14th Mar 17

DIA Queensland recognises top design students

Design industry leaders, educators and professionals celebrated the cream of the design graduate crop at Design Institute of Australia’s Queensland Graduate of the Year Awards (DIAQ GOTYA) at Brickworks on Wednesday 8 March 2017.

Olivia Mathisen, DIA Queensland President said “The Design Institute of Australia are proud to host these awards annually, and recognize the importance of acknowledging the determination, ambition and extended efforts that Queensland’s design students go to in order to graduate. All nominees have been hand selected by lecturers as the stand outs for their year, and it’s certainly a positive sign of the strong future for the state’s design industry.”

The Graduate of the Year Award (GOTYA) is a portfolio-based DIA program that rewards the highest standards of excellence in final year undergraduate design students or recent graduates.

Educators in each state are invited annually to nominate their top design students to their state level GOTYA program, with each student submitting three different studio projects prior to attending an interview with judges.

The finalists of this year's GOTYA's in Queensland are:

Allison Pollard - Interior Design
Queensland University of Technology

“I love the impact that light and shadow can have upon a design, creating delicate layers to the spaces whilst being able to utilise the sites natural elements”.

Ben MacMahon - Industrial Design
Queensland University of Technology

Bens design methodology starts “with as much identification of the problem, scenario and context as possible followed by in depth research. After research, it’s a process of sketching, prototyping fast and early, testing prototypes in context, then refining and repeating”.


Briony Knowles - Interior Design
Queensland University of Technology

“My methodological approach to design emanates from my love of fiction and storytelling. Interior Design offers a space the opportunity to become rich and meaningful scene, filled with props and backdrops which direct the characters within”. 


Charles Wentworth - Industrial Design
Griffith University

“I truly believe that design has the power to alter and shift the way people perceive their environments and the things they use”.



Dalton Batt - Visual Communication Design
Design College of Australia

“I believe in good research and brainstorming followed by hand rendered roughs of the design. This first part I see as being so important in developing a strong concept which provides the backbone for whatever follows”.

Danielle Boyd - Industrial Design
Queensland University of Technology

“In a world of modern medicine and ever-accelerating technology, I believe designers have a responsibility to design that increases the quality of life for the disadvantaged”.


Dylan Sheppard - Industrial Design
Queensland University of Technology

“As a multidisciplinary designer with a diverse range of interests and a broad skill-set, my passion for developing innovative products and meaningful experiences has been formed by both academic success and industry experiences”.


Gemma Davis - Visual Communication Design
Griffith University

“My approach to a brief begins with considerable research into historical underpinnings, causation, relationality, and a consideration of my situatedness and perspective. This research is usually mapped to recognise connections and future scenarios”.


Isabelle FitzSimons Reilly - Interior Design
Griffith University

“I’m interested in being part of crafting a more sustainable future, designed to create quality liveable spaces that combine traditional artisan craft with a contemporary design aesthetic”. 


Megan Lipsys - Interior Design
Queensland University of Technology

“As a designer, it is my mission to improve the environments we are surrounded by each day. Understanding the emotional responses of the users to the environments they are in is a strong interest of mine”.

Melanie Dunn - Visual Communication Design
Design College of Australia

“I cannot imagine myself having any other career apart from design. I am very passionate about what I do and this drives me to put everything into what I do”.


Tatenda Dhoba - Industrial Design
Griffith University

“I gather inspiration from the realms of fine art, pop culture, as well as design”.



Tom Emmett - Industrial Design
Queensland University of Technology

“When beginning a project I feel a strong urge that the object that I’m designing has to have a strong ‘raison d’etre’, a clear and justified reason for existence. If it doesn’t then there’s no point birthing it to this world, as it will probably end in landfill”.


Adrian McCormack - Industrial Design
Griffith University

“Industrial  design  is  exactly  what  I  can  see  myself  doing  for  the rest  of  my  career,  as  everyday  it  excites  and  challenges  me  in  almost every  aspect  of  my life”.

Submissions are invited across a range of categories and winners will be automatically submitted to the Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards Program (AGOTYA).

Winners of the AGOTYA’s will be announced via the DIA website and social media channels. The Queensland GOTYA submissions will stay on display at Brickworks, James Street until Friday 17 March 2017.  Congratulations and best of luck to all the entrants.