GDA Gold 2020

Cobalt wins two Gold

Cobalt is thrilled to announce that two of our recently completed projects –Bio-Rad GelDoc Go and Adaptfit Cable Trainer – have both received prestigious accolades in this year’s Australian Good Design Awards:

  • Gold Good Design Award (Medical and Scientific Category) > Bio-Rad GelDoc Go
  • Gold Good Design Award (Sport & Lifestyle Category) > AdaptFit Cable Trainer
  • Engineering Award > Bio-Rad GelDoc Go

As one of the world’s first and most respected product design awards programmes, the Australian Good Design Awards attract an international field of design firms and brands to showcase their most innovative product designs. We congratulate all of this year’s winners and entrants, who produced an outstanding calibre of design outcomes and pushed the bounds of innovation and good design.

Our clients are the real winners

While we celebrate the well deserved recognition won by these two projects, Cobalt helps all our clients achieve product success through design. The reality is some projects tend to do well in awards programmes, while others – no less commercially or strategically successful for our clients including KeepCup and Yarra Trams – for sometimes inexplicable reasons, do not. So we take this opportunity to thank all our clients regardless of whether they win a Gold Award or not, for choosing to engage Cobalt, for its only with your vision and technology that we are able to create great product designs.

Bio-Rad GelDoc Go

The GelDoc Go is the latest Bio-Rad product Cobalt has partnered with Bio-Rad. It is a new digital imaging instrument used for nucleic acid and protein analysis; designed for ease of use, safety and efficiency from the outset. Its bench top size and rapid processing speed combined with unique imaging technology allows researchers to see separated proteins in one minute, compared with 4-16 hour staining steps of competitor products. The crucial design challenge for Cobalt was to convey the product as easy to use yet, also convey that its performance was anything but insignificant – despite its compact dimensions.

Adaptfit Cable Trainer

The Adaptfit Cable Trainer compact design makes resistance and strength training readily available outside the commercial fitness environment. Its multi-use functionality provides the benefits of full body training and rehabilitation, while the innovative wall-mount design adds stability, frees up floor space and positions the trainer so that it is instantly ready for use. The sleek form was engineered by Cobalt to be unobtrusive, seamlessly integrating into any home or work space. The final design exercises a restrained approach in the form of the Adapt Cable Trainer to create simplicity that invites confidence in use.

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carla

Team Spotlight: CPL

Team Spotlight: Carla Pelligra / Product Design Engineering Intern

Our amazing staff are more comfortable getting excited by new design challenges, than beating their own drum. So in this series, we turn the spotlight on our team to give you an insight into how they each tick. Our latest feature is on Carla Pelligra, our new engineering IBL for 2020.

Carla began studying PDE at Swinburne University in 2017, and is now embarking on a IBL placement at Cobalt as she enters her fourth year of study. But what else is there to Carla?

Favourite part of studying PDE so far?

I love how I get to design and create a product from scratch. The feeling of holding a physical product or idea that came to fruition and you can say ‘I made this is’, is amazing.

Niftiest thing you’ve learnt at Cobalt recently?

I have only been at Cobalt for less than a week but I am currently learning how to efficiently and properly use Solid Works, including the do’s and don’ts which I am really keen to learn.

Other general interests outside of work?

I play senior soccer for Keilor Park, which allows me to have my consistent dose of Nutella and not feel as guilty about it. I also play the violin and piano, so I love to jump on the instruments when I get a chance and create songs. I love watching the footy so I can’t wait for the season to start again, and I’m a sucker for sunsets, so I love taking photos of it! I also love getting out and about in the garden; nature makes me happy 🙂

Coolest home-brew product or project?

I guess the coolest home brew product that I’ve made would be a coffee table made out of steel and wood, which our TV now sits on.

Hidden talent?

I can actually water divine, so using two L-shaped metal rods I can find water… I know this sounds bizarre but I’ve tested it multiple times and it just works for me.  Also I’m pretty good at Mario kart, not going to lie.

