Category Archives: Design news

10×10 Symposium Launch


THURSDAY 30 JULY, 5.00–6.30PM

The Design Futures Lab 10×10 symposium is an online symposium that imagines the future of design. Design researchers of diverse persuasions reflect upon the last ten years in their respective fields, and they imagine the changes that might be seen in the next ten. These 3–5 minute videos capture designerly vignettes of the near future from a global perspective. The presentations are pitched to a non-expert and inquiring audience.

Members and friends of the Design Futures Lab will discuss the past and the future of design in Victoria:

Professor Martyn Hook (host)
Dean, School of Media and Communication,
Assoc. Professor Brad Haylock (chair)
Leader, Design Futures Lab, RMIT
Professor Harriet Edquist (panelist)
Director, RMIT Design Archives, RMIT
Ewan McEoin (panelist)
Design Curator, NGV

The online symposium will capture the insights of design researchers globally. Coming releases include presentations by DFL researchers including Yoko Akama, Stephen Banham, Neal Haslem, Brad Haylock, Martyn Hook, Laurene Vaughan and Jeremy Yuille. Presentations also include key design leaders such as Paul Dourish (University of California, Irvine), Pelle Ehn (Malmo University, Sweden), Lisa Grocott (Parsons School of Design, New York), Ann Light (University of Sussex) and Andrew Morrison (Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway), to name a few.

Watch this space for a new DFL website and the 10×10 Symposium Videos.


Symposium on the Art of Independent Publishing

The first International Symposium on the Art of Independent Publishing will investigate the contribution that independent publishing can make to the future of the cultural sector.

The symposium is convened by Brad Haylock and is presented by the RMIT Design Futures Lab with the support of the Ian Potter Foundation and RMIT School of Media & Communication, as a part of the inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria.

The symposium will consider both the significance of publishing for artistic practice and the significance of publishing as practice. The symposium will cover such themes as: the importance of independent publishing as a platform for art criticism and discourse; the role of graphic design in the dissemination of independent publishing projects; and the impact of contemporary hybrid practices that cross the traditional boundaries of art, design and publishing.

Speakers include: Stuart Bailey, a UK-based designer who is one half of the duo Dexter Sinister and co-editor of the bi-annual publication Bulletins of The Serving Library; Helen Hughes, Melbourne-based co-founder and co-editor of the contemporary art journal Discipline; Ziga Testen, a Melbourne-based designer who has worked on numerous books for artists, arts institutions and independent publishers; and Eleanor Vonne Brown. Individual speakers’ papers will be followed by a panel discussion that will draw the audience into the conversation.

Stuart Bailey (b. 1973, York, UK; lives and works in Liverpool, UK) is a graphic designer and publisher, co-founder and editor of Dot Dot Dot (2000–2010), and one half of the artist duo Dexter Sinister, along with designer David Reinfurt. In 2006, Dexter Sinister established a workshop and bookstore of the same name in New York, and have since explored aspects of contemporary publishing in diverse contexts. In 2010, Bailey co-founded The Serving Library, a not-for-profit artists’ organization dedicated to publishing and archiving in a continuous loop, and is co-editor of The Serving Library’s bi-annual publication, Bulletins of The Serving Library.

Brad Haylock (b. 1980, Melbourne, Australia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is a designer, publisher and academic. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, where he manages the Master of Communication Design program and leads the Design Futures Lab research group. He is founding editor of Surpllus, an independent publisher of printed matter (mostly books) pertaining to critical and speculative practices across art, design and theory.

Helen Hughes (b. 1986, Melbourne, Australia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is co-founder and co-editor of the contemporary art journal Discipline. She is also an editor of the online, peer-reviewed journal of art history, emaj. Helen recently submitted her PhD in Art History at the University of Melbourne. She is currently Curator at Gertrude Contemporary, where she has been running the Gertrude Contemporary–Discipline Contemporary Art Lecture Series for the last three years.

Ziga Testen (b. 1981, Ljubljana, Slovenia; lives and works in Melbourne, Australia) is an independent graphic designer. He works with artists, institutions, organisations and publishers on projects he can ideologically, politically or conceptually align with. He received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana and continued his studies at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands. While living and working in the Netherlands, his publication work was awarded ‘The Best Dutch Book Designs’ award.

