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Responsible Design Thinking Symposium

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Event description

University of Sydney Design Lab

Responsible Design Thinking Symposium (rethinking design thinking education)

When: 18 -20 September 2023

Where: Tin Sheds Gallery,148 City Road, Darlington NSW 2006 

What does it mean to take responsibility when thinking like designers? What does Responsible Design Thinking look like? Join us for an exciting and dynamic gathering of practitioners, educators and researchers from the University of Sydney and Monash University to explore this question. 

Through a series of presentations, collaborative design workshops and discussions, we will combine knowledge from practice and research alongside our lived experiences as educators and learners to engage with issues around design criticality, ethics, and the environment. Your presence at this symposium will greatly enrich our discussions and collective exploration of what Responsible Design Thinking looks like in education.

This symposium is inspired by a positioning paper by Dr. Ilya Fridman, Dr. Yaron Meron and Dr. Julie Roberts, published in the Journal of Design, Business, and Society ( and also the work of Howard Munroe and Dr. Desiree Ibinarriaga, which explores the concept of ‘Indigenising Design: The Seven Grandfathers’ Teachings as a Design Methodology,’ as published in The Design Journal (

* Please register for Monday and Tuesday separately for catering purposes

Provisional Agenda

Monday 18th September

10am: Welcome, summary & outline

11am: Public talk: Responsible Design Thinking

Morning tea

12pm: Public talk: 7 grandfathers’ teachings as a design methodology

1pm: Lunch

2pm: Research workshops

Tuesday 19th September

10am: Welcome, Acknowledgment to Country, summary & outline

Morning tea

11am: Guest talk: Professor Martin Tomitsch

12pm: Lunch

1pm: Research workshops

5pm: Social event, networking

Organiser bios

Dr Yaron Meron

Dr Yaron Meron is a Lecturer in Design at The University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning and a member of the Design Lab. He teaches, researches and publishes on graphic/communication design, design thinking, social design, digital design futures, and photography. Yaron’s research explores innovative design research methodologies, in particular focusing on professional designer—stakeholder interactions. Yaron has worked internationally as a professional designer, design manager and creative director for many years, with extensive industry experience spanning numerous sectors including advertising, publishing, education, and the voluntary sector. 

Dr Ilya Fridman

Dr Ilya Fridman is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, and a member of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University. His work explores how design thinking and making can contribute to interdisciplinary research contexts and what role designers might play in collaboratively reimagining future possibilities for sustainable development. His research interests include co-design, design thinking, emerging technologies, interdisciplinary research and sustainable development. As a Lecturer, Ilya teaches Design Thinking to aspiring entrepreneurs within the Monash Business School and the Department of Design at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Dr Desiree Hernandez Ibinarriaga

Dr Desiree Ibinarriaga is an Indigenous Mexican woman with Chamula (Mayan), Nahua (Aztec), Euskaldunak (Basque) and Spanish heritage. Desiree is a creative practitioner, collaborative and social design maker and thinker. She is Lecturer at Monash Art Design and Architecture in the Design department, and Coordinator for Indigenous Higher Degrees by Research being part of Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research Lab. 

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