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DATTArc 2018 proves an international standard-bearer

Swinburne-hosted conference investigates the future of design and technology education

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.

Ryan Malcolm

Ryan is a driven student completing Professional Placement with the Centre for Design Innovation throughout 2018. After completing two years of his...

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Assoc. Prof. Kurt Seemann

Associate Professor Kurt’s research focus is the relationship between people, technology and the environment as a complex adaptive system. The...

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