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UC degree for prize-winning grad

Vanessa Lam

20 April 2016: The winner of a prestigious design prize has graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Industrial Design.

René Linssen beat young creatives nationwide last year, winning the inaugural Vogue Living Alessi Emerging Designer Prize for his reimagined mortar and pestle design titled 'POD'.

The Canberran said he was excited to graduate from the University on 7 April and had enjoyed the opportunity to meet like-minded people throughout his degree.

"It was really great to go on this journey with a group of people who share your interests and you get along with," he said.

Mr Linssen said one of the highlights of his degree was embarking on a two-week overseas study tour in Singapore in 2014, saying the experience had broadened his thinking as a designer.

"It was my first time in an Asian country and it opened my eyes to new cultures especially in the design sense. It was amazing to see how other cultures and cities affect their own designs. It really opened my eyes to a whole new world," he said.

Mr Linssen is currently working at a Canberra design studio and doing freelance industrial design work at Formswell, a design firm run by fellow industrial design alumnus Dan Armstrong.

The Vogue Living Alessi Emerging Designer Prize from Vogue Living magazine and Italian design house Alessi recognises Australian design talent by final year students and recent graduates.

As part of the prize, Mr Linssen will complete a mentorship with Australian designer Adam Cornish and will also get the chance to present his winning design to the Alessi team in Milan. 

"If they like it then it could go into production, which would be amazing," he said. "I think it is every designer's dream come true to have someone own his or her product."

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