ManuFutures 2 Extension is Designed to Support Collaboration

An impactful arrival experience and spaces for networking are at the heart of DesignInc’s extension for Deakin University’s ManuFutures 2 hub at the Waurn Ponds campus in Geelong.

Deakin engaged DesignInc to add 3,000sqm to support ManuFutures’ core mission of building capability in manufacturing through new training, services and facilities for entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing businesses.

ManuFutures 1, which opened in 2018, was designed by DesignInc with a modular design that allowed for the stage two expansion. The DesignInc team was keen to understand lessons from ManuFutures 1 when designing the second-generation building.

We listened to the team at Deakin and the experiences of the current tenant innovators and decided we could add value by establishing a cohesive ManuFutures precinct and a gathering point for entrepreneurs.

Adrian Doohan
Senior Associate, DesignInc Melbourne

A central node links ManuFutures 1 and ManuFutures 2 with breakout areas and collaborative workspaces that feel very different to traditional manufacturing spaces. The product development centre and six new adaptable tenant spaces allow new ventures to develop, field test and manufacture products to bring to market. 

The design deliberately positions the new Innoveering Centre with robot arms, 3D printers, lasers and other technical equipment for small-scale prototyping at the building entry to ‘showcase work in action’. 

To link the building with Country, the DesignInc team connected with local Indigenous artist Billy-Jay O’Toole, a Wadawurrung man and artist whose work was already present on the Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus, to install a 44m graphic along the length of the ManuFutures 2 hallway to make a strong visual statement that connects hub and tenant spaces. The artwork makes the space welcoming with warm rich colours that tie the facility to Country.

Tight completion timelines demanded innovation on our side too. Keeping the project modular and not overcomplicating the building was essential to achieving the outcome in 12 months. The result is a dynamic advanced manufacturing hub for Deakin University and industry.

Adrian Doohan
Senior Associate, DesignInc Melbourne
Two people sitting at a lounge area chatting with each other