we encourage both school leavers and mature age applicants to apply. So I'm going to go through a series of processes such as the selection task and the folio presentation and interview, as well as discuss some of our pathway agreements and processes. Could we go to the next slide?
There are two parts to the application process. The first step is to do the selection task. The second step is the folio presentation and interview. For instance, if you're a school lever, the first thing you need to do is register with VTAC. The minimum entry requirements is the successful completion of year 12. Once you've registered with VTAC, you can then go to the RMIT website, and you download the selection task. And this is available now, and it's a really competitive process so we do suggest that you do this as soon as possible. Once you fill out the selection tasks, you're then asked to submit it via the RMIT website.
If you are already an RMIT student or have recently graduated from RMIT, you can actually apply directly through RMIT. So you go to the website and follow the instructions, but it's important that you also do the selection task and also submit it as well all at the same time. And I'll talk about dates in a minute.
For those of you who are graduates of RMIT's associate degree in interior decoration design, or the advanced diploma in building design architectural, or you've done a diploma of interior design, you will be allowed to have exemptions. And you are not actually, it's not necessary for you to do the selection tasks. So I'll go into more detail shortly for those of you who are perhaps coming from those RMIT courses because it's a slightly different process.
But it's important that for those of you who have recently graduated or finished year 12, you need to do the selection task, submit the selection task, and then really the second step that follows is that from this selection task, you are shortlisted and you're invited to attend a folio presentation and interview. Once applicants are shortlisted from the selection task, you'll receive an email from us asking you to attend a 15-minute folio presentation for an interview in December. And so we'll email you those details. Next slide please.
So this is just some of the details of what you'll find when you download the selection task. First of all, there's a series of questions that we ask you to respond to through writing, for instance, why are you interested in studying interior design here at RMIT? Why are you interested in the bachelor of interior design at RMIT? And perhaps there's opportunity also to describe some of the experiences that you may have, if you've done work experience or have done projects, that's a great opportunity to write about that. Then you are asked to provide a piece of your own work, which really demonstrates your creative abilities.
So what we are wanting to see is anything that inspires you that you've produced, basically. It has to be a single piece. So an image, for instance. Something that you've scanned or photographed. It can be a drawing. It can be a model or sculpture. It can be a photographic piece or a painting, anything that expresses your creativity. We don't expect to see anything interior design related. And in fact, we encourage you just to think about the things that you are really passionate about and use that to drive what that creative piece is. You then need to write about that creative piece, and you've got about 300 words or less to describe your thinking around that piece, what your ideas were behind the work, and why have you selected it. Next slide, please.
Once you're shortlisted from the selection kit, you're invited to attend a folio presentation. We've put together some suggestions for those of you who are successful in being shortlisted. Essentially you'll have around 12 minutes to meet with two people, two academic staff members from the program. And this is really an opportunity for you to show us your creative skills, your thinking, your projects, and your making. So we need you to curate a folio. We want it to be no more than 20 page within the 12 minutes that we have this opportunity to discuss with you. It needs to be focused. So we know that often in school, you make really dense folios, you'll need to revise that, and almost select out of what you've done, whether it's schoolwork and even work that you've done outside of schoolwork, and edit it and curate it, and put forward something considered, because we won't have time to go through all of your folios.
This is where it's just really important to think about what you are actually putting forward. And it's really about expressing your various creative skills and ideas and projects. We want to see process work as much as we'd like to see outcomes. We're not expecting to see only interior design drawings or plans, we'd love to see photographs, some sketches and just the way that you are thinking and inspired by different things. So the folio really should express you, not just your schoolwork and not just about interior design as you see it now, because what we want to gauge is how you are actually thinking about all sorts of creative things about the world.
So within this folio presentation, there is an interview component, so we do encourage you to prepare for that. It's really good to look at all our Instagram accounts and our website to be clear about what the bachelor of interior design is about, and to use the opportunity in the interview to actually ask us questions. Because as much as we're asking questions about you and about why you are interested in studying interior design and about your folio work, we also want to have a conversation about why you want to study. And so it's a really great opportunity to ask questions from us as well, and to engage in that conversation. So it's good to come prepared with some questions, with a sense of what you're actually applying for, the kinds of things you'd like to know more about.
For those of you who have completed an RMIT diploma or advanced diploma or an associate degree, we do have pathway options. And so it's important to know what those options are. In this diagram, you can see that if you have, for instance, completed RMIT foundation studies, that you have a guaranteed entry into first year with a 2.5 GPA and an English score of 65%. For those of you who may have completed the RMIT diploma of interior design, you are guaranteed an entry with one year exemption. So you enter into the beginning of what we call second year. For applicants from the RMIT associate degree in interior decoration design, or the advanced diploma of building design architecture, you have a guaranteed entry of 1.5 year exception. So you enter into the end stage of second year within the program.
