Students create modern solutions at Top Designs

​Fashion, graphic design, short films and electronic devices created by 2018 VCE students are on display at the Melbourne Museum as part of Top Designs.

​Top Designs shows works b​y students who have completed VCE Media, Product Design and Technology, Theatre Studies, Systems Engineering, Visual Communication Design and VCE VET Creative and Digital Media studies.

Dancing, firefighting and more

Tarni with her dancewear design

Tarni from Ballarat High School designed an outfit for traditional Aboriginal dancing. She has been dancing since she was eight years old. 'We've always worn plain black dresses, and I've always wanted to wear something a bit nicer and more visually appealing,' Tarni says.

Drawing from her Dja Warrung and Gunditjmara roots, Tarni sewed and weaved a dress using felted possum fur and emu tassles. Tarni's teacher helped her create silk-embroidered feathers. 'I was looking for something that was close to natural products while still having that modest element to it,' Tarni says.

Tarni says her VCE product design and technology teacher helped her finish her project by letting students come into the classroom before and after school, and at lunchtime. 'She gave us that extra time. Without her, I wouldn't have been able to achieve that,' Tarni says.

Tarni is currently doing a traineeship and a Certificate IV in Work and Health Safety, but she took the morning off to see her work on display at the museum. 'I never thought it would happen,' Tarni says. 'I need to pinch myself sometimes.'

Lorimer with his bushfire detection device

​​​VCE systems engineering stude​nt, Lorimer from Lavalla Catholic College, built a bushfire detection device.

Lorimer lives in country Gippsland and remembers the Black Saturday bushfires. 'This summer we had quite a big threat of bushfires,' Lorimer says. 'Living in the bush, you're always thinking about it throughout the summer months. That inspired me to come up with a modern solution with technology.'

Three sensors detect smoke, infrared light and heat. When the sensors detect a certain amount of these elements, the device sends a text message to emergency services. It also collects information about the weather, so emergency services can predict the direction of the fire.

Other student-made devices included Mount Waverley Secondary College's Thomas Stowalt's Wi-Fi controlled CNC router to create 3D parts and Wantirna College's Brandon Wong's remote-controlled sailboat.

Product design and technology
VCE Product Design and Technology display

Five students represented Northcote High School in Top Designs. VCE Product Design and Technology students Edward Astbury and Jasmine Kennedy won Deans Art prizes. Edward designed a pill-retrieving device for the elderly. Jasmine created sustainable fashion made from old plastic shopping bags.

Two VCE Media students, Oliver Crawford Smith and Yianni Rowlands, displayed their short films. Oliver made a short action film, while Yianni made a sci-fi film using stop motion animation and live action.

VCE Visual Communication Design student Charlie O'Brien designed an ergonomic learning/social station with modular seating to suit different situations. It will be used in Northcote High School's library.

VCE Season of Excellence

Top Designs is part of the VCE Season of Excellence, which includes thirteen concerts, two exhibitions and short film screenings, showing a sample of work from the most outstanding VCE students of the previous year. The VCE Season of Excellence is running until July. See the full schedule and ticketing information at VCE Season of Excellence.