Featured Graduates

Amber G.

February 2014

Amber just graduated from RMIT in Melbourne. With many projects under her belt already (including a short film) Amber has also had a 5 month stint in The Netherlands! If that isn't enough prompt for you to read on – she's also interning at The Hungry Workshop. Yeah, amazing right?!

Any personal projects you have to share?

One of my favourite projects from the past year is a collaboration I did with with Madeleine Baud, which was a study in failure we called Belly Up. Nobody likes failure. We don’t like to talk about it, we don’t like to experience it, and we certainly don’t like others to know we experience it. But what is failure? Inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, a practice that celebrates failure in broken crockery by emphasising cracks with gold resin, Belly Up is a short film, an installation and an exploration of the phenomena of failure and its impact on us. We explored what happens when you specifically set out to take a success (intact crockery) and turn it into a failure (broken crockery). If you break it, have you succeeded at failure? What if you don't? Have you failed to fail? Is that even possible? Our aim was not to shift paradigms, only to re-assess the influence this one little word has on our lives.

Whats your plan now you've graduated?

This question terrifies me sometimes. For now, the main thing is to finish my personal branding (I've finally thought of a name to work under that doesn't use my unpronounceable last name), and getting in contact with a couple of studios to find out if they've got any positions or internships opening up (and keeping my eyes open for any other opportunities). I'm very keen to continue studying, and am considering doing Masters - somewhere. I'd love to go to Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands, or somewhere else overseas, but I'll have to see if that actually happens. I'm hoping to do some more personal projects and collaborations, a short course in something I've not done before (Ceramics? Botanical illustration? Linguistics?) and hopefully create a killer application for Fabrica. I realised I like doing videos, and would like to do some more of that. The same goes for bookbinding.

What extra curricular activities have you taken part in whilst studying to boost you work experience/networks?

I've had some great opportunities from being very involved in "i'mmature", the RMIT end of year show. This was an incredible experience - very challenging, but very rewarding too. I was involved in a lot of aspects of the show, from fleshing out the concept, to the branding, the marketing, the publication and spatial management, and got to meet a lot of interesting people along the way. It was great being involved in something that other people got excited about as well, especially when we finally put the personalised poster invites out on doors, windows and walls of specific studios. The conversation this generated was fantastic.
There were a couple of other things I did during my studies that were helpful, one of them being an exchange to Utrecht, The Netherlands, in the second year of my course. This five-month stint in Europe was a great way to open up my thinking. My interest in conceptual design was strengthened, and the way I approach projects changed. I also took part in the Threesome Exhibition, through which I got to work with James Yencken and Shane Loorham from Liquorice, and recent grad James Eagle. Although I didn't do any internships while I was studying, I'm very excited to be interning with Jenna, Simon and Adam from The Hungry Workshop at the moment.

Dream job in Australia?

I'd like to use design not just to sell things, but to improve things. I want to find out what design can be, not just what it already is. I'm interested in collaboration and conceptual design. If I could find all of that in a job, I couldn't have much more to ask for.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Away from home, usually. Outside? Galleries and museums, bookshops, cafes, a walk down the road, people. Conversations and questions are a great source of inspiration for me.

Give us 5 fun design things to do in your city!

I think this turned out to be a list of things I wish I did more often.
1. I've been meaning to go to Melbourne Now, so there's one!
2. There's a shop on Lonsdale street called Wunderkammerwhich sells taxidermy, mounted insects, scientific instruments, those kinds of things.
3. In The Nicholas Building, on Swanston Street, is World Food Books, which I've never been to (yet), but I stumbled onto their website a while ago, which mentions that they sell rare and out-of-print books, journals, monographs and other things, so it seems like it should be worth a visit.
4. Third Drawer Downand the Museum of Art Souvernirs Store. ("It’s like visiting all the best museum stores in one spot").
5. People watching.


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