18 September 2014

Meet Queena Le, Our 2014 BIA Student Winner

Last week, we took a moment to get to know our BIA 2014 professional winner, Michael Hoppe. This week, we put our Monash University industrial design student Queena Le in the spotlight to learn the ins-and-outs of her 2014 BIA winning design, Balans.

[Queena receiving her award]

In responding to this year’s BIA brief, Queena was inspired to solve a problem she had personally experienced. "The last apartment I lived in had a his/her vanity unit and I only ever used the one sink. I thought, ‘Hey, I should be using the other space’.”

From this, Balans evolved as a double-basin modular vanity with a sliding basin grate, turning one basin into a shelf when not in use. It’s cleverly perforated to allow air flow and ensure any items placed on it can dry thoroughly.

[Queena’s award winning design]

Slimline tapware was added in a flat design, allowing them to be used as shelves, with storage drawers separate from the main vanity unit so they can be placed wherever most suits the space, while also introducing yet another surface.

The focus for Queena was achieving a balance between practicality and visual appeal. “My design is all about trying to create as much functional space as possible while maintaining a slim, contemporary design."

A familiar theme in this year’s BIA, Queena also wanted to answer the growing problem of challenging bathroom sizes. “More and more people are moving into apartments and living spaces are becoming smaller so I think clever ways to use space and flexibility in design will be the most important factors to consider in the bathroom.”

As well as securing a $5,000 cash prize, Queena’s BIA win will see her heading to Barcelona, Spain for a two week internship with design team at Roca, one of the world’s leading bathroom product manufacturers in a BIA first. According to Queena, her triumph in the competition and the upcoming internship appeal to her two biggest passions – travel and design.

“This award will open up so many new and exciting opportunities. But I think, most importantly, receiving recognition from the design industry has given me so much motivation and makes me proud of what I do,” she said.

“I’m just taking every day and opportunity as it comes. As long as I get to travel and stay creative I know I’ll always enjoy what I’m doing.”

A big congratulations to Queena, and make sure to keep an eye out as we follow our student winner on her journey with Roca in Spain.

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