Meet the Design Institute of Australia's graduate of the year
Having recently been named the 2015 Design Institute of Australia Graduate of the Year (GOTYA), Visual Communication graduate, George Saad, joins an ever growing list of award-winning UTS students who are being formally recognised by their industry as emerging designers to watch.
Saad also received first prize in the Graphics category for his major project submission, The Minority Report. Presented as a 1960s CIA case file, the winning entry was designed as a cinematic reading experience. It positions the reader in the shoes of the story’s protagonist as they unpack a briefcase of top secret paraphernalia.
Tell us about the inspiration behind The Minority Report.
I really love consuming stories, whether it be in film, theatre, books, podcasts, video games or tv shows. I wanted to create a new way of reading, so I played with the idea of mashing up all these different mediums to create a more immersive experience.
George Saad's winning major project, The Minority Report, presented as a 1960s CIA case file
The reader’s journey is guided by solving a series of codes (printed in UV invisible ink) triggering cassette tape recordings, videos, analysing documents, listening to voicemails, receiving emails and unpacking envelopes of evidence. This immersive experience engages all the senses: the muskiness of an old briefcase, the tactility of letterpressed confidential files, the crackling of tapes and the fragility of worn paper ultimately lead to a memorable adventure.
How did you feel winning the award?
It was so surprising, amazing, but honestly a huge shock. I was already so happy with the result on the night, winning in the Graphics category, that I wasn't even listening when they announced the overall winner. I was not expecting to win anything, so coming away with winner of the Graphics category and overall ‘Graduate of the Year’ was truly a great honour and I still haven't quite accepted it. The whole night was so much fun - I enjoyed networking, talking with some other super creative people and seeing some amazing work on display. It was such a positive night with so much support for graduate work.
What attracted you to become a designer after finishing school?
I just wanted to create and make things. I'm rubbish with power tools so I found other ways of getting hands-on. Originally I enjoyed getting on the computer making posters and invitations, but I got bored of that quickly and started looking for other ways to get creative. I get much more excited seeing my ideas come to life than just seeing it on screen.
What was your favourite part of the degree?
I loved having the opportunity to work on so many varied projects; the briefs gave me the flexibility to explore completely different disciplines. My major project would not have happened if I didn’t learn graphics (layout & typography) as well as some web and exhibition design. I loved that every project encouraged me to experiment while still having a little fun and trying out new techniques.
Working on my major project was definitely very tough! I don't think I slept for a solid 15 weeks but it was a once-in-a–lifetime experience to be able to create something I am very proud to show off.
Can you tell us about where you worked during the Professional Experience Program?
I worked at North Sydney Boys High School for six months, producing the school's yearbook. I really enjoyed the brief, having creative control over a 240-page document, but it was tricky having to navigate the politics of a school environment. I would say my professional placement was a little unorthodox compared to others, as I wasn't in a design studio, but it was a great experience learning to deal with a lot of different opinions and working within a system.
Have you secured a job since leaving university?
I was already working part time at D&d Letterpress, which was an amazing asset to have through the last year of my degree. They have been so supportive throughout my honours year and allowed me to experiment on all the equipment for my major project. I’m continuing to work there as well as doing a few freelance jobs.
Finally, any exciting plans for the future?
I would love to further explore interactive fiction as I love fusing multiple disciplines into the one experience. I want to create fun and memorable designs that tell great stories and transport the viewer or reader. I really do think that this is where publishing is moving towards, so perhaps I can just beat them to it. :-)
Thanks for your time, George. Warmest congratulations and we look forward to hearing about your future projects.
The Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication equips students with a global vision of design and access to a broad range of careers in the industry.