Katie Vasey

Katie  Vasey

Senior Educational Developer within the central Learning and Teaching unit, Deakin Learning Futures at Deakin University.

Location Melbourne, Australia


  • This week I have written my blog about visioning the longer-term future and how they need to capture the complex, multi layered, multi-dimensional nature of local conditions and people’s lives within these conditions.

    Take a look at: https://medium.com/@katievasey/designing-the-future-transition-design-and-future-making-1834700aeb97#.d4svlxhz7

    More in...

  • In my final blog for this course, I focus on the concept of transition design and how the concept has to travel across time and place and among very different groups of people in order to be tested and become robust.....

    Take a look: https://medium.com/@katievasey/designing-the-future-transition-design-4f3a897a9384#.id4asshve


  • Margie I am so thrilled to hear that you doing this course has generated discussion and interest within your agency's Yammer community. Keep it going. Katie

  • I would love to see - I don't think you can send private messages on FL. Can you post the link in a reply here? Katie

  • I forgot to mention - if you have any comments, thoughts or resources to share related to my blog please do.

    More soon, Katie

  • Hello,

    This week I am talking about human centred design being based on a rich understanding of people’s local knowledge from their perspective. But I would like to focus on how you
    conduct ethically sensitive relevant research with different groups of people in order to reach this deep understanding of a particular group of people.

    To

  • Hi Mike,
    Thank you for pointing this out. I will see that it gets sorted.

  • Great idea Clare, and thank you for sharing the digital stories link. Very useful.

  • Interesting points - how do you represent the 'community' as a whole - when there are competing views, needs, opinions, objectives. How do you reach more marginalised members of a community as well as the majority?

  • This week in my blog I touch on the kind of research needed to understand the people who are accessing the service and the different kinds of relationships they have with the service.


    If you have any comments, thoughts or resources to share please do.


  • Hi John, I agree with you but in some industry contexts this dimension of the design process can be overlooked, tokenistic, done poorly etc.

  • Hi Sue, such an important issue you raise here - you certainly need to be a good facilitator (emphatic communicator and listener) to co-create with communities. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Hi Clare, I have just had a quick look at your Education and Digital Cultures course. Great - very interesting. I have a clearer understanding now of what you are wanting to do. It will be ok to visualise this community for sure. What are you thinking? Use me as a sounding board. Are you going to capture an aspect of it? Could you do something like focusing on...

  • Hi Clare, can you tell me more about your micro-digital ethnography and which course you are doing it in - I am curious. Sounds like a good way to tackle your visual representation of an online community with sketchnoting. What online community are you going to pick and why? Clare, I am planning to write about the ethical issues of conducting ethnographic type...

  • Hi Kellyn, can you tell us more about your project?

  • Very interesting point about people in positions of power or perceived positions of power being the 'dark matter'

  • I have just come across a post from Dan Hill on medium which explores some of the issues you are describing - Fixing the housing crisis by fixing the flooding crisis—and vice versa. You might find it interesting

  • Katie Vasey made a comment


    This week I focus on Dan Hill's 'dark matter' - the stuff that envelopes design. I talk about the parallel I see between 'dark matter' and the 'webs of meaning' ethnographers grapple with.

    Ethnographers make sense of the multiple layers (or structures) that surround particular issues  and how these layers interact and interconnect to produce the...

  • Hello

    This week I focus on Dan Hill's 'dark matter' - the stuff that envelopes design. I talk about the parallel I see between 'dark matter' and the 'webs of meaning' ethnographers grapple with.

    Ethnographers make sense of the multiple layers (or structures) that surround particular issues  and how these layers interact and interconnect to produce...

  • Hi Richard, a fascinating idea indeed. Please keep exploring and sharing! Thank you.

  • Hello

    I am one of the mentors for this course along with Stephan. My role is a bit different to Stephan's as he is the 'hands-on-guy' who has been responding to your queries and providing a brilliant design perspective on the course material. I want to bring a writer's perspective to the course. I want to explore and emphasise writing as a design outcome....

  • Part 4:

    If you are interested, I have also worked on the content of another MOOC that has just started this week https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ethical-cities/1/todo/6496 which explores the challenges our cities face in relation to development, sustainability and governance. It deals with the complex, multifaceted decisions we need to make and how...

