Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015


DATTArc 2018 proves an international standard-bearer

Design experts from around the world were recently united for three days of dialogue around the future of design education at the 10th Design and Technology Teachers’ Association (DATTA) research conference held at Swinburne University. 

Formerly known as the Technology Education research conference (TERC), DATTArc has ascended to become one of the premier research conferences within the design stream throughout the world, with the latest iteration attracting over 100 delegates from countries such as Sweden, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The recent DATTArc, which took place between the 6th – 8th of December 2018, was lauded for providing a wealth of insightful discussion opportunities and fluid networking availability while offering a range of workshops focused around research publication and two engaging tours around Swinburne’s state-of-the-art Factory of the Future and its focus on Industry 4.0.

 (Delegates were treated to a tour of Swinburne's foray into Industry 4.0, with a focus on innovative design and robotics.)


Five engaging keynote presentations over the course of three days sparked engaging internal debate, revolving around the existing relationship between design and technology in the current education structure as well as its influence on established cultural practices. 

 (Mr. Peter Murphy, President of DATTA Australia, delivered an engaging keynote focused on the future of design and technology education.)


Dr Eva Hartell, Assoc. Prof. Kurt Seemann, Ms Maddison Miller, Dr Leyla Acaroglu and Mr Peter Murphy facilitated vast learning opportunities for theatres full of delegates, resulting in a strong dialogue among a highly motivated design community about the existing and developing climate of design innovation. 

While the research aspect of DATTArc excelled, the accompanying trade exhibit served as a hub of activity for the duration of the conference, which saw delegates congregate throughout the conference to explore the future of applied design and technology, with scope for application within primary and secondary school environments. 

 (The DATTArc Trade Exhibit was a hive of activity throughout the conference.)


Assoc. Prof. Kurt Seemann, a board member of DATTA Australia and Founding Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Design Innovation, labelled DATTArc “an enriching, engaging and highly attended international conference”. 

“The combined contributions of the lead researchers and teachers in this field, the depth of conversations that were had, and the high motivation to roar have clearly produced a strong and highly motivated community in applied design-led innovation and technology education scholarship and practice.”

Planning for DATTArc 2020 has already begun, so be sure to check back at for more information through 2019.

Living Politics in the City

An engaging political symposium has received glowing reviews, uniting speakers from eleven countries from around the world in Rennes, France.

The Leaving Traces: Living Politics in the City symposium, convened by Swinburne University’s Assoc. Prof. Flavia Marcello and ENSA Bretagne’s Professor Carmen Popescu, explored the growth of political expression within the public sphere. The symposium was a collaboration with Frédèric Sotinel from the GRIEF research centre, Marion Hohlfeldt from the University of Rennes and Ian Woodcock from RMIT's Centre for Urban Research.

The ideas of both official and unofficial political discourse were extensively scrutinized, in relation to a number of historical and contemporary case studies, involving the agora of Athens, the former Communist Bloc and the streets of San Francisco.

The sheer scope of political discourse was reinforced by the vast range of case studies presented, with examples from Burkina Faso to Bangladesh and Brazil, and San Francisco’s Mission district to Sydney and Spittelberg (Vienna) all thrust into the spotlight over the two-day symposium.

In addition, the roles that religion and multinational corporations play in both inciting political outcry and impacting on culture were explored in-depth, investigating exactly how citizens understand and interact with these symbols of power at the street-level.

Following a congregation that proved such a resounding success, Swinburne’s Centre for Design Innovation is pleased to announce that a second Leaving Traces Symposium is to be held in Melbourne on the 18th and 19th of July 2019, in order to build on the ideas manifested in Rennes.

A call for papers for this next symposium will be released in mid-December, with those interested urged to contact Assoc. Prof. Flavia Marcello at [email protected].

Look out for more information around Leaving Traces: Living Politics in the City on Twitter and Instagram, by following #lpic18 and #livingpoliticsinthecity.

For more details on the symposium and a photo gallery: CLICK HERE

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


Our Journey

An engaging multimedia collaboration between the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the CDI has been launched at the 2018 MITS Gala Ball.

Written and animated by MITS students, ‘Our Journey’ provides a vehicle for Indigenous students to depict their own stories and experiences of living and studying in Melbourne.

Utilising freshly-designed animal characters and an orchestral musical soundscape, students learnt how to convey their own stories in an instantly engrossing manner, complete with the use of vivid colour animation.

Led by Samantha Edwards-Vandenhoek, the CDI project was made possible through the Marngo Designing Futures tertiary aspiration program, which is directly funded by the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.

Officially released in front of hundreds of guests at the MITS Gala Ball, ‘Our Story’ is now live and viewable here.

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 a founding member of ALLIN in 2016, developing a network that aims to build capacity and collaboration opportunities for living labs within Australia. 


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