Griffith University: QCA graduates scoop Design Institute Awards

Griffith University alumnus Hannah Bryce has been named Queensland Graduate of the Year by the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).

The Queensland College of Art (QCA) design graduate won the visual communications category. Fellow QCA design graduate Cory Lo was named runner-up. This marks the second year in a row that QCA graduates have been recognised as the best design talent in the state.

Industry recognition

Hannah’s award-winning design work
Hannah’s innovative final year projects were applauded by the industry judging panel and included a journaling app for empty nesters, an AR-enabled animated book exploring fake news and a typography book celebrating talented First Nations teens.

She said she was delighted to be honoured by the DIA.

“It feels amazing to be the Queensland graduate of the year,” she said.

“As a designer, this is the first time I’ve been recognised by the industry and it was great to get that validation.

“All of the work I submitted was from my final year at QCA and drew on my own experiences.

“The beauty of studying design at QCA was that we had the freedom to make some pretty awesome personal projects.”

Pushing the boundaries of design
Hannah, who was snapped up by a local creative agency after graduating from the QCA, said emerging designers were pushing the boundaries with augmented reality, 3D and user experience design.

“I see a lot of young designers expanding into new spaces, which is really exciting,” she said.

“Creativity is a way of life for me and it’s great to explore the different ways you can bring together design and technology.”

Both Hannah and Cory participated in the QCA’s work integrated design studio, Liveworm.

Hannah said Liveworm provided a stepping-stone between university and life in the design industry.

“It gave us real-time feedback from designers and we got experience at pitching our concepts to clients and then seeing them out in the world, which is really similar to a creative studio,” Hannah said.

“At uni, I just tried to do absolutely everything I could. I got amazing opportunities – I did the Hackathon, Adobe jams and got the opportunity to design the Griffith diary one year.”

Creating design leaders

Liveworm Creative Director Dr David Sargent
Creative Director of Liveworm Dr David Sargent said Hannah and Cory were standout students and future design leaders.

“They are smart and switched on with a great work ethic,” he said.

“Both Hannah and Cory are passionate about the possibilities of design and producing really interesting work.

“These awards are about finding the people who are going to be the future leaders in the design field.

“A lot of our graduates are now working in industries that didn’t exist when they started their degree.

“To be recognised as one of the best emerging designers in Australia is pretty exciting.”

World-class design destination

Prof. Elisabeth Findlay
QCA Director Professor Elisabeth Findlay said the DIA honours reflected the high calibre of teaching and learning in the Bachelor of Design program.

“We are thrilled that our graduates have been recognised as among the best in Australia,” she said.

“Our Design students are mentored by faculty members who are academic scholars and industry leaders. They also enjoy outstanding opportunities at our world-class studios at South Bank and the Gold Coast.”

The DIA Graduate of the Year Awards (GOTYA) is a portfolio-based program that rewards the highest standards of excellence in final year or recent design graduates.

The Queensland finalists will be in the running for the national awards, held in late October.