Burrow is an award-winning community-engaged teaching studio that runs in the capstone year of the Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) program in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University.

    Formerly known as the Rabbit Hole, we enjoy working with individuals, teams, and organisations that would benefit from the creative insight of emerging designers.

    1. Be willing to be flexible

    The most effective professional learning experience for our students require the flexibility of our clients who understand that prescribed outcomes cannot be relied upon, nor can they be guaranteed. In short, we are not a ‘production studio’, but instead an exploratory and participatory space where learning partners are positioned as clients who co-create an environment where students learn through doing. Projects should provide enough depth and breadth to sustain an interdisciplinary team of students for a 6 or 12 week period.

    2. Understand our availability

    Projects that require a prescribed outcome by a specific deadline are not suitable, as they depend on expert skills that we cannot guarantee will be available at any given time; our program is student-centred and encourages the development of diverse interests and consequently, student capabilities are varied.

    3. Plan ahead

    If you’re interested in working with Burrow, it’s important to discuss the parameters of what you have in mind. We generally plan one or two semesters in advance, and we cannot guarantee that we are able to take on all projects we’re presented. Please refer to FAQ and contact us for more information.

    It’s important for potential learning partners to understand that we aren’t available for full-time or ‘on demand’ access, and this is taken into account when the creative brief is developed. As a guide, projects can comprise of the following elements.


    Visual identity
    Website prototype


    Visual identity
    Social media assets


    Layout design


    Brand analysis
    Site evaluation
    Proof of concept
    Low-fi prototype

    To get a better sense of what is possible check our PORTFOLIO of completed projects.

    What do I have to do as a learning partner?

    • Co-write a creative brief using our template with the understanding that this may need to be tempered by the creative director to suit the studio’s capabilities at the time, and the academic schedule
    • Allow the students scope to develop original concepts from research and experimentation
    • Understand that this is a learning experience and there will be some limitations on students (e.g. time, skills)
    • Agree to attend 1-2 meetings with your design team (via Zoom or in person at our Parramatta campus) throughout the project lifespan, at the set time/day your student team meets
    • Respond quickly to interim feedback requests from the academic supervisor via email as they arise
    • Understand that communication with the student designers must go through the supervisor only
    • Co-sign an artwork release agreement, once the design/s are approved
    • Understand that projects begin and end within the specified time frame, as specified in the brief

    When do these projects take place?

    Students will work on projects over 12 weeks in Autumn and over 6 weeks in Spring. Autumn session runs from Mar-June and Spring projects only run for the first 6 weeks of the session in July-August.

    What is the composition of a student design team?

    A team consists of approximately 8-16 final year visual communication students (depending on the project). Students will be closely supervised throughout the process by an academic with practical expertise.

    What will I get at the end of the learning project?

    All the documentation created for the project, and concept prototype/artwork files. We are not able to implement the project or go into production (print or digital); you will need to organise and fund this yourself.

    What if my project involves confidential information?

    You can provide a non-disclosure agreement for the students and supervisor to sign.

    What are the costs?

    There are no financial costs involved, however, as a learning partner you will be required to provide your time and prompt feedback throughout the project’s lifespan and accept that any documentation or materials provided to you are the outcome of a student learning project.

    Where do students work?

    Students work in a dedicated studio at our Parramatta South campus, as well as remotely. They are supervised for 2 hours a week in the studio and work independently a further 18 hours per week.

    How do I submit a project?

    If you’re interested in working with Burrow, it’s important to discuss the parameters of what you have in mind. We generally plan one or two semesters in advance, and we cannot guarantee that we are able to take on all projects we’re presented. Please contact us to discuss the possibility, or to raise any other questions you may have.

    • Through our partnership we now have outstanding design for our programs and products which makes us proud as an organization. It also helps us serve the community better by freeing up resources.

      Chris Maguire, General Manager, Show Me the Way


    We’ve worked with a range of learning partners within Western Sydney University, not-for-profit groups, local government, independent creative practitioners, and cultural organisations.

    • Working with the students has been inspirational and exciting. The standard of their work is always high, and clearly the studio leadership and teaching in between sessions a direct and positive contributor to the quality outcomes.

      Hania Radvan, CEO, Penrith Performing And Visual Arts

    Contact us

      Burrow Design Studio

      School of Humanities and Communication Arts
      Building EA, Room EA.2.02
      Parramatta South Campus
      Western Sydney University

      For all enquiries:

      Katrina Sandbach

      Michelle Catanzaro

        We acknowledge and respect Traditional Owners of the Lands, the Dharug, Gundungurra, D’harawal, Wiradjuri and Bundjalung Peoples, upon which our campuses now stand. We continue to value the generations of knowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples embed within our University.

        Burrow Design Studio © 2021. All Rights Reserved.