RMIT students and graduates have had designs placed first and second in their respective categories and they will now compete nationally for the Australasian Graduate of the Year title.
The five successful RMIT nominees were competing against leading designers from Tasmania and Victoria.
The Graduate of the Year Award program (GOTYA) is run by The Design Institute of Australia (DIA) and celebrates innovation and excellence in design. The competition is open to final year students and recent graduates.
DIA Victorian President Claire Beale was pleased to celebrate the nominees’ hard work in the program's eighth year running.
“GOTYA attracts high-calibre entries from across the design disciplines, and we are committed to supporting design education through a suite of programs connecting educators, students and the design profession,” Beale said.
“We recognise the creativity, innovation and determination of our Victorian and Tasmanian graduates and welcome them as the newest members of the professional design community.”
Associate Degree in Interior Decoration and Design alumnus Manuela Millan placed first in the design and decoration category and felt honoured to be nominated by her tutors.
“It’s a great feeling to have won the GOTYA award for my category. It’s given me the confidence to pursue an honours degree and achieve my aspirations of having a career in design,” Millan said.
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Bachelor of Arts (Textile Design) graduate Michelle de Castro took out first place in the textiles and fashion design category.
Combining digital techniques with handmade elements, de Castro focuses on innovation and future-oriented textiles to create transdisciplinary designs.
“It’s so satisfying for my work to be awarded and recognised after my years of study,” de Castro said.
“The lecturers at RMIT really encouraged us to explore new ideas and this pushed me to reach my full potential.”
“This taught me innovative ways to approach my design work.”
Students and graduates were nominated across Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Textile and Fashion Design, Interior Design and Interior Design and Decoration disciplines.
Portfolios were evaluated on design solutions, transferrable workplace skills and the graduates' perceived impact on the Australian design industry.
RMIT Finalists were Paige Gannon, Lauri Uldrikis, Sebastian Damm, Claire Blaby and Alexsandra Pontonia.
The following RMIT GOTYA winners and runners up will be automatically entered into the upcoming DIA Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards: Manuela Mojica, Michelle de Castro, Ryan Penning, Callan Davies and Harry Zanios.
RMIT is currently ranked number one for design in Australia in the QS rankings and first in fashion and textiles in the Business of Fashion 2015 rankings.
Story: Jordan Di Stefano