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Doing Design Differently Melbourne: Power, Purpose and Participation in Design

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Event description

Presented by CoDesignCo: a network of practitioners learning and sharing about creative & participatory approaches; in partnership with Innovation Unit and Master of Design Futures: RMIT

Update 31/08/23: Registrations for this event have now closed. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Power, Purpose and Participation in Design: Critical reflections on our own practice

How do we understand and exercise power in design that aims for social good?
Whose values, purpose and expertise are actually shaping the agenda?
How should we be working (differently) to really shift the systems that hold poor and inequitable outcomes in place? 

As design practitioners who aim for ‘social good’, ‘systems change’ or ‘social impact’, these are the kinds of questions that sit with us, and sometimes keep us up at night.

Collaborative and participatory practices open design to new contributions and, when done well, create conditions for radically different perspectives and creative possibilities. But we are always learning more about how to work ethically and have impact: listening to and learning from our partners and allies; developing new sensibilities, behaviours and practices; and rethinking our role and the role that others play. 

Join us to reflect on these questions (and others that you will bring) alongside fellow Melbourne design practitioners and researchers, with visiting international guest George Aye (Co-founder of Greater Good Studio, a US-based design agency). 

This is an informal morning tea with light-touch activities to get us talking and reflecting together, hosted by Perrie Ballantyne (Innovation Unit), Emma Blomkamp (CoDesignCo) and Marius Foley (Master of Design Futures, RMIT).

About George:
George Aye co-founded Greater Good Studio to use design to heal, to be just, to be restorative. After seven years at a global innovation firm, he was hired as the first human-centred designer at the Chicago Transit Authority. Since founding Greater Good, he guides clients and teams through complex projects that honour reality, create ownership, and build power.

About Innovation Unit: 

Innovation Unit is a not-for-profit social enterprise (a registered charity in Australia) with offices in Melbourne, Perth, Auckland and London. We partner with people to tackle complex challenges, develop new solutions and create social impact at scale. Our participatory and collaborative approaches are informed by 15 years of partnerships and projects in local and international contexts. 

About Master of Design Futures:
The Master of Design Futures at RMIT is a community of researchers and learners who have a keen interest in all aspects of human-centred design practice. We are drawn from over 15 different origin disciplines and multiple work sectors. This generates a vibrant and nurturing space to explore and develop your practice.

Event Information
Power, Purpose & Participation in Design: Critical reflections on our own practice 
Friday 1 September 10am


90 minutes approx.

Venue Information:

The Oxford Scholar Hotel
Level 2 Cocktail Bar
427 Swanston Street,


Please note this event is catered and space is limited. We will only admit people who get a ticket through Humanitix. Please only register if you're sure you can attend.

The organisers of this event may take photographs and share them publicly.
Please let them know on the day if you aren't comfortable appearing in any photos of this event.

This workshop is part of the Doing Design Differently - Australia and Aotearoa Tour.

Across August and September 2023, this tour welcomes George Aye to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington for a series of workshops, panels and discussions.
Visit for more information and to view events happening near you!

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