Design Factory Melbourne

Design Factory Melbourne is part of the Global Design Factory Network – a global network of universities offering innovative education, research and partnerships.

Design Factory Melbourne (formerly Swinburne Design Factory) brings together students, research leaders, industry partners and entrepreneurs to solve complex problems, generate innovative solutions and forecast future scenarios.

Design Factory Melbourne 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. 

Design Factory Melbourne plays a key role in developing partnerships across Swinburne’s different departments and research centres, and builds lasting relationships with external organisations. It works closely with other Swinburne initiatives such as the Factory of the Future and the Centre for Design Innovation.

All Design Factory Melbourne interdisciplinary industry projects are organised around a project partner. Partners can be an organisation of any size or type, ranging from corporate to government to not-for-profit. Past project sponsors include CSIRO, Visy, Kmart Australia, Anex, ISM Interiors, Involve Audio, Purplemonky, Philips, Biolan, MetsäWood and Coles.

DFM project partners provide a brief that challenges a project team to look at a problem and to create change in the form of new products, services or systems innovations. Working through a design-led process that includes idea generation, proof-of-concept, prototyping and testing, project teams provide creative solutions, visualise outcomes and develop prototypes for industry. Teams are supported by cross-faculty teaching staff and researchers from across Swinburne. 

Design Factory Melbourne facilitates an innovation culture supporting the vital skills required to challenge the difficult, complex and unknown dynamics for success.  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. 

DFM is inspired by and was developed in collaboration with 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 includes Aalto Design Factory, Swinburne Design Factory, Aalto-Tongii Design Factory in Shanghai, DDF Chile located at Duoc UC, in Santiago, IdeaSquare at CERN Research Laboratory, Porto Design Factory in Portugal and Frisian Design Factory in Netherlands. 


t: +61 3 9214 6101
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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.