DIA RMIT Industrial Design Event

In what was probably the biggest get together of industrial designers ever assembled in Australia, the DIA’s RMIT Industrial Design Reunion, was held on Friday 25 August 2016. The Melbourne Order, opposite RMIT’s famous Storey Hall in Swanston St was heaving with approximately 150+ designers catching-up with fellow graduates many of whom they hadn’t seen in years.

Denis Smitka, Kate Bissett-Johnson both lecturers, and myself within my capacity of DIA Practice Group Co-ordinator for Industrial Design, formed a self-styled committee to organise the event.

The evening was a huge success in bringing together graduates and lecturers from a diverse range of ages (the earliest graduates I found were Jon Beck and Phill Zmood from the early sixties).

Highlight attendees included legends of the design industry in Australia, such as Rob Pataki and Gerry Musset, and academic heavyweights Helmut Lueckenhausen and Harold Mead. Cobalt Design was well represented with all of our 4 RMIT graduates attending.

A visual highlight of the night was the slideshow of images compiled by Ian Wong and Kate Bissett-Johnson, presenting some classic student work (and awful eighties haircuts).

This DIA event (generously sponsored by ARRK) was organised to promote grass-root connections between designers, many of whom have no regular links within the broader design community. Despite the numbers there were still over 800 graduates that didn’t attend, but hopefully now that a database has commenced we can make the next event even more inclusive. There are plans to hold similar events for other ID courses, at Swinburne and Monash, during 2007.