Design Institute of Australia presents Graduate of the Year Awards winners 2021

Projects by Design Institute of Australia graduate prize winners, including an app designed to promote a sustainable lifestyle and a fashion project that examines self-expression, are included in Dezeen's latest school show.


Design Institute of Australia

Institution: Design Institute of Australia
Award: Graduate of the Year Awards 2021

Institution statement:

"The Design Institute of Australia announces the Australian national winners for its flagship program for emerging designers – the Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA) 2021. From 173 impressive nominations and 27 state winners, seven designers have been awarded the prestigious Australian prize, with a student also named the Madeleine Lester Award recipient.

"This year, in an enormous undertaking, the DIA collaborated with 16 institutions and 40 design departments from around the country."

"The GOTYA program has mentored students since 2005 and is a unique awards program created to support and celebrate exceptional designers from around Australia in the early stages of their careers. The program is instrumental in providing tertiary institutions and design graduates with vital, real-life feedback from experienced designers and industry figures.

"Internationally renowned Australian designers and previous GOTYA winners include Tom Skeehan, Cassie Byrnes, Scott Van Tull, Edward Linacre and Tristan Brega. This year, the graduates were able to develop and make work showcasing a responsibility to the industry, especially new ways around sustainability and repurposing. They were able to design and create products that benefit people and the planet.

"By presenting a mix of concept developments, technical drawings, and prototypes, the winners displayed a clear understanding of the skills required in the commercial marketplace.

"There were 24 leading jurors taking part in the judging process, including Mark Berlangieri, Jane Valentine, Dave Bickmore, Tim Phillips, Gustavo Ruckman, and Nancy Beka. For more information visit the Design Institute of Australia's website."


A series of colourful garments designed for "post pandemic positivity"

Post Pandemic Positivity by Sophie Yencken
Australian Textile Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"Highly creative, authentic and innovative, Yencken's work explored embellishment, pattern, and intensely saturated colour from nature.

"There is an intricacy to the pieces – a delicate approach – yet there is also a strength with the fabrics and choice in materiality.

"Sustainability is addressed with repurposing, reducing, and repairing in the project to avoid ending up as landfill, showcases a unique range of garments, sourced from existing materials.

"In Yencken's Wildflower Collection, there is an enchanting notion that wildflowers grow freely and naturally along the coastline. The intricate designs replicate this perfectly with random flowers in different shapes and sizes, freely scattered across the garments.

"Yencken has presented as a standout candidate with a solid folio showcasing work from across all subjects of her degree. She has a great future ahead of her, and we look forward to seeing her career progress. Our future is in great hands."

Student: Sophie Yencken
Award: Australian Textile Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course: 
RMIT School of Fashion & Textiles, Bachelor of Textiles (Design)
Tutor:
Daphne Mohajer va Pesaran


Wide Angle Smile by Gisella Candi
Australian Fashion Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"A well-deserved winner in a competitive field, the jury was impressed by Candi's strong folio presentation and her explanation of details regarding developing and making work, especially around sustainability.

"Possessing a strong philosophy around practice and approaches to working with materials, Candi had a clear sense of her aesthetic and a responsibility towards the industry, championing well-designed pieces from her collection around longevity rather than fast fashion."

Student: Gisella Candi
Award:
 Australian Fashion Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course:
University of Technology Sydney, Bachelor of Fashion Design
Tutor:
Timo Rissanen


A series of photographs of the X1 stool, which is a pale wooden stool

X1 Stool by Bolaji Teniola
Australian Furniture Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"Teniola is a well-deserved winner and a standout candidate in a very tight field of nominees.

"The driving force behind Teniola's design approach is to design and develop products that benefit people and the planet. Teniola's work evokes a sense of curiosity and wonder, displaying a clear innovative understanding of conceptual ideas.

"Nigerian born, Melbourne-based Teniola has gained experience in the Netherlands and Indonesia, being inspired by the materials, techniques and processes he was exposed to during his time overseas.

