Tactics for the engaged designer 

location Turl Street Kitchen | 8 AM-9 AM Tuesday 12 April 2016 (GMT)

“Start where you can, embrace the mess of practice” - Nabeel Hamdi

Drawing on personal reflections from both Transition by Design’s own journey and from the experiences of the group, this session will discuss the tactics and design techniques we can use to be most effective in our social change practice, whatever that may be.

We will discuss tensions between different tactics, such as the importance of getting going and starting where you can, yet balancing this with the need for reflective practice, or praxis.

Effective design, as with effective activism, follows a cycle. We start with our theory of how change happens. Then we take action based on our theory. Then we take a step back and reflect on how the action went, which re-shapes our theory. Basically, praxis means “learning.” It may seem simple, but it can be challenging to priorities reflection when the momentum of achieving your objectives carries us away.

We will also touch on the appropriateness of different tactics for different contexts, addressing the question ‘when to sit at the table and when to dance on the edge?’

At times, it can only be by joining a struggle and acting in solidarity that we can breakdown traditional hierarchies and power structures to avoid reproducing the same problems. It is in these moments that we must embed, shed designer-client or professional-layperson binaries and draw on the knowledge and experiences of everyone.

Equally, there are times when it is important to dance on the edge of different roles and different professions, as it can be here where the most fertile and creative ground is found.


Turl Street Kitchen

16 Turl St, Oxford OX1 3DH, United Kingdom

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