DESIAP 2016 Bangkok Research Network – Reflections posted
DESIAP, Symposium, Workshop
12th July 2016
Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC)
This event has ended. Below are our reflections and insights from the rich discussions that took place. We have also included links to ongoing outcomes as a result of the continuing discussions.
Public Symposium ‐ 12th July, 2016
Our 2016 DESIAP Public Symposium was held at the Thailand Creative and Design Center (TCDC) in Bangkok on the 12th of July 2016. It was our second public symposium bringing together an exciting range of practitioners and researchers of design and social innovation from over ten countries around Asia‐Pacific.
This symposium and its accompanying 2‐day workshop builds on the outcomes from our first event, From Things to Services Symposium and Workshop, which took place at the National Design Centre, Singapore, on 5‐6th February 2015. The event heralded the Design and Social Innovation in Asia‐Pacific (DESIAP) platform initiated by RMIT and Northumbria University as a place for practitioners in this region working in the field of Social Innovation to coalesce. DESIAP 2015 attracted an international audience of over 150 academics, policy makers and practitioners across its two days. This signalled a strong interest and opportunity for Design for Social Innovation in the region.
DESIAP 2016 symposium and workshop was funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Network. It aims to create and establish an international research network on an emerging and relatively undocumented field of Design for Social Innovation by creating a platform for knowledge sharing between researchers and practitioners in the UK and Asia‐Pacific region. Led by Joyce Yee (Northumbria University) and Yoko Akama (RMIT University), we are bringing together key change makers in the field and leading researchers and academics from the UK and Asia‐Pacific to build on insights gathered already to explore cultural nuances, conditions and relational dimensions when people are embarking on change.
The videos of the all the presentations and discussions are now available online. Our first academic paper that’s come out of what we learnt so far has also been published at the 2016 Cumulus Hong Kong conference. The themes that emerged from the symposium has led to a Special Issue in the Design and Culture Journal.
The following themes and sub-questions emerged from the symposium:
Theme 1: Cultural NuancesWhen design/designers step into conditions and circumstances for social change, they can disrupt existing practices, reconfigure local power-dynamics and shift gender relations in intentional or unknowing ways, but either way, design/designers are implicated in becoming a constituent of transforming cultural practices.
In foregrounding cultural nuances when designing with others, what issues, questions and concerns are significant to keep in view?
What can help those who intervene, including stakeholders with certain agendas and existing practices, as well as the ‘local community’, be aware of and work with existing and morphing cultural logics?
If intercultural translation is an ideology and not possible pragmatically, how do we work with and within misalignment, miscommunication and misunderstandings, and not see these as failures or negative qualities?
Theme 2: 관계/RelationshipDiscourses in social innovation have highlighted the significance of interpersonal relationships and the resources and exchanges that come from those relationships that create value. Despite their importance, relationships and their outcomes (e.g. care, engagement, and reciprocity) in social innovation have not been emphasised in design research as much as tools and technique.
How do relationship feature and foster in your practice?
What could help us understand its complexity? Language, frameworks?
What are the approaches relevant to designing for and evaluating relationships in social innovation?
Theme 3: Precariousness (risk/uncertainty)This theme grapples with the risky, turbulent and precarious contexts that often accompany most change-making initiatives, especially when undertaken with communities that have its own histories, politics, dynamics, structures, relations and boundaries. The attitudinal difference between some design scholars and practitioners who accept and work with uncertainty as a condition of change contrasts with those who labels this as ‘risk’. The very term ‘risk’ is historically situated in the emergence of modernity, beginning with the Enlightenment of human progress and social order that can be explained objectively, scientifically and rationally, and ‘assumes that the social and natural works follows laws that may be measured, calculated and therefore predicted’ (Lupton 1989: 6-7).
How does precariousness feature in your project?
If it were always a condition of doing social innovation, how would you embrace it?
Risk can be associated with creativity. How would you nurture risk-taking rather than treat it as a negative element that needs to be managed?
Theme 4: 時間/temporalityDesign celebrates a future orientation, following the European modern thought of pursuing a story of progress in a linear fashion. The desire to change situations to preferred ones (Simon 1968) means that design’s orientation is always future-focused where the new is always better, without acknowledging existing or historical culture, traditions and relationships.Time is a human invented concept that comes from modernist movement. When looking for non-linear conceptions and relations with time, we can begin to start thinking of plurality of time. This notion evokes a way for us to co-exist and co-experience an entanglement with geological, ecological, bio-diverse and multi-generational rhythms. The slow movement is an example that acknowledges these notions.
