June 1, 2021 @ 1:40 PM

 

Over the past 7 years I've been undertaking a PhD to develop a new social design process. Publications that detail the approach are coming soon but here is brief summary of the intentions

Re-authoring Design is a social design process that builds on the theory and practice of narrative therapy. It is intended to be used by designers and communities to co-create objects and spaces that promote social growth. The process departs design’s traditional focus on problem solving and approaches change through a narrative lens, supporting communities to ‘re-author’ the stories that define their identity and reality. This is approached through:  

The process

Co-design is approached as a transformative process where the experience of designing and making supports people to:

  • Challenge dominant narratives (stories that are having unwanted affect on people’s life)
  • Build, thicken, perform, materialize and share counter narratives (alternative stories people prefer to live and be known by) 

The material creations

The completed objects and spaces support the re-authoring work to continue after the design process by:

  • Prompting further storytelling
  • Providing visual reminders of the counter narratives along with the tools to keep building and performing them
  • Creating engaging pieces that attract wider audiences to witness and contribute to the counter narratives 

The partnership

Re-authoring design offers tools to guide conversation and activity but within each project designers and community members develop the process together. This aims to amplify local ways of engaging with story, designing and making.

 

For examples of this process in practice see the Tapestry Couch, Wilcannia Men’s Hub and My Plate Your Plate.