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CDI 2018 Biennial Report

The Centre for Design Innovation is pleased to announce the release of its 2018 Biennial Report! 

This new edition encompasses a wide selection of our research outcomes and a detailed overview of our core programs: Architecture and Habitat, User Experience Design for Services, Future-Self and Design Living Lab, Smart Equipment Engineering and Wearable Technology Design and Advanced Product Design and Development.

The CDI has grown significantly over the last two years, a product of our sustained success in conducting serious deep research that creates innovative outcomes in a range of different design fields. This report delves into the information pursuit of our team, exploring the way the CDI navigates the contextual factors that shape uptake and adaption, as well as the positive effect our catalogue of work has had on end-users both locally and internationally.

We at the Centre for Design Innovation look forward to continuing our efforts to maximise the human experience of wider systems, services and spaces into the future. 

Download PDF web version (8MB low resolution) here: CDI Biennial Report 2018


Developing partnerships between International Living Labs

A major partnership between the Australian Living Lab Innovation Network (ALLIN) and European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) will look to work on “improving quality of life for all”.

The innovative Australian venture and its European equivalent signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August of 2018, with a promise to share knowledge and pursue innovation in order to improve quality of life across two continents and the wider planet. 

Both Living Labs have proved vital in bringing together a wide range of experts, researchers, citizens, businesses and government representatives in order to create innovative approaches to complex social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges in their respective regions. 

Phil Donaldson, chair of ALLIN says “This is a very exciting development in Australian innovation.” 

“Our partnership will help pave the way for greater innovation knowledge exchange across the globe, and for solutions, ideas, products and services to be rapidly scaled up to improve the health and wellbeing of people, enhance prosperity and protect the planet.” 

The MoU signifies a promise to build relationships between members of both Living labs, nurture international collaboration and mutual learning opportunities; and to develop the profile and impact of the growing international open innovation movement.

Swinburne’s Future Self and Design Living Lab has been a member of ENoLL since 2016, and was the first Australian Living Lab with a focus on ageing, health and design to be awarded membership to the major European body.

Led by A/Prof Sonja Pedell, Swinburne’s Living Lab was also part of the founding membership of ALLIN in 2016, developing a network that aims to build capacity and collaboration opportunities for living labs within Australia. 


Australian Kendo takes a 'Smart' approach to World Championships

The Australian Women’s Kendo Team has reached the podium for the first time in their history, competing at the World Kendo Championships in South Korea earlier this month. 

At the 17th instalment of the world championships, the team performed exceptionally, placing third behind traditional heavyweights Japan (1st) and Korea (2nd) and equal with Canada. 

An unprecedented result for Australian Kendo, the team’s rapid ascent on the world stage has been furthered by their Deputy Head Coach Mr Kwangyul Jeong, an elite professional Kendoka in his native South Korea and current PhD student within the Centre for Design Innovation.

(The Australian Womens Kendo Team secured their best finish ever, third at the World Kendo Championships)


‘Daniel,’ as he is more commonly known at Swinburne, has devoted his PhD to developing an automated scoring system for use in elite Kendo competition, through the implementation of sensor technology in existing Kendo armour.

Daniel has acted as the Deputy Head Coach of the Australian Kendo for the previous two years, following a professional career which saw him win the Victorian Kendo Championship four times, transposing his vast expertise into the exisiting Kendo regime. 

Despite these commitments, Daniel is currently finalising a PhD as part of the CDI’s Smart Equipment Engineering and Wearable Technology Design Department. 

“This is an unexpected and still unbelievable result, yet it proves how extensive fighting experience can be put into practice scientifically,” says Professor Tino Fuss, Program Director for Smart Equipment Engineering and Wearable Technology Design. 

“The team is very proud to have an elite athlete in our midst, who is also an excellent researcher!” 

(Kwangyul 'Daniel' Jeong represented Australia as Deputy Head Coach at the 2018 World Kendo championships in Incheon, South Korea)


Daniel’s automated scoring system revolves around the use of smart sensors within responsive clothing, in order to measure the force and accuracy of a strike before it is conveyed to referees. 

His investigation has significantly reduced the likelihood of human error in Kendo scoring, and improved parity in competitive tournaments. 

Daniel is due to travel to South Korea again in mid-October to present his extensive research at the Asian Sports Biomechanics conference.