What did you want to be growing up?

I really wanted to be a spy for a while (I’m not joking), but then afterwards I loved writing stories; so I think a fictional writer would have suited me well.

If you had one superpower what would it be?

To travel in space with no need for a spacesuit and to do this faster than the speed of light. That way I can explore galaxies, planets, stars and see events that are happening light years away (and I guess see if there is other life out there!).

If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be?

I would have to bring my dog Charlie!

Best piece of advice for other students?

Keep exploring things that you are passionate or curious about. Ask heaps of questions and don’t be afraid to ask ones that you think may be silly; otherwise you will never get an answer. There have been times in the past where I didn’t ask questions out of fear of looking dumb, but we can’t know everything and we are always learning so don’t be scared.

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Cobalt Fire Initiative

The Cobalt Fire Initiative

Cobalt stands with Australia. Cobalt stands for innovation.

Like people everywhere, we’ve been watching in dismay as Australian communities, lives and wildlife have been consumed by the on going fires. We extend our sympathy and thoughts to all those personally affected. And we want to help.

Coming together as a team after our Christmas leave, we’ve thought of how we can best contribute to rebuilding what we can, and better protecting ourselves from future fire emergencies. Our team agreed that we could offer more than a purely financial contribution; we wanted to help by doing what we do best. So here’s our response; the Cobalt Fire Initiative.

Details

Cobalt and our staff will contribute up to $50,000 in pro bono fees on a dollar-for-dollar basis of an agreed new product development project/s related to:

  • Bushfire detection
  • Fire fighting
  • Rural community rebuilding

So we are calling for innovative companies, be they established or start-ups (local or multinational), to partner with us and combine their technology with our user centred design and production engineering know how to create tangible products that will make a real difference to people. We have no pre-conceptions about the technologies or product idea as our only measure will be the project’s ability to make a positive difference.

Therefore, the idea could be low or high tech; conceptual or near-production ready. The following are just some examples, and we remain open to all suitable ideas from genuine clients:

  • IoT deployable smoke sensing pods
  • Adaptions to fire vehicles or fittings that improve operational effectiveness or safety
  • Products or systems that increase the ability of homes or buildings to withstand fire

We’d love to hear more ideas. For more information or to confidentially discuss your idea, please contact us at Cobalt on +61 3 9320 2200, or email sales@cobaltdesign.co

Image courtesy of: https://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/image/10646

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Green and Clean

Cobalt Goes Green and Clean in 2019

2019 brought along a myriad of upgrades within Cobalt; enabling us to better respond to our clients, increase work efficiency and freshen up our studio’s design. From solar panels to new software, we head into into 2020 full tuned.

Our upgrades began earlier in the year with a major eco overhaul. Sparked by our belief that design should be socially responsible, we had long wanted our building to have as small an environmental footprint as possible. Our North Melbourne office now proudly sports a 12kw, 39 panel array of solar panels, an ultra-efficient HVAC system, extensive sealing and insulation works and new LED lighting throughout the building.  These works have already effectively reduced our daily energy consumption by up to 45%, and we are on track to exceed our original target of being 50% self-sufficient in power. This was all made possible by our collaborations with Sustainable Australia Fund and GenesisNow, who enabled us to rise above the previous hurdles we had faced with our building’s location and infrastructure.

Apart from lower environmental impact and power bills, the result of our eco upgrade is greater comfort, better lighting with the consensus from our team being overwhelmingly positive.

Once our major energy efficiency upgrade had been completed, it was time for the front-of-house to receive its overdue refresh. Our reception area had been an interim measure for far too long – project work always taking precedence. Additionally, the need to accommodate more staff in 2019 was what ultimately compelled us to upgrade the front end of our office.

