RMIT Interior Design

Master of Interior Design
2021 Exhibition

Enter Catalogue Here

Enter Online Exhibition Here

In-person exhibition,
RMIT Design Hub Gallery
27/11: 12.30pm to 5pm.
30/11 to 3/12: 11am to 5pm

Online drinks, speeches, awards
Wednesday 1/12, 6pm – 8pm AEDT

RMIT Interior Design



Anti_Lonely City [×]

The city can be a lonely place. There is a distinct flavour to loneliness that is not just about being alone but also due to the lack of meaningful relationships and connections between people and surroundings. We proposed to reinvent these lonely gaps by initiating a process of ‘mutual osmosis’ that invites people to share our passion towards a common knowledge and culture. We aim to re-activate the hidden characters or incarnations of lonely places to bring out the space’s original essence situated in history and retrieve the memory of belonging, and through the cultural exchange to embed narratives and meanings in these lonely gaps.

Yan Liu Cultural games, Chinatown intervention
Tarika Sekur
The new Howey Place, Coles Arcade
Muqui Wang_ Peach Blossom Fantasy Perspective, Chinatown

Temporal Citizenship [×]

Preconceived notions of citizenship offer a sense of belonging to a nation, as well as privileges and responsibilities. However, as a group of interior designers, we think this notion of citizenship should be expanded from static and permanent ownership of nationality to temporal citizenship that does not need a certificate to obtain and create a sense of belonging. In this experiment, we enfolded this notion of temporal citizenship through notions of saying, listening and seeing to encourage dynamic participation with the city and perhaps create a city in a different layer.

Jiaqi Ma
Guanfeng Huang
Stephanie Siy Cha

Future of Learning [×]

Introduction [×]

Master of Interior Design Partnered Design Studio, semester 2 2021 with the GHD Woodhead.

Using design and pedagogical thinking, ‘Future of learning’ explored the senior high school campus as a hybrid and transitionary learning environment for a diverse range of students, educators, and community stakeholders. Particular emphasis was placed on how the campus could facilitate a social and relational approach to learning – a place that acknowledges senior students as capable of increasing levels of independence and autonomy in their modes of learning and interactions with the campus and others.

Working in groups - through a process of research, analysis, and design exploration - students were asked to develop a set of design principles in order to design prototypal learning environments. A key aspect of the studio was the partnership with GHD Woodhead, which allowed the students to engage with a variety of design experts and consider the newly designed Wurun Senior High School Campus as an exemplar case study. Through this partnership ideas including adaptable learning, placemaking, campus movement, and digital technologies were unpacked with the students alongside their own design-led research.

In the final major project, students were asked to design a senior campus in an identified ‘Priority Precinct’ of inner Melbourne. Learning environments needed to be flexible, social, and collaborative in approach as well as anticipating how digital technologies could be understood as an integral aspect of the physical campus. These prototypal campuses were asked to be integral to the wider community and prepare learners for the transition to the next phase of their work or learning in industry or vocational and tertiary education.

Dr Anthony Fryatt (Studio Leader)
Wuff Keeble (Studio Leader)
Lingas Tran (Studio Assistant)

Group 1_Arden Precinct [×]

High schools are not only institutions that provide a learning environment for students and staff but also function as a bridge to further studies or employment. Current education models are learner-centered and have an increased focus on the use of digital technologies. In this project, we have studied and researched the principles of contemporary learning environments with a focus on years 11-12 as a transition environment.
This prototypical design could be applied to any of the 6 new Victorian Government priority precincts and embrace the key principles: 1. centered on situated learning, 2. supported by science and technology, 3. vertical campuses, 4. sustainable development, allowing students to participate in a variety of learning activities and the freedom to choose from a variety of learning spaces to form different learning styles.
Arden, a recently designated urban renewal precinct in North Melbourne, Victoria was chosen as a location to implement our campus organisation principles. Our priorities were to establish a campus in a very sticky community, develop and design a new learning environment, and facilitate communication between the school and community institutions to achieve a process that naturally integrates the community and the campus.

