Co. F.A.B. Lab Collaboration Fabrication and Business Lab, TAFE NSW

The Co. Fabrication and Business Lab (Co. F.A.B. Lab)

Established in 2019, by Dr. George Verghese (HoST CDI) and Shayne Fagan (HoST IMRS) to advance the opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across skills teams through innovative training courses, whilst encouraging further connections to industry, government, and community. The Co F.A.B. Lab has been recognized as a key project within the Region's strategic plan. The Co F.A.B. Lab provides training and consultancy services that provide innovative approaches to Business Models which has a focus on human-centered outcomes to a variety of challenges. The Co. F.A.B. Lab has established a series of short courses in Design Thinking that intertwines Design and Business together for successful outcomes. We explore local and international challenges in our 10X10 Series and collaborate in a vast array of projects that engage new ideas.

Design Thinking is all about empathy, understanding why and who you are designing for, it’s about discovery and prototyping. It's about finding new directions to survive and thrive in unprecedented change around the world. We explore the five steps of Design Thinking; Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and test. Design Thinking is about empathically understanding the users and asking the right questions, leading towards creative prototypes. The foundations of Design Thinking enable businesses to be successful in all aspects of their practice.

The Co F.A.B. Lab's goal is to find clarity, to navigate ambiguity, and create sustainable systems that move with the nature of business through the use of techniques and tools of Design Thinking. With a focus on Human-Centred outcomes and an empathically understanding of the end-users needs, the Co F.A.B. Lab seeks to understand the core problem of the project to facilitate the best outcome.

The results are consistently ambitious, inspirational, bold, surprising, creative – and always collaborative.

It’s a new way of creatively exploring new outcomes and opportunities that are focused on user needs.

Client Profile

The Co. F.A.B. Lab works with clients who demonstrate the following attributes and approaches to their business

  • Open minded
  • Future focused
  • Consumer driven
  • Value human-centred approaches
  • Community and stakeholder collaboration
  • Innovative industry growth
  • Alternative business models to provide strong growth
  • Sustainable systems and processes
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Engaging growth in community
  • Small to large enterprise
  • External and internal business eco-system
  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Research grants and consultancy
  • Makers space and advanced manufacturing
  • Digital transformational approaches to practice

Among the most forward-looking companies, close to 90 percent are expected to increase their investments and resources significantly in design-thinking-related activities, according to Forbes. We are seeing this trend in Public Sector in Australia and the forward-thinking private sector.

Projects we have been working on.

  • National Centre for Intelligence Training and Education - Tender for design, development, delivery of Intelligence Analyst learning.
  • Department of Defence - Australian Army Research Centre, Tender on Foundational Lateral Thinking
  • Hawkesbury Agricultural Education Committee, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Australian and ADOBE Hackathon Stage 1 High school students. conceptual designs
  • Hawkesbury Agricultural Education Committee, Australian Wool Innovation, Cotton Australian and ADOBE Hackathon Stage 2 Fashion and Design Western Sydney and Western Sydney University - 10-11 May at Lidcombe Campus
  • Liverpool City Council - Tender of Creative Intelligence / Design Thinking workshops
  • Cumberland Council - Smart Cities Federal research grant
  • Cumberland Council - Wentworthville Pop-Up Park project
  • Cumberland Council - Design Thinking SOA courses
  • Creative Innovation Digital Centre (CIDC) Penrith
  • 10x10 Series
  • Campbelltown City Council - Tender on Design Thinking workshops
  • Campbelltown Council Business Chambers - Workshop
  • NSW Department of Customer Service - currently in conversation

10x10 Series

The Co F.A.B. Lab engages the community and industry on Hot topics of interest that will enable stronger and more robust economies and sustainable growth, this engagement is driven by Design Thinking and Principles of Circular Economy.

The Co. F.A.B Lab has invited guests to panel these 10x10 Series from local, national, and international communities involving industry, education, and Governments. Students are welcome to attend and have access to cutting-edge insights and ideas from leading practitioners.

Series 1. What is Industry 4.0?

Series 2. What is Design Thinking?

Series 3. What is a Circular Economy?

Series of Bite-Size Courses on offer

Bite-Size NNR Courses on offer:

800-000612 Introduction to Design Thinking - Introduction to creative problem solving.

800-000616 Design Thinking Course - Innovation - a competitive advantage.

800-000617 Design Thinking Course - Ideation to realisation.