All of these agreements outlines quite clearly on the website in the RMIT pathways finder website. So if you have questions around that, you can put that into the Q&A and the staff can pop in the links for that. There's also just a general contact page called Study at RMIT, which has also more information around all of this. I think the important thing to really note is that if you have completed any of these RMIT courses, you have that pathway agreement, so it's really good to find out and be clear about what that agreement is. You still need to apply directly through the RMIT website and indicate your interest officially through the RMIT interest, RMIT website through apply direct. If you are coming from perhaps another institution where you've completed a bachelor's degree in architecture or landscape or industrial design, then you also might be given exemptions as well, but that's also something that I would encourage you to seek out advice about. Next slide, please.
Just in summary, entry is competitive. We are advising that you do start this application process as soon as possible. All of the selection kits, and pathway agreements, and apply direct options are all open now through the RMIT website. So we do encourage you to visit the RMIT website and download what is necessary and do the selection kit and submit it as soon as you can. When you are shortlisted from the selection kit, we will be sending you an email with a folio presentation date and time, and these will take place in early to mid-December. And for pathway students or current RMIT students, I encourage you to get online and apply directly through the website. Can we please go to the next slide, which is really the final slide for now?
And this is just a final note, really, that if you want any further information, you can look at our rmitinteriordesign.website, which has lots of things like exhibitions and events that we've had, breaks down some of the courses and shows some student work. We also have a series of really great Instagram accounts, which the links are from that website as well. But I encourage you to look at our s.IDA Instagram account, our master's Instagram account, and our program bachelor Instagram account, because there's lots of really exciting things on there. And if you do want to learn anything more about the program, do check out our official RMIT page as well. And then we can go to the next slide.
I think we've come the end of the presentation. So we are going to open it up to questions now. Thank you so much for listening and I'll hand it back to Suzie now for the next part.
Suzie Attiwill: Thanks very much Phoebe. And thanks Cat, Anh and Nathan also for telling us about your experience with being within the program. So yes, if we can just go to full screen, that would be great. And we'll just open it up for some questions. And I guess the first question that's there, and I'll probably direct it to Phoebe, again, sorry, you're not getting much of a break. But just, it would be good just if you could just talk about at the interviews what the criteria is that's used to assess applicants, and if you could reiterate the kind of creative works and questions that people are looking for?
Phoebe Whitman: Thanks Suzie. So with the interview criteria, like I said, we're really looking for a folio that demonstrates a range of creative outputs and processes, where our criteria is really around, one is that you know what you're applying for. So you know what the bachelor of interior design here at RMIT entails to some extent, and that you're not applying for architecture or industrial design by accident. So to have some research and knowledge about the program is really important. And I guess we're also really wanting to gauge through that interview that you are open and curious to learning about interior design, and that there's a willingness there to explore interior design in this contemporary expanded way.
The criteria also really sits around the discussion that we have with you and the way that you speak to your work. So it's a really great opportunity to therefore choose works in your folio that you can actually speak about and that you're excited about. And that enthusiasm is actually essentially what we're really wanting to see.
Suzie Attiwill: Okay. Thanks Phoebe. There's a question which maybe I can just answer, and it's a few questions that I might put together. But there's just been some questions about the difference between the decorating courses and the degree, and also the difference between the architecture degree and the interior design degree, and what's the benefit of an honors degree. So since we're, we can go over time for a little bit, but I'll just put those together.
With interior design, we are really, as you will have seen, it's very much a focus on concerns with space and also the relationship of people to the space that surrounds them. And this is a different focus from decoration, which is much more about working within, given architectural within a given building space to learn the processes and practices there around working with furniture, materials, and so on. With interior design, it's really thinking, it's about, it's a spatial design practice. And so students learn through the bachelor of design around those techniques and skills.
And with architecture, the difference there is, we don't see interior design as a specialization of architecture, we see it as sort of incorporating architectural concerns and also decoration concerns, but it also can expand out to including event design, exhibitions, a whole range of other practices, which are really thinking about the relationship of people to space. And so in the interior design degree, for example, in first year, we very much start with asking students to think about the relationship of bodies and people to space as distinct from thinking about the practice of producing form.
And the thing with the honors degree, because honors degrees are often understood as a one year add-on degree to a bachelor, but our four year degree is what's called embedded honors. And that means that throughout the various different courses at different stages, there's aspects like research and qualities of an honors degree that are embedded in it. And the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designs professional body, they require, or they say in their education policy, that a graduate really requires at least a minimum of four years in order to graduate and go into the profession. And so, in terms of the difference there to a two year associate degree or a one year diploma, you're then entering into various different aspects of the industry. You're not going to practice in the same area within the same profession as somebody that's completed a four year degree.
