Deakin University is connecting research and industry to create intelligent products, services and experiences

At the frontline of transformational design thinking. DesignMind, Deakin’s international design and innovation platform, draws on expertise straddling the architecture, industrial design, engineering, materials science, communication design and information technology disciplines to devise pragmatic solutions to global challenges, not least the need to progress the circular economy concept to drive economic growth and sustainability.

extending design thinking

Using a transdisciplinary approach

Traditionally applied to the creation of products, buildings and environments, the digital economy and data analysis tools have extended design thinking to systems, services and experiences – a development that is creating commercial advantage and social change.  DesignMind is working across diverse research and practice communities to develop projects of national and international significance. Connecting industry with design-led research at Deakin University and introducing local ideas into prospective global markets. Transdisciplinary design research is identifying solutions for industry innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; and climate action – all closely aligned with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

an agent for change

With a practical design mindset

Headquartered in Geelong, Australia, Deakin University is well placed to champion multidisciplinary design thinking as an agent for change within business and government sectors. A practical design mindset prevails through groundbreaking work at Deakin’s Carbon Nexus Centre; its Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training; the Australian Future Fibres Research Innovation Centre – a collaboration between Deakin and CSIRO; and at the ManuFutures hub that provides a crucial link between proof of concept and production within Deakin’s Geelong Future Economy Precinct. 

Jo-Ann Kellock FDIA (Hon), Design Institute of Australia CEO
“DesignMind is bridging the gap between R&D and commercialisation – a bridge that enables both the introduction and transformation of products and services that advance our way of life and the wellbeing of the planet.”

an enduring commitment

Driving sustainable economic development

As Australia’s only UNESCO City of Design and a member of the United Nations’ Creative Cities Network, the City of Greater Geelong is working in partnership with Deakin University’s DesignMind platform to promote design thinking as a transformational tool for product, process, organisational, environmental and social innovation – and as a driver of sustainable economic development.

Cr Stephanie Asher, City of Greater Geelong Mayor
“DesignMind’s practical expertise and collaborative approach bring a unique perspective that can help us find new solutions to local and global challenges.” 

Design-Led Research Projects

Intelligent Adaptive Transportation

Deakin University’s Schools of Architecture and Built Environment and Information Technology have partnered with the City of Greater Geelong to develop a highly intelligent and adaptive transportation network concept for the city. Based on human-centred design principles, swarm intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), the project proposes a decentralised, self-organising transport system that is flexible, robust and responsive to change.

Smart Surfaces Sensored Flooring

Deakin University’s Mediated Intelligence in Design Laboratory (MInD Lab) is working with Geelong-based advanced manufacturing company Imagine Intelligent Materials and Chinese medical research group Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology to apply a sensitive graphene-based coating to textile materials. Smart materials that report real-time changes in pressure, temperature and humidity.

International Indigenous Design Charter

Deakin’s School of Communication and Creative Arts are working with design and Indigenous organisations worldwide to produce regionally specific iterations of the International Indigenous Design Charter. The Charter is a professional best practice guide to authentic and respectful cultural representation in commercial design supported by the International Council of Design (ico-D). Collaborators include the NIKERI Institute (Deakin University’s National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation Institute), Indigenous Architecture and Design Victoria and the Design Institute of Australia. 

Experiencing (In)tangible Heritage at Western Beach

In collaboration with Deakin University’s MInD Lab in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, DesignMind is working with the City of Greater Geelong’s Smart Cities Team to bring the rich heritage of Geelong’s revitalised Western Beach Boat Yards to life through augmented and virtual reality. Using an app accessible through smart phones and other digital devices, a multimedia storytelling experience will transport visitors back in time to hear the sounds – and visually experience the buildings and structures – of the past, including the 1800s public baths.

Our Team

Professor Tuba Kocaturk

DesignMind Co-Director
Professor Integral Design

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Dr Russell Kennedy

DesignMind Co-Director
Head Screen & Media

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Chris Gilbey OAM – Imagine Intelligent Materials Executive Chairman and CEO
“A CEO that surrounds himself with smart people inevitably becomes smarter. You can’t achieve accelerated innovation without a true partnership between academic research and business.”

Johnathon Strebly – International Council of Design (ico-D) President
“ico-D congratulates Deakin University on its DesignMind initiative and acknowledges the important contribution that this international design and innovation platform is making to the global design conversation.”