It is hoped that our design will make the concept of a new learning environment more accessible to the broader community. In this space, students will be able to use the space in their own personal style and some spaces will change and evolve with it. This adventurous, fresh design of learning environment spaces can make students feel that learning is open, exciting, and full of possibilities.

Artie Zhang
Jiahe Liang
Renyuan Liu
Mia Yan

Group 2_Sunshine Precinct [×]

"Schools should strive not just to create knowledgeable for young people but people who know how to use and apply their knowledge in a way that is meaningful and valuable to them beyond the formal setting of the examination hall” (Horne, 2004).

Innovation in Learning Environment design is not limited to providing students with a comfortable learning space, but more importantly, it enables the establishment of more social relations between students and space, teachers and students, students and students, and supports self-direct learning.

In this project, we established a set of 8 design principles for the learning environments and overall organization that can be adapted for use across 6 new senior campuses in the Victorian Government Priority Precincts. We chose Sunshine, a suburb 12 km west of the Melbourne CBD, to apply our design principles and implement our ‘learning street’ prototypes. The campus and ‘learning neighbourhood’ design considered the characteristics of Sunshine and focused on 4 key principles: sociability, adaptability, outdoor learning, and the enhancement of community cohesion.

Our learning street prototypes not only focus on a conventional two-dimensional/horizontal zoning strategy of schools but also emphasise the vertical connection within the building maximizing students’ contact with nature and improving the accessibility and richness of the outdoor spaces. Overall, our intention is to create a dynamic environment not only to promote autonomous learning behaviours, attitudes, and collaboration for students but also a campus accessible to the wider community.

Guanfeng Huang
Boyang Li

Group 3_Docklands Precinct [×]

The site for this school campus is the land adjacent to Dockland Park at Victoria Harbour, Melbourne. It has a variety of art installations and an ‘artist alley’ and is close to the football stadium and a local university. This dynamic context of education, entertainment, and culture has influenced our design approach.

Our design integrates the school into the community by embracing the surrounding environment through both the indoor and outdoor spaces. Exemplar learning space typologies were examined to inform our approach to incorporating the advantages of our location through a series of spaces that responded to this connection.

Our campus principles embrace four key areas: social connection, interdisciplinarity, safety and convenience, and nature. The social connection includes opportunity and contact. We envisaged a learning environment where students would be exposed to a wide range of learning directions encouraging them to foster their own interests. Interdisciplinary is not only relevant in the curriculum, but also as a series of interdisciplinary activities through spatial interaction, and the influence from access to the natural environment.

The school is surrounded by good transportation which supports our desire for convenience and accessibility. The materials and colours used in the different learning spaces were selected to support students to learn more comfortably and safely. The connection to nature was a central focus. We used flexible walls, transparent materials, and large windows to make it easier for students studying in the interior spaces to engage with the indoor garden and roof terrace to support a healthy, positive attitude towards learning.

Felix Zhang
Yan Liu
Lu Xu

Group 4 - Arden Precinct [×]

Arden Senior Campus explores innovative thinking, radical inclusion, and the integration of future technologies in a senior learning environment. A dedication to building meaningful cross-disciplinary relationships and giving learners the opportunity for autonomous education.

The four learning environment principles (ecological, situational, performative, sensorial) create non-hierarchical learning spaces for individualised experiences of learning and educating. Traditional frameworks of teacher-focused learning are decentralised to encourage cross-disciplinary interactions within the complex campus ecology. Learners are given a sense of ownership over their education, as the campus adjusts to the needs of learners, rather than the learner compromising to a traditional campus framework.

The campus layout is informed by learning neighbourhoods, as well as the existing landscape the campus is built on. Across six levels, learners and educators develop relationships with community and nature, with the flow of water highlighting the existing conditions of the Arden site. Natural flood plains dominate Arden, their presence a focal point in the development of Arden as a precinct. The same presence of water is found throughout the campus, with multiple iterations of flowing water connecting the campus vertically and laterally.

