The brief

Design Honours Research Project 2 is the final of two Honours research courses designed to support you in developing and delivering your self-guided Honours research project. In this course, you will continue to critically develop your theoretical and/or practice-led research project realised in DDES4101 Design Honours Research Project 1, in relation to both your design practice, and your scholarly research framework and written dissertation. You will then resolve your research project into a sophisticated, professional design outcome supported by a written thesis. This course is taught in a studio context, emphasising contemporary design practice as a key mode of investigation and discovery and alignment to industry. The studio also operates as a collegiate and peer-oriented environment, run over two consecutive terms, so as to allow time for experimentation, development and exploration ahead of the final outcomes that constitute the majority of your Honours grade. The studio course fosters a supportive and rigorous culture of creative practice, critical discussion, and exchange.

Student reflection

This research project discusses the thesis that behavioural change can be addressed by an approach to the design of public space and the conversation provoked by this intervention. The various theoretical and practice-led approaches intend to prove that through the design of self-sufficient infrastructure we can drive a self-sufficient culture, tuning cities from consumers to producers of energy, acknowledging that solutions are not only about innovation and technology but by addressing and questioning our consumerist culture. Environmentally damaging human activities and their influence on climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. There is an urgency to develop proactive and practical solutions. By adapting and shaping our infrastructure to coexist with our environment, we are able to shape our culture and make sustainable lifestyle choices. Design serves as a platform to initiate the conversation between the multiple stakeholders involved and communicate speculative initiatives to prototype the most effective solutions. My practice-led research intends to test this particular approach through workshopping, graphically communicating, prototyping and potentially building and scaling solutions that will drive our cities to be self-sufficient. This research project serves as a provocation to imagine speculative futures and intends to be a stepping stone to building sustainable solutions that will drive our cities and our cultures to become self-sufficient.

Sofia Echesortu is an Honours student in the Bachelor of Design / Bachelor of Commerce.

This project was created for an assessment in the course ‘Design Honours Research Project 2’.

Acknowledgement of Country

UNSW School of Art & Design stands on an important place of learning and exchange first occupied by the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples.

We acknowledge the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land that our students and staff share, create and operate on. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend this respect to all First Nations peoples across Australia. Sovereignty has never been ceded.