by Tess McCabe
There are many, many University and TAFE design courses in a number of disciplines on offer in this city, and for that reason I was surprised at the small turnout to the DIAs 5-minute-feedback session at BMW Edge on Friday. Considering it’s July, theoretically there should be a plethora of students winding up their degrees and preparing their folios for the few entry-level graduate positions that will be on offer early in the new year. To have someone in your prospective design industry review your portfolio of student work and offer suggestions and improvements, at a time when you can implement those suggestions before getting serious about landing a job, seems like an opportunity too good to pass up.
Speaking to some of the students who did take part in the feedback sessions, their dedication to becoming better designers and their awareness of the competition within their industries for employment opportunities was clear. They also seemed to display a healthy respect for those with experience in the industry and welcomed constructive criticism from practitioners in other design strains.
When I spoke to some of the professional designers, the consensus was that they were always on the lookout for fresh new talent, and that they were ready and willing to offer those present encouragement, and constructive criticism, on student work and portfolio presentation styles. Monique McNamara from Up and Up Creative was keen to offer information as to how young designers could combine sustainability practices into their career. Many, such as Shaynna Blaze-Vaughan of Blank Canvas Interiors, were happy to engage students in discussion about what to expect as an entry-level designer within an established studio.
For more information on upcoming DIA events aimed at both students and professionals, visit their website.