Designing future designers: Pedagogy of building capacity in designing for complex social and environmental issues

Commencement date: 2014
Project status: Current
Partners: RMIT University, Oxfam Australia, Victoria Eco Innovation Lab, Swinburne University, Monash University, Victoria University, Melbourne University

This project builds on a course piloted with final year Communication Design students in 1st semester 2014 at RMIT University. Developed in partnership with Oxfam’s Design for Change program, students designed communication strategies to engage Australian youth on climate change and food security. The teaching was integrated with research expertise and introduced human-centred design methods to assist student’s learning of design’s role in addressing complex issues.

This project further consolidates the 1st semester fruitful outcome and Oxfam’s enthusiasm to continue the successful partnership. Several workshops are planned with various stakeholders to call upon a range of expertise in Oxfam, RMIT and beyond to ensure evaluation and critical input to deliver internationally relevant curricula that integrate social and sustainable principles into design curricula, has potential to transfer into other fields, and enable students to be work-ready in local and global industry.

Anyone interested in learning more about this project, or taking part, please contact Tania Ivanka (tania.ivanka@rmit.edu.au).

Commencement date: 2013
Project status: Completed
Partners: Faulk Foundation and Citizens for Safer PA

DPSI_Stakeholders

Pages from ResearchMethod_E&D_0

This studio course is one of the Senior Labs in the Spring Semester (Jan – May) 2013 in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. The context for the studio was first proposed in October 2012. At that stage guns were an issue in the USA, but nothing like the high profile social phenomenon — in everyone’s context — that they became post the Newtown Shootings, Dec 16, 2012. The students that elected to take this course did so initially out of an interest in design for social innovation, social change and sustainability. The topic of guns was secondary at that time. That changed with the shooting. Guns were no longer just a part of American life – they were a design issue to be explored. As such in this course we are explored two phenomena: guns and their social meaning and impact and, design’s social and material capacity to enable place-based transformation.

The students who participated in this course were a mix of communication and industrial designers. This was their last studio course before graduating in May. The catalyst for the course was a request by a local advocacy group who wanted to know if we could run a design studio that would help them argue for social change. They were thinking a new range of brochures. As we discussed the course and what design could do, they were told that a new brochure design was possible but not guaranteed. These students wanted to explore design further. As we worked our way through the semester students explored the issue through the frameworks of:

  • Human Centred Design
  • Information Design
  • Design Futures

The outcomes is a design resource book – a reference guide for other designers to use regarding different approaches that design can take when dealing with really wicked social phenomena.

images should be credited to the CMU DP&SI Seniors Studio Spring 2013

File: Design Place Social Innovation_Book

PDF – The New Journal of Design Strategies

In this, our first issue under the new title The Journal of Design Strategies, we
address the theme of “change design.” The phrase hearkens back to the 2008 Changing the Change conference in Torino, Italy, organized by the sustainable design theorist and Politecnico di Milano professor Ezio Manzini, and responds to the “Design Research Agenda for Sustainability” that emerged from it.

Sarah used Myki’s (Melbourne public transport system) complex problem as a context to introduce some of Snook’s service design processes to the participants.

Bio:
Sarah focuses on making social change happen by re-thinking public services from a human perspective. With a Masters of Design Innovation from Glasgow School of Art, Sarah is a social entrepreneur, unashamedly proving the value of design in central government and defining a meaningful role for designers in the public sector. Her work challenges the role design can play within the public sector, and as the winner of the first Scottish Social Innovation Camp, Sarah is ambitiously challenging the way governments operate and make policies through initiatives such as MyPolice.

As a fellow of Google, Sarah has a flair for using technology as an enabler and thrives leading processes of change, putting design at the heart of organisations and complex systems.

Prior to being the Director of Snook, Sarah won £20,000 for a community in Glasgow by giving local people the tools and confidence to build their own social enterprise. She also spent a year working inside Skills Development Scotland alongside their Service Design and Innovation Directorate to embed the design process in their organisation.

Sarah’s service design expertise and public sector innovation knowledge has recently taken her to keynote in Taiwan, Australia and America.

 

Sarah Drummond is the Co-founder and Director of Service Design Social Innovation outfit Snook, based in Scotland, UK. Her talk focused on public realm service design and Snook’s approach to designing new futures with citizens and governments. For example, Do-tanks for governments can use design thinking techniques and service design process as a way to innovate public services and turn policy into action in their own countries. Snook see service design as a powerful tool to solve complex social issues and designing new futures.

Sarah covered what service design is from Snook’s perspective, highlighting core principles of how they work. Various project examples demonstrated how they design inside the system (eg. Redesigning the Post 16 Learner Journey with Scottish Government) and from outside the system (eg. The Matter). Ideas such as Jams and Idea Labs are way to solve problems and collaborate across sectors. Sarah will discuss the mindset shifts needed to move towards a design-led approach to social innovation.

 

Bio:
Sarah Drummond is the Co-founder and Director of Service Design Social Innovation outfit Snook. Sarah focuses on making social change happen by re-thinking public services from a human perspective. With a Masters of Design Innovation from Glasgow School of Art, Sarah is a social entrepreneur, unashamedly proving the value of design in central government and defining a meaningful role for designers in the public sector. Her work challenges the role design can play within the public sector, and as the winner of the first Scottish Social Innovation Camp, Sarah is ambitiously challenging the way governments operate and make policies through initiatives such as MyPolice.

As a fellow of Google, Sarah has a flair for using technology as an enabler and thrives leading processes of change, putting design at the heart of organisations and complex systems.

Prior to being the Director of Snook, Sarah won £20,000 for a community in Glasgow by giving local people the tools and confidence to build their own social enterprise. She also spent a year working inside Skills Development Scotland alongside their Service Design and Innovation Directorate to embed the design process in their organisation.

Sarah’s service design expertise and public sector innovation knowledge has recently taken her to keynote in Taiwan, Australia and America.

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