Natural and artificial lighting work together, to maximise the learners’ abilities to retain information by adhering to the natural circadian rhythm. The campus intranet and metaverse allow for the campus community and ecology to exist globally, in both digital and physical mediums.

Jiaqi Ma
Jiafei Huang
Liam Marsh

Group 5_Parkville Precinct [×]

This proposed campus, located in Parkville (an inner-city suburb of Melbourne), is strongly integrated into the community by providing infrastructure that will be shared with the residents and local organisations. The project focuses on year 11 and 12 students with an objective to design learning spaces that support the development of a diversity of skills that will transfer into further study and employment.

Through a series of experiments with ‘learning street’ prototypes, we came up with a strategy that links innovative pedagogies to physical space using design to promote new teaching practices and foster more effective learning. We established 4 campus and learning environment principles that can be adapted to all campuses. These are placemaking, well-being & sustainability, innovative pedagogies, and indoor & outdoor integration.

We have been informed by aspects of Assemblage Theory including self-organisation and self-regulation resulting in a shared learning environment that is flexible and adaptable. The design pays close attention to the social aspects of education and privileges highlighting a transformational flow within the space that highlights emergent potentials.

Located in the Victorian Government’s priority precinct Parkville offers a unique opportunity to engage with the nearby biological and biomedical institutions. The campus is an important conduit to participate in and engage with the precinct and provide a new relationship between the school, students, and the community.

Wei-Yang Tseng
Xueying Zhang
Jeremy Hu

Group 6_Fishermans Bend Precinct [×]

This project proposes a progressive learning environment through the implementation of innovative spatial, temporal, and pedagogical arrangements to improve student and teacher experiences. The proposed campus is located within the Fisherman Bend precinct and utilises the shape of the urban precinct to inform the building footprint. The school provides a strong connection to both residential and industrial areas enabling a diversity of community engagement advocating for strong communication between the students, teachers, and the community.

‘Neighbourhoods’ are clusters of space that define overlapping programs of activities and support horizontal and vertical integration. Neighbourhood relationships support the principle of sociability, security, and flexibility. Visibility and accessibility of spaces enable students, teachers, and visitors from surrounding communities to connect through the various learning neighbourhoods.

Circular furniture is used within the learning spaces to support new modes of teaching enabling flexible interaction between teachers and students. The exterior spaces are designed to cater to multiple functions such as group discussion, social gathering, rest, and self-directed activities. Each floor allows for strong vertical relationships throughout the whole building. The roof terrace is seen as a public platform that is accessible for community visitors.

Ruiqi Wu
Dylan Zheng
Yingjin Wang
Guowei Niu

Group 7_Footscray Precinct [×]

The site for this design proposal is the old Kinnear rope factory in Footscray, a fast-evolving suburb of Melbourne and one of the Victorian Government’s priority precincts for education. This innovative senior campus encompassing year 11 and 12 students will also cater to the wider community, futureproofing Footscray as a place for growth and opportunity.

The Kinnear factory building is typical of industrial buildings of its time but has a historical and architectural significance given its complex scale and longevity in manufacturing. Although a residential development project is currently being proposed for the site, we see the inclusion of an educational campus critical for this evolving suburb.

The overarching principles for the proposed campus focus on culture, community, innovation, and functionality. These engage Footscray’s identity as a multicultural, creative, and growing suburb. The campus includes a broad range of facilities for sports, arts, culinary and science activities. These are structured as ‘neighbourhoods’ within the school to support students with different interests. Some of the facilities are accessible to the broader community of Footscray enabling shared spaces that integrate the school into the wider community.

The centre of the campus is an outdoor green space. Each ‘neighbourhood’ is inter-connected, providing visual connection and hierarchy enabling a smooth pedestrian flow throughout the campus.