Is the industrialised model of doing things quickly and efficiently the best way to approach D&SI projects?
When is the ‘start’ or ‘end’ of a ‘project’?
How do we take into consideration the change already happening in these multiple sites of action and how do you become sensitive to it?
Theme 5:導/ethicsWhen designing necessarily intervenes in someone’s life, then an ethical consideration becomes paramount. It becomes a constant undercurrent of our work. As we work with increasingly unbounded and diverse contexts such as communities, cities and large-scale issues we have to consider existing systems, processes and stakeholders. This makes it a complex terrain to navigate.
Given D&SI are often buffeted by external and unforeseeable changes, how do we remain responsive and not reactive and yet still strive for something meaningful?
What is our professional and moral standpoint? And how do we consider other people’s viewpoints particularly if they differ from ours? How are disagreements managed?
How are these concerns and many others kept alive and in view in the moments of our engagements, especially in professional practice where there might be less opportunities to critically reflect and challenge these issues?
Theme 6:임팩트/ImpactThis theme discusses the challenges of evaluating the impact of social innovation and in particular design’s contribution to this new and emerging field. It is difficult to evaluate impact in this area because design is often messy, affective, tacit, implicit and contextually specific and sit in opposition to economic, science and technology knowledge of quantitative, explicit and codified measurement. And yet, we are expected to predict and commit to outcomes and impact at the start.
What does impact mean to you and your stakeholders? How do you even begin to make sense of it?
How do you reconcile different expectations of the stakeholders especially in terms of desired/unintended impact?
When impact might not be immediate, how would you anticipate, track or evaluate it in SI project?
What about unintentional/unforeseen impact? How do you avoid the possibility of unfavourable impact?
Dr Yoko Akama is an Associate Professor in communication design at RMIT University. Her design practice is informed by Japanese philosophy of between-ness and mindfulness, to consider how and what futures can be created together. She has won several awards for her research with communities to strengthen their adaptive capacity for disaster resilience in Australia. Her current work contributes towards the efforts of Indigenous Nations enact self-determination and governance. Yoko is a leader and co-founder of several design networks – Service Design Melbourne and DESIS-Lab Melbourne – to support a diverse community of practice to tackle complex problems through design.
STBY, UK and The Design Academy (UK/The Netherlands)
Dr. Bas Raijmakers is co-founder and Creative Director of STBY in London and Amsterdam. STBY is specialised in creative research for service design and innovation, and works for clients in industry and public sector. Bas has a background in cultural studies, the internet industry, and interaction design. His main passion is to bring people he designs for into design and innovation processes, using visual storytelling, which he has done across sectors and industries, from healthcare to transport and communication for companies like Nokia, Philips and Google, as well as the Dutch Government and the National Health Service in the UK. He holds a PhD in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art in London. He is also Reader in Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven, where he led the Creative Industry Scientific Programme (CRISP) between 2011-2015. He founded the global design research network Reach in 2008.
Shaowen Bardzell is an Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University and an Affiliated Faculty of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. Bardzell’s research explores the contributions of design, feminism, and social science to support technology’s role in social change. Recent research foci have included criticality in design, care ethics and feminist utopian perspectives on IT, and culture and creative industries in Asia. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Intel Corporation. Bardzell is on the editorial board of the journal Interacting with Computers and Journal of Peer Production. She is the co-author of Humanistic HCI (Morgan & Claypool Publishers, 2015) and a co-editor of Critical Theory and Interaction Design (MIT Press, in press). She co-directs the Cultural Research in Technology (CRIT) Lab at Indiana University.
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation [TACSI] (Australia)
Dr. Ingrid Burkett is Associate Director at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. She is a social designer, designing and co-designing processes, products and knowledge that deepen social impact and facilitate social innovation. She has contributed to the design of services, policy and processes in a diversity of fields, including frontline social, health and disability services, community development, local economic development, social investment, social enterprise and social procurement. Ingrid is also Social Design Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, at the University of NSW in Sydney and the University of Western Australia in Perth. Ingrid is a trained graphic designer, and also has qualifications in social work, business and economics. Her work integrates all these disciplines. Currently she is leading work at TACSI focused on disability, ageing and child protection. This work ranges from service design, to co-designing innovative solutions, business model design and systems redesign.
