Digital Innovation Lab

Location

Clayton, Victoria

Year

2015 – 2016

Services

Principal Consultant
Architecture
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Workplace Strategy and Design
Design team management

Overview

Monash University sought to innovate the way they designed, developed, and tested online services, websites, applications, and digital media used by students. Based on our experience interpreting complex and innovative briefs we were approached to lead the design team.

The project required the transformation of a vacant space at the base of the Clayton campus Post-Graduate building (previously delivered by our team) into a Digital Innovation Lab.

Developing the brief

Monash University required a versatile space that would enable strategic thinkers and creative students to come together and develop, test, and review new university digital integrations and programs in real-time. We assisted them to shape a design brief that materialised this vision of a true innovation hub that would propel the University’s new user experience team.

A digital innovation lab with black and yellow walls and glass windows featuring a large screen for multimedia display.
Accommodating diverse requirements

Key requirements for the new facility included:

  • Facilitating two different types of interactions – those between people and those between people and devices.
  • Supporting face-to-face discussions, presentations, meetings and workshops
  • Operating as an interactive lab for testing of websites, software, and applications across a variety of electronic devices, while also providing facilities for staff to observe and record such testing, and receive feedback from students
  • Creating an environment that would convey the innovative ideas being undertaken without intimidating the users.
A conference room with chairs and multiple monitors displaying robots.
A digital innovation office featuring stylish black and yellow stripes.

Why all the black?

We researched and flipped the aesthetic used in Apple and Google retail stores by not giving visual priority to electronic screens over handwritten information. Every wall is a ‘black screen’ that can be written or projected on to convey information.

People in a meeting room discussing ideas while looking at a large screen displaying information.

Facilitating innovation

The planning of the facility provides a series of interconnected, flexible spaces, allowing users to move seamlessly between a larger theatrette, small satellite breakout rooms, open plan computer workstations and project spaces.

An office space featuring vibrant yellow and black accents with 2 people working.
Technology rich and adaptable

Prioritising collaborative technology and presentation spaces, this highly technical design emphasised seamless integration between both interior spaces and functional capability. Physically, the open floorplan enables clustered collaboration areas to open up and function as one large learning space, as required, through the use of operable walls and versatile seating. A specialised user testing space is fitted out to allow software testers’ eyeball movements and body language to be tracked and analysed while testing is underway.

An exemplar digital environment

The Digital Innovation Lab provides an inspiring, exemplar space that represents a new typology and speaks to Monash University’s leading-edge, research-oriented profile.