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22 JUNE 2013

The NFSA Life In Australia Series

Fig.1 James Jeffrey (1966). "Life In Australia: Adelaide": 20.25 Minutes. Made by The Commonwealth Film Unit / Department of Immigration 1966. Directed by James Jeffrey. A picture of life in the South Australian capital of Adelaide in the mid 1960s, social, commercial and recreational.
Fig.2 "Life In Australia: Brisbane", Fig.3 "Guide To Canberra", Fig.4 "Darwin – Doorway To Australia", Fig.5 "Life In Australia: Hobart", Fig.6 "Life In Australia: Melbourne", Fig.7 "Life In Australia: Perth", Fig.8 "Life In Australia: Sydney".

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TAGS

1960s1966Adelaideadvertising imagesaudio and visual heritageaudiovisual archiveAustralia • Australian capital cities • Australian culture • Australian Department of Immigration • Australian ScreenBrisbaneCanberracommercial sector • Commonwealth Film Unit • cultural life • Darwin • Eric Thompson • European Australianseveryday cultureGreat Britain • Hobart • idylidyllic imageimmigrantimmigration • James Jeffrey • life in Australia • Life in Australia Series • lifestyleMelbourneNational Archives of AustraliaNational Film and Sound ArchivenewsreelNFSAPerthportrait of everyday liferecreational activitiessocial sectorSouth AustraliaSydney • ten pound pom • ten pound tourist • UK • welcoming immigrants • white Australia policy

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2012

Autumn 2012: Design and Social Innovation

"There is a growing interest in the role that design can play in catalysing, harnessing, spreading and scaling social innovation around the world. This is expressed in two key ways:

> by a growing number of professional designers and design disciplines applying their skills to addressing social issues; and

> by the adoption of design tools, techniques and methods by a growing number of other disciplines focused on developing social innovation.

Perhaps the most recognisable facet of this interest has been the rise of 'design thinking' not only in business, but increasingly in public service and policy fields. Fuelled by design agencies such as IDEO in the US, non–profit bodies such as the Design Council in the UK, and education institutions such as Stanford's 'd.school', design thinking has begun to be recognised as a key ingredient underpinning innovation (whether that be social innovation or not). Indeed, according to Sir George Cox, past chairman of the Design Council, design is what bridges creativity (the generation of new ideas) and innovation (the successful implementation of new ideas). In other words, design could be described as:

'the human power to conceive, plan, and realize products that serve human beings in the accomplishment of any individual or collective purpose' (Richard Buchanan, 2001)."

(Ingrid Burkett, Knowledge Connect)

Fig.1 AT.AW [http://www.at–aw.com]

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TAGS

2012action learning • catalysing social innovation • change observercitizenshipcivil societyclients • collective purpose • community services • conceive ideas • constituents • consumersCourtney Drake • critical insight • critical literature • critical thinking • cross-sector • d.school • deign approaches • design agenciesdesign approaches • design bridges creativity and innovation • Design Council (UK)design disciplinesdesign fielddesign innovationdesign methodsDesign Observer (magazine)design techniquesdesign thinkingdesign toolsdesignersdifferent perspectives • diversity of disciplines • education institutions • George Cox • harnessing social innovation • idea generationIDEO • individual purpose • Jacqueline Wechsler • Joanne Hutchinson • logframe • logframe analysis • long-term change • NESTAnew ideas • Open Book of Social Innovation • plan ideas • political reactionism • previous learning • professional designersprototypingpublic policy • public service • public services • real change • realise products • Richard Buchanan • scaling social innovation • School of Management • School of Visual Arts in New York • service implementation • serving human beings • significant change • social design • social ills • social innovation • Social Innovation Branch in DEEWR • social interventionsocial issuessocial policysocial sciencesocial sector • spreading social innovation • Stanford Universitystrategic planning • strategy and planning • successful implementation • the role that design • underpinning innovation • User-Centred Design (UCD)users • Vera Sacchetti • William DrenttelYale University • Young Foundation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
24 FEBRUARY 2012

Design and the Social Sector: An Annotated Bibliography

"Design thinking, user–centered design, service design, transformation design. These practices are not identical but their origin is similar: a definition of design that extends the profession beyond products. The rise of service economies in the developed world contributed to this movement toward design experiences, services and interactions between users and products. The literature about design thinking and contemporary ideas reveals common elements and themes, many of which are borrowed from product design processes. They include abduction, empathy, interdisciplinary teams, co–creation, iteration through prototyping, preservation of complexity and an evolving brief.

