Make it Break it


  • MASS
  • Netwealth
  • Swinburne


‘Make it Break it’ is a masterclass facilitated by Melbourne-based design studio, MASS, financial services company Netwealth, and Swinburne University. Based on the Google Ventures Sprint methodology, it promotes finding simple solutions to ‘critical business problems’, prototyping, testing and learning from the results. The event is in its third year. Each year Netwealth provides a challenge statement, and MASS facilitates the sprint through the sequence of design, prototyping and testing with subjects; Swinburne University students. While it’s usually facilitated over an intensive 5-day collaborative workshop at Swinburne, this year we adjusted the program to run remotely over a 4-week period.

Key Features


Every minute of the masterclass is accounted for and consideration is given to activities that are completed either individually, are team-based or involve the entire group.

We create multi-disciplinary teams, introduce them to design-thinking, teach them the benefits of a diverse team and facilitate a variety of anonymous and collaborative activities designed for efficiency and to ensure everyone can participate regardless of confidence and personality type.

Students get valuable time with industry professionals, learn about the designer/client relationship and how to collaborate as a team. They present their outcomes in a showcase where a panel of experts provide feedback.


Over 150 students have taken the masterclass so far. Students have provided consistently positive feedback about the program, and many have told us that participating has helped them get their first job.

Students get an express masterclass in finance, through Netwealth involvement and industry expert access provided by them. The Swinburne Design facility has successfully promoted \’design-thinking\’ and \’cross-faculty collaboration\’, while providing another example of their innovation credentials and proof of industry readiness.

Netwealth share the materials created with their clients so that they can adopt the design-thinking process themselves.

Environmental impact is minimal, particularly when it is facilitated online.


Our intention is to create the next generation of design thinkers. With the right tools and experiences, we can raise the overall standard of design practice in Australia. Graduating designers will be less focused exclusively on execution (how it looks) and more focused on the problem their work solves (why it exists).

Successful businesses need to bring their ideas to market quicker than ever before, and we recognise the need to equip the next generation of design-thinkers with the skills they need to be able to test ideas within market quicker than before.


‘Make it Break it’ is designed to prepare students for industry, demonstrate collaboration benefits by practising user-centred design, and exposing students to the financial industry.

Traditionally, sprints are designed for one team of 5-7 people. We’re facilitating a group of 40-60 people at once, splitting them into multiple smaller teams, while offering a combination of ‘all-in’ activities and individual team-based activities.

We treat the masterclass as a user test, refining the program as we go. Over time we have incorporated ‘off-topic’ activities like Lego Play with casual lunches, and refining the proportion of ‘lecture’ style activities versus collaborative experiences.


We named the program \’Make it Break it\’ to help demystify the value placed on the final outcome and place more emphasis on the value of \’failing early\’. The overall look of the brand is based on the typographic idea of something that is solid quickly transforming into something that has been deconstructed. We created a simple website and all the supporting collateral we needed throughout the event.

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