The Design Action Program facilitates opportunities for RMIT Industrial Design students and recent graduates to work together with host practicum organisations for mutual benefit. It integrates placements and work experience into our Bachelor of Design degree program, and fosters internship opportunities for graduates. Our classes and design-studio projects have been doing this for over 60 years.

RMIT Industrial Design students are creative participants in a world where new technologies, global connectedness and the challenges of sustainability are changing social concerns and altering consumer behaviours and business markets. In recognition of this, design activity undertaken in the Design Action Program can occur flexibly, allowing for the opportunity to work with a range of host organisations in business, educational, community and government settings, on real world issues with outcomes that matter. Students gain access to RMIT’s international network of industry partners, research and educational organisations, and our extensive network of alumni. Host organisations gain access to design students and recent graduates who have diverse capabilities across advanced manufacturing, social innovation and business know-how. Today’s students are able to creatively cross boundaries to develop products and services that help businesses and communities to prosper. The broad skill-base and cultural expertise of our students are valuable resources that can be utilized to meet the challenge of fulfilling product and service needs in changing local and world markets.

The Program convenes a bi-annual forum for host organisations, individual design-practitioners, and students to share how they have benefited from working together and to explore new design project ideas and innovative ways of working. This forum offers an ideal opportunity for younger participants to establish professional networks.


Design activities facilitated by the program

We offer two types of design activity that can be undertaken flexibly, in Australia or internationally: internship and practicum work experience.



For recent graduates of RMIT Industrial Design who are transitioning into professional careers, to undertake design-led projects with an organisation:

  • Up to 12 weeks full or part-time for a recent graduate to work as part of a project team managed by a host organisation, with payment made by the host organisation to the graduate.
  • Work on an internship project may start at anytime during the year, making it responsive to the host organisation’s project timeline, and giving the host an the opportunity to trial the employability of graduates.
  • RMIT staff may play a consulting or team role to foster innovation in designing products, services and systems • multidisciplinary collaborations are encouraged – such as where the graduate designer collaborates with industry specialists, stakeholder groups, RMIT staff or other graduates
  • The graduate designer is paid according to a negotiated agreement. Internship is arranged by application to the Program Coordinator


Practicum Work Experience

For students in semesters 3-4-5-6-7-8 of their Design degree course, to experience design-related work with an organisation:

  • credited as part of the Bachelor degree by enrolling in the Design Practicum course
  • 12 credit points with a required 70-80 hours contact time in work experience.
  • Work is undertaken on a voluntary (unpaid) basis
  • Approved Design Action Program work experience must be completed before the end of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the Design Practicum course


A Flexible Approach

The Design Action Program encourages students to engage in a broad range of design activities, and to undertake such activity with a broad range of host organisations in business, educational, community and government settings. We recognise that for such working relationships to be viable, flexibility may be required of both parties. Flexibility in the timing of the design activity, or in the mode by which design activity is undertaken, will allow the Program to meet a host organisation’s commercial needs, and students to meet their academic and external work commitments. Host organisations may host more than one student at a time, or engage students over a number of years, as necessitated by the needs of the design activity. The Design Action Program also encourages and supports our students and recent graduates to gain experience with overseas hosts. The chosen design activity could be undertaken by being situated overseas, or using collaborative online tools. For students this means you may be coursecredited even though the activity you undertake proceeds:

  • On shore in Australia, or overseas
  • Individually, or facilitated via a group
  • Utilising face-to-face collaboration, or online, or both