Elicy Lay
Vaibhavi Raghuram
Laverne Tiong
Yuanlong Zheng

Interior Design Practices [×]

Introduction [×]

The Interior Design Practices course runs parallel to the Partnered Interior Design Studio and provides opportunities for students to refine specific skills and techniques in communication and technologies relevant to contemporary interior design practice. Over the past year, we have investigated data-driven design and digital virtual environments in interior design practice.

In the first semester, we focused on practices of digital data – its analysis, visualisation and use in design practice – in a practical seminar series called Designing with/for/in/to/from/by Data. Taking the foundational approach that spatial relationships are flows and networks of change, we used data to look at flows. Starting with practices of data visualisation, instructional art, and procedural generation, we moved through designs created from data by vision, sound, smell, touch, and taste, finishing with an exploration of data-based procedural designs using industrial robots, 3D printing, and other procedural manufacturing techniques.

In the second semester, we looked at the intrinsic qualities of virtual environments and how these yield, and yield to, new practices of interior design. How is our practice and understanding of interior design changed by virtual environments, and how does interior design change virtual environment design? What are the stakes, what is up for grabs, and what is in play for designers working in the virtual? These questions took on new relevance and urgency with the sudden onset of global virtual work and meetings occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

In many ways, these Interior Design Practices courses allowed the students to begin designing for the post-pandemic world, where the elements and principles of digital, virtual, and data-driven design are elevated to a level of importance equal to those of space design, expanded from a utilitarian role of the interface into a genuinely experiential function of the lived interior. It is exciting to experience the designs of the students in this context and to participate in their design process as they respond to the intimidating but marvellous invitation of the digital, virtual, and data in the post-pandemic era of interior design.

Associate Professor (Virtual Interior) Adam Nash

Welcome [×]

The Master of Interior Design began in 2020 in the midst of an emerging global pandemic that has continued to impact on travel, modes of learning, working and living. It is interesting to reflect on the effects and affects of this in relation to the Masters as a nascent program and the culture that has developed as a result over the past two years. While acknowledging that everyone would prefer to be on campus in Melbourne and learning in-person together, it has been an extraordinary time that has generated a network of connections between cities as students and tutors connect concurrently online and in-person. There is a palpable sense of being part of a global world – where “we are all in this together” and the shared experience of this will shape our graduates working lives – formed through connections with people, cities and rooms around the world while working closely in groups on studio projects. The four partnered studios have directly addressed the impact of Covid, inviting students to consider future scenarios and new ways of working, shopping, living and learning. In 2020, the Bates Smart partnered design studio addressed the potential of co-working and the Scentre Group partnered studio the challenge of retail. In 2021, the design studio with City of Melbourne opened the proposition of urban interiority and this semester the partnership with GHD Woodhead explored the future of learning.

One of the aspirations for the Master was not only to provide a dedicated professional Master’s level qualification for the interior design profession but to manifest the contribution and value of interior design and interior designers in addressing critical contemporary issues. As a profession, interior design emerged during the twentieth century and RMIT has been a leader in Australia and internationally in interior design education. In 1939, the first 3-year interior program in Australia opened at RMIT. Then in 1949, this became the 4-year Bachelor program that continues today. Now 70 years later, there are many esteemed alumni from the Bachelor program around the world and now the alumni from the Master program extend and deepen this network. Their leadership, entrepreneurial skills, and abilities to work collectively and collaboratively in the designing of interior environments in 21st century will contribute to shaping the future of the profession over the next 50 years particularly in our region.

Congratulations to all our Master of Interior Design students and an especially big congratulations to those who are graduating in 2021! We look forward to seeing how this global network of masters of interior design develops and your practices grow and transform 21st-century interior design practice.