The implications of the rise of design thinking are twofold. First, corporate and organizational leaders concerned with innovative prowess are recognizing design thinking as a tool for developing new competitive advantages. Design thinking considers consumers' latent desires and thus has the potential to change markets rather than simply make incremental improvements in the status quo. Second, many organizations have encountered significant barriers to practicing design thinking internally. In some ways, design thinking runs counter to the very structure of a corporation – it is intended to break paradigms, which may mean questioning power relationships, traditions and incentive structure, and it may require a corporation to overhaul its business model and cannibalize its success. Additionally, many corporate leaders treat design thinking in a linear manner, a process that compromises the critical elements of conflict and circularity. In many instances, designers have failed to sufficiently translate and articulate their process, and businesses tend to favor past trends over the promise of new discovery.

With corporations struggling to use design thinking effectively, where does that leave the social sector? The organizational challenges facing corporations do not necessarily transfer to nonprofit organizations: more complex systems, higher stakes for failure, limited resources and intangible evaluation metrics. Designers may be attracted to greater complexity and more wicked problems in the social sector, but they need to be prepared to adapt their process and attitudes to create positive change. Perhaps the most significant adaptation designers need to make is in their role. Where product design connotes a sense of authorship, social design demands that designers be facilitators and educators of their processes. Further, they need to recognize they may not be well equipped to solve problems, but can identify problems and co–create with local leaders and beneficiaries.

The value of co–creation is a predominant theme in the literature surveyed here, particularly for Western designers contributing to foreign communities. Another critical factor is continual presence within projects, or better, a longer–term, sustained involvement. Authors speak of the importance of evaluation and metrics to gauge success, but find many projects lacking, perhaps for the same reasons the social sector as a whole struggles with impact measurement. Scaling, adaptation and replication are buzzwords that pervade the social sector, but are particularly difficult for the product of a design process. Because the process is founded on a deep understanding of a particular user group's needs, the solution for one community likely does not translate directly to another. However, authors suggest that it is the design process that is scalable and should be taught to local leaders. Failed projects support this assertion; benefits flow through the process of a project as well as the end–product, which further advocates for co–creation. Finally, the literature leave us with an unsettling question: Is breakthrough innovation possible in the social sector? Most veterans in this field suggest the answer is no – they recommend that designers start small and introduce incremental change because the complexity of the systems and problems they face will demand it. However, this finding does not negate the potential value of the designer. The social sector needs designers to identify problems, imagine possibilities for a better future and facilitate problem–solving processes."

(Courtney Drake & William Drenttel, Design Observer, 27 October 2011)

TAGS

2012abductive reasoning • adaptation and replication • annotated bibliographybeyond productsbreakthrough innovationbusiness modelchange observerco-creationcomplexity • conflict and circularity • corporate leaders • Courtney Drakedesign disciplinesDesign Observer (magazine)design practicedesign processdesign thinkingdesigners • developed world • empathy • evaluation metrics • evolving brief • experience designimagined possibilities • incentive structures • incremental change • incremental improvements • interdisciplinary teams • iteration through prototyping • new competitive advantages • non-profit professional association • nonprofit organisations • organisational leaders • past trends • positive changeproblem-solvingproduct design • promise of new discovery • questioning power • questioning traditionsservice design • service economies • social designsocial sectortransformation designUCDuser analysisUser-Centred Design (UCD)users and productswicked problemsWilliam Drenttel

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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