Design Development


Over last 4 weeks we prototyped various aspects and different ideas that we came up with for our two main stakeholder, CFA (Country Fire Authority) and Residents of the community. This design process also aided with validating our ideas in relative to sustainable, planet friendly solutions, opportunity for behaviour change and impact on users lives. Social innovation is currently defined to be the process to address societal, planetary and sustainability issues with innovation that has impact on the social behaviour change with long-lasting benefits towards sustainability (Osburg & Schmidpeter, 2013, p.7). Our prototypes revolve around social innovation and is designed to aid multiple stakeholders’ value and walk them towards sustainability.



Synchronously, we worked on collecting insights by connecting with potential stakeholders with experience in bushfires and mapped out their journey to find critical gaps that need to be addressed. Based on the journey map of stakeholders we chose to design for two key challenges, communication problems faced by residents and firefighting with early detection for CFA. We identified that communication is key, as it involves updating people with reliable information about the disaster, helps the residents stay connected and seek emergency aid. These are all essential needs which lead to creating resilient communities and improve the mitigation of bushfires.



Currently, the 74 fire-towers placed widely across Victoria are responsible for spotting fires and reporting to the appropriate authorities. However, there is huge gap in time in relation to responding to bushfires, which is costing more damage and leads to uncontrollable fires that can devastate residents. We created our prototype around addressing this issue, and also add in function to control the fires.


The Concept Design Evolution


Around week 1 of the Design festival, we created a prototype that were for residential asset defence against incoming embers which cause spread of fire and loss of properties. This idea was aimed to replace water sprinklers and use automatic response with fire retardant smoke. We consider using other gases and materials by which we conserve water in the long run, which is big part of the planetary boundaries. Going forward we looked into aiding residents with communicating reliable information about the disaster. We came up with nodes system, which can have mechanism of Train Inspection Monorail (TIM-CERN Technology) incorporated with in it. The idea is to use a network mesh and have a master Node to travel through the community to project a frequency to inform them about bushfires and updates alone.


Morphological chart



By week-4 we had tried prototyping many different ideas for a range of potential stakeholders and refined two of the ideas, which includes the drone and communication system. As a final part of our design exploration festival, we looked into bladeless pneumatic jets to fly the drone and looked into nature friendly chemical that may aid with containing the fire.


The challenge we are left with currently is around the figuring out the dimensions of the drone, a material that can withstand heat, and fire extinguishing mechanism. Additionally, the drone will be the main intervention that would aim to solve the problem by reducing the spread of fire, while the communication system will become alternative solution towards the worst possibility of a bushfire.


Prototype development and ideation



Next steps

Currently we are focusing on considering the futuristic functions and the constraints or limitation based on science. This includes considering the growth rate of certain technologies, the repercussions of man-made solution as to nature, and the possibilities of making our solution planet friendly. These aspects will be taken into consideration and discussed with final ideas on our design detail presentation.


Highlight of the four-week design development festival

Highlight of the four-week festival was warm –up and scavenger hunt activities that took place every week. Some of these activities included drawing other team members, designing zoom backgrounds and postcards.


Quote of the week

“You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.”

Seth Godin



Osburg, T. and Schmidpeter, R., 2013. Social innovation. Solutions for a sustainable future.