Graphic Design Young Gun Scoops Gold

North Metropolitan TAFE graphic design student Chris Williamson from Warnbro has just returned home from the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition (6-8 October, Melbourne) donning a gold medal.

Chris (aged 17) was one of 500 participants aged 16-24 competing across 60 different skills areas in the competition which has been dubbed Australia’s largest trades and skills showcase.

Chris competed in the Graphic Design category against seven other students for six hours each day over three days. Chris had to plan and design the branding, packaging and advertising for a specific company. His work was assessed by a panel of industry experts and he was awarded a gold medal.

“Winning gold in this competition means everything to me,” said Chris. “I was up against people who had already graduated, who were working in the industry and it proves to me that in the future, I should be able to get out there and do some pretty amazing stuff.”

Chris may now be selected to represent Australia as a Skillaroo at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in October 2017 and compete against over 70 member countries.

After completing Year 10 at Warnbro Community High School, Chris enrolled in the combined Certificate III & IV in Printing and Graphic Arts at North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge. Now in the final term of the Diploma of Graphic Design, Chris believes that his TAFE studies have put him on the road to success.

“I’ve gone from knowing very little about Adobe PhotoShop to having internationally recognised certifications in software programs like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. The quality of the TAFE lecturers and the training I’ve received at TAFE is phenomenal – every skill I know has come from my training.”

North Metropolitan TAFE Graphic Design Production Lecturer Chris Schnell was proud of Chris’ gold medal win but said he wasn’t surprised given his skills, knowledge and dedication.

“Chris worked on several live work projects during his studies so he went into this competition with the very best technical skills to create high quality design projects up to industry standards,” said Mr Schnell. “This combined with his creative mind and approach has seen him compete against some older competitors and have so much success at such a young age.”

Chris plans to complete the Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design next year and look for employment within a graphic design agency. Ultimately he’d like to work in Sweden or Germany for a large agency where he’ll get the opportunity to work on some exciting designs and brands.

Ringmaster of the Design Circus

When Central design students enter a competition it’s a pretty safe bet that they will be up there with the best and this year’s Mobilia Design Circus competition was no exception.

Central Industrial Design students were awarded first, second and third place at the recent Design Circus competition run by Mobilia and partnered by Spanish Lighting Manufacturer Santa and Cole.

Entrants designed their own rendition of Santa and Cole’s ‘Head Hats’, hanging lamps with shades, with the winner receiving an all expenses paid trip to Barcelona to visit the company.

Mobilia contacted Central course manager Peter Kitely to invite students to participate. The competition became the second semester design project for first and second year students, with third year student Kristina Melnikova also entering.

Peter Kitely discusses the work with Nina Maso
Peter Kitely discusses the work with Nina Maso

The competition was open to the whole WA design community, but the winners and shortlisted designs were dominated by Central.

Kristina Melnikova was awarded first prize, Katherine Graham second and Do Pepper third, with the remainder of the ten shortlisted designs all submitted by Central students.

The judges were consistently impressed with the creativity and content of the designs, with the overwhelming comment being “we would never have thought of that”. The panel included:

  • Nina Masó – Co- Founder of Santa and Cole
  • Jordi Nadal – Santa and Cole International Export Manager
  • Salvatore Fazzari – Mobilia
  • Antonio Navarro – Art Director of Kettal
  • Jonathon Levien – Doshi Levien Studio

The three Central students were presented their prizes at the annual DIA WA (Design Institute of Australia) Award night on 3 December.

Following their first and second places, Kristina and Katherine will have their lighting designs put into production and featured in the Santa and Cole global catalogue.

Following Central’s success, designer Pepe Garcia of Culdesac and curator of the Design Circus, has offered to run a series of workshops next year for Central Design students.

Kitely 1edit

Success to Counterpoint Design

It’s funny how often a parent or grandparent can unknowingly inspire and direct us down a certain path. For Peter Milligan, the unsuspecting catalyst was Grandad Frank.

Peter, an Industrial Design Advanced Diploma student, recently won the Beacon Lighting Award for his Counterpoint Light, at the Furnitex VIVID event held in Melbourne earlier this year.

His inspiration stemmed from his childhood where he watched his grandad tinker and fix household items.

