Keynote Debate 2: Social & Public

Wednesday 27 June 09:30 - 10:30
[UL] Foundation Building University Concert Hall

Moderated by Dr. Simon O'Rafferty
Debate Participants: Dr. Andrea Siodmok & Dr. Ramia MazĂ©

A growing community of design researchers and practitioners have been presenting design as a pragmatic yet speculative approach to policy making, politics and social innovation. Typically design is presented as a counterpoint to the dominant normative, ideological or utopian approaches used by policy makers, political scientists and social activists.

Design in these political and social contexts is often more than simple solutionism in that it considers the practices of policy making, framing of policy or social problems and the evaluation and learning mechanisms of policy makers and citizens. Therefore there is a need for a deeper and wider debate on the distinctiveness of design in relation to other disciplines operating in the policy and social contexts.

This debate will explore the intersections between design for policy and social design. In doing so, the discussion will address the issue from  number of perspective. These include:
1) the evolving role of design, the design researcher and designer in the above contexts (e.g. problem framing, policy-relevant evidence, policy experimentation, mediation, facilitation, futuring).
2) the competencies and wellbeing the design researcher and designer (working with(in) complex systems, bureaucracies, power structures, through networks).
3) responsibility of design education, if any, for supporting designers and design researchers to work in these contexts

The debate will critically examine intersections between existing and emerging trends around design for policy, social design alongside other emerging perspectives such as systemic design, transition design and public service design. By exploring these intersections the debate will open a discussion in the relationships between the research, practice and education domains.