Design Hack in Action: #HackFed Square Recap

June 18, 2019

One of the many things we do here at Marketing Entourage is run Design Hacks and Design Sprints. Most often, these come about as a creative and fast-tracked way to find solutions to a key challenge or 'problem' that an organisation is experiencing, or predict they'll experience in the future.

Design Hacks & Sprints

Design Hacks and Sprints are a great way to involve passionate minds from different walks of life to come together and collaborate with all their diverse perspectives. The process is especially suited to organisations or 'problems' that involve a community, as getting the community involved in coming up with a solution is incredibly powerful.

The process can be done for any company, institution or even a place, to troubleshoot and ideate solutions well into the future.

On May 25 as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019, we ran a Design Hack for Federation Square, to come up with ideas to evolve the popular Melbourne square into the future. The key question to address was: How can we ensure Fed Square remains one of Melbourne’s key cultural landmarks and iconic meeting places - a space where creativity, curiosity and inspiration collide?

A group of almost 60 strangers came together on Friday night, were briefed on the task at hand, entertained, and assigned to 10 different teams.

On Saturday, we gathered at the Deakin Edge venue at Fed Square at 9am, and set to work to #HackFedSquare.

It was a hive of energy, passion, intelligence and creativity. It was truly something special to witness the shifts throughout the day as the teams went through the entire process. You could visibly see the ideas bubbling away as teams spoke passionately about the issue at hand, all while getting to know each other and creating connections.


There were coffee cups, pens, markers, and colourful post-it notes all around, as well as make-shift butcher paper whiteboards and lots of hands on prototyping: all signs of the creative process taking place.

  edited-7113 edited-7260

Towards the end of the day, we had Phil and our partners from Phoria, Trent and Sam, going around helping the teams to prepare for their pitches, and then it was 'go time'!


The teams presented their pitches, which were all a really impressive quality. The whole thing was live streamed via Fed Square and Melbourne Knowledge Week's Facebook pages, and is available to watch the replay here:



After all 10 teams presented, the judges went away to deliberate and choose the winners, which were as follows:

People's Choice - Team 'Square Root': Immersive AR technology experience for visitors to paint Fed Square, users can create their own art using AR headsets in different spots around Fed Square, then save or share their art with a mobile app.

Drawing in 3rd place - Team 'Square Root': above, and Team 'Coda': a 'ribbon walkway' elevated platform above Fed Square, linking the square more to the Yarra River with great views, and also making use of off-grid sustainability.

In 2nd place - Team 'Fedish': creating a virtual platform where artists can paint fed square, making large scale art displays which visitors can view through augmented reality within Fed Square. (Users can also take photos of themselves 'within' the art and vote on their favourite creations, and the most popular pieces will be projected monthly)

In 1st place - Team 'Fed Up': Creating a mixed reality kaleidoscope (using technology in the square as well as visitor's mobile devices with an app) in different spaces around Fed Square. Each space will represent a key Melburnian value - e.g. a digital garden celebrating sustainability, a dreamtime experience celebrating history and tradition, and an interactive art to 'remix' the space in front of you.

Throughout the day we also had the support of our partners at Uvideo, who put together this clip, which sums up the day quite nicely!

Hack Fed Square

Overall, it was a great event with great outcomes for the community and for Fed Square. Thanks to the teams involved - Knowledge Melbourne, Fed Square, City of Melbourne, and our amazing partners - PHORIA, Uvideo, and LCI Melbourne.

For more information about Design Hacks and Design sprints, check out this blog post that breaks it down a little further, and see some other Design Hacks that we've facilitated.

If you have a challenge or problem to solve within your community, company or organisation a Design Hack or Design Sprint might be the perfect way to come up with a solution. The process can be tailored to meet varying requirements, so if you'd like to look into how it could work for you, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you! Email us at


by Samantha Hurley

Samantha Hurley

Written by Samantha Hurley

Sam co-founded Marketing Entourage after spending 18 years in senior sales & marketing positions for companies such as Lonely Planet and The Press Association in Melbourne, New York and London. Sam started out in a design agency and used design thinking to help develop a product that went on to revolutionise the media industry in 2002. Sam also teaches Digital Marketing and Data Driven Marketing at General Assembly. The daughter of an engineer and a designer, she learned to code and design at a young age. She feels she has the mind of a scientist and the heart of an artist and likes to sit in the space where creativity, technology and business converge.

Subscribe to our blog

More from our blog

See all posts
Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 1.39.19 pm
Customer journey mapping