People working and networking at Design Factory NZ

DFNZ for Students

What we offer

Design Factory NZ offers a wide range of learning experiences for both students seeking to prepare for the future workplace, and professionals looking for post-graduate study options for themselves and their teams.
These include:

Undergraduate learning

Design Factory 1 is our undergraduate programme that provides a problem-solving learning experience for level 7 students from across Wintec's centres. Students form multi-disciplinary teams and collaborate with an industry partner working to solve an industry-specific problem over 15 weeks. This culminates in a final presentation at our flagship gala, providing a comprehensive Design Thinking experience for our students.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation is for those wanting to build on their enterprise experience with flexibility in time or place of study. Students gain skills and expertise highly valued by a workplace and research environment, including developing an understanding of transdisciplinary research and reframing of a real-world problem.
There are no formal classes in this course and students are guided through the programme by an academic lead supervisor and an industry mentor. Students are embedded in a community of practice, supported by supervision and mentorship, with access to a national and international network of researches. Students enrich their learning through regular seminars, presentations, extensive online resources and workshops.

Master of Applied Innovation provides deeper engagement with problem-solving in a real-world context. Students have a coached learning journey in both the theory and practice of innovation, with a relentless focus on application, value and practicality. Students coming from a range of academic and employment experience will work on an industry problem as the capstone project of their course, resulting in a detailed, high-fidelity practical solution to the industry problem.
As with the Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, there are no formal classes and students are guided through the programme by an academic lead supervisor and an industry mentor. Students develop a research plan in the first part of the programme and spend at least 3 days a week in a business, working on the project. They are embedded in our community of practice, supported by supervision and mentorship, with access to a national and international network or researchers.

Design Factory NZ Student Learning 2019 10 30

Design Factory NZ Student Learning

Design Factory NZ Students Learning

Design Factory 1

Students are placed in multi-disciplinary teams, working alongside learners specialising in engineering, business, IT, sports & human performance, graphic design, media arts - and more. We provide industry partners (such as Opus International, Hamilton City Council, and Habitat for Humanity), who share one of their wicked problems with the student teams. 

And from there - it’s action!

Surrounded by our experienced coaches and facilitators, our students are taught the skills of co-creation, and guided in applying their new learning on their complex problem. Empathy interviews, customer journeys, ideation, prototyping, user-testing, collaboration - and a whole lot more. 

At the end of our fifteen week, 30-credit program, our student groups present their final proof-of-concept solutions at our Design Factory Gala - a celebration event featuring their industry partners, alumni, local business leaders and more.

Joining Design Factory provides students with a unique opportunity to work in new ways, prototype solutions to problems they will not have encountered in their studies - and develop their soft skills of creativity, empathy and communication - in preparation for the workplace of the future.

Hannah talks about her experience at Design Factory NZ alongside a diverse team of cross-disciplinary students as they find solutions for the Hamilton City Council.

Sarajane talks about her experience joining the Design Factory NZ and working alongside her teams client Genesis Energy.
Akhil is a mechanical engineering student and was one of our 2018 Design Factory NZ participants. 

Student interview Caitlynn Wendt

Why did you get involved in the design course?

I’ve always wanted to do things that were different, that would make a real difference. When I first heard about the Wintec Design Hub, I liked that it was inter-disciplinary and completely new. I knew It was a rare opportunity that I couldn’t say no to. 

What did you personally get out of it?

I’ve grown so much through Design Factory NZ. It’s introduced me to a whole new way of thinking, with techniques and processes that can be applied anywhere. 

Design Factory NZ has given me the confidence to approach industry professionals, and the passion to believe in myself. There are so many endless opportunities through the Design Hub. 

I aspire to take on leadership roles within the community, and be a voice for my generation. Without Design Factory NZ, I wouldn’t have built the confidence to pursue this passion. Personally, and professionally, it’s been the best choice I’ve made.

How beneficial do you think this will be for Wintec as a whole moving forward?

This is an extraordinary opportunity for Wintec. They already have such a good reputation. Being a part of the Design Factory Global Network shows Wintec’s willingness to try new approaches to learning. This opens so many doors to Wintec’s future. 

Caitlynn Wendt