Associate Professor Suzie Attiwill
Associate Dean Interior Design

urban interiority [×]

Introduction [×]

Master of Interior Design Partnered Design Studio, semester 1 2021 with the City of Melbourne

The studio – urban interiority – is based on the proposition that interior design is a critical twenty-first century practice due to its potential to address the current critical issues facing the urban environment where there are now more people than ever before living in cities. An interior design focus also brings with it the capacity and skills of the interior designer as a practitioner who attends to the ‘relationship between people and space in terms of physical and psychological parameters to improve the quality of life’ (International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers Declaration). The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the city – economically, socially and culturally. It has significantly altered people’s habits and assumptions. Students received a briefing from the City of Melbourne and were invited to invent a new urban interiority through new styles of living and practices. The studio was composed of 8 groups each with 3 students – some of whom were in Melbourne and others who were situated in other cities around the world – everyone bringing an extraordinary array of experiences – cultural, social, historical – which were drawn upon through experimentation into a series of manifestos and design projects for a new urban interiority.

Associate Professor Suzie Attiwill (studio leader)
Lingas Tran (studio assistant)

Temporal Citizenship [×]

Preconceived notions of citizenship offer a sense of belonging to a nation, as well as privileges and responsibilities. However, as a group of interior designers, we think this notion of citizenship should be expanded from static and permanent ownership of nationality to temporal citizenship that does not need a certificate to obtain and create a sense of belonging. In this experiment, we enfolded this notion of temporal citizenship through notions of saying, listening and seeing to encourage dynamic participation with the city and perhaps create a city in a different layer.

Jiaqi Ma
Guanfeng Huang
Stephanie Siy Cha

Anti_Lonely City [×]

The city can be a lonely place. There is a distinct flavour to loneliness that is not just about being alone but also due to the lack of meaningful relationships and connections between people and surroundings. We proposed to reinvent these lonely gaps by initiating a process of ‘mutual osmosis’ that invites people to share our passion towards a common knowledge and culture. We aim to re-activate the hidden characters or incarnations of lonely places to bring out the space’s original essence situated in history and retrieve the memory of belonging, and through the cultural exchange to embed narratives and meanings in these lonely gaps.

Yan Liu Cultural games, Chinatown intervention
Tarika Sekur
The new Howey Place, Coles Arcade
Muqui Wang_ Peach Blossom Fantasy Perspective, Chinatown

DomestiCITY [×]

DomestiCITY is a proposed urban interiority that is an extension of the home. We aim to enhance three critical qualities of the domestic realm as familiarity or a feeling of being at home, culture and play to encourage individuals to come back into the city of Melbourne. The project aims to find ways to slowly ease individuals back into public life. To allow for a smoother transition, the interventions aim to bring the familiarity of our homes, which turned into safe havens during the lockdowns, into the urban context to mitigate anxiety and reduce stress for individuals. Thereby allowing for smaller and more manageable steps into the new normal post-COVID-19.

Shrusshti Gadepalli_Living Room
Chee Yung Siau_Backyard
Laverne Tiong_Urban Kitchen

Engaging City [×]

Our proposition addresses how the city is in a state of neglect. Engaging City starts from three keywords: stimulus, participation, and presence. Stimulus is a method of activation method and a strategy to bring people back to the city through attraction and empathy rather than feelings of anxiety or fantasy. Participation is a presentation process of interaction between people and the urban interior. We believe Melbourne needs stimulation to challenge and reinvigorate the urban fabric that no longer has a sense of presence and our interventions help the city and people to find a new meaning of presence.

Yilun Hu Presence Royal Arcade intervention
Guowei Niu Participation Causeway intervention view from Bourke St Mall
Lu Xu Stimulus Bourke St Mall intervention

Equilibrium Ecosophy [×]

Ecosophy is a dynamic state of balance, harmony in environmental ecology to social ecology and to mental ecology. We need to build up an awareness that we all are part of the environmental ecology. Therefore, the aim of our proposal is to design ways and strategies to encourage collective contributions from everyone to act environmentally friendly and be part of the urban greening process. Our proposal uses the 7 seasons in the Eastern Kulin Seasonal calendar as a strategy to celebrate the temporal beauty by the work of nature at each time of the year and through this to build connections with nature in the urban environment.