The vision was simple – keep it clean, modern and undeniably Cobalt. After a rapid three week facelift, the space was transformed from simply serviceable to inspiring. Each element was carefully considered to ensure visual harmony, continuity and a seamless transition from old to new. Driven by our team members Mark, Len and Nathan, the biggest change was the relocation and re-design of the main reception desk. The ‘hello desk’ now corners off a new hub, housing the admin and marketing team together for boosted efficiency.  The smarter use of the space also enables us to accommodate 2-3 more staff, with better storage and access across the office.

But perhaps the most striking element of the renovation is the new feature wall created by Len. Covered in a 3.2m wide custom perforated metal panel, a bold first impression is created as visitors ascend the staircase from our lower level. Built into the wall is a backlit ‘Cobalt’ sign, in which we have the ability to dictate the colour, brightness and speed of the transitions at the touch of a button. Better yet, above is a cut-out of our logo with an LCD monitor behind.  Through the day this gives us the unique ability to display a countless number of visual references and textures that influence our work.

Updating our office in 2019 has been great opportunity to also shuffle the team around into a new layout, ultimately increasing productivity within project teams and prompted our staff to collaborate with new people.

We were blown away with the time and effort our team put into the renovation, with a special mention to Mark (for spending a big portion of his own time on the project), Len (for bringing our vision to life) and Nathan (for coming back to help us out).  

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mark

Team Spotlight: MMF

Team Spotlight: Mark Matthews-Frederick / Senior Project Leader

Our amazing staff are more comfortable getting excited by new design challenges, than beating their own drum. So in this series, we turn the spotlight on our team to give you an insight how they each tick.

Our very first spotlight is on Mark Matthews-Frederick, one of our Senior Project Leaders in the Design Team. Since 2015, Mark has progressed his career at Cobalt from Industrial Designer to Senior Project Leader, acting also as the Design Team Resource Manager.

During his time at Cobalt Mark has lead, project managed and designed for some of our largest automotive projects to date, including the third generation Victoria Police ADT “Booze Bus”, BIS Industries Mining dump truck and Mobile Info Hub Van for the West Gate Tunnel Project. Mark has also been a contributing designer for multiple other projects across medical devices, consumer and sustainability products. But what else is there to Mark?

What was your experience before Cobalt?

I started out designing trains and trams for Bombardier Transportation (which was great experience) before going to Germany and working in the automotive industry for a couple of years. The highlight was being part of the interior design team for Bugatti and working on some really amazing cars. I’ve also designed a bunch of bike parts for Australian BMX companies Colony BMX and Division Brand. Cobalt has been a great next step in further developing my knowledge and design skills in a broad range of industries, user groups, materials and manufacturing techniques.

What’s the niftiest thing you’ve learnt at Cobalt recently?

I am constantly learning new tricks for Photoshop sketching/rendering from our gun designers Graeme Marshall and Andrew Fanning. Recently it has been some techniques with masks and smart objects.

Other general interests outside of work?

Bikes (all types of cycling but BMX is still my real passion); cricket and plenty of other sports; and music is an important part of my life as well (DJ-ing and production of sample-based house/disco type stuff, as well as collecting vinyl and discovering gems from all styles from the 70s and 80s).

Coolest home-brew product or project?

Nothing too original or ‘cool’ I guess, but I’ve built a few steel frame BMX bike ramps (tallest one was about 6 foot tall) that have stood the test of time pretty well. And speaking of BMX, I should also mention the many bikes; as well as acres of bike tracks and dirt jumps I have built (with only a shovel!) over the years.

So you just completed a half marathon?

My partner Megan is a good runner; she’s done a couple of half-marathons in the past and was keen for the rather tough run up kunanyi (Mt Wellington) out of Hobart. I am by no means a runner, but always up for a physical challenge so I agreed… I did survive though, and it was good fun. Megan and I ran together for the first 15km or so, but after that I couldn’t keep up with her any more – she ended up beating me by about 5 minutes by the end!

Hidden talent?

