In summary

  • Swinburne students collaborated with About Space Lighting, resulting in several student-designed lamps being put into production.

  • Students were presented with a challenge to design a table lamp within specific parameters while maintaining creative freedom.

  • Four winning designs have hit the shelves, highlighting Swinburne's commitment to project-based educational experiences for students.

Four eye-catching student designs have hit the shelves after a successful collaboration between About Space Lighting and Swinburne University of Technology. 

About Space proposed a student design competition to support budding industrial designers after both organisations sponsored an exhibition at the ACMI Museum of Screen Culture.

Associate Professor Charles Ranscombe led the project in Semester 2, 2022, presenting students with a challenge: to design a table lamp within specific parameters while maintaining creative freedom. The students rose to the occasion, submitting 38 unique designs. About Space provided ongoing feedback and support, guiding the students through two workshop sessions.

The competition culminated in the selection of four exceptional winners: Kieran Lewis, Sarah Van Der Schans, Oliver Gooding and Catherine Walton. These winners worked closely with About Space to refine their designs, which are now available for purchase on About Space's website and in their showrooms. 

Designed by Kieran Lewis: Sol Table Lamp

Kieran Lewis's design, the Sol Table Lamp, blends technology, craftsmanship and a unique design philosophy.

"My initial reaction to the brief was obviously excitement. I drew something that kind of resembled someone huddled over in the cold," Kieran said. 

“Currently, I am working in R&D for a furniture company – I asked my boss why did you want to give me the job? He said that he saw the lamp from my portfolio and that was such a big tick for him.” 

His design journey, from engineering to industrial design, highlights the transformative power of project-based educational experiences at Swinburne.  

Designed by Sarah Van Der Schans: Noa Table Lamp

Sarah Van Der Schans designed the Noa Table Lamp, which emphasizes user interaction and flexibility. 

"It was a really nice opportunity to do some lighting design, which I hadn’t done before. I really wanted something that the user could interact with and move themselves," Sarah said. 

She also emphasized the career benefits of this project, noting, "I found it really rewarding to work with an industry partner - it gives me a bit of an edge coming out of university and it’s also been an opportunity to network with About Space."

Associate Professor Charlie Ranscombe praised the students' efforts and the partnership's impact.  

"When doing these sorts of projects with industry, unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed - so the fact that four of them have made it onto the shelves is thrilling. It has absolutely exceeded expectations," he said.

This collaboration underscores Swinburne's commitment to providing students with hands-on experience and industry engagement. By participating in real-world projects like this, students are better equipped to transition into their professional careers, armed with practical skills and a portfolio of tangible achievements.

The final products stand as a testament to the value of industry connections, work-integrated learning and supporting the next generation of designers.

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