2022_1 | Futures Studios

F2. What? A Bloody Waste!

Leigh Whetter


Studio Inquiry

We see wastage everywhere. It is not simply discarded packaging or a new product rendered unusable by a superseded model that we will explore in this Studio. We must be aware of ALL 'waste' - environmental, economical, societal, cultural - and how this has detrimental sociological, psychological and physiological impacts upon us all. Think wasted spaces in urban streetscapes, wasted Government 'funding', wasted opportunities to enhance society. And so the list invariably goes on...
We live in an era of 'Short-term gain and Long-term loss'. This must change. We are the design rebels (or Superheroes if you'd prefer) who can help implement change. We need to absorb that which surrounds us and develop creative solutions as 'our opportunity' to be proactive in the betterment of our - and ongoing generations' - future. To this end, 'What? A Bloody Waste!' Studio is calling upon you to use your heart, your soul, your creative thinking and design-based skills to look at ways in which 'wastage' (meaning everything from idea to product to space to life - in your chosen context) can be repurposed, re-imagined, innovated upon, minimised or eradicated.


In this studio you will be expected to deploy all of your creative design-thinking and design skills, indicative of a passion for creative difference and experience. As creative thinkers we must always aim to be at the forefront of change. In order to preserve and protect our personal, local and global environs we need to innovate - to be agents of change in an ever increasing world of consumerism and wastage. Our futures depend upon us. Time to don the Superhero outfit!

To develop one's own standpoint as a futures designer, it is imperative we attempt to understand what has come before, and what may yet be. By taking a hands-on and, ultimately, 'making' approach we will be generating our own research artifacts and documents whilst exploring the 'movements' of design-thinking and futures design - also referred to as 'new practice'. Interpreting that knowledge - grasping its importance as designers - should enable reflection and provide skills towards your new practice development, leading to ideation and creation of work that proves design-thinking and design difference.

Communication of knowledge

You will be required to develop outcomes with research, thought and skill, that concisely communicate your ideas to a broad audience. You will need to strongly evaluate how your design-thinking and futures design methodologies are likely to impact your outcomes as well as how they represent your 'opportunity'. Your outcomes must demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject matter, allowing your work to inform and educate those residing outside of design-related fields.

You will receive 'lectures/presentations' informing you on how you should think differently, and consider alternative decison-making and perspectives to enhance your personal ongoing/future design skills.


You will select an 'opportunity' that is close to your heart in which you feel you can make a difference. Your 'opportunity' could be related to urban space or landscape; product functionality and longevity; recycling, repurposing or redeveloping products or ideas; reimagining or improving a process - the 'opportunity' is yours to interpret and decide upon. IT IS UP TO YOU. The fundamental aim is to understand the difference you can make as a design-thinker related to your chosen project. You are expected to decide, define and deliver related materials. Expected outcomes will be in the form of visually creative materials and expressive artifacts demonstrating your understanding of the subject matter. You will undertake a number of 'QuickHit, design-thinking and decision-making workshops - some in Group Form, some Individual. You will produce a professionally written Manifesto, an ongoing WIP Portfolio - which will contain all 'QuickHit workshopped' works - and a final multi-dimensional OBJECT (SKO). Alongside the artifacts you will be expected to deliver oral and visual presentations communicating your ideation and the ethos behind your work throughout the Semester. As this will be online, you must adhere to Studio rules when discussing, delivering and presenting.


This Studio has 3 interlinked assessment tasks. Each inform the other and are a critical dialogue with the subject matter.

1. Studio Knowledge Object (SKO) Professionally Designed and Packaged 'Opportunity'. The form this may take will be discussed in Studio and outlined on the Brief. Examples of previous students' inspired work will be presented.
2. Your Current Position as a Futures Designer and a Design-Thinker: Manifesto (600 Words).
3. Work in Progress ePortfolio and Design Process (approximately 150 Pages) which will also include all 'QuickHit workshopped' works.


Citizen Designers, Elizabeth Resnick, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, ISBN: 9780857856203
Design Futures, Bradley Quinn, Merrell Publishers Ltd, 2011, ISBN: 9781858945408

Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing for Social Change, Designing Identity, Designing through Image, Designing Publications, Designing Disobedience

This Studio is challenging and NOT for the feint-hearted. You will be engaging in high level self-initiated work (working with non-conforming briefs), with the intention of discovering your personal role and responsibilities as a futures designer. You will be expected to formulate your own standpoint in relation to ethics, sustainability, sensitivity, expression and 'new practice' methodologies. You will need to be dedicated to your own cause and your chosen 'opportunity'. You must have an open-mind and heart and be prepared for ANYTHING to happen during the Semester. YOU will be making a lot of design related decisions during this Studio.

You may laugh, cry, become angry and frustrated, have moments of absolute clarity and joy, but hopefully, along the way, you will also discover more reasons why you have chosen to be in this field. So let's not WASTE another second!

About Leigh Whetter

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