I still enjoy drawing quite a lot, but these days I don’t get the chance too often – except for when my ‘creative director’ (Megan) has an idea for her friends’/relatives’ birthday cards that she would like to see come to fruition… So I guess the hidden talent could be referred to as ‘birthday-card-art’?

What did you want to be growing up?

I always loved drawing cars, bikes, planes, etc. and I can remember when my grandfather told me about Industrial Design. I would have been 10 or 12 years old, and from then on I knew that was for me. But, when I was really young, I wanted to be a garbage man because that would mean I could get up really early and be out working in the dark – this seemed so romantic at the time…

If you had one superpower what would it be?

I know everyone says it, but being able to fly would just be so much fun!

If you could take one thing to a desert island what would it be?

My vintage pair of red Oakley Eyeshades. It’s important to protect one’s eyes when stranded on a desert island, and also important to look good while doing so.

Best piece of advice for young designers?

Keep sketching! A good product sketch can do many things – communicate form, communicate function, highlight important details or portray emotion – or all of these things, often without even needing a high degree of realism. Nothing grabs my attention more than a great sketch.

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objects

100 Objects Exhibition

Cobalt & KeepCup in ‘100 Objects – Australian Design in the Home’

As one of the most influential Australian architects in history, Robin Boyd was an acknowledged leader in design and education. To celebrate the centenary of his birth, the Robin Boyd Foundation has created a year-long program to showcase his design influence. The events are aimed to highlight how his design-thinking continues to inspire contemporary discussions about Australian architecture and design across the globe.

During October, curator and lecturer at Monash University Ian Wong pays homage to Boyd’s legacy by bringing together 100 iconic Australian designs in an exhibition (100 Objects – Australian Design in the Home) at Boyd’s exemplar mid-century South Yarra home. More than a fitting backdrop, the house elevates and celebrates the work of some of Australia’s most important design practitioners, by creating a ‘design within a design’ installation. The objects are meticulously and thoughtfully placed throughout the house to reflect their function and effects.

While some objects will feel like they have always been there, others appear to traverse time, the exhibition bringing together designs from the 1930s to the present day.Visitors are free to roam through the extraordinary rooms and spaces of Walsh Street, where they will discover significant pieces of Australian design history.

Cobalt are incredibly proud that KeepCup is one of the product designs featured in the exhibition. Other Cobalt projects that are sprinkled throughout the Walsh St house are the Concave Halo football boot and Nylex Esky Jugs. Other influential designs in the exhibition that have inspired Cobalt’s team over the decades are the baby seat by Phil Slattery, the Wiltshire Staysharp knife and the Décor BYO wine cooler.

Additionally, Cobalt principals Steve Martinuzzo, Jack Magree and Warwick Brown are presented as key design contributors, along with past Cobalt alumni Bernie Walsh, Giles Matthews, and Lorrin Windahl.

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GDA Gold 2019

eShepherd takes home Gold at the 2019 Sydney GDA’s

We were thrilled that eShepherd was nominated for a Good Design Award. However we could not contain our excitement when eShepherd took home Gold at the GDA’s on the 11th of July at The Star Sydney. The GDA’s are the design world’s night of nights, bringing together top Australian and international design talent to celebrate world leading designs. The event showcases successful projects across fields such as architecture, communication, digital, engineering and many more. The Gold accolade is awarded to products, services or projects that have not only met the criteria for a Good Design “tick”, but exceed them.

The eShepherd virtual animal herding solution, designed by Cobalt for Agersens is an IoT driven platform encompassing a GPS enabled neckband and cloud-based application controlled by farmers which is used to fence, move and monitor livestock. The intelligent neckband system trains livestock to recognise and stay within virtual boundaries, via the use of sensors that detect and respond to animal behaviour. Audio cues and gentle pulse stimuli guide the animals to remain within the virtual boundaries. Farmers use a cloud-based web application to create virtual paddock boundaries and check on livestock activity, all of which are updated dynamically to ensure accurate data. This design solution is reliable and functional in the harshest conditions, combining a durable form with long lasting battery life that has a positive impact on animal welfare.

