Meet Tamara Kyd, Switched On 2012 prize-winner
1st July 2013
Lately we’ve been preparing some behind-the-scenes aspects of our annual Switched On student design competition. Each year, we go looking for Australia’s greenest under-graduate to design the ultimate eco-lighting product, awarding the three best concepts. We caught up with last year’s second-prize winner, Tarama Kyd, to discuss what she’s been up and – more importantly – what she hopes to achieve in the future.
Q: Tamara, what have you been up to since being placed in Switched On 2012?
A: In March, I graduated from the Bachelor of Industrial Design course at the University of Canberra. I recently moved to Melbourne where I’m currently working at Swinburne University of Technology and doing some freelance illustration – my other passion. I have just been accepted into the Master of Design Science course at the University of Sydney, specializing in Illumination/Lighting Design and Sustainability. Later this month my design work will be featured in the Craft ACT exhibition Embracing Innovation III.
Q: How did hear about Brightgreen’s Switched On competition?
Switched On was actually the first design competition I ever entered – I was completing an LED project as part of my Industrial Design course when my lecturer advised that Brightgreen was facilitating a lighting design competition for students and encouraged us to submit our designs. I was a bit hesitant at first – as a student I doubted my own design abilities and I had never explored lighting design concepts before.
Q: Has participating in the competition helped your design career at all?
A: Entering Switched On not only built my design confidence but the prize money allowed me to purchase CAD software – PTC Creo and a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud – to further develop my portfolio and explore lighting concepts.
Q: You seem to have a good mind for adaptive design solutions. What are you working on in your own practice?
A: My main focus when generating design concepts is the user. I think it’s important to look at how my designs will interact with people and their environment, and to explore current processes that can be improved.
Another area that I’m passionate about is sustainable design. I believe that as a young designer I have the responsibility to ensure my designs are environmentally conscious and I’m constantly looking at ways I can make the product life cycle more sustainable. I am always researching innovative sustainable designs, techniques and technologies, and looking at businesses, people and organisations that not only embrace but implement sustainable solutions.
I value the environment and believe that it is important to generate awareness of the ramifications our current decisions will have on the environment in the future.
Q: You mentioned that you’re going to be exhibiting in Embracing Innovation III, a show in Canberra. Tell us a little more about that.
A: Embracing Innovation III is run through Craft ACT, Canberra’s Craft and Design Centre. It is part of an exhibition series that showcases research and innovation in the creative arts, with a particular focus on craft and design.
Research and artworks that will be exhibited address a variety issues, such as health and the environment, and demonstrate cutting-edge thinking and technology in different research sectors.
The third installment, in which I’m showing alongside work from CSIRO, RMIT University, University of Canberra and The Australian National University, is scheduled to open on 18 July 2013. You can find out more information on the Craft ACT website.
Q: And what are your other plans for the future?
A: I plan to do some travel overseas next year. I would also love to do an industry placement where I can get hands-on experience working within the lighting field. I know the University of Sydney is connected to Sydney’s Vivid lighting festival so I’m hoping for a chance to contribute to that in the future.
Tamara's prize-winning design, Hex
Entry for this year’s Switched On student design competition opens on 14 September 2013. For more information, visit our Switched On webpage.