Rachel Clarke is a Research Associate at Open Lab, Newcastle University. Her research focuses on socially engaged arts and relational approaches in the design of technology and its associated practices. She gained her PhD in 2014, for long-term participatory research with an international women’s centre in the UK. The research explored sensitivities of design for digital representation in the context of negotiating familial, national and international archives with a community of black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women gaining skills, employment and therapeutic care at the Centre. More recently Rachel has worked to scale up participatory approaches for urban transport development with diverse older adults and local authorities. She has published, presented and exhibited internationally across HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and design research journals and conferences.
Fumiko Ichikawa has received her Masters degree in Human Computer Interaction from Keio University. In her commercial career, she has worked with many leading companies and design offices, where she took lead in global design research based in Finland, China, and Japan. After the financial crisis and the great earthquake that took place in Northern Japan in 2011, Fumiko co-founded a company Re:public, Inc together with Hiroshi, Tamura. Together with national and regional governments, companies of all sizes, and educational institutes, her mission is to empower individuals and develop innovation platforms for the better future. Fumiko is a member of Reach, the global design research network, and a founding director of Innovators 100, an innovation program commissioned by Hiroshima prefecture. She also organizes a Serial Innovators consortium, an alliance where she studies how innovators create and deliver breakthrough innovations.
Taiei is a product design engineer, leading Proximity Designs’ design and development of low-cost high-impact products for smallholder Myanmar farmers. Trained at Stanford’s d.school, Taiei is passionate about applying design while embedded in the local context of end users. His all-Myanmar team has brought multiple novel products to market over the last 8 years. The team is engaged in the complete product design process, beginning with empathy building and needfinding, product design and development, co-design with customers, all the way to design for manufacturability. Most recently Taiei has been working on Proximity’s digital initiatives, designing new services and communication channels to meet the changing needs of Myanmar farmers. Taiei grew up in Japan and the US, loves biking and skiing, and is always on the lookout for delicious foods to eat.
Joon Sang Baek
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (Korea)
Dr. Joon Sang Baek is an assistant professor in the School of Design and Human Engineering at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). His research areas include design for social innovation, sociotechnical systems design, sustainable design, and nature-inspired design. His current research focuses on systems design for social changes. He received his PhD at Politecnico di Milano with a dissertation on the design for grassroots social innovations empowered by information communication technologies. Before joining UNIST, he worked as a user experience designer at Samsung Mobile, a visiting researcher at the Center for Appropriate Technologies in Vienna and the Hope Institute (a social innovation think tank) in Seoul.
Hong Kong Design Institute & EXHIBIT (China, Hong Kong, UK)
Dr Yanki LEE is a design researcher and social innovator. In 2013, she founded the HKDI DESIS Lab for Social Design Research at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) researching global social issues through design innovation. She graduated with an MA in Architecture from the Royal College of Art (RCA) and worked at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD) as an Inclusive Design Research Fellow since 2000. After gain her PhD in Design on Participation, she co-founded EXHIBIT at Golden Lane Estate CIC, a social enterprise in London curating social projects to enable individuals or organisations to develop their ingenuity for social innovation. In 2011, she was awarded the fellow of excellence of UK- China Fellowship as visiting scholar of Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and in 2012, she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 2012 for her contribution to design research.
Ann Light is Professor of Design and Creative Technology and leads the Creative Technology Research Group at the University of Sussex. She is a design researcher specializing in design for social change, social wellbeing and the politics of participation. With qualifications in humanities, arts, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, she draws on many influences, having worked with grass-roots organizations and marginalized groups on five continents, in local, transnational and international development settings. She has led interdisciplinary research spanning transport, architecture, social activism and ethically-sourced consumption, drawing on management and facilitation experience acquired with design company start-ups. She is exploring how local cultures support social innovation in a study of Design for Sharing. She publishes on design of social process, citizen innovation and cross-cultural methodology, with a particular interest in holding a space for values to evolve as digital infrastructure develops. She is co-author and technical editor of ‘Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things’.
