Swinburne Design News

Design Factory Melbourne Aligns Design, Science and Tech in Philadelphia

Belinda Stening Contributing Editor

24 January 2020

This article was originally published in Swinburne University of Technology’s Design News – a platform celebrating design and innovation across Swinburne’s School of Design. Discover the latest design news about Swinburne’s research, teaching and student success stories.

Design Factory Melbourne (DFM) joined Design Factories in the Global Network in November for the annual International Design Factory Week (IDFW) to share best practice and plan future international design collaborations. DFM promoted opportunities to participate in their CBI A3 Program and the new joint PhD program, a collaboration between Swinburne and Aalto University in Finland.

Design Factory academics at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia

Photo: DFM

“The CBI A3 program showcases the work we do in design for the science and technology space. At IDFW we shared the learnings from the program to encourage other Design Factories to participate,” explains Tiina Tuulos, Innovation Coach at DFM.

DFM’s CBI A3 Program uses design inspired innovation to maximise the impact science has on society through new product and service applications. DFM collaborate with large scientific research organisations – CERN, CSIRO, ANSTO and Swinburne’s Centre for Translational Atomaterials.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the framework for the CBI A3 Program and guide user-centred research and design to focus on areas of high sustainable impact.

From left, DFM’s Ravi Bessabava and Professor Anita Kocsis with joint PhD candidate Floris van der Marel at IDFW

Photo: DFM

In 2019, CBI A3 and global Design Factories explored how SDG 6 and 14 – Clean Water and Sanitation and Life Below Water – can be addressed using CERN technologies. By collaborating with scientists at CERN and the Design Factory platform, IdeaSquare, they hope to prevent one of the largest sources of micro-plastics, tyre-dust, from entering our water ways. Proposed solutions increase awareness, promote intervention and include next generation street sweeping and electrostatic collection devices.

In 2019-2020 the CBI A3 topic is focusing on SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. Each university in the network is exploring and interpreting this SDG in a regional context.

Swinburne and Aalto University Joint PhD candidate Floris Van Der Marel sharing insights at IDFW

Photo: DFM

The first candidate in the Swinburne and Aalto University joint PhD program, Floris van der Marel, presented during IDFW.  She shared information about the joint PhD program to encourage other Design Factories to join.

“The power of IDFW is in building trust and connections. It boosts global collaboration and accelerates experimentation,” says Ms Tuulos.

IDFW live daily recap and report session relayed back to DFM

Photo: DFM

IDFW took place during Design Philadelphia and the Design Factory Global Network shared their projects with the public during a Design Seminar. Organised by Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, home of the Nexus Design Factory, it was the eighth annual International Design Factory Week, with 48 participants from 22 Design Factories.

Design Factory Global Network attendees at IDFW, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia

Photo: DFM

Six best practice pitches and 18 project initiatives of collaboration for the network were announced. Projects range from shared research and international study offerings to harnessing the impact of the network through a global Design Factory Day. DFM is leading a CBI A3 project and a PhD joint program.


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