Radheya Visperas Ponce, a class of 2017 graduate in Fashion Design, has won the coveted Red Dot Award Design Concept for her work. The current Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) post-graduate research student was recognized for her design concept, titled Metamorphosis, using scrap materials.
The Red Dot Design Awards are considered one of the preeminent award programs in the design field. The award places Ponce amongst an elite group of artists and designers such as Michael Brandis and Inga Sempe, and companies such as Apple, Motorola, Dyson, and Berendsohn, who have been recognized by Red Dot since the award was initiated in 1955. This year, over 4000 artists and designers from 52 countries sent in applications to the awarding body based in Germany.
Ponce, who is in her final year of her MFA program at SCAD, was encouraged by one of her professors to send a portfolio of her work to the Red Dot jury.
“My Fibers Professor in Textile Innovation nominated me to submit my work to Red Dot,” Ponce says. “I submitted my entry early this year while also preparing to finish my thesis.
“Over the next few months, I learned that winning a Red Dot award was an honor that by default, enhanced the credentials of artists and designers. Naturally, when I received my award letter from Red Dot in the first week of July, I was elated.”
Metamorphosis is a collection of hand manipulated textiles made from second-hand fabrics, collected as memorabilia from different people and places. Some of the donors who sent in scrap material, also shared brief descriptions of what those pieces of cloth meant to them at various points of their lives.
Ponce says the piece encourages personal and sensorial interaction with the viewer, evoking a sustainable and enduring legacy of poignant, joyful and ordinary moments that make up our daily lives.
The fiber artist – who was raised in Doha – says her time at VCUarts Qatar laid the foundation for her interest in sustainable and experimental design, as well as a deeper interest in textiles and craft.
“The four years at VCUarts Qatar triggered me to think of fashion as something beyond designing apparel, opening up a world of possibilities that were both sustainable and beautiful,” she says. “Moving forward, it is a pathway that I would like to pursue; my ultimate goal is to set up my own studio practice that offers sustainable art and design.”
Radheya Visperas Ponce with her Red Dot award certificate.