The award for the eShepherd neckband is an exciting recognition, due to the superior level of critical design thinking, product engineering and testing the Cobalt team put into the project. Cobalt was approached for the project with an already detailed concept to work with. However there were fundamental aspects of the design (including the position of the solar panel) that needed to be re-designed. In conjunction with this, a strict set of user needs had to be abided by, to ensure the utmost safety for both livestock and farmers.

The unique nature of this project brought with it equally as unique challenges. According to project leader Libby Christmas, the biggest challenge revolved around the lack of pre-existing biometrics on bovine necks/heads. “One of our quirkiest tasks was creating ‘Angus,’ our very own anatomically-correct bovine mannequin to test early concepts.” Using CAD design and our own bovine neck-circumference research data (thanks to Cobalt product design engineer Davis Tolley), we were successfully able to test prototype concepts, particularly to do with how the counterweight functioned and how to maximise the solar harvesting aspect.

This project also brought the Cobalt team some of its best moments, pushing us to use lean production techniques and knowledge-based decision making. It was a different strategy that Cobalt had not used previously, but the act of consciously filling knowledge gaps heightened risk mitigation and team collaboration.

With this project demanding distinctive requirements, Cobalt’s plethora of expertise areas were drawn upon. This included our in depth understanding of user needs, and most importantly our experience with engineering, prototyping and design for adaptability.

Since the completion of the project, the eShepherd device has undergone prototype runs and field trials, with the Agersens team growing substantially. The design has been gradually modified for scalability and cost reduction, and has received wide-spread public attention in the market.

Cobalt associate principal Libby Christmas and product design engineer Thao Nguyen represented our team. It was a wonderful night full of celebration, networking and admiration of our fellow designers.

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Wrecker to Roadworthy

Wrecker to Roadworthy – Josh vs Libby in Cobalt’s car restoration projects

The Cobalt team have an eclectic range of fascinating hobbies outside work. However, the word ‘hobby’ doesn’t quite cover the car restoration projects; obsession might be a better description.  Two of our team, Associate Principal Libby Christmas and engineering intern Josh Bell, are in the thick of their very own car restorations. Libby’s 1961 Morris Minor 1000 and Josh’s 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle L are currently parked at their houses, slowly being restored to their former glory. Libby rescued her car from its idle life under a tree, and Josh’s was formerly owned by an elderly lady, in a decent state albeit some questionable wiring. Despite each car being run down, Libby and Josh saw the sparks of potential waiting to be revived. But has their design and engineering backgrounds helped or hindered their progress?

What inspired you to start the project?

Libby: I was torn between a fun car and further study. But I figured a car project was a great way to do both! That and an excuse to have some fun with car design.

Josh: I’ve always had a pretty strong interest in cars (especially the late 60s to 70s) and I love building/restoring. It’s been inevitable that I would buy a project car since I was 13! Plus, it was a great opportunity to learn more about basic mechanics.

How far along in the restoration process are you?

L: It’s been a slow start removing rusted and stuck parts, as well as learning metal fabrication and welding skills; but things are speeding up. The rear end is almost rust free, and the modifications to fit in newer lights, widen the guards and re-shape the rear bumper area are partially completed. New suspension upgrades should have the rear end finished this year. The front end is going to take a lot longer… but I’d like to be driving the car before I turn 40!

J: It’s coming along a lot faster than I thought; my goal is to have it back on the road this year. At the moment I’m on track. I fixed the majority of the engine issues for now and the interior is 80% done. The suspension and brake overhaul is next.

What part are you most looking forward to completing?

L: Having it run will be fantastic, but the most exciting part is the customisation. I’m changing the body form a lot and incorporating newer features. I’m looking forward to seeing the physical output of my imagination.

