Design Canberra Festival 2020 logo

View from Mount Ainslie. Photo: Larissa Dening Photography. Credit: VisitCanberra.
View from Mount Ainslie. Photo: Larissa Dening Photography. Credit: VisitCanberra.

Design Canberra x ThinkPlace

As part of their Gold partnership with the DESIGN Canberra festival in 2019, ThinkPlace will be hosting a series of specialised Design Thinking events. Helping us to think creatively as we work towards a better future, ThinkPlace recognises the critical role played by design in shaping what lies ahead. Together we will imagine how embedding design in Canberra could create a profound shift in how we shape our city and society and create four alternative visions of the future.

What is the role of design in your brand/job?
Design is at the heart of everything we do. It’s a mindset as much as anything: design thinking. We start by assembling the right voices around a problem. Then we use different tools to get them thinking creatively about the nature of that problem, coming up with prototype solutions, testing with users and reiterating to improve them. When we have the evidence that our design is effective we are ready to scale up.

What inspires you?
Tackling complex challenges requires what we call zoom. We look at the system from above: the levers, the relationships, the interdependencies. Then we zoom into a human level: what is individual experience like in this system? We do this because it produces great outcomes but a side benefit is you get to hear the personal stories of a hugely-diverse range of people, all over the world. Listening to people tell us about how they live their lives and how design might improve that inspires me every day.

What is the biggest challenge that humankind needs to solve? How can design help?
We always say that the big challenges – climate change, poverty, malnutrition can not be solved but can be tackled and there is cause to believe we can make real and meaningful strides towards doing this. To do so requires us to meet another big challenge: radical collaboration. Finding ways of bringing people together for unlikely collaborations is the biggest challenge we face. If we can assemble the right people and equip them with the right tools and mindsets we can achieve so much together. That’s what we try to do at ThinkPlace and design is a big part of it.

ThinkPlace is a strategic design consultancy, working with leaders to create new and better futures- vibrant communities, strong economies, sustainable environments and trusted institutions. They believe in a positive future world that balances the needs of the collective and those of the individual.

Associated Events: 

Design Thinking Workshop