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Arts & Culture

GRADUATE EXHIBITION ONLY THE BEGINNING

University of Canberra lecturer Lyn Norton is using her experience in interior architecture and architecture to guide the next generation of students.

Lyn Norton is speaking from experience as she outlines the importance of the Faculty of Arts and Design graduate exhibition, this year called FADx, having received employment offers from both her graduate exhibitions.

The exhibition showcases the work of graduating architecture, design, arts and communication and media students.

It is unique in that it is entirely driven by students, from the development of the works through to the marketing of the event itself, which is an opportunity to display their skills to potential employers. 

Lyn says it is evidence of the dedication and hard work of the students, “The exhibition displays are a group effort from the student cohorts, designed and developed over the course of their final semester. Some disciplines run the design and construction of their displays within a specific unit, while others are developed and produced outside class hours”.

But while it is student-led, Lyn offers an experienced hand, guiding them in the process as coordinator. Having been a student in the same situation, she understands the pressure of putting together an exhibition that could have a role in determining career paths.

“I received two job offers from both my graduation exhibitions. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to not only celebrate their achievements and the culmination of their studies here at UC with friends and family, but also to showcase themselves and their skill set to industry.”

Lyn Norton profile photo

Lyn studied at UC, graduating with both a degree in architecture and interior architecture, before working across both areas of interiors and architecture in practice. 

To suggest she is immersed in the industry is an understatement. She is currently practising in architecture part-time, while continuing to lecture within the interior architecture course at UC. Lyn is also undertaking a Masters degree in Architecture.

She has been part of the graduate exhibition since its inception in 2016. Previously, the design and built environment disciplines held a student-led exhibition, but in 2016 there was a push for a faculty-wide graduate exhibition.

For Lyn, it’s a passion as much as anything else, in part generated by the enthusiasm of over 240 students.

“There is an amazing buzz around this time of the year as students come to the end of semester and begin to organise and put together their displays. I love being a part of that and having the opportunity to help students acknowledge their achievement.”

The students effectively work from a ‘blank canvas’ which forms the platform to demonstrate their talent and their design beliefs. 

The range of talent on display is extensive; “the graphic design, marketing and media structure, website, display designs and construction, even the name of the exhibition, FADx, has been developed and implemented by students,” explains Lyn.

This year the students were keen to develop a stronger online presence for the exhibition, hence the creation of a new FADx website, showcasing participating graduates’ work and profiles. This effectively puts a digital face to the physical exhibition. It also enhances the reach of FADx and the prospects coming into the orbit of industry professionals.

FADx brings students together in a team, affirming close friendships, which they will carry with them long into their careers.

Lyn says it can be daunting putting your work on public display but the students have embraced the opportunity with excitement and eagerness, “It allows them an opportunity to think about who they are as emerging professionals and how they might then communicate and sell that to prospective industries”.

FADx runs from 19 to 21 November at the UC Refectory.

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