TFIA Member Spotlight | The Academy of Design Australia

TFIA Member Spotlight | The Academy of Design Australia

We'd like to bring to your attention TFIA Member's The Academy of Design Australia and their recent event with VAMFF's Cultural Program: Electronica! The Academy of Design Australia is a tertiary institution that specialises in art, design and digital media. The Academy has been participating in the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program for the past 5 years.



Opening night of “Electronica”, held on Thursday 3 March,  was an amazing display of how dramatically fashion and engineering can work together.

The  event saw 13 designers from the Academy of Design Australia, work closely with the IEEE-Women in Engineering (IEEE-WIE) group to create designs that showcased a range of lighting effects that transformed the look of the garments as well as the event space.

The project was overseen by well-known Creative Director Virginia Dowzer, who worked on this project prior to her event as prelude to her involvement in the VAMFF Jean Paul Gaultier for Target event later in the month.  Virginia was ably supported by ADA Fashion Grad Annie Cabral in coordinating this complex event.


This was an important event for both fashion and engineering.  It was great to see technology and business get behind the event with both IBM and Pakronics lending their sponsorship to the event.  Sensor data received from one of the dresses was processed by IBM Watson IoT (Internet of Things) Platform and displayed in a web application on IBM Bluemix, a cloud based application development platform.

IEEE-WIE project coordinator Eehui Lim is enthused about possibilities of the project saying, "Through collaboration we wanted to overcome the challenges of thoughtfully combining fashion design and technology.  The goal was for the end designs to the general public especially young people in a very engaging way, that wearable technologies could be both fun and a source of immense creativity and productivity."

The Academy’s Director, Amber Treseder Fitts was also impressed with the designs that were developed for the evening noting a great feature being the continued collaboration between the Academy fashion students and the Women in Engineering.  She commented, “Disciplines such as Engineering and Fashion Design have not been traditional bedfellows and I believe that university and higher education should provide a place that encourages and allows exactly this type of collaboration.  The results tonight are a perfect example of how successful this cross discipline, knowledge sharing model can be.”



Recent graduate achievements include winning the Design Institute of Australia’s Graduate of the Year, Fashion & Textiles (Vic/Tas 2014) and Emerging Fashion Designer of the Year (Fashion Awards Australia, 2015).

The Bachelor of Design Arts is offered in the areas of Communication Design, Fashion & Costume Design, Filmmaking & Photography, Graphic & Digital Design, Interior Design and Visual Arts. The BDA offers professional placement opportunities in the second year of study, providing valuable industry experience. In 2015 the Academy partnered with the LCI Education Network, resulting in many more international opportunities for students.

Great to see The Academy of Design Australia actively engaging with the industry and the exciting results that come through collaboration. If you'd like to find out more about the Academy and their courses head over to their website HERE.

Thanks for Reading!