"Here, he presents a mix of concept development, technical drawing options and prototypes – displaying a clear understanding of the skills required in the commercial marketplace."

Student: Bolaji Teniola
Award: Australian Fashion Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course:
RMIT, Associate Degree in Design (Furniture)
Tutor:
Julian Pratt


A photograph of the Australian Interior Decoration Graduate of the Year

Renew by Joanne Odisho
Australian Interior Decoration Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"Odisho presented as a well-rounded, work-ready graduate, with a distinctive approach to creating spaces that evoke a sense of joy for the user.

"Installation art, 3D forms, and a strong sense of spatial understanding are evident in every project, including innovative ways to utilise natural materials and promote sustainable development.

"Odisho's work displays a well-considered intellectual depth and rigour to research, which is evident in her design solutions."

Student: Joanne Odisho
Award: Australian Interior Decoration Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course: RMIT University, Diploma of Interior Design
Instagram: @ohsidostudio
Tutor: Nancy Everingham


A photograph of FLUX – The Centre of Bio Psych Design

FLUX – The Centre of Bio Psych Design by Isabelle Kleijn
Australian Interior Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"Kleijn is an outstanding graduate, demonstrating a mature grasp on the briefs that were set, which were followed through with meticulous research, processes, creative resolutions and impressive presentation skills.

"The judges were impressed by her conceptually excellent, socially topical, dynamic presentation that invites the viewer to read more.

"A designer to watch with enthusiasm as the evidence shows a powerful combination of capturing the essence of human behaviour while allowing the visual representation of an interior to challenge the norm/ yet functionally practical."

Student: Isabelle Kleijn
Award: Australian Interior Decoration Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course: UNSW, Interior Architecture (Hons)
Instagram: @i.kleijn
Tutor:
 Eva Lloyd


A photograph of Black Out, an app which aims to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle

Black Out by Madison Chan
Australian Visual Communication Design Graduate of the Year – Joint National Winner

"Chan is a strong visual communicator, presenting projects that were mature beyond her years.

"Her love of design is evident in the quality of her work, executing exceptionally well-considered, refined, and balanced designs.

"Having already won numerous awards, Chan has a strong future ahead of her."

Student: Madison Chan
Award:
Australian Visual Communication Design Graduate of the Year – Joint National Winner
Course: University of Technology Sydney, Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Visual Communication
Tutor: Zoe Sadokierski


A photograph of Greening, a mobile app that aims to help people live a more sustainable lifestyle

Greening by Erin McConnell
Australian Visual Communication Design Graduate of the Year – Joint National Winner

"McConnell has developed strong practical skills including undertaking user research, user experience and interface design and human cantered design.

"McConnell has displayed a keenness to continually learn and interested in using design and technology to deliver thoughtful solutions to affect social and environmental causes.

"Having also won several awards, McConnell is an invited member of the International Society of Typographic Designers."

Student: Erin McConnell
Award:
Australian Visual Communication Design Graduate of the Year – Joint National Winner
Course: 
Swinburne University of Technology, School of Design, Bachelor of Design (Communication Design, Honours)
Tutor:
Christopher Waller


A photograph of Rinse Repeat

Rinse Repeat by Tim Lutton
Australian Industrial / Product Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner

"In what is always a strong field, the jury was struck by Lutton's approach by way of research to understand and experience a problem, to propose a design solution.

"Sketching, prototyping, and testing were evident as Lutton's strengths in finding solutions, along with strong conceptual thinking, continual iteration, and stakeholder engagement all displayed in a clear graphic manner.

"All three projects presented had a strong understanding of User Cantered design and Designing for the Circular Economy.

"Dedicated to giving back, Lutton has continually engaged with teaching, advising, and volunteer work, mentor those who are studying or are interested in design. Tim clearly has a passion for design."

Student: Tim Lutton
Award:
Australian Industrial / Product Design Graduate of the Year – National Winner
Course:
RMIT University, Bachelor Industrial Design (Honours)
Instagram:
@tim_lutton_industrial
Tutor: 
Juliette Anic

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the Design Institute of Australia. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.