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CIT Students Showcase Design Prowess for National Competition

Published: 09 Jun 2016

Interior Design
CIT finalists Melinda Gibbs, Emma Miles, Belinda MacDonnell and Karene Costello. Absent: winner Katrina Ramm

Thirty-five CIT interior design students recently took up the challenge to create a real-life design solution for the national Home Design & eussen Living Student Design Awards 2016, with the national finalists now open to the public for a people's choice award.

The challenge was to imagine a design for Barangaroo House - student housing in Sydney for rural Indigenous bursary recipients and their families. The project brief required the participants to update the housing into a contemporary space that is inviting, inclusive and culturally sensitive.

The national competition draws entries from design schools around Australia and the state finalists are judged by an industry panel as well as by the public for the people's choice award.

CIT's designs contributed to the students' studies in 'designing residential interiors', with the entries then peer appraised to shortlist five finalists. The finalists through this process went forward to the judging panel to determine the territory's winning design.

The ACT's winning student, Katrina Ramm, said the project offered some very interesting challenges that made it quite a unique experience.

"It was a really fun and interesting project. We had to focus on outdoor living, so it involved a bit of landscaping which was a bit different," Katrina says.

"It also required a lot of research to get the cultural elements right and include things that have universal meaning."

Across the final CIT designs, creativity was not in short order. For her design, Katrina focused on creating an inviting, communal outdoor space.

"I incorporated large, bifold doors to almost make the outdoors and indoors one space. The outside includes some sunken seating around a fire pit to have an area where people can come together in the evening and tell stories."

"Everybody worked so hard, I definitely wasn't sure who had the winning design!"

CIT's interior design coordinator, Julianne Abbot, says the project was a chance for the students to get real industry experience and recognition.

"This project was very typical of what happens in industry and required the students to work within the legal compliances of the building industry.

"In their classes they learn all the skills they need, but are able to develop their own style and take on their own personality through their work, which can be seen in their competition designs."

While the competition pushed the students to their limits, the finalists say it was great for their development across many aspects of the design process.

"The project extended us all and improved our overall skills," says CIT finalist Melinda Gibbs. "It was a very steep learning curve, but wow, we all feel like we've learnt a lot!"

"It was great to be able to present our work to some really high-profile industry professionals. It was a really good experience," said CIT finalist Emma Miles.

See Katrina's design and vote for your favourite finalist at: