Design Factory Melbourne brings together students, research leaders, industry partners and entrepreneurs to solve complex problems, generate innovative solutions and forecast future scenarios. It also provides an interdisciplinary platform for industry-engaged research. The collaboration hub brings end-users, students and researchers together for the early stages of product, and service development to experiment with concepts and their potential value. 

DFM fosters innovation culture at the Swinburne Innovation Precinct, as well as in collaboration with other Swinburne initiatives such as the Factory of the Future and the Centre for Design Innovation. It plays a key role in developing partnerships across Swinburne’s Research Institutes and Centres, and builds lasting relationships with external organisations. 

What is Design Factory Melbourne?

Design Factory Melbourne has delivered 100+ interdisciplinary industry projects, with 80+ partners, across diverse sectors including numerous national and international collaborations. Partners can be an organisation of any size or type, ranging from corporate to government to not-for-profit. 

 Successful DFM and partner collaborations awards include: 

  • Codesigning affordable solutions for people with disabilities: Winner EEE, AsiaPacific for engagement and entrepreneurship for Design Factory Melbourne and TOM@University 
  • Fostering innovation culture: for Swinburne’s Innovation Hub-for Innovation and Collaboration Space of the Year 2019; First Runner up EEE, AsiaPacific awards 
  • Industry problem solving: outstanding collaboration in higher education & training. Design Factory Melbourne, BHERT finalist, 2019.
  • Creating the conditions for innovation

    The business and R&D landscape of Australia is rapidly changing. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to use design thinking and co-creation methods to discover new offerings. Design Factory Melbourne facilitates authentic real-world learning experiences and equips participants with the vital skills required to challenge the difficult, complex and unknown dynamics for future work success.

How the Design Factory Melbourne works

At DFM, we are always looking for project partners to present a challenge to the team to create change in the form of new products, services or systems innovations. Through a design innovation process that includes idea generation, proof-of-concept, prototyping and testing, project teams provide creative solutions, visualise outcomes and develop prototypes for industry —  all while being supported by cross-faculty teaching staff and researchers from Swinburne. 

Team members are given the freedom and resources to create genuine solutions, students gain new learning experiences through interdisciplinary and international activities, and project sponsors get access to teams of top-level students and leading scholars. 

We are one of three founding Design Factories 

Design Factory Melbourne is one of the three founding Design Factories inspired by the world’s first Design Factory at Aalto University in Helsinki. Aalto Design Factory pioneered a radically new approach to teaching product and service development by bringing leading business and design scholars, to future talent, and a mixture of companies together in a purpose-designed creative environment. 

The Design Factory Global Network consists of 30+ factories across the world. Design Factory Melbourne’s program also includes collaboration with the Stanford ME310/SUGAR Network and is founder of the Challenge Based Innovation Program A³ in partnership with IdeaSquare at CERN, to accelerate ideas through collaboration, research and development prototyping, and experimental innovation. 

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For organisations, government and researchers, Design Factory Melbourne offers a platform to develop and deliver innovative solutions based on real user needs.

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