Designing Transformative Learning

  • 2022

  • Design Research

Designed By:

This book and companion website share a playful, practical approach to learning from and adapting to a rapidly changing world. The stories, resources and case studies are grounded in practice-based research that illustrates how to design memory-making, perspective-shifting encounters that transform how people show up in the world.

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  • As we transition into the fourth industrial revolution, the call for continuous learning and the urgency of global challenges become harder to ignore. Just as the profession developed and evolved systems and service design we now need a practice of transformation design. This project offers a new lexicon and literature in support of a practice that supports the complex work of navigating systemic and ethical challenges — like the climate crisis, social injustice, income inequality. The scholarly investigation explores how co-design can scaffold the shift-work required, as we navigate uncertain futures, to unlearn old habits and to embrace new practices.

  • The book and website together make a compelling argument for how design encounters can transform an individual’s way of doing and being in the world. Developed for design practitioners the international case studies, first person narratives, and workshop vignettes illuminate the creative and participatory ways co-design bring something to the curious and courageous challenge of shift-work. Valuing a breadth of perspectives, the project respects how culture and context inform practice. Disinterested in reducing design to a toolkit of methods, the playbook shares a complex set of design processes, provocations, moves and mindsets that can be adapted for each unique situation.

  • The book commissioned by the Design Research Society’s President for world-class publisher, Routledge, is testament to the high regard of Professor Grocott’s applied research. Most design research books are edited chapters or history/theory books. This sole-authored practice-based design book is a rare form of academic scholarship. The book/website have only recently launched however, the research project represents the impact of a decade of powerful design-based interventions. The project weaves this practice knowing with evidence-based research from other disciplines. Actionable principles offer interdisciplinary strategies for elevating the potential of design and opening up new professional pathways for designers to explore.

  • Designing for Transformative Learning, a learning resource for a community of professional and academic design researchers includes case studies, extended stories of practice, conceptual frameworks, downloadable activities and digital templates. In addition, the research: Positions Australian Design Research: As a resource for design students and researchers the visibility of the project (within Routledge’s prestigious Design and Social Responsibility series) and the PhD case studies deepen Australia's reputation as a top destination for international students and a world leader in practice-based design research. Locates Design within Interdisciplinary Collaborations: This research makes a case for including design when tackling complex, global challenges. The evidence-based research from cognitive and social psychology translates for designers why the visual, haptic and creative work we produce supports strong memory-traces and ultimately shifts in perspective. Reframes our understanding of design: the novel use of Indigenous knowing in conversation with scientific literature and applied case studies reveals new ways to question and reframe design's role, ethics, and responsibilities. Disrupts how we share design knowing: with a commitment to engaging readers and audiences in meaningful ways, the novel application of autoethnography, the chattering footnotes, the open-source digital templates, the free, visual cheat-sheets all explore innovative approaches for disseminating scholarship.