  • Part 3:

    Apart from being bad for the individual in these positions, this also has ramifications for society. For example, when people don't get a secure income they are locked out of the 'future purchasing' cycle (like buying a home, investing in their children's future education, investing in their own future as they are living in the precarious present)....

  • Part 2:

    Visions of the future need to capture the complex, multi layered, multi-dimensional nature of local conditions and people’s lives within these conditions. For example the implications of precarious employment/employment futures based in the gig economy (based on temporary positions where organisations contract with independent workers for short-term...

  • As Cameron points out future-making is an important dimension of design, yet he argues that few designers have a solid vision of the longer-term future toward which they are working.

    In the past, modernist designers developed clear visions for the future, but this often resulted in homogenous, unsustainable, concretised ‘designed’ systems. To avoid...

  • Continued:

    2) In design studios themselves we see a move away from products to services and all that implies (as our speakers have outlined).

    3) Design products shift from the tangible to the intangible, while still valuing the 'thing' as Dan Hill points out in the quote about the 'chair in the room...'.

  • Continued:

    Can you think about transition design in your context. What is it like in the culture / location / design scene you are from? For example, think about:

    1) Design Studios – how does the design industry operate in your context, what kind of organisations house design practices/studios? For example, in Indonesia a lot of the design happens in...

  • Continued:

    To date I assume transition design has been operationalised within fixed environment (by this I mean the structures, institutions and ideologies, social norms and interactions that support people and their communities in the most ordinary circumstances) in times of peace and stability. What about in times of crisis, instability and social...

  • Cameron Tonkinwise is a key figure in Transition Design; a new area of design research, practice and study. It is based upon the contention that design and designers can make significant contributions to the problems confronting society in the 21st century and the transition to sustainable futures. While the social and cultural ideals of transition design are...

  • @Leo Grogan, I couldn't agree with you more - and I felt that way when I went through my Phd ethics - which was fraught. Over time though, I have become a bit of a champion of the ethical dimensions of research - it is critical. I would love to see more ethical research practices being conducted in the commercial design context.

  • An interesting point made about transition design in light of Trump's win @transitionnetwork.org

    Rob Hopkins makes two important points: that in Trump world globalization as we know it is dead, which opens up a space for the development of localized and resilient economies, and that we have to recover our imagination, our ability to dream and vision. Trump...

  • continued:

    It is important to carry out the research with respect and concern for the dignity and welfare of the people who participate and with an awareness of state regulations and professional standards governing the conduct of research with human participants.

    Go back and think about some of the ideas you had about your redesign, think about the...

  • continued:

    Not all research is with vulnerable groups but any research conducted with people needs to be ethically managed - even researching how and why people order pizza needs to be ethical!

    If you were conducting an in depth ethnographic study, before you start collecting data you need to provide research participants with a detailed explanation of;...

  • Human centred design is based on a rich understanding of a particular group of people’s local knowledge from their perspective. If it is done well it produces an in depth understanding created via close collaboration with community members, based on what they deem important. If it is done poorly, the research may not reflect their point of view, raise issues...

  • Continued:

    The researcher seeks not only to observe and enquire about situations people are faced with, but to participate within them. The nature of the participation is balanced with social and practical sensitivity, but it will involve the researcher shadowing a respondent in different social environments. Ethnographic research also involves in depth...

  • We are seeing service design being integrated into diverse public facing organisations such as hospitals, libraries, galleries, banks, NGOs, and museums. It makes sense that these places are the first to take up service design because of the need/demand for a better more emotionally engaging consumer experience. Naturally the consumer in this instance is...

  • Interesting observation regarding this week - we will try to address your point in Marius's wrap up.

  • Part 2 (continued)

    Yoko maps the overlapping social networks as one way to see where the gaps are. From this the community participants can set up ways to communicate with people who are passing through, or those who are more isolated. This type of communication can manifest as signs and clear direction, through to conversations and guidance when people...

  • I have had a lot to do with small communities in my work – my PhD research was with refugee women in a country town in Australia. Yoko’s work gives us a real insight into how communities work. It gives us insight into the structures, institutions, ideologies, social norms, interactions and networks that support people and their communities.

    These are both...

  • You are very welcome Martha.

  • Continued 2:

    In response, he designed a building that has Australian characteristics - light and simplicity to integrate it into the local environment. In addition, instead of the traditional minaret towers, the building has a glass front allowing the general public to see straight into the prayer hall.

    Designers, in collaboration with others are now...