Education


Design and Social Innovation Research Network: AHRC report 2017

In January 2016 DESIAP received an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK Research Network funding with the expressed aim create a research network by bringing together UK and Asia-Pacific researchers. With this funding, the DESIAP Research Network was created, and has since facilitated a symposium and a series of workshops in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and the UK. Outcomes of these events have been compiled in this report and made publicly accessible on the DESIAP website. This report captures a snapshot of the activities, discussions and themes that have emerged through this work.

DESIAP AHRC Report 2017

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Mae Fah Lung Foundation 

The Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage (MFLF) is a private non-profit organization established to improve the quality of life of the people in poverty and deprived of opportunities. The Foundation provides the people in the project area with education, proper infrastructure, and legitimate ways to earn their living, while fostering co-existence between man and nature. It also encourages the conservation of Lanna and tribal arts, traditions and cultures.

One area of focus for The Mae Fah Luang Foundation is their alternative development (AD) programme. AD programs have helped villagers in remote areas, particularly ethnic minorities, reduce or quit their dependence on illicit crops and turn toward sustainable farming, while maintaining, or even improving, their income, and helping to reforest denuded mountainsides from their slash and burn cultivation.

By working with and alongside villagers, The Mae Fah Luang Foundation are discovering the importance of empowering locals to build livelihoods that generate income and a healthier environment for their communities.  

The problems faced by the villagers of hills of Doi Tung are not unlike those of El Meta in central Colombia which, in 2007, was one of Colombia’s top five municipalities with the largest coca cultivation area and potential cocaine production. A recent visit of Colombian officials to Doi Tung has proven to be a source of inspiration and renewed thinking surrounding how best to work with communities beset with problems of illicit drug crops.

See here for more information on the The Mae Fah Luang Foundation AD program in Doi Tung.

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VEIL – Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab

Melbourne, Australia

The Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) seeks to identify and promote emerging technical, social and organisational innovations that could form part of future sustainable systems. VEIL creates conditions to research, envision, innovate, create and test, ideas and concepts for sustainable, desirable and realisable products, services, built environments and lifestyles.

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Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (J.C.DISI)

Hong Kong

Initiated by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (J.C.DISI) convenes university expertise, curates cross-disciplinary projects, and constructs partnerships for social well-being and positive systemic change.

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Object: Australian Centre for Design

Sydney, Australia

Object: Australian Centre for Design is Australia’s leading centre for contemporary design and play a critical role in building a significant design culture for the country. They nurture a nation of innovative thinkers and we inspire audiences to use design in their lives.Read More …

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Critical Pixels Design Ltd.

Auckland, New Zealand

Critical Pixels Design Ltd. is a company focused on using open source solutions to meet the needs of local communities, through design and 3D Printing. The aim is to have a process in design work that encourages starting from scratch in order to best match a creative need to a creative solution. Their designs are dynamic, future thinking and empowering.

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The Lien Centre for Social Innovation

Singapore

The Lien Centre for Social Innovation is a partnership between the Lien Foundation and Singapore Management University (SMU), established in 2006 to advance the thinking and capability of the non-profit sector. Based in Singapore, the Lien Centre seeks to enable global thinking and the dissemination of best practices related to social innovation in Singapore and beyond. Read More …

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DESIS-lab Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

DESIS-lab Melbourne is a space to talk, share ideas, approaches and opportunities. This enables to think differently, be inspired, be excited and hopefully tackle the various ‘wicked problems’ we encounter in work/lives in a more effective way.

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Zeroth Labs

Singapore

Bernise Ang is co-founder and Executive Director of Zeroth Labs, an experimental research lab and consultancy which uncovers behavioural insights and applies them to public policy issues. They do this by blending methods from the social sciences, management strategy and the startup world to work with public sector agencies.

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Ground Up Initiative

Singapore

GUI – the Ground-Up Initiative, is a non-profit organisation located in Singapore. It began as a small group of people bound by the desire to be the change that they want to create. The aim is to search for answers in how people can live within urban landscapes and adopt a social and ecological harmony with the Earth.

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design for – Nanyang Technological University

Singapore

design for is a non-profit organisation, founded by Professor Nanci Takeyama from Nanyang Technological University. It is an open platform for collaborations on social design projects. The name ‘design for’ is a catalyst for the possibilities of design with a humanistic view. The members of ‘design for’ intentionally focus on designing for good, for people, and for cultural preservation.

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frog design

Singapore & Shanghai, China

frog design is a global product strategy and design firm. We identify business opportunities, create great products, and design meaningful experiences to grow brands and delight customers. There are more than 600 strategists, researchers, designers, and technologists who consult and partner with clients across industries. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have offices in Amsterdam, Austin, Boston, Milan, Munich, New York, Seattle, Shanghai, and Singapore.

