A winning design

RMIT student Kelly Liang has designed furniture retailer Relaxhouse’s new multipurpose warehouse

Associate Degree of Interior Decoration and Design students were briefed by Relaxhouse to redesign their existing warehouse space as part of their final year studio.

Having recently relocated their pillow factory, the furniture retailer’s 1000-square metre original warehouse was to be converted in to a showroom with multipurpose functionality.

Students were briefed with the task to design a creative hub, not only acting as a showcase for the brand but to also engage local designers and the broader design community.

Across sixteen weeks, Liang and 19 of her classmates liaised with Relaxhouse co-owners Brett and Maria Parnham, visiting the warehouse site and developing their own concepts for the space. 

Liang's concept becomes a reality as she tours the warehouse space with Relaxhouse co-owner Brett Parnham.

As the student who produced the winning design, Liang was awarded $2000 and the opportunity to work with Relaxhouse to make her sketches a reality.

“This was the most valuable experience, a really great part of the program,” said Liang.

“We got to know all aspects of the industry from scope limitations, such as the budget, to the design process, all the way through to managing the relationships between clients and sub-contractors- you can only learn this through a live industry project.”

Associate Dean of Vocational Education, Michael Goss emphasized how important industry partners like Relaxhouse are in preparing students for the future,

“In these work integrated learning situations, industry works together with the University to create genuine, authentic experiences, and also to provide collaborative guidance,” said Goss.

“It is very good to see these initiatives take place as collaborations with external agencies give students an extended and enlarged experience.”

Liang was announced as the winning designer at a presentation evening held in conjunction with Relaxhouse.

Co-owner of Relaxhouse, Brett Parnham reflected on the success of the collaborative project,

“It has been fantastic- we had no idea how great this project was going to be, we were really overwhelmed with the response from the students.”

Liang has begun working with Relaxhouse to bring her design to life.

Story: Maddy Pattison  

17 October 2018

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17 October 2018

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  • Arts and culture

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