New-age condom awarded $1 million in government funding

A revolutionary hydrogel condom developed in close collaboration with the University of Wollongong has finalised a $1 million NSW Medical Devices Fund (MDF) grant that will finance manufacturing and human trials scheduled for late 2018.

Entitled Project Geldom, the innovative condom design was announced as one of seven winners of the 2018 NSW MDF, receiving funding that will aid in its further development of appropriate testing and subsequent commercialisation.

Development began in 2015, following the release of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (B&MGF) Grand Challenges strategic focus, in an effort to improve condom uptake and reduce the impact of HIV AIDS on a global scale.  

Currently developed by Eudaemon Technologies, a start-up co-founded by Swinburne’s Dr Simon Cook, the ‘Geldom’ combines human-centred design principles with the hydrogel’s unique material properties, with an aim to alter the existing social stigma around condom use.

Initial testing and prototyping was undertaken at the University of Wollongong’s Australian Centre of Excellence for Material Science, before Swinburne researchers were tasked with accelerating the design-led innovation process.

As a result, ‘Geldom’ promises to combine innovation in manufacturing, packaging and distribution in order to address diverse global need, while also improving pleasure and eliminating the allergic response often associated with modern latex condoms.

Project Geldom CI Dr Simon Cook says the NSW MDF grant will go towards funding human trials in Kenya in late 2018, before moving into the commercialisation stage, with plans to collaborate with established condom manufacturers and relief agencies in developing world focus areas to increase universal access to the innovative condom. 

“This success is a testament to the hard work that our team has put into the project over the last few years with the support of Swinburne," says Dr Cook.

"This funding really sets the stage for realising our vision of getting our technology to those in developing world where it is needed the most, as soon as possible.”

Project Geldom was one of two green-lit programs for phase two funding under the B&MGF Grand Challenges initiative, from a group of 22 other programs that were originally involved in phase one. Project Geldom was originally chosen from a pool of over 2000 applicants.

“We’ve gone above and beyond the material science to understand the challenges people face when using a condom and what might make them an easier and more enjoyable way to have safe sex.”

(Promotional packaging for the hydrogel 'Geldom') 



'Ramo Dhawu' - A podcast series

A promising partnership between the CDI, Bula’bula Arts Centre and the Australian Government has reaped $200,000 in funding, which will be used to co-design and produce a community-based podcast series entitled ‘Ramo Dhawu’, based out of the Ramingining community in NE Arnhem Land and broadcast in both Yolngu Matha and English.

Led by the CDI’s Dr Samantha Edwards-Vandehoek, and with an initial grant providing funding over the span of 2 years, ‘Ramo Dhawu’ will allow for the preservation of traditional oral storytelling, cultural arts practices and a range of Yolngu languages, including Djinang, Ganalbingu and Gupapuyngu, while also promoting new avenues for digital art and youth creativity for young adults living in NE Arnhem land. 

“Podcasting is a form of participatory media that engages with user-generated content… and through ‘Ramo Dhawu’ we will foster intergenerational, peer-to-peer and intercultural knowledge sharing,” said Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek.

“Its participatory nature also affords a space for young people to build cultural confidence through the mutual exchange of ideas and language learning and by playing an active role in the creating and disseminating of their own content.

The product of previous deep research into place-making strategies in the Ramingining community, the podcast poses an opportunity for the development of conversations and relationships in new media, in order to further strengthen traditional culture and connection to country in NE Arnhem Land, the foundations for which have already been laid.

While working with Bula’bula Art Centre through a Swinburne Indigenous Studies Research start up grant, Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek was involved in the development of a locally-driven digital place-making project for the Bak’bididi cultural festival, exploring community capacity, building social capital and initiating digital innovation. 

“Place-making is about engaging people in dialogues about things they may want to do and shift in terms of the way they perceive and engage with their environment in the longer term… the place-making space is a kind of shared experience that sets up conversations and relationships”.

Her continued collaboration with Indigenous designers and cultural educators through ‘Ramo Dhawu’, (which roughly translates to ‘Stories from Ramingining,’) is part of Dr Edwards-Vandenhoek’s wider research focus around cultivating the application of Aboriginal design principles and cultures-based innovation in a young generation.


Information on Professor Edwards-Vandenhoek's previous work in the Ramingining community is available here:

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