“My grandad Frank was a pretty extraordinary handyman, fixing things and solving household hiccups with basic hand-tools and salvage yard materials.  As a kid I watched him tinkering with vacuum cleaners and wooden toys in his meticulously ordered shed”, Peter said.

Peter didn’t go directly into design; he completed a double degree in chemistry and geology first, which he now uses to inform his design. He enjoys finding alternate ways to do things through experimentation and an unwillingness to accept the status quo.

Peter’s award winning light, demonstrates his ability to think outside the box, without compromising on a simple, striking and balanced design.

The Counterpoint Light consists of a stoneware base, a carbon rod and 3D printed plastic cone. While the materials themselves are common enough, the way the materials are assembled is unconventional.

“It is a balancing act but it’s also a very simple mechanism. The weight of the ceramic base is important and again I’m not sure if it was a happy accident or a familiarity with the material that lead me to it first”, Peter said.

Central students consistently lead the nation in contemporary design and this year is no exception. Congratulations Peter on receiving the Beacon Lighting Award for 2015.

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Industry Benchmark for Industrial Designers

Year on year Central Industrial Design students out perform student designers across Australia and this year is no exception, with current and former Central students taking out half of all the honours at a recent industry award night.

Central students collected three of a possible six awards at the Australian Furniture Association’s (AFA) Australian Contemporary Emerging (ACE) Design Awards in Melbourne.


The event, held from the 9-12 of July at the Royal Exhibition Building, is designed to promote the development of emerging Australian design talent.

The ACE awards are open to students and practicing designers with the aim of presenting designs to industry for review, critique and discussion related to commercial opportunities and linking designers with manufacturers.


This year approximately 50 designs were selected for the ACE Awards exhibition. Once again, students and recent graduates of the Industrial Design program at Central were by far and away the most widely represented institution.

A highlight of the event was seeing the number of former graduates at the event. It shows not only their commitment to developing a career in design but their ability to compete and perform at the highest level.

The three ACE awards won by either current of former Central students were:

Kristina Melnikova – Moxie Chair

(Current student Advanced Diploma ID)

Kianoosh Kavoosi – Orbit Table

(2014 Graduate Adavanced Diploma ID)

Jack Flanagan / Calum Campbell – Grain Stool

(2012 / 2013 Graduates Advanced Diploma ID)


Making the wins of these designers even more special is the announcement by the AFA that ACE Award Winners would be offered exhibition space at the AFA’s International Pavilion as part of an Australian Trade Mission in the London Design Festival later in the year.

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Kyle’s taking design skills to Dallas

Certificate III in Printing and Graphic Arts (Graphic Design Production) student Kyle Falzon blew away judges at the national level of the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship, and is now off to Dallas, Texas to represent Australia and compete in the global competition. Kyle (pictured above right) was presented his award by the national competition organiser, XCERIO’s CEO, JB Tinker (above left).

“The Adobe competition was a great opportunity for a young designer like myself. It was a new experience working under such a strict deadline. I was initially shocked by the amount of work we had to do, but as the day progressed I found the competition easier,” Kyle said.

The calibre and number of Central printing and graphic arts students who entered the national competition made judges sit up and take notice. In fact the judges made a decision to relocate the competition to Perth this year, with Central acting as the host venue. This year’s judges were impressed by the high exam scores, application of Adobe products to industry standards, quality execution and the creative solutions shown.

Judging table at Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship,
Judging table at Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championship.

Ten Central students were selected to compete in the National Championship, which consisted of a real-world design brief challenge, set by 2015 Charity Partner, The Big Issue. The brief consisted of two poster designs and a vendor postcard design. You can see the final designs on XCERIO’s website.

First, second and third prize winners were all Central students, with Claudia Donovan-Hicks winning second prize and Irra Mamangun winning third place. Claudia and Irra won cash prizes and all the finalists won a new WACOM tablet.

“I am very excited to attend the World Championships in August. It is going to be an amazing experience representing Australia and it will look fantastic on my resume regardless!” Kyle said.

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Making Houses Livable

Walking up stairs, going to the bathroom, having a shower and even getting through the front door are things most of us take for granted, to the point that we forget the importance of such simple essentials.

