Service Design Melbourne

Third Thursdays #24 2018: Transitions in theory and practice

Event Details

DateThursday, 18 October 2018 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm
LocationRMIT University Building 9, Level 3, Room 5B. Bowen Street, Melbourne VIC 3001
RegistrationRegister for tickets

Submission Details

DateSubmissions close:

SDM Third Thursdays

HCD chats over cheese and wine #6: Transitions in theory and practice

This event brings together an impressive panel of people with dexterous practices in design, business, research, anthropology and philosophy to discuss transitions in theory and practice, using an emerging and somewhat contested movement of Transition Design as a fulcrum and catalyst.

“At its crudest, Transition Design aspires to rekindle the large-scale ambitions that surrounded the formalization of design in the first place, at the beginning of the 20th century. The crises that are symptomatic of the unsustainability of how our societies are currently organized demands radical and immediate structural change. We need to completely redesign not only how we resource our everyday lives but also the very values that motivate those ways of living… This is why the top compass point of the Transition Design model is visions. However, the total design project of modernism was part of the problem. Early designers on either side of the Atlantic had strong visions that they often managed to impose with procrustean force. Because these visions were universalist, the designers paid no attention to local specificity, whether cultural or bioregional. The resulting displacement cleared the way for the commodity flows of globalization.

Transition Design therefore tries to qualify its reinvocation of rapid, ambitious structural change. Transition Design asks that those visions motivating change be context-specific and modifiable to all that happens as change is implemented. To do this, designers need more sophisticated theories of change than to materialize the vision. They need to understand, at the level of practice expertise, what it means to try to enable structural change in complexes of living systems and sociotechnical systems.” (Tonkinwise 2019 in ‘Design’s (Dis)orders: Mediating Systems-Level Transition Design‘)


Dr Melisa Duque Hurtado (Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT)
Dr Stefanie Di Russo (Principal Designer at NAB)
Dr Chris Marmo (Co-founder and Research Director, Papergiant)
Prof. Cameron Tonkinwise (UTS)

The event will be recorded as a podcast, adding to the series “HCD chats over cheese and wine“, led and facilitated by Yoko Akama for the Masters of Design Futures (RMIT), that navigates through some of the challenging dimensions of human-centred design.

RSVP necessary


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