Phd research week 25


RNUAL week is where we get to share with University of the Arts research community and colleagues the development of our work.  Its very exciting to see how everyone's projects are developing, and also great to get to know some of our fellow PhD researchers who are not often in college.

I will share the video of my presentation soon.  For now, here is the abstract of what I presented.


Presentation title:  Positioning the research project within the knowledge landscape.

The presentation will provide an overview of the research landscape and define the terms used; complemented with some visual examples.  It will explain how communication design in this research interconnects with social innovation for sustainability, and the topic of empathy, proceeding then to explain the relevance of practice-based case studies of emerging ‘alternative food initiatives’ as a contextual focus for the study. The talk will commence with a definition of how communication design is interpreted, and in particular its relationship to ‘sustainability communications’ with reference to relevant authors and practitioners such as Jorge Frascara and Jasmin Godemann. Bridging from communication design to social innovation for sustainability, it will define these terms and explain the importance of designing communications that promote sustainable lifestyle values.  Here it will highlight the important significance of Ezio Manzini’s work on ‘emerging qualities’ such as slowness of time, quality over quantity, active citizenship, and particularly the qualities of relationships and interactions, which allows to introduction of the central topic: empathy. Providing a brief outline of the cognitive definition of empathy, how it has been translated to design contexts such as ‘empathic design’, it will then present the proposition of this research project, a look into communication design for empathy.   Here it refers to the notion of ‘boundary objects’ as communication mediums adaptable to different communities, in the specific case of this research, communities of alternative food initiatives.   It will delineate examples of alternative food initiatives and present some possibilities for practice-based design case studies.

Key words: Communication Design, Empathy, Sustainability, Social Innovation, Alternative Food Initiatives