Media/Australian first as design marathon comes to Sydney

Australian first as design marathon comes to Sydney

Enabled by Design-athon set to change lives for people with a disability

Will overwrite featured video.
Participants coming up with some big ideas to make the world more accessible and inclusive at Australia's first Enabled By Design-Athon.
Will overwrite featured image.

The best and brightest young designers, engineers and inventors are converging on Sydney for an Australian first – a 48-hour design-athon which could change the world for people with a disability.

Following in the footsteps of the UK (2012) and Washington (2013), Sydney will this weekend host Enabled by Design-athon 2014. The two day ideas and prototyping fest aims to inspire Australia’s mainstream design and technology community to embrace universal design – ‘design for all’ – including for people with a disability.

120 designers, engineers, inventors and people with a disability will work in teams, with the aim being to come up with prototypes for products, technologies or services, some of which may eventually be produced and available for sale on the open market.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance has partnered with the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to bring Enabled by   Design-athon to Sydney. Robyn Cummins from Cerebral Palsy Alliance says the results could be life-changing.

‘This event is unique as each team includes a person with a disability who will provide the inspiration needed for the creative juices to really flow’, Robyn said.

‘The initial part of the Design-athon is the empathy stage where each team has to literally walk in the shoes of their team member with a disability. This gives them first-hand experience of the everyday challenges they face, and a greater understanding about how their daily life is impacted.

‘There is no better way to generate design ideas for products, technologies or services that could assist people with a disability in their daily living. This fun and fast-paced challenge will show how great design can be life-changing.’

After the empathy stage, teams have to come up with a new product, design it, and produce a working prototype. There are endless possibilities for new products, technologies or services that are more accessible, attractive and easier for everyone to use, with each prototype judged against the others.

Enabled by Design-athon 2014 will be held at UTS on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th July. It is sponsored by the Department of Family and Community Services. Go to

Attention media: Robyn Cummins is available for interview. Photo opportunities of the teams in action will be available at UTS on 25th and 26th July.

Contact: Jennifer Durante  0419 802 602

Released on 24 Jul 2014