Jiafei Huang Biderap Dry Season installation, Collins St
Wei-Yang Tseng
Poorneet Tadpole Season installation, Hardware Lane
Huikang Zheng _Wombat season installation, Victoria Market

Healing City [×]

The design concept is to create a space where multi-sensory elements like the visual, sound, touch, and smell heal its people and environment both physically and mentally. Three design interventions are situated in close proximity near the Capitol Arcade and Howey Place. Each design proposition aims to enhance the quality of life and its environment by establishing a cozy atmosphere that is walkable, dynamic, and intimate. This approach to design focuses on nurturing human connections and enriching the communities thus making space lively and energetic.

Boyang Li Attracting people at the entrance
Vaibhavi Setlur Raghuram
City Capsule healing experience
Ruiqi Wu _ Visual of passive healing intervention

Public-ness [×]

Publicness, we believe, is a medium to create space for communication and engagement for both individuals and the collective. Our group wants to reintroduce the idea of "publicness” as a new urban interiority to encourage people to be part of the publicness of the city. Designing a new compact intervention to be placed in street car parks in any location within the city of Melbourne and can be used in other countries as well. The new space and atmosphere created will gather people in a small group in the post-pandemic context and help the individual make new relationships through shared experiences as well as the connection with the urban environment.

Ananya Garg Located in a retail precinct
Yinglin Wang
After work gathering
Xueying Zhang _ Bubble Wall

Urban Village Living Room [×]

This project stemmed from our observation that people who are living in the city are living in a state of urban disconnect. While there are more people living in the city than ever before and the city is becoming denser and denser, we are seeing a rise in urban loneliness, inequality, social alienation, and depleting mental and physical wellbeing within the urban environment.
We have designed a temporal and flexible space for different types of activities to foster human connections such as socialising and sharing of ideas, interactive games, and participative activities, exhibitions, and performances; a place to rest, meditate, daydream, explore and wonder.

Elicy Lay
Qingyu Zhang
Yuanlong Zheng

Introduction [×]

Welcome to the RMIT University Master of Interior Design Exhibition for 2021. This catalogue and exhibition bring together work undertaken by our students over the course of the year.

We commenced our year in the hope that there would be some relief from the impacts of Covid 19 and that we would be able to run our program entirely face to face recognising the opportunities and spark that come from the incidental conversations and shared experiences through time spent in the studio, site visits, travel, and of course food. The two semesters that followed, like many of our colleagues around the world continued through multiple digital platforms, online meetings, phone conversations, text messages, and negotiation of time zones.

The Master of Interior Design at RMIT is structured around Partnered Design Studios that shift focus each semester from commercial, civic, institutional, and social projects. In semester one we partnered up with the City of Melbourne to respond to the current critical issues facing the urban environment. The final brief intercepted the pressing issues associated with the impact of COVID-19 on the city’s business district through the lens of urban interiority. In semester two, we partnered with GHD Woodhead to examine the future of learning environments. This studio focused on the exploratory design of prototypical learning spaces, specifically senior secondary campuses (year 11 and 12) understood as transitionary environments for students preparing to work in industry or undertaking further study, including vocational and tertiary education.

I would like to congratulate and thank this thoughtful group of students for their unwavering commitment and engagement in the program over the past year. To the students graduating at this time, I wish you all the very best for a successful future. Thanks to our partners City of Melbourne (John Cunningham, David Fitzsimmons), GHD Woodhead Group (Annelise Tiller, Paul Thatcher) for the engagement and support over the year. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our colleagues and friends who have participated in the teaching, assessments, or development of the program – Anthony Fryatt (Acting Program Manager in semester 2), Suzie Attiwill, Adam Nash, Wuff Keeble, Lingas Tran, Nicholas Rebstadt, Wendy Lasica, Kiri Delly, Andrew Tetzlaff, Erik North, and the Design Hub exhibition team.

Dr. Roger Kemp, Program Manager, Master of Interior Design