Design, crime and social disadvantage

International Association of Societies of Design Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the IASDR Conference 2015: Interplay, 2–5 November., 2015, pp. 2049 - 2069
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
A methodical approach to understanding how designers design began in earnest in the 1960’s. Chris Jones, L. Bruce Archer and others applied scientific principles to the design process resulting in a coherent linear approach to creating new products. More recently these and other methods employed by designers in problem solving have been termed “design thinking” and appropriated elsewhere, in particular in the business and financial sectors. This paper demonstrates that complex social problems can also benefit from a design thinking approach. Since 2009 the Designing Out Crime Research Centre (DOC) has utilised a new design thinking method to resolve issues varying in context from struggling communities with high crime rates to alcohol related violence in the night time economy. The method has been utilised and refined in 100+ projects over a five-year period. The paper explains the new process in the context of two very different projects. The first is improving the writing and numeracy skills of high security prisoners and the second enhancing pedestrian safety in a disadvantaged, crime prone community. Evaluation of the new method has been principally through client and stakeholder feedback, which has been positive. A number of long-term appraisal studies are in progress.
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