Swinburne Design Factory

SDF’s vision is to be a change agent transforming university-industry collaboration.


Ms. Lucy Campbell

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Post author: Robyn Watson. Last update: 24/07/2015 at 2:26 pm by Robyn Watson.


Swinburne Design Factory (SDF) is an interdisciplinary design driven culture facilitating innovation. SDF is a collaborative platform for industry-engaged research bringing together students, researchers, industry partners and entrepreneurs to solve complex problems, generate solutions and forecast future scenarios. SDF provide opportunities and programs that complement a student’s degree.

SDF is the first design factory in the southern hemisphere to join the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN), originating from Aalto University, and is the only Design Factory in Australia.

DFGN shared understanding enables the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures and with diverse industries. The goal is to be the leader in international university-industry collaboration beyond academic and physical boundaries.

Our Design Factory partners are Aalto University (Finland), Tongji University (China), CERN research laboratory (Switzerland), Duoc UC (Chile), Yonsei University (South Korea), Porto Polytechnic (Portugal), Philadelphia University (USA), Pace University (USA), NHL University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands) and Riga Technical University (Latvia).

Our partnerships extend to Stanford University’s ME310 program, SUGAR network and also CERN Challenge Based Innovation program (CBI) university network.



How we do it?
– Design-led innovation process
– Research design and knowledge creation
– Entrepreneurial and self-directed learning
– Interpersonal and soft skills
– Interdisciplinary collaboration


Industry partners participate in projects, events, workshops in the space

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, Coles, Deloitte, The Alfred, St Vincent’s, Cisco and Metro Trains.

Students get involved in extracurricular activities and events hosted by SDF, study tours, units of study starting from 25cp – 87.5 credit points for project work in interdisciplinary local and international teams.

Current students and alumni can use the space outside of activities (as can all PhD students and staff), special events open to all students.

Lifesize video conferencing units are connected 24/7 to our partner Design Factories. Students in the SDF global program communicate with industry and co students round the world through the latest technology.

Access by collaboration, Access by fee for service
Access by users external to managing organisation, Access by users internal to managing organisation


Ms. Lucy Campbell

Ms. Lucy Campbell

Facility Staff at Swinburne University of Technology, .

P: +61 3 9214 6101 | Email |

Ms. Christine Thong

Ms. Christine Thong

Facility Staff at Swinburne University of Technology, .

P: +61 3 9214 6431 | Email |


3D Printing

Soft prototyping lab used for Design-led innovation.

Facility: |


Swinburne Design Factory

Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn Campus. Swinburne Design Factory, AMDC 507,, 463 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia.

View location in Google maps.


Type: Commercial research services provider, Core facility in a research organisation
Discipline areas: Materials Science
Precinct: Central
Affiliations: Swinburne University of Technology

Tags: business, co creation, design factory, design thinking, design-led innovation, global, human centred design, industry collaboration, industry experience, industry-university collaboration, innovation, Interdisciplinary industry research, project based learning