Interdisciplinary Insights. New Approaches and Creative Partnerships 

How and why do more lateral partnerships evolve? 


Podcast with Louise Harries 

It was cool to hear about Louise’s work and projects. I liked the speculative project which imagined a drone that causes red rain to fall whenever air pollution is at a dangerous level. I say speculative but the key takeaway from all of this was that Louise would really delve into a subject she was working on, talking with scientists, coders or whoever was an expert in that particular field.

It was shocking but perhaps not suprising to hear that people that live in certain areas of London will have stunted growth and lower life expectancy because of pollution Louise spoke about how an issue like that almost needs the public to push the problem forward for it to be put to the top of the pile and dealt with. For the public to feel outrage they sometimes need to be shown how bad the problem is which is where design comes in. It gets people to that outraged state. It’s kind of what’s been happening with the sewage pollution problem at the moment. It’s not a new issue but it is all over the news thanks to different campaigns.

Neuro Marketing

“Neuromarketing” loosely refers to the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions, which can help inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas.

Havard Business Review

Wow now this is freaky… something I hadn’t encountered but again I’m not too surprised is happening. I love Louise’s take on the neuromarketing with her Mickey Mouse style head scanners. Again she really went in on this project and made a usable product that can scan your preference on something. The fact she has chosen to market this at children or for children makes space for a really interesting ethical debate into using marketing on children. As Louise points out it’s already being done through Youtube, TV and Alexa for children. How did we get to a point where we can even exploit childhood.

Precious Plastic

It was cool to hear the guys talk about precious plastic in the lecture. I moved out to Eindhoven to work on Precious Plastic V4 in 2018. I’ve always been super inspired by the Precious Plastic working model and the work of Dave Hakkens in general. it was nice to hear someone else’s perspective on the project and the idea that he hasn’t worked towards an end product, that instead the machines and the community they have created are the end product.

In the time I was there Dave had invited 40+ people from across the world to work on the project. Truly collaborative! The whole thing was an experiment really. None of us were getting paid and in return for our time we got to be a part of the community and live and eat there for free.

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Designers On Holiday

I loved looking into Designers on Holiday. It’s such a playful idea and seems to produce playful ideas.
“DOH Studio specializes in design that is simple and minimal that heightens and deepens the outdoor experience​.”

​”The campsite acts as a hub for creative activities of all shapes and sizes. Designers are encouraged to collaborate, share and teach one another tricks of their trade.”

These statements instantly make me think about how this sort of practice could be really useful in fields of work I have been doing with Trash Free Trails…
If there was a time / space for people to create that wasn’t too structured in relation to Trash Free Trails I would be intrigued to see what emerged. We have run workshops before where we kind of know what we want the outcome to be. but not ones where we just create…
One to think about.

Design Against Crime

Super interested in this project. It’s a realm that I had never encountered or thought about actually. I liked that this podcast included designers working with policy and strategy makers as it’s an area where design thinking is vital for idea creation and storytelling.

I took a deep dive into their website to have a look at some of the projects they had worked on, a real simplistic and fun one I picked out was a project called ”Bloqs“. Designed to be used in prisons on visitor room tables.

The aim of bloqs was to encourage reluctant children to continue to make prison visits through playful engagement with their parents. I guess it diverts the main focus away from the reason their parent is in prison and allows a dialog to open up naturally. It’s really simple, when you look at it in relation to what’s going on in the world it could be deemed pointless. I bet it has improved peoples lives!

University of the Underground

As charity, the hope of the University of the Underground is to bring generations together to democratise access to public institutions and trigger changes and critical reflections through the use of creative and experiential practices. 

University of the Underground

We aim to support pluralistic thinking in leadership by offering free education to the next generation of activists. We aim to maintain and cultivate countercultures that will reactivate the public’s engagement with democratic institutions and their plausible futures. We aim to define new models of education and cultural endeavors that will spread across borders, beyond nation-states. In short, the University of the Underground exists to show young creatives and beyond how to engineer situations, design experiences, and ignite social change in institutions and governments. We believe in the freedom of learning but also we believe that education should be free to students. We are experimenting with models in order to achieve this.

ahhhh I want to read everything on this website…
I’m so into the approach, the ethos behind it all. I think it is refreshingly collaborative, challenging societal norms and offering the space for the ideas of a new future. This is a mental note to myself to also look into the School of System Change in more detail.

Open source as a collaborative aid to a shared goal

So… here are the beginnings of an idea.
I posted this on the ideas wall to see what the tutors thought and see if I could get any feedback:

“Hey, I’m using this as more of a sound board as to whether this is an appropriate idea. I’ve been loving delving back into the world of opensource design, file sharing, free education etc etc. 

Do you think me producing a designed blue print for a DIY water collection device for both school and domestic settings would hit this brief? 

The context would be around water shortages in the UK, the collaborative aid would be the designed blueprint which is allowing a large number of people to contribute towards a shared goal? 
There are already lots of solutions out there that exist but perhaps nothing that has been simply designed and presented? ”

I got some good feedback from Frauke on the ideas wall. It was interesting to hear Frauke use the word ‘device’. In all of my trains of thought I immediately think of printed material and not something that would be used on a digital device.
My tool would actually be the ‘how to make guide’. The user would make the device that collects the water. It would be a collaborative effort in the sense that the aid is the how too guide allowing individuals, schools or businesses to work towards the same goal, which is to conserve water….
But is this collective or collaborative?


An interesting thread emerged on the ideas wall this week talking about the difference between the definitions of the words collaboration and collective.
It isn’t something I had actually considered and I think that my train of thought has been more about a tool for collective action rather than a tool / system or aid for collaboration.

Research: Collaborative Aids

Disobedient Objects, V&A.
I love the ‘how too’ guides that were produced for this exhibition, they’ve been a source of inspiration on a number of campaign / projects I’ve worked on as they’re so simple, striking and also really informative.
Thinking about the collaborative / collective debate where do I think these sit?
I personally think they are a collaborative aid due to the setting they will most likely be used in… Protest is usually collaborative and all of these objects would be made to aid that collaborative aim. So both the ‘how too guide’ and the object become collaborative aids.


  1. Research the various meanings of interdisciplinary collaboration and how such approaches can form exciting partnerships in graphic design.
  2. Brainstorm design ideas to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and co-creation.

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