Massive Action Sydney Design Sprint

Explore the 2022 Design Sprint that seeded our project ideas

Person placing sticky note on display board

Facts, figures & events


Across September 2022, staff and students from across the faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture collaborated with designers Bruce Mau and Aiyemobisi Williams and their Massive Change Network. In his recent book, MAU MC24 (Massive Change Principles), Bruce distilled 30 years of experience as a designer to present 24 principles on how we can change our lives, work and world through radically new approaches.

During a month-long design sprint, five Renaissance Teams collaborated with Bruce, Bisi and MCN to translate these principles into tangible and achievable actions within the areas of Power, Health, and Climate and Massive Action through new approaches to Acceleration and Translation. The result was 12 projects that cohesively align with the  ADA2051 foundational strategy to improve life on earth.  


Caring for Country leave

What if you changed your mindset from what you get to what you give? What if you were part of an irresistible collaborative responsibility to Care For Country?

Through processes of reciprocity and reflection, this project titled ‘Caring for Country leave’ probes us to ask “how am I caring for and honouring the land?”

Giving back, connecting and caring for Country enables all of the community to demonstrate real action towards climate change through a cycle of reciprocity with First Nation communities and all life within and across stolen and unceded land in Australia.

C4C Leave is PROACTIVE and PREVENTATIVE climate action. 

Access a new category of leave that enables you to give back to Country through culturally and environmentally appropriate activities locally and across Australia

Climate team members: Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard, Christina Silk, Melody Framp and Tony Loughland. Visual Communication Facilitator: Baron Chau.

The Immersive Irresistible

Many people feel anxious when it comes to climate action. This anxiety impairs their ability to connect,  engage, and act. Research suggests immersive experiences generating awe can transform climate anxiety to healthy problem-solving states.

The Immersive Irresistible art installation uses multi-sensory, interactive, creative practice to impart  an experience of climate action that is surprising, safe, and fun. It will use projection mapping, data visualisations, storytelling, soundscapes, and interactive play. 

Participants will experience two phases – firstly an immersive experience, and secondly the chance to actually make and do something towards real climate action. It will shift mindsets, impart tools for self-regulation and problem-solving, and model positive futures from multiple perspectives, non-human included! 

Three billion young people joining us by 2050 means three billion+ new opportunities to create massive action.

Climate team members: Jane Michaele Cameron and Carmel O'Connor. Visual Communication Facilitator: Baron Chau.

Making Good Media

The media shapes and defines our culture. The story we’re telling now doesn’t reflect climate science and the overwhelming consensus on the negative impact humans are having. We can change the story and the impact.  

Simple shifts can create a culture of positive climate actions. The morning weather presenter can improve our understanding of the energy grid, the finance report can redefine value and what it means to be a market-leader, a cooking show can reduce food waste, children’s TV can inspire the next generation and give hope to their parents. We can inform and empower a broad range of audiences without adding to climate anxiety.   

At massive scale, content innovation and shifts in language can make an exponential difference. From the outset, we need the right people in the room - an intersectional community with diverse knowledges. First Nations perspectives, data-based climate science, life-centred design, economic strategy, and more. Everyone can be part of it (it’s already happening). 

Climate team members: Paul Matthews, Rebecca Green and Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith. Visual Communication Facilitator: Baron Chau.

Energy equality: As Seen on TV!

If we developed the technology for limitless, free energy, the impacts could be massive: the end of thirst, hunger, pollution, factory farming and much more. With basic needs like food, shelter, energy and water met, humanity could lift to real connection and enlightenment. We can do this, so why don’t we?

We live in a world entranced by simulation. A 2002 study found that British children could identify more Pokémon characters than common wildlife species. Eyewitnesses to the World Trade Centre attacks discussed how it didn’t feel real until they saw it on TV.

We propose THE GREAT PRIZE, a global competition to unite humanity to develop Free, Unlimited Energy with no harmful emissions or consequences. The grand pursuit of this goal will be televised, and human connections, helping each other, and small breakthrough as drawcards. Changing the language around science and innovation helps make striving for a better world more visible, and more irresistible.

Climate team members: Rebecca Green, Paul Matthews  and Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith. Visual Communication Facilitator: Baron Chau.

Connect With Energy

What if it was normal to gift energy to your neighbours? Connect With Energy envisions new systems that allow for neighbours who have access to clean electricity off-grid to share with those who don’t, helping all city-dwellers gain more electricity independence. The growing adoption of household solar panels presents challenges for our ‘big’ energy grids. To prevent overloads, household solar is intentionally disabled at certain times in some Australian states. These challenges could be overcome in other, more climate-friendly ways. With more than 1 in 4 homes in Australia generating clean electricity through rooftop solar panels, and 62% of Australians already knowing many of their neighbours by name, we would be starting from a good place. 

