Designing out homelessness

Homeless in Sydney, Australia, Nina Matthews Photography

Designing out homelessness



1 October 2013

State Library of Queensland (SLQ), Australia is challenging leading designers to step outside of their comfort zone and apply their way of thinking to new contexts.

Think Outside is a new talk series at SLQ, which invites local, national and international designers and design thinkers to contemplate a problem outside their area of expertise, offering new and unexpected solutions for discussion. The series launched on September 17, 2013, with panellists being asked ‘how might we design out homelessness?’

Christian Duell, Manager of the SLQ Asia Pacific Design Library, said people often talk about design in terms of end products, but sometimes it’s better to think about design as a process, as a way of thinking. “Design thinking is becoming increasingly recognised as a powerful process for creatively exploring the challenges of the 21st century, beyond the traditional realm of designing products,” said Mr Duell.
“The Think Outside series puts this idea into practice. We’re excited to start the series with such a complex issue as homelessness, and are curious to see what ideas our design thinkers come up with,” he said.

The design thinkers making up the September panel were typographer and designer Catherine Griffiths, co-founder of Holloway Eyewear Raffaele Persichetti, and QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Adkin. Each speaker had 10 minutes to present their ideas, setting the platform for a considered debate and discussion to follow around the practical implications of these new ideas. There will be a total of three events in the Think Outside series.

Following on from the September presentations, October speakers explore the challenge of creating sustainable eco-tourism and, in November, they take a look at possibilities for a more ethical and sustainable economic system.

The Designing minds…Catherine, Barbara and Raffaele

Catherine Griffiths
“An independent designer and typographer, I live and work in Auckland and Paris. My portfolio is a mix of corporate communication design, self-publishing, typographic installations in public and private spaces and writing on design. I collaborate with artists, architects and designers, scientists and engineers, teach, give lectures and work with students. In 2009, Simone Wolf (Typevents Italy) and I conceived, curated and organised TypeSHED11, New Zealand’s first-ever international typography symposium. My response as designer and typographer is shaped by circumstance, an appreciation for content and meaning, the written word, and the image. Space, light and sound, the materiality of things, and the landscape, are recurring elements in my design and art-based practice” – Catherine Griffiths (Studio Catherine Griffiths, New Zealand).

Barbara Adkin
“I am a sociologist in the school of design at Queensland University of Technology. My research, teaching and postgraduate supervision focus on the emerging and exciting intersection between design and sociality. Doctoral Projects I am supervising include the nature, production and reception of visual design of climate change communication, and the way children with mobility related disabilities experience urban settings. I am collaborating with design colleagues to investigate the way the designed world can contribute to more seamless journeys for people with disabilities.” – Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Adkin (QUT).

Raffaele Persichetti
Raffaele Persichetti (Co-founder of Holloway Eyewear) proclaims that he is passionately involved with everything that is essential. He is an Industrial Designer, Environmental Strategies and co-founder of the Brisbane based company Holloway Eyewear, which uses donated and scavenged recycled timber from skate decks and guitars to create stylish glasses frames and watches. “We are creating whilst reducing. The impact from our creation of essential products for people, neutralising the effect of others who have gone before us.”

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