Design Action, Leadership, and the Future (July 2011, Brisbane)

Dates & Location: Brisbane HotHouse 22-24 July, 2011
Expressions of interest due: 6 May 2011

Design practice (in all its disciplines, including architecture) is at a crossroads. Notwithstanding the introduction of ‘sustainability’ in design education and in commerce, design dominantly still serves the unsustainable. To move toward ‘sustainment’ as project and process, radical and effective action is needed. For this to happen, a dynamic, global change community of focused thinkers, activists and leaders has to be created. This intensive ‘HotHouse’ event aims to explore the creation of this community and to be a catalyst for its creation. It is only for the committed.

Anyone – educators, design practitioners, writers – can apply. 50 people will be selected. The event will be conducted in English.

The HotHouse will be led by Professor Tony Fry (Griffith University, QCA, Brisbane) with four team leaders: Professor Cameron Tonkinwise (Parsons/New School, New York); Professor Lisa Norton (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Mr Duncan Fairfax (Goldsmiths/University of London) and Dr Abby Lopes (University of Western Sydney) with event documentation under the direction of Professor Oliver Feltham (American University, Paris).

It will be hosted by Griffith University, Queensland College of Art. There is no registration fee and food will be provided. Travel and accommodation are at the attendee’s expense.

The 50 participants will work on a common process in four groups (which in turn may be subdivided) under the guidance of an event director and appointed group leaders.

The HotHouse will rigorously examine redirective change via thinking, talking, reflecting, planning and acting. This examination will be structured around four strategic and convergent points of entry. The four groups are:-
Group Red: Projects driving: politics, ‘things’, practices
Group Blue: ‘Things’ driving: projects, practices, politics
Group Green: Practices driving: ‘things’, politics, projects
Group Black: Politics driving: practices, projects, ‘things’

The objective of this process is for participants to leave with a selection of projects, design actions, new practices and political strategies – informed by their own context – that can form the basis of collaborations formed at the event. The most critical aspect of the HotHouse is not what happens at it but what occurs after it’s over! At its most ambitious, the event aims to create an ‘educational institution without a place’ (an ‘Urmadic Academy’) that can structure and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, projects and research programs.

Michelle Conran

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

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