Multidisciplinary artist and designer Mirika Guffin has been announced as the Queensland Graduate of the Year by the Design Institute of Australia.
The Queensland College of Art Visual Communication Design graduate was also awarded the Graduate of the Year Award (GOTYA) in Graphic Design.
Mirika strives to use earth-friendly materials and products in her work, ranging from recycled papers to water-based inks, natural fibres and organic clay compounds.
“As a designer, I believe in embracing the processes and methods of manual production and creating hand-made goods in a move towards a more sustainable future,” she explains.
Convenor of Visual Communication Design at the QCA, Mr Tristan Schultz, says the GOTYA “provides emerging designers with a great platform to reflect critically on their work, synthesise their position and proudly present themselves to the world.”
“Our QCA finalists and winners are connecting social, cultural, political, and economic contexts, while embracing ethical and sustainable design practices with intersections across both commercial and social communication practice based interests,” he says.
“This kind of 21st century design education recognised by industry and judges selecting several finalists, a Graphic Design winner and overall winner from QCA firmly validates that these kinds of politically engaged students are increasingly sought after in industry now!”
Olivia Mathisen, DIA Queensland President says the annual awards recognize the importance of acknowledging the determination, ambition and extended efforts that Queensland’s design students go to in order to graduate.
“All nominees were hand selected by lecturers as the stand outs for their year and it’s certainly a positive sign of the strong future for the state’s design industry,” she says.
“Mirika’s work was not only thought provoking, but showed a depth of understanding of both brief and target audience.
“The judges felt that Mirika’s approach to sustainable design practices and desire for social change added an extra dimension to her work, producing creative solutions that are not only aesthetically pleasing but truly capture the hearts and minds of the desired audience.”
As Australia’s peak industry body for professional design, the Design Institute of Australia represents Australian design and designers both domestically and internationally.
The Graduate of the Year Award (GOTYA) is a portfolio-based DIA program that rewards the highest standards of excellence in final year undergraduate design students or recent graduates.