19 October 2011
Academics join DIA Victoria council
RMIT University lecturers Claire Beale and Ian Wong have been elected as councillors for the Victoria Branch of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).
Textile Design lecturer Claire Beale.
Industrial Design lecturer Ian Wong.
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The pair will join eight incumbent councillors and another new councillor, Michael Chijoff, to make up the leadership team of the DIA Victoria Branch in 2012.
Ms Beale will take on the role of Textile Design Practice Group Coordinator and Design Education liaison for the DIA, while Mr Wong will be Design Education Practice Group Coordinator.
A lecturer in the Bachelor of Arts Textile Design program at RMIT, Ms Beale has more than 14 years experience in the fashion and textile industries, from retail operations to bespoke design services.
She is currently undertaking a PhD by project at RMIT exploring craftsmanship and the construction of meaning in the context of narratives, collaborative communities and practical relationships with textile surfaces.
Ms Beale said joining the Council was a great way to merge design practice, research and education within the creative community.
"There are opportunities to connect with industry partners and sponsors, as well as current practitioners and to promote design studies to students via the education practice group," she said.
"The Victoria Branch focuses on the needs and interests of local designers, running activities including seminars, awards programs and networking opportunities."
Mr Wong, an industrial designer with more than 20 years' of professional practice experience, lectures in RMIT's School of Architecture and Design.
He is also the director of EJO, a small multi-disciplinary design studio, and a doctoral researcher at RMIT, focusing on the history of industrial design in Victoria.
Recent exhibitions curated by Mr Wong include Zmood - Designing Holdens at Melbourne Museum and 175 Years of Design in Victoria commissioned by the Department of Premier and Cabinet for the State of Design Festival last year.
Mr Wong's current exhibition ORANGE at the Design Gallery (Level 1, 175 Collins St, Melbourne) celebrates the careers of DIA Hall of Fame designers.
"It is an honour to serve as a councillor," Mr Wong, who also publishes the blog Industrial Design in Victoria, said.
"RMIT has a proud history of contribution to the profession and in particular through the DIA."
Ms Beale and Mr Wong join a large group of RMIT alumni on the council, including graduates from Industrial Design, Interior Design and Decoration, Media and Communication, and Architecture and Design.
Alumni and staff from Melbourne Tech (a precursor to RMIT) who were members in the founding years of the DIA included Ron Rosenfeldt, Lionel Suttie, Grant Featherston, Vic Greenhaigh, Frances Burke, Colin Barrie, Clement Meadmore, Edward Healy, Gerard Herbst, Selwyn Coffey, Joyce Coffey and Carl Nielsen.