Initiate. Collaborate: the best project kick off you’ve ever had!

Workshop Presenter: Steve Reay

Collaboration across academic disciplines and practices draw on disparate paradigms relating to how knowledge is created and disseminated. Whilst the value of bringing different disciplines together is increasingly becoming more vital to solving the complex challenges that face society and the world, the reality is that this can be fraught with complexity. 

An example of this is in design for health collaborations. Within design for instance, disruption and risk are regarded as creative catalysts, which can lead to the generation of new insights. Within healthcare, risk is frequently seen as a negative force and to be avoided at all costs. With this comes an emerging diversity of approaches and perspectives as to what might be most appropriate or successful when aspiring to make impact in a healthcare environment. Coupled with a divergence around the use of co-design or co-creation from healthcare, means there remains a tentativeness relating to the design and health field. 

This is not just in relation to the paradigms and methods designers and health-practitioners utilize, but extends to more fundamental questions. These include what is the role of design and design research in the context of health? How and when should designers be involved? How do the value systems underpinning the disciplines interact and how can the mechanics of working in complex multi-disciplinary teams be managed? Such questions are not just specific to design and health collaborations, but applicable to all projects involving groups of people with different perspectives. 

Attendees at this interactive workshop will gain hands on experience with Initiate; A toolkit for collaboration, which uses  series of crafted challenges to offer attendees the opportunity to explore these tensions and to work together to identify different routes and ways forward. 

Dr Steve Reay is an Associate Professor in Art and Design and Director of Good Health Design, a collaborative design studio at AUT. As one of a multidisciplinary team, whose aim is to develop better health and wellbeing experiences, Steve’s research focuses on how the design of products and services may have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Good Health Design enables designers to engage with industry professionals as well as researchers from other disciplines, to share and test ideas and develop unique solutions.