Madelyne Kelly’s desire for a creative role eventually prevailed over her childhood aspirations to be a professional dancer, a scientist or a doctor.
“I’ve always had a creative streak, whether it was sketching, sculpting or painting, so I looked for a course that applied this creativity. Combined with my curiosity for how things work, it resulted in Industrial Design,” she says.
The graduand describes Industrial Design as empathetic – “a beautiful blend of aesthetics, people and functionality”.
“The designer is often trying to anticipate how the user will interact with the object and try to make that interaction as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Factors that contribute to this experience are functionality and aesthetics. When all three of these factors are considered, it often results in good design,” she says.
With the hands-on nature of the Industrial Design degree, Madelyne knew she was right at home.
“I enjoyed the extensive practical elements of the course in wood working, digital fabrication and metal working, and having the workshop [Design Futures Lab] was really beneficial,” she says.
“I also loved how the students supported each other throughout the course and the great student-tutor experience and one-on-one time.”
Madelyne grew up in Sydney’s Inner West in a family-orientated Chilean-Australian household with a passion for good food, culture and hard work.
“These are all things I have taken through to adulthood,” she says. “I’m always looking to challenge myself and keep busy, balanced with a healthy social life.”
True to her word of keeping busy, Madelyne took advantage of opportunities that came her way at UNSW. She was a student ambassador for Industrial Design for three years, which she describes as “a great mentoring experience”.
“We were a part of a lot of information days, which meant we were guiding future students through the different creative activities. I was able to apply the design thinking process I had been taught to the students’ tasks and pass it on to them. It was also about encouragement and reinforcement to give the students a positive experience to take away with them.”
In her second year, she won the Galileo Watermark prize which enabled her to gain industry experience, working there once a week over three months.
“It was a great first glimpse into what design in the real world is about,” she says. “Working on real projects with deadlines and clients was great to see how timelines are managed within design companies and what is expected. The team was very friendly and close, and it was an encouraging environment to work in.”
Madelyne also undertook a professional placement at Corlette Design, a signage and way finding company.
“The internships were invaluable learning experiences for getting a feel for the industry and understanding what area of design I want to go into,” she says.
Her advice for prospective students is to pursue a career you are passionate about, will challenge you and where you will always be evolving.
“Always try to experience new things and push yourself beyond your boundaries. Be open to your possibilities, don’t restrict your horizons.”
Madelyne is part of the IDES (Industrial Design Graduand Exhibition) exhibition committee. Instil will showcase the final design works from the graduating class of Industrial Design, on November 12 at Hassel Studios.
Her final project, Solace, is a coffee maker designed to make a flawless cup of coffee, regardless of the user’s expertise.
“I studied and researched emotional design for my thesis, and I have always had a passion for coffee and it has a huge culture in Sydney. I decided to combine these two topics as I believe they complement each other, and there was a great opportunity to explore emotional design through the object of a coffee machine.”
“I was also inspired by my Dad’s 60th birthday last year. I wanted to make something that he would cherish, something he would feel affection for, something to create memories with and share and I wanted it to be something he would be proud of.”
Madelyne is also putting together her portfolio and working full-time for a fashion brand. She plans to start applying for design roles soon.
The UNSW graduand says she has grown mentally, socially and creatively during her time at UNSW.
“From my studies, I have learnt to be resilient, patient and adaptable. My way of thinking and how I perceive the world has completely shifted; I look at and process things with a design mind.
“I appreciate small features. I see inspiration in my surroundings, both natural and man-made. I leave UNSW feeling excited and ready for the next stage of my life.”
The Bachelor of Industrial Design at UNSW Built Environment teaches students to design for people, meet the challenges of a changing world. Find out more about the degree.