I'm just looking for a question for Anh, Cat or Nathan. So perhaps there's one about, just in terms of say with the portfolio and the preparation of the portfolio, somebody's asking, could you include something from year 12? Nat or Anh or Cat, do you want to answer that? Sorry, I'm throwing it open. So it's really who says first, and then I'm just going to flip to you. Cat you are nodding, do you want to respond?
Cat Hucker: Well, my folio was mainly work that I had done at an industry, but I think that for me personally, I didn't have anything from year 12. But that was purely because it was probably I was working in industry for like seven years. So it was probably too long since then, but I found that any kind of drawings or anything that kind of spoke to your process was really valuable. So I would say maybe if that was a good example of the way that you work and it's a project that you're proud of, then I wouldn't see why you couldn't.
Suzie Attiwill: Great. Thanks, Cat. Anh, do you want to speak to what you had in your portfolio?
Anh Tran: Yeah. Actually, I've never been to a design or art classes before this program. So I think that in order, if somebody wants to apply for this course then definitely they have thought about interior design a lot of time, so I guess anytime that you have an idea to produce an artwork, for example, the process of how you do it, just document it, and then reflect on your process, write down what you think is working or what is not working and where you can fix even with drawings. And then test out different kind of technology. Try to learn about a different program yourself even before we start at this course. And YouTube would be a great tool. And there was a lot of available free resources that you can start to equip yourself, and then you will see that is really valuable to put on your portfolio. Anything that inspire you it's great.
Suzie Attiwill: Thanks, Anh. And Nathan, did you want to add what you had in your portfolio? That'd be interesting.
Nathan Tilghman: Yeah. So I've had experience in industry prior as well. But for me, what I put in my folio was I put in drawings, I put in photographs of my travels, I put in me dying t-shirts or textiles. I really tried to give just a wide breadth of the things that I like and the things that I'm interested in. And these things weren't polished or anything at all, they were very rough, and they just showed my ideas and my curiosities. And I think that's probably the most important thing and more important than worrying about, "Oh, is this something that looks nice and refined, or is this good enough?" Throw these ideas out the window and just try and show people who you are as a prospective designer. Yeah.
Suzie Attiwill: Great. Thanks Nathan. Phoebe, did you want to add anything there?
Phoebe Whitman: Yeah, I think not to repeat what I think Cat, Anh and Nathan have said very eloquently, but just showing that the things that are of personal interest and the investment that you put into your own creative thinking and doing. So if you are coming from school, obviously if you've done creative courses in school, it's great to see some of that work. But it's also just as important to us to see things that you might be doing in your own time. So I think that combinational mixture is really a valuable way of approaching the folio. Yeah.
Suzie Attiwill: Thanks. We've got to just maybe take just a couple more questions and then I think we'll finish. There's one on midyear entry, which I can just answer very it quickly. And we have midyear entry for advanced studying students. And what that means is students that are not coming into first year that are starting at first year, but who have come in through the pathways that we have, or who are able to get credit for previous studies. We don't actually have midyear intake for first year.
And then the other question just that's there that a number of people have asked is, coming in through VTAC can you then defer for a year? And yes, you can defer for a year once you've been made an offer.
Phoebe, there's a question in here around being able to take majors and electives, do you want to answer that one?
Phoebe Whitman: So we don't really refer to majors, I guess. I guess our focus within each semester is the design studio, and that's where we feel that all the other courses that you do such as technologies and history theories and comm gets accumulated through the design studio. So in a way it's not like really a major or a minor, but it's a way of thinking across all of your courses. And certainly even with your technologies and your communications and your history theories, you're bringing what you do in the design studio into those courses. So it's much more of an interweaving approach rather than thinking about major and minor.
And I think that's also very indicative of how you move through the program and then move into your final year, where you're generating a way of thinking and practicing, which isn't really privileging one thing over the other, it's what you ballot for and it's what you choose to select out of the offerings given to you at the beginning of each semester. But in terms of moving through the program in a way it's all the subjects that you're doing and all the courses that you're doing contribute to each other. So hopefully that clarifies that question.
Suzie Attiwill: Thank you, Phoebe. I think we have one last question that I can also answer, and just arrange around ATAR. And there is no minimum ATAR, there are minimum requirements and that's detailed on the website, but as we've all been discussing, it's really the processes through portfolio and interview.
Okay, well, thanks very much everyone for joining us and for listening and for your interest in potentially applying for interior design, the bachelor program at RMIT, and we hope you've enjoyed our presentation, and thank you again. Okay. See you later. Bye-bye.
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