The Japan Screen and Design Industry Project is a group internship experience that sees students from Design, Film, Television and Animation, plus other creative students with a strong interest in these areas, undertake a team project in consultation with internationally renowned industry professionals from Japan. The program provides a unique context for students to analyse and apply various creative thinking and research methods that engage with place, identity and meaning. Students have the opportunity to work with well-known Japanese artists and designers on projects as well as exhibiting their own work in Japan.


The program sees students expanding their creativity and problem solving skills by work on projects that engage with contemporary global issues, drawing inspiration from international professionals that guide them through the various phases of their work.

Participants expand their skills and knowledge through exposure to a range of creative people and places, giving them the opportunity to develop global networks and be inspired to create work that reflects on cultures and communities other than their own.

Students outside the areas of Screen & Design are encouraged to apply to participate, however, the program is competitive and preference is given to those studying enrolled in relevant courses or completed multiple units in these areas.


Students have the fantastic opportunity to work closely with highly experienced creative professionals throughout the program, guiding students through projects that respond to cross-cultural challenges.

Some of the challenges set over recent years include:

How might we reconsider the sustainability of vending machines and convenience?

How might we connect with people and communities in isolation?

How might we explore technology as a tool of connection?

How might we explore the interconnection of memory and materiality through the concept of repetition?

How might we reinterpret inventions from Geelong for Japanese audiences?


Students translocated inventions from Geelong to explore the connection between the history of both Geelong and Nagoya’s design and manufacturing industry and their contemporary art, design and technology culture, with outcomes exhibited alongside the 2022 Streaming Heritage Festival in Nagoya.

As collaborators to the festival, participants in the program also helped install Kazuki Saita, Hiroko Mugibayashi and Soichiro Mihara’s Exhibition at The Esplanade Gallery and collaborated on the ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS! performance at Nagoya Castle.

Australian students that participated in the 2022 Screen and Design Industry Project were financially supported with funding from New Columbo Plan Mobility Grants.

memory and materiality (2020/2021)

Covid-19 influenced how we interact with people and things, as well as our sense of place. Due to the inability of design and screen students to travel to Japan in 2020 and 2021, they worked on separate briefs with discipline-specific professionals that responded to the overall theme of ‘Memory and Materiality’.

Design students proposed solutions to the problem of “How might we create genuine connections between people when physical connection is difficult?”

Screen students looked at the ways in which they could investigate how memories are altered through the perception of time and material.

The 2020 & 2021 Screen and Design Industry Projects were funded by New Columbo Plan Mobility Grants.


Japan has the highest density of vending machines in the world, but it appears that few machine manufacturers or beverage producers consider how to make this massive industry less harmful to the environment and more sustainable overall.

From the energy used to light up and cool/warm the drinks 24 hours a day, to the tonnes of plastic used to bottle most of them, to the recycling process to collect the waste, there must be many ways to improve the entire vending machine experience for the better.

Students were tasked with researching and developing concepts for creating and communicating a more sustainable approach to vending machines and their impact on the environment and people.