Six Diploma of Visual Merchandising students went head-to-head for the opportunity to represent RMIT at the WorldSkills design competition to be held in Sydney next year.
For 36 years WorldSkills have been working alongside young people, encouraging them to showcase their trade whilst building on their skills.
This regional competition is one of more than 500 hosted by WorldSkills, and it takes place every two years. Students, apprentices and trainees of all ages from across Australia are welcomed to participate and showcase their talents.
Felicity Lancashire who is studying RMIT’s Diploma of Visual Merchandising said participating in the competition was an amazing opportunity.
“For my teacher Sue Robinson to approach me and say she thought I had what it takes to produce a worthy display was very encouraging.”
The project pushed the contestants to their limits by having them respond to a brief at a world industry standard.
Participants were required to envision the goals of their client, the social enterprise brand Thankyou – whose purpose is to combat poverty surrounding the world water crisis.
Over a period of six hours students were required to develop an original concept, present their ideas to the judges, construct their props and install a window display working to the theme ‘Australian Terrains’.
The final window display revolved around exhibiting a range of Thankyou products, including body wash, hand lotion, a face washer and sponge.
Students were also required to incorporate a mystery item into their design and create signage for the display.
Lachlan Dawson, from the Diploma of Visual Merchandising, felt that his design would appeal to the products consumer by promoting the companies humanitarian efforts.
“The waterfall motif in my design was a literal response to Thankyou’s background. I wanted to incorporate the nourishing and life-giving properties of water that is in line with Thankyou’s purpose.”
Dawson believes it was an enriching and valuable experience to carry out a design from the research phase to final product in just six hours.
“The highlight for me was being able to stand back and look at what we were all able to achieve in such a small period of time.”
Mark O’Halloran (National Visual Merchandising Manager Country Road), Marissa Wood (Event Producer and Stylist), and Sue Robinson (Teacher of the Diploma of Visual Merchandising at RMIT) were given the difficult task of judging the installation.
These renowned industry workers provided students with feedback on their displays and the winner will be announced by WorldSkills in November.
Lancashire says industry competitions such as WorldSkills, which are integrated into the course at RMIT, have enabled her to develop skills across a number of different mediums including photography, graphic design and styling.
“It has given me an opportunity to explore different careers and projects within creative industries.”
“The program itself has so many industry links, which has given me better insight into what is going on in the industry currently,” she says.
RMIT’s Diploma of Visual Merchandising is recognised by industry as a leader in design with graduates working across the globe.
Story: Mikaela Ortolan