Climate team members: Rickie-Lee McLaurin-Smith, Rebecca Green and Paul Matthews. Visual Communication Facilitator: Baron Chau. 

(Daily) Delight Disrupt

Massive action comes from shifting what is common sense for those at the center of a given system. This project aims at those in Western/industrial/ised settings, who are potentially very empowered yet feel incapable of contributing to broader socio-environmental solutions. Delight Disrupt sparks a movement through ecoculture jams: playful public creations of restorative ways of being that disrupt the destructive status quo. The project creates: 1) an interactive living archive of existing ecoculture jams; 2) an action study resulting in a shared collective action formula; 3) new daily repeating/evolving local ecoculture jams that are simple and easily scaled to global (e.g. Tree-hugger Tuesdays, Seed-bombing Sundays); 4) methods of impactful mass dissemination. This project will spark irresistible delight every day of the week, igniting participants’ agency to connect with and care for place, ecosystem, species, and movements in power for the planet.

Power team members: Farnaz Fattahi, Tim Heffernan, John Carr, Tema Milstein. 

Fashion Literacy

We don’t realise how much we trust the information given to us and we don’t tap into our capacity to understand it critically. Information literacy empowers people to question the information and challenge its legitimacy. There is a general unawareness of fashion’s contribution to the systems that function on toxic power imbalances. We have identified the need to develop and adapt a set of actionable tools to neutralise them for peace and justice. 

We propose Fashion Literacy, our way of inspiring consumers to make a critical analysis of their purchases. Our aim is to enable consumers to align their purchasing their clothes with their values. Fashion Literacy comes in the form of a toolkit. It asks series of questions that prompts a consumer to educate themselves about the purchase they are going to make before they do it.

Power team members: Michael Donohue, Nicole Crouch, Chanah Wainer, Trea Murphy, Srinjoy Bose, Uros Cvoro, Paola Favaro and Damien March. Visual Communication Facilitator: Michael Donohue. 

1001 seconds to start a healthcare revolution

To redesign healthcare for the next 1001 years we start with the first 1001 seconds: 16 mins 41 secs. Making seconds and minutes meaningful is one step to massive action.

We seek out the worst – the biggest failures of our healthcare system: the crisis in mental health; the lack of resources for trauma and suicide; and the places where life is most challenging. 

We envisage a new ‘bottom up’ approach with TOWN A at the centre. Town A is an ‘every town’ with high levels of disadvantage. 

There are no uniform solutions. Our model of care focuses on what can be activated in 16 minutes across a whole range of dyadic relationships: doctor-patient, carer-child, teacher-student, peer-to-peer, mind and body. Each interaction meets the conditions of trust, safety and awe in the window of 16 minutes.

Health team members: Reside Oya Demirbilek, Clair Hill, Mariano Ramirez, Vanessa Traynor, Jill Bennett, Chloe Cassidy, Vivien Sung and Katherine Bond. Visual Communication Facilitator: Vivien Sung.  

Finding purpose through passion

What if we could empower people to find purpose through passion?

Inspired by Bruce Mau’s principle “Work on what you love”, this project seeks to establish a methodology to aid people in finding their purpose, ultimately challenging the existing education and work system. 

According to studies, the majority of young adults feel stressed on a daily basis which affects their mental and physical health, adding to the pressure put on our healthcare systems. Left without a sense of direction and fulfilment, most adults struggle to function within a one-size-fits-all system. The increasing number of people with mental health issues indicates that the current system is failing the majority. To improve the wellbeing of people, we need to challenge the status quo and offer an alternative. 

We are developing a methodology consisting of 5 pillars of self-discovery (Play, Connection to others, Nature, Reflection, Mindfulness) that aids in finding passions and purpose. By inspiring the individual to find what brings meaning to their lives, and giving them a roadmap as well as an environment that encourages selffulfilment, we are able to spread the treasure of living a meaningful life. 

We need your help to fill this book of empty pages. Support us today by engaging with our activities, support us for the years to come by joining us in developing and establishing this framework.

Translation team members: Hana Thomson, Alina Wirtz, Amy Munns, Alexianna Stephenson and Jordon Lewis.

First Momentum

First Momentum is a communication strategy emphasising fact-based optimism to empower people to live more sustainably. 

The constant negative noise in the news and mediatic campaigns creates discouragement, pessimism, and a misconception that our world is unfixable. Negative information can have a profound psychological impact. People see no way out of the problem and are unaware of the impact they can have. 

