Design for ageing and happiness: from 'design things' to a solution-focused design approach and design intelligence

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Design practice, Infrastructuring, Design things, Solution focused


As a team with a sociologist and a designer-researcher, we employed action research methodology by conducting design labs for different learning situations and researching the social role of designers, Design Schools and the design education system as a whole. In this paper, we intend to reflect on our latest project with young design students who were sent out to the local communities around their design institution to see if participatory design and infrastructuring could provide a new direction for design as a profession. We challenged the notion of design things, which conceptualise the design process as ‘social-material assembly’ but neglect the professional roles of designers. We investigated three areas that enable designers to engage social reality: 1. identifying the public, 2. democratising design process / design intelligence, 3. solution focused design practice. We argued that designers have their designerly ways of practice that constitutes a specific professional force to achieve for social change.

Source Publication

The 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), 2013 Aug 26-30, Toyosu Campus, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan

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