J: I can’t wait to lower it! I’ve completed a lot of the other fun jobs and lowering it is the last major one. Once it’s got the right stance I’ll feel as though it’s much closer to being done. I’m also really keen for a bit of an engine overhaul. I’m planning on a adding a couple of speed parts to make it a meaner bug.

Any stories from dodgy car parts sellers?

L: Actually the parts sellers have all been great! I get a lot of encouragement from the guys working/shopping at the wreckers and people in the car community. The only dodgy seller was the guy that sold me the car – who said it was running when he parked it. But the lack of critical hoses, battery, and some epic engine block corrosion showed otherwise…

J: Apart from the classic issues of trying to buy stuff from gumtree or marketplace it’s been pretty easy. I have a fair few odd parts to buy in the next few weeks so we’ll see how that pans out.

What part has taken the longest to repair?

L: Rust! It’s a relatively low-rust car compared to others, but 60 year old rusty bolts are very slow to remove without damage. As my welding and panel fab skills improve I’m a bit freer with the angle grinder and so it’s getting faster.

J: Trying to lower the thing, especially the rear end. It’s becoming extremely difficult due to a 3mm interference. If it cleared it would be a half day job…. I’m dreading getting into it properly but also excited to make it work. My motivation to put the bug on the ground is too high to stop me now.

Has your product design background helped or hindered the process?

L: I’d say both. I have higher standards of finding solutions that both work and look good, and I want the finished result to look as good as a new car – which can be frustrating when I have some gaps in my car specific skills or knowledge. But it’s a benefit to be able to use CAD and trial changes before I do something on the car, to reshape things completely or to design custom parts. I think it’ll mean I’ll end up with a different type of result than most home builders would.

J: At the moment it’s helped heaps. I’ve had to build a few custom parts and I am planning a lot more in the near future. A lot of the plastics parts in the beetle have been bashed, warped or vanished. Once I tune my 3D printer, hopefully those parts can be replaced and updated. Parts the old owners hacked (like the radio) will be nice to replace. Ultimately, using my product design background to make things for the car is also a way for me to put my own individual mark on it and make it a little more one of a kind.

What do you like most about the other person’s car?

L: It runs!! Josh has taken an approach that lets him enjoy the car a lot sooner, which I’m quite jealous of…

J: I really envy the amount of custom work Libby is doing to her Morris. I think that the amount of herself that’s she’s putting into the car will make it so rewarding and awesome when it’s on the road.

So will there be a next project? Libby noted that she’s concentrating on finishing this one before she even thinks about another. And while Josh agrees that his will also take a while longer, he’d love to do a “ground-up” car project or buy an old ‘clinker-style’ ski boat with a V8 inboard. If not that, an old school American muscle car is in his sights.

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cow

GDA Nomination 19

eShepherd nominated for a Good Design Award 2019

We are overjoyed to announce that the eShepherd virtual animal herding solution, designed by Cobalt for Agersens has been nominated for a Good Design Award this year. The Good Design Awards are a prestigious accolade for Australian designers, recognised by the World Design Organization as Australia’s peak international design program. GDA awards are a unique point of difference for design agencies in a crowded market, thanks to the rigorous judging process of actual products rather than images or concepts.

In recent years, Cobalt has received a Good Design Award for our designs on the Victoria Police ADT vehicle, the Dermapen 4, the Maton Guitar Case, the Concave Boot and various Agilent scientific instruments.

The design challenge for this project revolved around creating a viable, modern replacement system for traditional fencing (where traditional fencing is impractical for inhospitable terrain). The solution was eShepherd – an IoT driven platform encompassing a GPS enabled neckband and cloud-based application controlled by farmers which is used to fence, move and monitor livestock. The intelligent neckband system trains livestock to recognise and stay within virtual boundaries, via the use of sensors that detect and respond to animal behaviour. Audio cues and gentle pulse stimuli guide the animals to remain within the virtual boundaries. Farmers use a cloud-based web application to create virtual paddock boundaries and check on livestock activity, all of which are updated dynamically to ensure accurate data. This design solution is reliable and functional in the harshest conditions, combining a durable form with long lasting battery life that has a positive impact on animal welfare.