Central Building and Residential Design students were charged with designing a ‘Liveable Home’, an accommodation that incorporates universal access. Awards were on offer to the students with the best designs.

Liveable Homes is an initiative by the Disability Services Commission, designed to increase the number of homes in WA built with universal access with the ultimate goal to make it standard practice.

Mark Hutson, Senior Disability Access and Inclusion Officer, described the Liveable Homes project as both socially responsible and financially sustainable and it already has backing from leading WA building firms.

‘Creating Liveable Homes is economically and socially sustainable because not only does it make the home available to more people, it also requires far less modification in the future for people with temporary or long term disability’, he said.

Professionally presenting their final designs, the Central students had to include the six essential features of a Liveable Home, while adhering to Australian building regulations.

This included a flat level walkway to the entrance, wide entrance doorways, wide internal doorways and halls, accessible toilet on the entry level, an accessible shower of the entry level and reinforced walls in the bathrooms and toilet.

Michael Pitsonis and Michelle Jessup earned the Liveable Home design awards, while Niall Blaney was highly commended, but the students weren’t without their challenges.

‘The stairs were the biggest challenge, the shape of the block made having the stairs suitable for a stairlift really difficult’, Niall said.

Congratulation to the winners and everyone involved in the project.

For more Information on Liveable Homes click here

Interior Design students’ outside celebrations

A crazy, vibrant, revolutionary, rebel was just one of the Central Institute of Technology graduates celebrating the completion of their Interior Design degree last week.

Peru born Christian Oshiro has also described himself as both ‘curious’ and ‘colour-fool’.  A broad spectrum of characteristics, that reflects the wide range of talent completing the Associate Degree of Interior Design (Commercial) that Central runs in partnership with the design school Billy Blue.

The unique course offers students the chance to acquire skills to create state-of-the-art commercial interiors in both the physical and digital world.

They develop their creativity to respond and adapt to the ever-changing drivers of commercial environments, such as retail stores and exhibitions, hotels, bars, restaurants, night clubs, workspaces and even the design of online, virtual commercial environments.

The nine happy graduates celebrated the completion of their training. A learning journey which taught them how commercial interiors can engage an audience, and gave them all an opportunity to apply theory to practice, by inventing a range of commercial interior design solutions for real clients.

billy blue 3

Graduate Kerrie Allen found the course a rewarding challenge.

“This degree and experience has been nothing short of intense. I have studied all throughout a relatively long career so far, in many demanding industries, and it didn’t prepare me for what was ahead.  We were the inaugural Billy Blue students of Perth and although it wasn’t a perfect journey, it was a real one, and that’s far more valuable”, she said.

“Design is underestimated – in business, in society and in the community. It is complex, intricate and above all, it is a way of life for those that pursue it”, she added.

“If there is one thing I have learned that will never appear on a course outline or a project brief, is that design is a method of thinking that can be applied to anything.  My eyes are now wide open to a world of opportunity that stems from what we have just completed.”

While in Peru, Christian gained his first degree in Architecture and gained experience in several architectural firms in Lima from 2001 to 2004. Heading off to Japan, he has travelled the world and worked in a variety of areas outside of architecture.

Now settled in Perth, Christian’s design flair was well illustrated with a recent award win.  He won the coveted National Samsung Staron Design Award in the concept category for his Kokoro shoe stand.  The mid-floor, heart shaped, shoe display was created for boutique store Melissa.

picture care of Samsung Staron Solid Surfaces
picture care of Samsung Staron Solid Surfaces

Kerrie and Christian both received individual awards at the graduation ceremony.  Kerrie won the HE Outstanding Award (Highest Grade Point Average) while Christian took out the HE Engagement Award (Most Engaged Student)

Off the back of live projects they worked on together, Christian and Kerrie realised that they shared many outlooks, including both wanting to affect change within the design industry. This included a desire to see designers of all disciplines collaborating and working together. A situation where designers move forward both independently and as a collective.

Their mutual ambition has given birth to Guerrilla Creative. This new collective aims to boost Perth’s ongoing journey as a cultural, innovative place in which to live.

Congratulations to all the graduates who look perfectly placed to help tackle this challenge.

Find out more about Central’s interior design courses