Our goal is to show people that positive change has already begun through visualisations of their progress implemented in multiple contexts. We empower people through momentum before educating them about the following steps to move forward. We cultivate hope, motivation and energise people on a personal level that then translates to a community-wide scale. We make space for people to pivot from a state of exhaustion and confusion to empower them to be an active participant in massive change.

Translation team members: Mark Isichei, Oliver Van Den Bogaerde, Sarah Liu, Virginie Aubard.


What if all knowledge was resituated in place? re-situ is a multimedia, open-source platform that changes the way we share knowledge, process information, and learn. Within the platform, Indigenous place-based truths are the anchor points from which other knowledge is organised. Imagine a more immersive and meaningful Wikipedia that acts as a repository of content and promotes a more holistic, truthful, and relational understanding of the world.

It is estimated that human knowledge doubles every 12 hours yet most people don’t engage with it meaningfully. Our platform relates knowledge to place providing greater context and increasing information retention. 

The marginalisation of First Nations perspectives has limited our ability to care for and sustain all life forms. re-situ shares First Nations knowledge to foster respect, recognition, and a deeper value for these cultures and systems. The platform increases one’s capacity to listen, unlearn and relearn while encouraging greater connection to Country.

Translation team members: Charlotte Adams, Josh Anstee, Maria Thaddea, Max Booker, Jiaying Qian, Josephine Collins, Nina Lai, Bronte Contador-Kelsall. 


Our project is centered around changing the mindset of people to embrace natural life cycles in their day to day lives. Using the metaphor and reality of decay and growth as a way of thinking through the cyclical nature of all things. Some societies are highly focused on consumerist values, which neglect the natural qualities of life, often creating a deeper connection to material possessions that end up in landfill. In combating this issue, we utilise the tool of storytelling to convey and encourage the normal rhythm of learning and unlearning. Through this, we have put together a learning network that targets specific aspects of life such as people, climate, and health, among others. This is a way of integrating knowledge of natural life cycles across a range of systems. Ultimately, by educating people to embrace natural life cycles we work towards making practices of growth and decay second nature. 

Translation team members: Narnia Tanious, Kyah Lawson, Leah Guo, Olivia Halmarick, Hannah Carthew, Ciara O’Reilly, Sam Carman.

All the action from Massive Action Sydney

Bruce Mau is a brilliantly creative optimist whose love of thorny problems led him to create a methodology for life-centred design. Across forty years of design practice, he’s collaborated with global brands, academic institutions, leading cultural organisations, heads of state, renowned architects, and fellow optimists on a broad spectrum of projects. Bruce was recently in residence with UNSW for the month of September with his work and life partner, Bisi Williams, to launch Massive Action Sydney, their latest project, in collaboration with ADA’s Innovation Hub

Held: Sep 3, 2022. 

View lecture

In this presentation you will meet Bruce and Bisi as they introduce us to the Massive Change Network methodology for life-centered design. They will also discuss their vision for this exciting collaboration with the Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture – Massive Action Sydney.

Held: Sept 5, 2022.

View keynote

In response to Bruce Mau’s MC24 Principle “New wicked problems demand new wicked teams” (24 Principles for Designing Massive Change in your life and work), The Wicked Collective for Climate Change and Sustainable Development was established in 2021 by five committed academics from the School of Art and Design. We believe that artists, designers, academics, and students need to work together across disciplinary boundaries to effectively respond to the wicked problems confronting us.

The Wicked Collective invited students and staff from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture (ADA) to submit creative responses and interventions to the wicked problem of Climate Change. The selected works all relate to one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and were created since the formation of ADA in 2020.

Open: From 12 September to 18 November 2022.

Find out more

The multi-awarded Canadian designer believes that everything is design… if you hit a moment with a particular outcome in mind, then you are a designer.

It is an ethos that has been applied to Mau's design work at varying scales… from redesigning Netflix, the public library, to the Holy City of Mecca.

Recently in Australia for Massive Action Sydney he tells ABC Radio National's Blueprint For Living hosted by Jonathan Green how design can elevate the world around us.

Broadcast: Sep 17, 2022.

Listen to intervew

Read what the world needs according to Bruce Mau as he talks to the Australian Financial Review's Design Editor, Stephen Todd.

*Subscription to the Australian Financial Review required to access article.

Published: Aug 30, 2022.

Read article

Directed and narrated by Bruce Mau, international designer and thought-leader, Design for all the Senses explores the power of design when we experience it through all of our sensory organs. The production, held onstage at UNSW’s Roundhouse Theatre, was designed to enliven the body’s five senses to evoke creativity, sparking positive thoughts and action.

Held: Sep 28, 2022.

Innovation Hub Showcase 2022

To see what Massive Action Sydney accomplished in 2022, watch the project's onstage presentation from the ADA Innovation Hub Showcase 2022.

Project Gallery