Top national design award for Wagga Wagga artist

20 NOVEMBER 2009

Australia’s richest design prize has been won by a CSU research student.

Australia’s richest design prize has been won by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) research student.
Artist and PhD student Mr Rohan Nicol from Wagga Wagga has taken out this year’s prestigious Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award.
CSU student Mr Rohan Nicol with his winning design Peppered Sunlight. Photo by Matthew Regan. Mr Nicol’s lighting design, Peppered Sunlight, was chosen as the winner from nine other national finalists. Peppered Sunlight is a large pendant light inspired by ‘dappled light that filters through trees’.
During a ceremony in Sydney on Wednesday 18 November, Mr Nicol was awarded the first prize of a $30 000 grant and a trip to Milan to attend and show his design at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair in April 2010.
Through the School of Visual and Performing Arts at CSU at Wagga Wagga, Mr Nicol is researching a financially sustainable design practice by working with regional manufacturer Precision Signs.
“This award is a terrific honour,” said Mr Nicol. “It is an honour not only for my work but a testament to the commitment in time and money shown by the Wagga Wagga company, Precision Signs.
“The support of Precision Signs and its general manager, Mr Brad Quintal, has been crucial to the development of my design. I plan to invest the $30 000 prize into this partnership with the local manufacturer.”
In 2008, the 39 year-old artist began a residency with Precision Signs to develop three new commercially viable lighting design products. He hopes Peppered Sunlight will go on sale nationally next year.
The Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award is dedicated to recognising and rewarding excellence in design, improving and promoting awareness of design, and improving the commercial success of talented Australians.
“Rohan’s award is great recognition for his commitment to creative collaborative practice and research in regional Australia,” said Head of the School Visual and Performing Arts, Associate Professor Margaret Woodward. “This design award and the Australia Council grant Rohan won in June 2009 is a credit to his talent and a great model of research in creative industries at Charles Sturt University.”
Read more about Mr Nicol’s work here.

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