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Grand Poo Design

Posted Thursday 14th March 2013, 4:00pm
Grand Poo Design

Design and systemic life cycle thinking are an important element to Poo Power! As director of Eco Innovators Leyla Acaroglu recently tweeted from TED2013, “Simplistic solutions don’t solve problems they just create new ones somewhere else. Eliminate #rebound effects through good design choices.” Hear, hear! 

Poo Power!’s co-design of urban dog waste management looks at the big picture and once you start scratching at the surface there is more than meets the eye. At first look, science shows us that transforming dog waste into renewable energy using a biogas generator seems simple however creating a solution without transferring the problem elsewhere in the system is the the harder choice. We take inspiration from ‘closing the loop’ and employ strategies such as ‘user-centered design’. The challenge for Poo Power! is to respect the current behaviour system and the 85% of people who do the right thing; and then to create a new dog waste management system that is:

  • Innovative
  • Functional and user-friendly
  • Acceptable to dog owners, local Council and all users of public parks
  • Friendly to the environment including Melbourne’s rivers, creeks and bays,
  • Economically feasible.

Enter: Swinburne Design Factory (SDF). Their Industry Interdisciplinary Program offers students new and unique experiences; challenging them to move outside of their comfort zone in order to create innovation and new thinking. In 2013, Poo Power! is a project sponsor and last week Duncan Chew provided the client brief to the student team - be “Poo Power-ful!”  SDF Manager Christine Thong is equally enthusiastic,

"We're really excited to be involved with the Poo Power! project. We have a fantastic student team with diverse backgrounds, all enthusiastic to tackle the challenge of usability for the bio digestion units."  

With the additional support of SDF Coach Päivi Oinonen, the following students are joining the journey into the world of dog poo: 

Swinburne Design Factory IIP team

Aeen Ashkani (Discipline: Interior Design) - Aeen completed an Interior Architecture Bachelor Degree in Malaysia and is now in the second Semester of university studying a Masters of Interior Design. Aeen worked for one year at 'Abu Dhabi Project & Supply L.L.C' in Iran before she moved to Malaysia where she improved her Auto CAD skills. Just one semester before she finished her Bachelor she had the chance to work full time for three months with 'Veritas Design Group', one of the well known Design Firms in Malaysia. This helped her a lot how to be creative and how to Attend Meetings, do Documentation and Conceptual Design. Aeen found this project interesting because its relationship to Sustainability which is related her current studies. She will be a great asset as the Research manager aiding in her team members collaboration. She would love to see a great outcome from this project.

Alexia Pogiatzi (Discipline: Interior Design) - Alexia completed an Interior Design and Architecture Bachelor Degree in Germany and is now in the process of finishing her Masters in Interior Design also in Germany. At the moment she is taking part in an Exchange Program with Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and is part of the design factory team. During both her studies, Alexia focused especially on design and concept development and 3D modelling, completing all the relevant subjects. Having worked on a real life project before, she understands all the important procedures involved. Moreover, having great organisational skills, she will not only bring her technical abilities and experience to the team, but also contribute to the schedule and time management. She is excited about being part of an interdisciplinary project and especially looks forward to the design development.

Joel Benton (Discipline: Product Design Engineering) - Joel completed an Associate Degree of Engineering in 2011 and is now in his 4th year of uni studying a bachelor of Product Design Engineering. The degree is helping him to building on his skills to fulfill a strong desire to design creative and innovative products. Having previously worked as a Master Locksmith for 8 years Joel has a large amount of experience with customer relations from working for many councils, companies and residential clients. The skills he learned from his trade and pre-apprenticeship of engineering fabrication also allows him to produce a wide range of functional prototypes. Joel’s human factors orientated designing skills will bring a specialised approach to the project that will ensure that the final product will be clever yet simple to use for all dog owners.

Dom Couch (Discipline: Industrial Designer) - Dom is currently studying his honours year of Industrial Design; he has designed and built a number of prototypes in his time at Swinburne, as well as a number of personal projects in his spare time. He has skills in ideation, design development and details as well as prototyping. Dom is most looking forward putting his design skills to use but developing a number of suitable solutions which meet the needs of the users.

Fransiska Rahardja (Discipline: IT) - Fransiska is currently an IT student majoring in Business Analysis. She spent 6 years working in different areas in IT as Technical Support, Junior Web Developer, Business Support, and ERP functional consultant. These many experiences of working with different types of projects and challenges will be of great use to the team. Fransiska always enjoys working in a team and will bring the courage that lead to successful project. She is looking forward to contribute her knowledge and skills for better future.

Mark Bluett (Discipline: Digital Design) - Mark has many years working in Industry as a digital visualiser. His wealth of experience will be important for communicating the teams concepts to the general public and project stakeholders. His specialised skills include: graphs of visual data, film interviews and product simulations, motion graphics for advertisement, and 3D animations for pre-visualisations.

Crystal Chan (Discipline: Interior Architecture) - With over 2 years of working experience as a freelance Interior Architect Crystal decided to broaden her expertise with a Masters Degree of Interior Design from Swinburne University. Through her study and work experience, she has gained technical skills in programs such as Photoshop, Revit and Sketchup which will be important for preparing presentation boards and professional documentation. Although Crystal has worked freelance for a sometime and is used to work independently, she takes the point of view that working as a group always achieved more at the end. For her, there is nothing more excited than working towards the goal with a group of passionate professionals Crystal has very optimistic, personality seeing possible in impossible and sees herself as a curious sort of person and which allows her to significantly contribute ideas for brainstorming, problem solving and any other circumstances.

James Barber (Discipline: Commerce and International Business) - James is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business; co-major Japanese at Swinburne University of Technology. He is a hard worker and loves a challenge with a very strong interest in all aspects of business in both international and domestic settings. James can contribute to the team by applying a strong wealth of business based knowledge and skills that he have acquired throughout his academic career at Swinburne University. James is looking forward to putting into practice the array of skills and abilities he has learned throughout his degree in a practical situation while working with faculty of design students on a real-world project such as this. “I can't wait to get started!”

Updates will be made throughout the year working closer towards Australia’s first Poo Power! station becoming a reality in 2013.

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About Diesel


Diesel is an inspiration. Plus he makes some of the poo. Diesel is proof that one pooch can make a difference.

More about Diesel...
Poo Power! is supported by:
  • Green Nation
  • Yarra Energy Foundation
  • Melbourne Water
  • Inspiring Australia
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