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Designing the perfect experience for students with #LIVE STYLING competition

03 Oct 2016

It’s one thing to come out of higher education with a qualification; it’s quite another, especially for potential employers, to come out with a qualification AND real life skills in the industry you’re entering.

After all, there’s quite a difference between understanding how, on paper, to design a small apartment for maximum liveability, and actually building it that way. Just ask anyone who has had to renovate their bathroom.

Melbourne Polytechnic’s innovative Live Styling collaboration with Eussen Living is giving students who are doing Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration the opportunity to test their training in a real-world challenge that will be increasingly required in a growing niche of high-density living. They have to convert two small rooms in the old Prahran’s Mechanic’s Institute shopfront on High Street, Prahran, into liveable spaces using the very latest in design products and trends.

“This type of opportunity for budding designers doesn’t come around very often,” says John Eussen of Eussen Living, one of the architects of this project.

“Not only do the students get incredibly valuable experience seeing their designs come to life, they also get to work with experts and leading edge suppliers in the design field. They are exposed to the very latest in design trends, in terms of what is going to make an impact on housing design over the next twelve to eighteen months.

“They get the chance to get ahead of the curve compared to what their peers are doing.”

The two finalists, Paige Talbot and Talisa Tarsia, were selected in a competitive ‘bidding’ process, where eighteen students had to pitch their designs to a judging panel.

“It’s a bit of a stressful experience, but it reflects the real world,” says Linda Bistricic, interior design teacher. “When they are dealing with real clients, they will need to know how to present persuasively and accurately, to take their client on a journey and win the job.”

An additional requirement was incorporating the forward-looking design trends and products as briefed by the project sponsors, who are providing elements such as paint, floor and wall coverings, lighting, artwork, furniture and textiles (full list here).

Once the two apartments are completed, the public will have the chance to inspect them and cast a vote in the ‘People’s Choice’ Award, which will be announced in November. The finalists and the ultimate winner will be featured in the premier national design magazines, Grand Designs Australia and Home Design.

Keep an eye on our Live Styling blog and the Melbourne Polytechnic Facebook page for the announcement of the opening of People’s Choice Award voting!

And in the meantime, wander past the old Prahran Mechanic’s Institute at Melbourne Polytechnic’s campus, 144 High Street Prahran, and see if you can spot what is going on behind the curtain…


Photos: Talisa Tarsia (main photo) and Paige Talbot (above), with their winning designs.


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Media Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or ua.ud1561459647e.cin1561459647hcety1561459647lopen1561459647ruobl1561459647em@ai1561459647dem1561459647

Melbourne Polytechnic operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational and higher education in industry-standard facilities.