Recent Whitecliffe graduate Courtney Harper (Fashion Design) took out one of the six top awards at the distinguished 2014 Australasian Graduate of the Year Award (AGOTYA).
AGOTYA is a portfolio-based awards programme for final year design students and recent design graduates in both Australia and New Zealand. Courtney Harper won first prize in Fashion and Textile Design and Michelle So won first prize in Visual Communication. Other successful entrants submitted winning designs from Monash University (VIC), Queensland College of Art, University of Technology Sydney, Massey University, Queensland University of Technology, Design Centre Enmore (NSW) and AUT.
Revered Design Institute of Australia (DIA) members and design industry professionals at DesignEX in Sydney carefully judged all entries on May 28th. The award winners were selected from six design categories: Object Design, Interior Design, Interior Decoration and Design, Visual Communication, Fashion and Textile Design and Jewellery Design.
Judges Claire Beale of RMIT University (VIC) and Christine Hunter commented on Harper’s winning fashion & textile design observing, “the winner displays a clear vision and understanding of their own practice.” The judges felt that Harper’s statement that ‘a balance between creativity, functionality and sustainability is an integral part of my design philosophy’ reflects fundamental issues within the fashion and design industry today, commenting that this approach is “refreshing and exciting to see in the emerging generation of fashion and textile designers.”
Harper explains that “my research focuses strongly on exploring and addressing the implications of the fast-fashion industry, such as the excessive waste and resource depletion we face due to the increasing speed in which clothing is consumed, discarded and replaced.” She adds “The judges clearly had a strong interest in sustainably-minded designers, which is really hopeful for the future of design, opening doors for innovation, new ideas and change towards a more sustainably-focused industry and world.”
Whitecliffe Fashion Design Head of Department Belinda Watt is thrilled that Courtney has received First Prize in the AGOTYA Fashion category recognising her work alongside other top graduates in her field. “Courtney's work during her final year at Whitecliffe represented an intelligent and thoughtful investigation into contemporary global concerns. Her graduation collection was beautifully resolved, sophisticated and displayed a sensitivity in material choice and a mastery of technique for which she was awarded the Year Four Whitecliffe Fashion Prize. Courtney was also awarded the Year Four Bachelor of Fine Arts Prize for her outstanding achievements.”
Whitecliffe would like to congratulate Courtney on her impressive achievement.