LEYLA ACAROGLU - Community Building through Disruptive Design

We are excited to bring in the new year with this workshop by sustainability provocateur, designer and sociologist, Leyla Acaroglu.

We spoke to her about her predictions for distruptive design and community building in Melbourne in 2016.

What is disruptive design?

Disruptive design is an approach to creative problem solving that combines systems thinking, sustainability sciences and design thinking to explore and create unique approaches to age-old and new problems. I developed a disruptive design methodology that applies a simplified process of mining, building and landscaping problems into iterative interventions for enacting social change. Intervening in the status quo requires intent, a critical and flexible thinking framework along with a bit of a rebellious streak, I like to see it as an applied approach to being a creative protagonist. What we look at in an disruptive design approach is the ways in which complex, dynamically evolving systems interact, identifying potential intervention points and then ideating opportunities for creative solutions that activate and catalyse positive social change.

What will people take away from your workshop?

Its always great when people leave a workshop energized and cerebrally activated, ready to dive into complex problems with a renewed energy and adaptable set of thinking tools to tackle them with. My intent with knowledge transfer workshops is to impart critical thinking and doing skills around complex systems, the ways in which design influences and effects people and methods for enacting change within this. If you want to understand community, you need to know how people and social systems work, so I plan and sharing content on my recent research work at the Center for Social Innovation in New York, cognation bias and neurological processes that influence people, along with core thinking skills in systems and disruptive design.

In Melbourne, where do you see the greatest opportunities for disruptive design?

The food system is always in need of effective interventions, we have huge impacts associated with agricultural production, distribution, delivery and waste. I know there have been some good inroads into food waste management, but there is still so much scope to dramatically reduce the negative impacts associated with failed food systems -- including the ways in which restaurants prepare and serve food. A community can appear anywhere and around any topic, often groups are activated when there is a pain point that several people connect with, or someone has the foresight to establish a space, place or idea that people are attracted to, but what if we consider community as a fluid thing that evolves in dynamic ways that allows for constant changes and micro-shifts? I mean, we like things to be secure and obvious, but they never really are so what if we embrace emergence in communities?

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm in the final stages of production of the first round of toolkits for the Designercise series I created last year. Its basically a set of quick productive disruptions to everyday thinking based on cognation sciences and design thinking. At the moment, I am also working on a few different action research projects into the cognitive and cerebral experiences of change making. I'm collaborating with the AIGA in New York to design an activated toolkit for gender empathy and equity. I'm midway through the incredibly insightful research process, identifying the divergent elements that imped women's leadership in the design industries. And just to keep things interesting, I am building out a certification process for the Disruptive Design Methodology though the Un-School! 2016 is going to be a disruptive productivity fest!

Catch Leyla at her free workshop on Thursday, 21 January 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Donkey Wheel House Events.

** This event is now sold out! **

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