Fundamental change at every level of our society is needed to address the issues confronting us in the 21st century. Transition Design is a new area of design practice, research and study that advocates design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures. (By design-led we mean that people from all walks of life, including professional designers, can use the tools and approaches of design to intentionally seed, catalyze and direct positive societal change at multiple levels of scale). Transition Design proposes the re-conception of entire lifestyles, integrates new knowledge from many different fields and disciplines to inform new approaches to understanding complex problems and designing for their solution using new skillsets. The lecture will also provide an overview of Transition Design and its origins: (Great Transition Initiative, Transition Network, Socio-Technical Transition Theory, Commons Transition etc.), and the implications for design and designers.
Selecting a Wicked Problem as the Basis for Course Assignments: We have assigned each of you to a project team that you will remain in for the duration of the semester when working on the projects. In the first class the teams will meet and select a Pittsburgh-based wicked problem from a list we will provide. This problem will be the focus for the 4 assignments during the semester. Teams should begin conducting research on their topic immediately and will continue to add to this knowledge over the course of the semester. We recommend using a collaborative platform such as Evernote that enables archiving in multiple formats and shared among team members. We use OneNote as well, although Evernote seems to work better for aggregating multiple files, OneNote provides more flexibility in formatting and filing in nested folders.
See Additional Resources for this class before you begin the readings. We also recommend reading the About the Assignments page which will guide team’s thinking and research in order to be prepared for assignments 1-2 next week.