Eleanor vonne Brown studied Fine Art at Central St Martins and Publishing Production at London College of Communication and has lived and worked in London ever since, developing solo and collaborative projects that have most recently gathered under the umbrella of X Marks the Bökship. Beyond this live-work space on Cambridge Heath Road (London), Brown’s generous and imaginative projects include: “X-Operative” at Wysing Arts Centre (Cambridge), 2013; “X-Archive” at Badischer-Kunstverein (Karlsruhe), 2012; “Translation and Verbal Mutation” with Whitechapel Gallery & FormContent (both London), 2011; the Publishing as Practice seminar series at Bökship, 2010; “Communication Breakdown” at Nassauischer Kunstverein (Weisbaden), 2010; and “The Newpaper”, self-published from 2007-08.

Saturday May 2, 2pm–4pm
NGV International
Ground Level, Clemenger BBDO Auditorium

Design Week: Shaping Behaviour Salon

Using architecture, graphics, lighting, landscape, sound, and interactive elements, designers are using visible and imperceptible cues to change the way we act, think, and feel. Featuring leading voices from different Melbourne based design studios, the Shaping Behaviour Salon examines how designers influence and change people’s behaviour in built environments.
The Salon features a series of brief talks on how designers shape behaviour and user focused design principles. There will be a moderated panel discussing the future for behaviour in the built environment. A Q&A session will follow, along with an opportunity to hang out, chat, and have some drinks.

Speakers include:
Simon McPherson
Director—SJB Urban
Nick Morris
Director—Morris Access Consulting
Paul Stanley
Planning Leader—Arup
Christopher Thorpe

Venue: RMIT Design Hub,

Multipurpose Room, Level 1,
Cnr Victoria and Swanston St,
Date: 12 May 2015
Time: 6:00pm entry for 6:30 start till 8:30pm
Contact: Chris Thorpe, ID/Lab,
0421 822 438,

Presented by DFL & ID/Lab

Public Lecture: Pelle Ehn ‘Collective design, utopias lost and futures made’

Venue: RMIT Design Hub, Lecture Theatre (Level 3),
corner of Swanston and Victoria St, Melbourne
Time: 9th December 2014, 6-8pm.
Please arrive at 5.45pm for a prompt 6pm start
Free event: Drinks and nibbles includedPelle Ehn has been instrumental in establishing the field of Participatory Design (PD), which was born out of movements towards democratization at work in Scandinavia, and the belief that those affected by the introduction of new technology should have a say in the design process and joint decision-making. His work spans over four decades and he still continues to be a leading light in related fields like User Experience, Interaction design and more recently in Service Design.

The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Pelle, joined by Ann Light (Northumbria University, UK), Paul Dourish (University of California, Irvine, US) and Anne Galloway (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ).All welcome – please pass on to your networks.


2015 PhD Scholarships open for application

RMIT University is currently inviting applications for PhD scholarships.

We are actively seeking applicants with first class Honours or equivalent qualifications, who are interested in undertaking design research in any of the four DFL research areas

  • Experiential Futures
  • Learning Futures
  • Publishing Futures
  • Social Futures

Many projects span areas, please see our projects for more info

You would become a member of the Design Futures Lab at RMIT University, home to leading design researchers (Laurene Vaughan, Yoko Akama, Brad Haylock, Jeremy Yuille, Neal Haslem, Marius Foley, Toni Roberts) and a growing group of postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Applications close 31 October 2014.

Please see the RMIT website for scholarship details & and how to apply

Models for Creating Museum Experiences – Toni Roberts and Sigurd Trolle Gronemann

Models for Creating Museum Experiences
DFL Research Group Seminar
Monday March 24th, 3.30 – 5pm.
Toni Roberts and Sigurd Trolle Gronemann


Presentation – Toni Roberts

Interpretation aims to connect visitors with places, histories, ideas and objects. Zoos, museums, national parks and other sites use interpretation to communicate often complex, layered messages, aiming to create transformative experiences with lasting impact on visitor attitudes and behaviour. The significance of interpretation design has increased as museums and zoos seek to engage visitors in multi-sensory experiences but the theory and practice of multi-form design outputs in such contexts remains largely unexamined. Theoretical models are needed to support designers in their work, to educate clients about suitable project management and to guide critique of design outcomes. Practitioners hold significant expertise not represented within the limited literature and avenues for sharing knowledge are limited. Drawing on practitioner knowledge gathered through interview and qualitative case study in my PhD research, I propose a basic model of the foundations of interpretation design that encompasses design approaches, techniques and types. A conceptual framework of cognitive, affective and physical modes of visitor engagement underpins an illustrated typology of design outcomes. The think-feel-do model supports designers’ focus on visitor needs and interests in contrast to traditional categories of design forms and media.

