GOTYA Award success at iscd!

Posted by iscd@admin on March 27

Each year iscd nominates our top graduating students into the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA). We recently caught up with two of our Interior Design Graduates who were both shortlisted for the Interior Design and Decoration category.

 

Larissa Gerritsen

 

Tell us a bit about yourself, what brought you to study design? Where are you hoping to take your creative journey now you’ve graduated?

I grew up in rural South Australia where there was an abundance of creative space, in a way exploring in connection with nature’s materials became a core value. In my twenties I lived in London, Dublin, Toronto and Sydney, working in legal and finance. After I had my daughter, an active interest in design developed and a friend recommended studying the Certificate IV with iscd and I knew it was the right career path. I then continued on to the Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration online after moving from Sydney to Adelaide.

Currently, I’m building my portfolio and website for my own design studio based in Glenelg, SA. I am also working on two opposing style and sized projects; a 1970 townhouse and a previously neglected 1900 home in rural SA. The former involves resurfacing and furnishing within budget restrictions. The later includes structural changes to a stunning homestead with depth in layers of old stone. It’s heritage a primary influence and the project is full of surprises like discovering a hidden cellar the owners weren’t aware of!

How did you feel when you got told you’d been shortlisted for a GOTYA Award?

Incredibly pleased to have the recognition, as well as the short-term combination of nervous-excitement at the prospect of verbalising my designs on the day. The judges were friendly, professional and the polished creatives expected to represent the DIA.

How would you describe your time at iscd?

Without exaggeration, fabulous. It very much altered my perspective of online communication and its possibilities. The course, particularly the discussion boards, were open and comprehensive, the educators and other students were encouraging and an important influence on results. I studied with another institution for a short time between studying the Certificate IV and the Diploma but moved back to iscd for its current trend base and high standard.  When I studied on campus in Sydney there was the same atmosphere of professionalism and trend awareness as part of the real design world rather than operating separately.

What are the most valuable things you’ve learnt throughout your creative journey so far?

My approach is team-community based and each designer has unique strengths, design communication and knowledge in the many forms available. This brings out your own strengths. I know I won’t reach a place where enough is enough, and am constantly looking, reading and exploring which is my biggest driver. Both these aspects are what I value most.

How would you describe your educators at iscd?

I hold the educators in the highest regard. They are tasked with a diverse mix of personalities and styles yet are able to apply positive personalised guidance while bringing the students together. Their advice was always practical, relevant and gently pushes you creatively further than your own expectations.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking about studying design?

Go for it! There is an energy in not having it all sorted at the beginning or an established style, so use that. Your strengths and direction will develop along the way.

Online studies are particularly exciting for locations where students haven’t previously had many or any institutions able to study design courses.

Larissa Gerritsen GOTYA submission board.

Instagram: @_gerritsen_

Pinterest: /gerritsen/

Lesley Hamlyn

 

Tell us a bit about yourself, what brought you to study design? Where are you hoping to take your creative journey now you’ve graduated?

I have a background in filmmaking and photography and have always had an eye for detail, design and composition. During my time away from work while caring for my young kids, I discovered a love of interior design and was inspired to harness my creativity forging a new path in this direction. I’m now running my own business, Hamlyn & Co, based on the Northern Beaches in Sydney and every day is different. Some days I’m pulling together colour and finishes palettes or sourcing furniture, some days I’m space planning and other days I’m dreaming up creative ways to solve everyday problems. I’m currently working on a number of exciting residential projects and looking forward to sharing pictures of the finished spaces on my website.

How did you feel when you got told you’d been shortlisted for a GOTYA Award?

I was thrilled to have my hard work recognised and for the opportunity to submit it for judging by industry experts outside of iscd. I spent a good week of my summer break putting together A2 boards and a bio for submission. In February I found out I was a finalist and was invited for an interview with the judging panel to talk about my work. While a little scary, the process has given me confidence in my designs, ideas and the way that I communicate them.

How would you describe your time at iscd?

Long! I completed my diploma part time over 3 years of study with a 6 month break between the 2nd and 3rd year. One of the great things about iscd are the flexible pathways to complete your qualification. This was great for me as I could balance the needs of my family with my studies.

What are the most valuable things you’ve learnt throughout your creative journey so far?

Firstly, it’s that you can never know everything! It’s ok to ask questions and there are always going to be new and interesting products and ideas to discover. Secondly, it’s the importance of honing a creative concept and not coming to a project with preconceived ideas. This was a bit of a light bulb moment for me and I feel the success of my final commercial project can be attributed to this process in the early stages. And lastly, that ideas are not right or wrong. There are usually many ways to achieve the same outcome and as a designer my job is to come up with one that suits the aesthetic, functionality and clients’ wishes.

How would you describe your educators at iscd?

Diverse! The educators I’ve had over the last few years all come from different backgrounds and have different passions and skill sets. I feel like they’ve all left an impression on me, whether it’s a love of colour, appreciation of architecture or advice on running a business in the real world.

Do you have any advice for someone thinking about studying design?

If you love it, just do it! Give it all you’ve got, push yourself, work hard and ask questions! You really will get out what you put into it. I’ve loved the journey and only wish I had started sooner.

Lesley Hamlyn work

Website – hamlynandco.com.au
Instagram – @hamlynandco
If you are interested in interiors, contact iscd to find out more about our range of short courses and accredited diplomas available. Life’s too short not to follow your passion!
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