Activity: Examination types › Pre-examination of dissertation or acting as opponent to doctoral students
This thesis proposes and demonstrates Everyday Designing for Revaluing (ED4R) as a methodology and practice that happens beyond design studios and beyond use. My focus is on the stages in- between, after-use and before-reuse; when the value of objects has to be re-created. My proposal is based on my design research practice conducted at a second-hand charity shop (op-shop) in Melbourne, Australia, where I worked for over three years as a manager, volunteer, and design researcher. These embedded roles and the flexible character of this site enabled me to develop a series of collaborative design interventions, to re-create the value of things donated and transform them into products to be re-used by new owners. Through this research, I transformed my design practice from a 'traditional' industrial design orientation towards one that foregrounds participatory design (PD) and design anthropology (DA). This thesis presents Everyday Designing as an ongoing design process with revaluing as its intent. While revaluing extends the lifecycles of used things, it also involves creative forms of appropriation and improvisation as being modes of designing within the socio-material routines at the op-shop. ED4R combines approaches from PD and DA through collaborations with staff, to explore forms of open-ended prototyping, to change existing systems and to work with contingent materials and situations. This approach included contesting, negotiating and deciding on how and what to revalue and why; challenging notions of planned obsolescence and reconsidering used things as resources for designing. I offer a theoretical framework, methodology and tangible illustrations of ED4R and, in doing so, seek to enrich practices and discourses of design and sustainability.