RMIT students Gabriella Audrey Aliwarga and Richard Greenacre have won top prizes in Australia’s longest running design competition, Vibrant Visions in Design (VIVID).
Renowned for unearthing the next generation of design talent, VIVID took place as part of Australia’s premiere interiors event, the Decor + Design show.
The competition showcases dynamic works from emerging Australian designers, with categories for both market-ready and prototype furniture and lighting designs.
Aliwarga and Greenacre, both studying a Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours), received an Award of Excellence in Design, prize money and coveted opportunities for public exposure and industry feedback for their work.
Aliwarga won the GlobeWest Furniture Award of Excellence in Design for her work, Wine Stool.
Manufactured without fasteners, screws or glue, Wine Stool was inspired by the relationship between a cork and wine bottle.
Aliwarga is passionate about creating furniture that is simple and compact without compromising its functionality.
“When making prototypes and models I always avoid fasteners because it adds more technical problems and cost,” she said.
“The tapered form of the seating allows it to fit and secured inside the steel frame without any fasteners just like cork in wine bottles.”
Greenacre, who previously completed an Associate Degree in Design (Furniture), was awarded the Dowel Jones Furniture Concept Award of Excellence in Design for his work Agave Credenza.
“There were so many fantastic designers and innovative furniture pieces on display at this year’s show,” he said.
“It was really encouraging to meet so many creative people, all passionate about design.”
Inspired by the repetitive geometry found in natural forms, Agave Credenza is constructed from solid European Beech and fronts a textural armoured facade of hand-cast acrylic tiles.
Each tile sports an individual sliding dovetail which slots into place across the front of the door panels. As the tiles are removable, the door fronts can be customized and reconfigured to suit the needs of the user.
Greenacre said studying at RMIT has helped refine his aesthetic and given him the chance to experience the process of taking a design from concept to production.
“The teachers offer a diverse wealth of knowledge and industry experience, and have been really encouraging to help us develop our ideas and resolve concepts,” he said.
Both Greenacre and Aliwarga agree that time spent experimenting in the workshop has been a highlight of the program.
“A lot of the skills we learnt have been practical,” Aliwarga said.
“Utilising workshops to learn more skills from experienced staff and explore the potentials of different materials will prepare me for work in the real-world.”
Bachelor of Industrial Design (Honours) Program Manager Liam Fennessy said achievements like these illustrate how RMIT programs are at the forefront of contemporary design.
“Our industry-focused and practical approach to design education lead students into professional practice, by teaching them to translate concepts into highly resolved design outcomes,” he said.
“Awards like these from VIVID are a great recognition of the creative capacity of our students.”
Story: Emma Morgan