Creative Currents for our Common Futures: A model for collective reflection in action for engaged design research practice Creative Currents for our Common Futures: A model for collective reflection in action for engaged design research practice

Over the past two decades Design has actively engaged with sustainability as both a topic for, and as an agenda for intervention in entrenched social and technical practices. The collective expertise of the authors is in the area of design for sustainability, which we articulate as the practice of Social and Sustainable Design. Our work deals with projects that focus upon design as a socially engaged and negotiated creative practice with a strong sustainable design or service design focus. Often located as visions for the future these projects are speculative and propositional, and are undertaken through a set of defined methods and strategies to think through the projects and develop the solutions. The design process in our projects typically includes stakeholder consultation, co-design and co-creation via a four stage progression of immersion, exploration, intervention and demonstration. Project outcomes in this mode of practice are variously designs of products, services or product service systems and in some instances the visualisation of social innovation enterprises extends all the way up to construction of service blueprints and business plans and engage with social issues (such as urban violence, disability, and shame), and sustainability (micro power generation, recycling and resource security). Additionally this work has extended the notion of the “social and sustainable” to include culture theory, art practice and contemporary aesthetics through the articulation of a position of both the post-professional and the industry of one. A project dealing with an urban community of free runners was undertaken within the community of Traceurs (as parkour practitioners are called). Another project was a collaborative art practice focused upon the body and sensory perception where the design process significantly used visualisation by making.(not sure we need this). In recent years we have seen the amplification of the social dimension in our projects and we have also realised the outcomes of the projects as social innovations. We campaign for a dematerialised world and have seen design projects become new, viable and self sustaining social entrepreneurship ventures. The paper is undertaken as a reflection to describe a codified practice of the design of social and sustainable intervention. The paper offers a theoretical positioning and alternative territory for design, which will be visually described through images from projects followed by a discussion of the methods that we deploy in our shared practice.

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Soumitri Varadarajan

Soumitri lives in Melbourne, Australia - #probonodesign #codesign #sustainability #patientexperience #quantifiedself #mdg

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