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TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore


Design by student Mali Burns

TAFE NSW has announced the winners of a unique virtual design competition judged by industry experts from IKEA. 

TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore worked with IKEA to develop a student design competition where students take inspiration from IKEA products to develop and implement their designs. Students from Certificate III in Design Fundamentals, Certificate IV in Design, Diploma of Live Production Design, and Diploma of Graphic Design (Illustration) have been engaged in creating eye-catching designs centered on IKEA products, which were displayed and judged in a virtual exhibition.

The winners were announced via Facebook last night and included Diploma of Graphic Design (Illustration) student Mali Burns. Mali was one of the students asked to draw upon Australian iconography to create fabric designs which were then digitally applied to create IKEA product mock-ups.

“My design was inspired by our Aussie farmers, the Australian landscape and all of the native flora and fauna affected by the catastrophic 2020 bushfires,” Mali said.

“I created a narrative piece, choosing to use the iconic Australian work boot as the main feature in my design. It symbolises home, hard work, resilience, optimism and most of all commitment.  

“I was thrilled when I found out that IKEA was running this competition, and even more delighted to have won. IKEA is such an iconic brand and it's wonderful that they partnered with TAFE NSW to offer us a way to improve our design skills in a professional context.”

TAFE NSW Design teacher Catherine Smith said the unique competition gave students from the different disciplines a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hone their design skills with one of the biggest names in the design world.  

“Students come to us knowing that they are going to engage with industry, but during the briefing when they found out that works would be judged by industry experts at IKEA, they were beyond excited and the quality of the work they have produced really reflects their determination to step up to the challenge,” Ms Smith said.

“The students developed their research and drawing skills whilst working through the design process before splitting off into their different skillset areas. Graphic design students honed their Adobe Illustrator skills in making a repeat pattern whilst the production design cohort really enjoyed getting into our newly renovated workshop to work with wood and realise their prop chair designs.

“This competition not only gives the students a practical design project to work on as part of their studies but offers them a taste of what it would be like to be employed in the industry as designers.”

Sales Manager at IKEA Tempe David Hawthorn said he was impressed with the high quality of the student work and was pleased to give up-and-coming designers a chance to flex their skills.  

“It’s great to be able to continue our long-standing relationship with TAFE NSW Design Centre Enmore and help support up-and-coming designers in the local community. We have been impressed with the high quality of work from the students over the years, and this year we’ve loved seeing how IKEA has been incorporated as inspiration into the pieces. Well done to all the students involved”, said David. 

Students can start their design journey in the Certificate III Design Fundamentals and Certificate IV Design at TAFE NSW to find their focus and go onto further study.

The more advanced Diploma in Graphic Design (Illustration) focuses on all aspects of Illustration and the Diploma in Production Design allows students to gain skills in creating visual magic for the film, television, theatre and events industries. 


Full list of winners: 

IKEA’s choice: 

Handry Lukito “Nautilus” 

Hazel Staples “Nautilus” 

Mali Burns “One hot summer” 

Lina Paula Santos “The extraction” 


People’s choice: 

Yiyuan Wang “Starfish” 

Tiana Noy “Native Fun” 

Amber Fraser “Chroot” 

Sarsha Worley-Deufel “5th Dimension”

To find out more about the range of design courses on offer at TAFE NSW call 131 601 or visit   

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.