Monash x Pause Fest


  • Local Peoples
  • Monash University - Department of Materials Science & Engineering
  • Sam Donaldson
  • Sui Zhen


We partnered with Monash Department of Materials Science and Engineering to launch an interactive stall at Pause Fest, the world’s leading creativity infused business event. The stall ran as part of the festival’s Tech Garden, held at Federation Square atrium. Five pioneering Monash enterprises gave the public a glimpse into the innovative applications of materials science, exploring a range of trailblazing concepts including portable recycling plants, custom-designed 3D printed football boots and even the possibility of phone-charging T-shirts. As a result, passers-by and industry leaders alike could engage with the applications of materials science.

Key Features


The custom-built stall consisted of an open timber frame with a modern, approachable feel, inviting visitors to enter and engage with the client’s work. Inside, we displayed cutting-edge innovations from within the Department, from art made of repurposed plastics to 3D printed glass. The centrepiece was a synthesiser made of everyday objects such as a shoe and a banana to create their own ambient electro soundscapes (by Sam Donaldson and Sui Zhen). Triggered by light touch, the synth demonstrated the innovative and avant-garde applications of substances like graphene, exploring how materials science can influence and enhance our lives.


The stall was open to the public as well as 15,000+ Pause Fest attendees (public and paid), 220 VIP delegates and industry leaders. Staffed by Monash students, the interactive stall created a buzz around the five Monash-based enterprises, exhibited the cutting edge innovation coming from the Department, and highlighted Monash’s capabilities as an incubator space (and place of mentorship) for emerging startups.


One of the key challenges for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering was to raise the awareness of the discipline itself. Local Peoples used a human-centered design approach to playfully engage Pause Fest attendees and the general public to imagine how materials science can play a role in their lives into the future. Encouraging people to discuss these possibilities with Monash students staffing the stall and inviting them to interact with the creative applications of materials science opened up opportunities for collaboration, exposure and investment from industry.


To create the stall we employed a human-centred design approach that enabled collaboration across industries such as music, sound design, carpentry, engineering, art and publishing to tell a cohesive narrative of the potential of Materials Engineering. By combining diverse experiences we were able to push the boundaries of what a material is ‘supposed’ to do to help people reimagine objects as multifunctional. This shift in perspective opens up significant environmental and innovative potential.


– Digital press coverage in The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Brisbane Times
– 15,000+ average attendees
– Total social media reach of 44,500

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