800-000613 Design Thinking Course – Design Thinking tools

Design Thinking Certificate:

This Statement of Attendance will provide you with a deeper understanding of Design Thinking. This short course of 7 weeks has been designed to unlock the creative mind, challenge ideas and concepts and create the ability to apply these skills to problem solving. This is an applied approach where you will learn by doing, along the way you will unpack the mysterious connection between design and value growth while capturing what it means to have a human centred approach.

This approach to business practice has become a necessary element of success.


Introduction to creative problem solving

What is Design Thinking – we explore the five steps of the design thinking process. Five steps in Design Thinking – Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype and test. Design Thinking is all about empathy, understanding why and who you are designing for, it’ s about discovery and prototyping. It’s crafting new ways to come up with ideas that are founded on asking the right kind of questions. In this course, you will learn the foundations of Design Thinking and how Design Thinking is a necessary component of successful business practice today.


  • Define what Design Thinking is.
  • Why it's good business practice.
  • Untangling the Design Thinking process.
  • Turning abstract ideas into actions.
  • Discover the tools to use.

10 hour course


Innovation – a competitive advantage

We explore user-centred design through empathy mapping, gathering insights for exploratory research. This stage of Design Thinking is essential in driving key innovations, understanding what human centred means and is a necessary tool for business practice today.


  • What does your end-user really want?
  • Identify tools to use in the Innovation stage.
  • What is - observation mapping.
  • Empathy mapping - looking through other eyes.

10 Hour course


Ideation to realisation

Ideation is the Design Thinking stage that forms ideas and converts concepts into prototypes with the possibility of being developed. It is the art of visualisation to Ideate, iterate and prototype. We explore convergent & divergent thinking, create key skills in brainstorming to problem solve through creativity.


  • Apply ideation tools to generate ideas.
  • Deep-dive into the ideas that best meet the end-user.
  • Quickly build prototypes and test the market
  • Review, change and test again.

10 Hour course


Design Thinking Course – Design Thinking tools

This course will give you a deeper insight into the key Design Thinking tools that can be used with the Five steps in Design Thinking - Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and test. We will roadshow the different types of tools and when best to use them.


What is? - Tools to use with Empathy and Define

What if? - Tools to use with Ideate

What Wows? - Tools to use with Prototype

What works? - Tools to use with Test

10 hours

Statement of Attendance Certificate in Design Thinking

Design Thinking Certificate

Use Design Thinking to tackle the most challenging problems. This course will build on skills learned in the business world and deepen your understanding of Design Thinking Tools and understand the ability to apply these skills to real challenges that are human centered focused. This will allow for the process to be adapted across a business where there are challenges, new business models or new line of product/service.

Week 1: Getting Started.

Week 2: Deep dive into what matters to your end users.

Week 3: Solve challenges applying Design Thinking tools.

Week 4: Apply Ideation methods to new ideas and identify the key ideas to test.

Week 5: Build prototypes of ideas to test and rebuild to find solutions.

Week 6: Redesign.

Week 7: How did you go.

7 week course on the Design Thinking Process

Project Consultancy

Project Consultancy

As well as the training noted above, the Co F.A.B Lab also offers project consultation on a need's basis using the tools of Design Thinking. We can supplement with mentorship programs that will benefit the company’s needs.

Talk to our Business Development team on what your needs are, and we can provide you with a quote.

"The only way to predict the future is to invent it”

Alan Kay at PARC (1971)

For more information on The Co F.A.B. Lab Projects contact Dr. George Verghese, HoST CDI. george.verghese@tafensw.edu.au; Fiona Lloyd, Manager of the Co F.A.B. Lab, fiona.lloyd10@tafensw.edu.au or Shayne Fagan, HoST IMRS, shayne.fagan@tafensw.edu.au

For additional information on Design Thinking courses contact Fiona Lloyd, Manager of the Co F.A.B Lab on fiona.lloyd10@tafensw.edu.au


Created with images by PublicDomainPictures - "scribble painting drawing" • PublicDomainPictures - "paint artist artistic" • Painter06 - "wallpaper portrait robot" • geralt - "technology businessmen team" • jimmikehank - "stained glass glass window" • ulrichw - "idea brainstorming teamwork" • AJS1 - "bulb light idea" • Saydung89 - "idea concept doodle" • athree23 - "board chalk idea" • Firmbee - "ux design webdesign" • ashleyma - "sketch doodle idea"