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Opportunity Lab (O-Lab)

Singapore

Opportunity Lab is an interdisciplinary collective of faculty and research staff seeking to enhance the way people design for social change.

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i.club

Kesennuma, Japan & Aizu, Japan

i.club is an after-school program for high-school students. i.club was initiated as a form of experimental and participatory social innovation in Kesennuma, a small fishing town devastated by the March 2011 disaster.

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Studio L

Osaka, Japan & Yamagata, Japan

Studio L undertakes approximately 80 design projects aimed at rejuvenating communities ranging from villages of just a few dozen residents and regional cities to some of the biggest commercial facilities in Japan. In contrast to other approaches that aims to reverse the population exodus or revive local economy, the co-founder Yamazaki tackles these issues through ‘community design’

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Design for Disasters

Bangkok, Thailand

Design for Disasters (D4D) was established in 2010. It consists of young designers, artists, and academics. Public participation is also welcome in sharing ideas and find long-term solutions for everyone to be prepared for natural disasters, particularly those resulting from extreme weather, which may attack the city any moment.

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Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

Singapore

Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is a social innovation lab and makerspace. The work lies at the intersection of social innovation, sustainability and technology. Creating nurturing environments, organizing programs and rally people around the idea of Purposeful Making. 

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The Thought Collective

Singapore

The Thought Collective shares the common purpose of building up Singapore’s social and emotional capital. Its group of five social enterprises offer new possibilities in the way people think, live and serve as a community.

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The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)

Adelaide, Australia

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) exists to help find new ways of tackling big, persistent social problems like child abuse and neglect, Indigenous disadvantage, and the challenges of ageing and caring. They use the best of design, social science and business thinking to develop new programs in the community, and to build the innovation capability of the social sector.

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Centre for Social Impact

Sydney, Australia

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) is described as an “organization of system thinkers and creative innovators”. It creates positive, meaningful and sustainable systems change for the benefit of the Australian community and particularly for those disadvantaged as a result of complex, long-term systemic issues. The CSI takes a holistic, adaptive and systems-led approach to creating sustained and meaningful social change.

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Tasman Munro Design

Sydney, Australia

Tasman Munro is a Sydney based designer who specialises in Social Design. The ‘Intensive Learning Centre for Maximum Security Prison‘ is a collaborative design project between Designing Out Crime (DOC) and Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) to design and construct a therapeutic learning centre within the context of a maximum security prison.

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The Social Studio

Melbourne, Australia

The Social Studio is a dynamic space where clothing is created from recycled and excess manufacturing materials, who empowers young people from refugee communities in Melbourne to achieve their ambitions through work experience and training in clothing design, production, retail and hospitality.

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Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB)

Melbourne, Australia

Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is a not-for-profit organisation to design systemic change through humanitarian engineering. Their main aims are to work in partnership to address a lack of access to basic human needs such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, basic infrastructure, waste systems, information communication technology and engineering education.

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iDE InCompass – Human Centered Innovation lab

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

inCompass is a non-profit consulting practice within iDE, based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. inCompass is the first innovation lab of its kind in Asia, with a mission to bring the best practices in innovation to serve the poor trhough Human Centered Design approach. 

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Carpets for Communities

Mitpheap Village, Cambodia & Mandurah, Australia

Carpets for Communities is a non-profit social enterprise which aims to break the cycle of poverty through supporting education and sustainable development solutions. The project aims to offer immediate intervention, followed by a transition to a more sustainable solution through various micro businesses.

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Peace Innovation Lab

Nepal

Rural Innovation Lab set up a technology lab in Tansen, Palpa. The lab is equipped with basic prototyping tools and other relevant resources to enable community members (and entrepreneurs) to design low cost technology solutions that directly increase the impact of their enterprises.

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BRAC Philippines

Dhaka, Bangladesh & Cotabato City, Philippines

BRAC is a development organisation dedicated to alleviate poverty by empowering under-resourced people, and helping them to bring about positive changes in their lives by creating opportunities. Their priorities focus on women, health and education, farmers through empowerment and inclusive financial services and self-sustaining solutions. BRAC’s main strength is thinking local, acting global.

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Financial Solutions for Post-Disaster Communities

Philippines

IDEO.org is the non-profit arm of design firm IDEO, working with a human centered design approach to shape products, processes and business systems. Their ‘Financial Solutions for Post-Disaster Communities‘ was initiated six months after the devastating Typhoon Yolanda. IDEO.org partnered with Mercy CorpsBanKO, and CauseLabs to explore how to help communities in the Philippines rebuild their financial lives through the use of mobile banking tools. They are continuing to design new financial products to support the financial security for the future.

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Lifehack HQ

New Zealand

Lifehack works at the frontline of catalysing meaningful action to improve youth wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. They represent a new way of working by creating a Social Innovation Lab which is constantly designing, prototyping, implementing and iterating interventions to find the highest impact approaches to address well-being.

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