Toni Roberts
With experience and qualifications in education and design, Toni is a practitioner and researcher in the design of interpretive environments for zoos, museums and related contexts. Projects include Auckland Zoo’s Te Wao Nui native precinct, The World Heritage Exhibition Centre at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden, Whittlesea Bushfire Memorial and interpretation planning for the Royal Australian Mint. Synthesising data from case studies, practitioner interviews, professional experience and the nascent literature of the field, Toni’s PhD thesis examines interpretation design practice, investigating the role of designers and the key impacts on their role. The thesis proposes models of interpretation design practice, a typology of design outcomes and a definition of the field.

Presentation – Sigurd Trolle Gronemann
To design and develop digital resources for museum learning, museums usually have to collaborate with specialised ICT design companies. But with free, advanced apps and web-services increasingly available, as well as affordable and easy-to-use platforms (e.g., iPads), new possibilities for museums to conceptualise, test and deploy digital concepts on their own are made possible. This presentation explores what happens when museums try to create new digital concepts with what they have at hand.

Drawing on an analysis of a media-ethnographic and design-based research study of how iPads were introduced into three Danish natural science museums, I present key characteristics and differences in these museums’ development approaches. I further discuss how this influences the final products and their use, arguing that working with portable tablets and existing apps can have a positive influence on important procedural aspects (e.g., iterative capabilities, involvement of users in testing, museum staff’s sense of ownership and so on) as well as pushing museums’ resources towards content production, supporting user adoption and satisfaction. In my conclusion, I will also discuss this approach’s shortcomings by project type, staff skill requirements and its tendency to impede radically divergent thinking and conceptualisations.

Sigurd Trolle Gronemann
PhD-fellow DREAM (Danish Research Centre on Education and Advanced Media Materials)/University of Southern Denmark, Sigurd holds an MA in digital design and communication from the IT University in Copenhagen with a specialization in participatory ICT design. With a broad practical experience in conceptualizing and designing digital experiences for private and public corporations he has worked as a digital strategist and an exhibition developer for several years. Starting in June 2012 Sigurd’s project aims at identifying the creative dynamics that occur when young people aged 12-20 are involved with social media activities in relation to natural science museums. It also studies how their interaction and reflection processes relate to the content and the communication purposes intended by the museums.

Humanness in design practices: a study of Familiness in Thai graphic design community – Khemmiga Teerapong

Please come along to learn, support and give feedback for Khem’s completion seminar on 3rd April, 9.30-10.30am, Design Hub, Level 8 meeting room. This is also in the DFL calendar.

Humanness in design practices: a study of Familiness in Thai graphic design community

This study explores humanness in design practices. While there is a significant body of research focusing on design artifacts and their contributions to economic and cultural capital, little is understood about human relationships and networks between designers and their community of practice. This research aims to understand how humanness influences design profession and design practices related to design contributing to society. This research focuses on the Thai graphic design community which interpersonal relationships are highly influential. An ethnographic approach was employed in this research through various methods of data collection. Qualitative data were obtained through semi-structured interviews, observations, informal conversations and graphic design works. Fourteen Thai graphic designers were selected from different backgrounds and they produced design projects relating to social issues. They are examples of socially responsible designers whose projects successfully impact on Thai society. An analysis of the qualitative data reveals strong connections between designers, and these social relationships lead to their design culture. The findings highlight that familiness as a subset of humanness is embedded in Thai graphic design community. This type of personal connections found in the community has been fostered from educational and professional bonds. The Thai designers gave their contributions to Thai society as familiness builds the community spirit and bring them to be an integral part of the society.