Design Studies Open Forum

After the mid semester reviews, Ella and Emma hosted an open forum discussing social sustainability. Sitting in a big circle, we shared our experiences and ideas on the topic. There was a great turn out, and the discussion really got somewhere.

One idea that kept coming back was starting up ID Commons, a design group that Tim started up a few years ago, just to get the students talking and create a design community in building 88. One of the students from Activating Change wants to start it up again. It would be great to get it going, I can see the benefits of the small activities already going on in 88, upscaling this and making it official with a fortnightly event would be super beneficial.

It was great to see people of all ages and stages of life discussing what could be done with this group of people with various talents and ambitions. Skill sharing was also touched on, a mentorship or sharing system. Each student across the Architecture and Design School has their own strengths and weaknesses, but put together, we’re sitting on a goldmine of talent. Lets tap into it!


Design and social enterprise in Melbourne

 Again a perfect blend of design (fashion in this case) with social sustainability and business, but closer to home, we have The Social Studio, an old favourite of mine.

I undertook a project with these guys back in 2010 that, again, I won’t stop talking about. That is these bike market stalls. Industrial Design working with social enterprise. This raises the question- Is it enough to design for a social enterprise, or do we need to somehow make the design process socially sustainable too? Would the ultimate idea be training refugees and migrants to build the bikes too?

‘We are a social enterprise tackling social exclusion through exciting, neighbourhood improvement projects. CoDesign works with communities, governments and service providers. Together we create new types of public spaces that transform neighbourhoods into thriving sustainable places to live and work.’

CoDesign Studio was started by Lucinda Hartley, a landscape architecture grad. She’s in her late twenties, so no need to ‘wait till monday’ to start something!

‘The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) exists to identify and support the innovative ideas, methods and people that will contribute to and accelerate positive social change.  To turn bold ideas into better lives.’ More on this later.