Dr. Miaosen Gong is an Associate Professor of School of Design, Jiangnan University, where he is also founder and coordinator of DESIS Lab-JU. He is the co-coordinator of DESIS-China network (The Network on Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability in China) and member of international coordination committee of DESIS association. His research interests focus on strategic design for sustainability and service design for social innovation, particularly, in the fields of food and agriculture, EV mobility, active welfare and smart healthcare. In last years, he has been in charge of a number of government funded projects and international research collaboration on related topics. He has more than 30 peer-reviewed academic publications in international conferences and journals. Before, he obtained his PhD degree in design at Politecnico di Milano in 2010 and was a visiting scholar at MEL-Design Lab, MIT in 2009, visiting fellow in HKDI (2011) and visiting scholar in Tu/e (2012/13)
Andrea Siodmok is the Head of the Policy Lab in the Cabinet Office. She is both a practitioner and design thinker with an international reputation for applying design for public good. Formerly Chief Design Officer at the Design Council, she is currently head of the UK Government’s Policy Lab and a Deputy Director at the Cabinet Office. She is passionate about expanding the boundaries of design practice. From the earliest days of her career at BT’s Adastral Park Labs, through to her more recent Policy Lab projects, her work demonstrates practical ways to improve peoples’ lives using design principles and practice. Her work with Cabinet Office spans all areas of government with current Lab projects focused on policing, employment, business growth as well as a range of social and family policy issues.
Dr. Alison Prendiville is a Reader at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Her research interests include anthropology and design of service in public and third sector organisations, particularly in the areas of health and social care. She has recently completed as Co-Investigator, the AHRC funded research Mapping and Developing Service Design Research in the UK and the DeSID (Design for Service Innovation and Development ) project. Currently she is working as Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded Public Collaboration Lab with Central St Martins and Camden Council. She has considerable experience running workshops both nationally and internationally. She is also a regular contributor to Ordnance Survery’s Geovation Challenge as a judge, to evaluate the use of OS open data in the creation of socially driven location specific services. She has an MA (RCA) in Design Management and an MSc in Digital Anthropology from UCL.
Viria Vichit-Vadakan serves as the Director of New Business Development for Learn Education—a leading edtech social enterprise in Asia. She leads the company’s new business unit—serving as a research and innovation arm to create learning products for K-12 students in all types of schools throughout Thailand and the region.
Prior to Learn Education, Viria helped establish the Bachelor of Arts program in Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship (GSSE) and a social innovation lab “G-Lab” at the School of Global Studies, Thammasat University, Thailand (www.sgs.tu.ac.th). As a Founder and former Director of G-Lab, she managed social impact projects including: working with an edtech startup to scale its technology to reach 50 schools and implemented an accelerator for 100 emerging social entrepreneurs to scale their social enterprises in areas of education, health, agriculture, and community based tourism in partnership with JP Morgan Global Philanthropy. Prior to G-Lab, she worked at Ashoka and IDEO.org. Viria received graduate training in human-centered design from the Stanford Design Institute (d.school). At Stanford she was a teaching assistant for 2 years for the social entrepreneurship course. Viria was named Global Shapers by the world economic forum in 2015. She is interested in working with organizations, both public and private, to greater their social impact/ innovation, and improving the quality of education in Thailand and the region at large.
Joyce is a design researcher, author and designer in the areas of social innovation, service design and interaction design. Joyce’s research focuses on the role, value and impact of design in organisational context. Specifically, she is interested in the ways design is used to support, enable and drive change through the creation of innovative practices in organisations. She was the lead investigator for the Valuing Design project, an AHRC funded research that identified and mapped the impact and value of design in public and voluntary and community sector organisations. Building on this work, she has recently published a book, Transformations which introduces 7 roles that design play in driving change in organisations. Her previous book, Design Transitions explored how design practices are changing and identified a key requirement for designers to externalise their approaches and demonstrate value beyond design in service innovation projects. Extending her interest in design in social spaces, she co-founded the Design for Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network (DESIAP) with Yoko Akama.
Robert (Bob) Young is Professor of Design Practice and Research Lead in the School of Design at Northumbria University, head of its ‘Design-led innovation practices and research methods’ research group. He began the first doctoral studies in the School and has assisted twenty-seven candidates to gain their PhDs. The last six of these have all concerned building knowledge for service design and social innovation. He has advised two previous UK Design Council, Design of the Times programmes in the North East of England (2007) and Cornwall (2010) on social innovation and service design projects with communities of practice. He recently served on the Scientific Advisory Board for The Netherland’s Creative Industries Science Programme (CRISP) on product service system design. He has partnered two recent AHRC Networks; Design Social Innovation and Sustainability (DESIS) UK, and; Service Design Research and is Coordinator of the Northumbria DESIS Lab, which undertakes collaborative social innovation learning projects with public and third sector organisations.