This nomination for the eShepherd neckband is an exciting recognition, due to the superior level of critical design thinking, product engineering and testing the Cobalt team put into the project. When designing the neckband, Cobalt collaborated with Agersens and electronics development firm LX Group, to design the robust “wearable” device to suit all breeds of livestock.

It was crucial for the design to boast a truly ergonomic form, intelligent technology and a high quality finish to ensure the utmost safety and functionality for both the livestock and the farmers.

Key design elements include:

  • Wireless, IoT and GPS integration
  • Use of sensors, audio cues and gentle pulse stimuli
  • Farmer controlled through a cloud-based web application for accurate data
  • Instant virtual boundary updating from any location
  • Ergonomic and light weight for “end user” comfort
  • Morphometric fitment for self-correcting positioning
  • Solar powered with optimally positioned panels
  • RSPCA, CSIRO and animal ethic committee approved
  • Real-time animal monitoring
  • Fully waterproof unit able to withstand impacts, interactions with other animals and infrastructure, and harsh environmental conditions
  • Tough UV stabilised plastics and fabrics to ensure suitable longevity

Cobalt was involved from discovery and early concept development, through to detail design of the assembly and mouldings. After several engineering prototypes and refinements, Cobalt also undertook pilot assembly of 50-off Alpha prototypes. These involved tooling and several in-house processes to waterproof the enclosure around the PV array.

The prestigious awards ceremony will be held on the 11th of July at the iconic Sydney Opera House, where the winners will be announced. We look forward to seeing how the eShepherd entry performs.

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reception refresh

Reception Refresh

Cobalt HQ’s Reception Refresh

With Cobalt’s major energy efficiency upgrade recently completed, it was time for the front-of-house to receive an overdue refresh. Our reception area had been an interim measure for far too long – project work always taking precedence. Additionally, the need to accommodate more staff was what ultimately compelled us to upgrade the front end of our office.

The vision was simple – keep it clean, modern and undeniably Cobalt. After a rapid three week facelift, the space was transformed from simply serviceable to inspiring. Each element was carefully considered to ensure visual harmony, continuity and a seamless transition from old to new. Driven by our team members Mark, Len and Nathan, the biggest change was the relocation of the main reception desk. Visitors are now welcomed at a new angled ‘hello desk’, featuring strip lighting, timber accents and a parcel ledge. Our design for the Zgo monitor arms, can also be seen supporting the ‘hello desk’ monitors.

The ‘hello desk’ now corners off a new hub, housing the admin and marketing team together for boosted efficiency.  The smarter use of the space also enables us to accommodate 2-3 more staff, with better storage and access across the office.

Bold new carpet tiles give a huge visual lift to the front third of the office, and a custom feature wall separates work spaces from reception, providing visual security from the waiting area. Outside the kitchen a large blackboard has been incorporated into a wall, allowing staff (and visitors!) to express themselves in multiple shades of chalk.

Created by Len, the new feature wall is the most striking element of the renovation. Covered in a 3.2m wide custom perforated metal panel, a bold first impression is created as visitors ascend the staircase from our lower level. Behind the metal a dark mirror finish peeks through. Built into the wall is a backlit ‘Cobalt’ sign, in which we have the ability to dictate the colour, brightness and speed of the transitions at the touch of a button. Better yet, above is a cut-out of our logo with an LCD monitor behind.  Through the day this gives us the unique ability to display a countless number of visual references and textures that influence our work.

Updating the reception also offered a great opportunity to shuffle the team around into a new layout, which has ultimately increased productivity within project teams and prompted our staff to collaborate with new people.

We were blown away with the time and effort our team put into the renovation, with a special mention to Mark (for spending a big portion of his own time on the project), Len (for bringing our vision to life) and Nathan (for coming back to help us out).  

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