Co-design in the Context of Collaborative Research Centre Projects

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Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) in Australia focus on themes of national interest, such as low-carbon living (LCL). Such projects engage interdisciplinary teams of academics, industry, and government and occasionally design disciplines. A key aim of such collaborations is to explore industry and government relevant research with a view to commercialization. In the interdisciplinary CRC LCL project described below, the role of media, intermediaries, and other social networks, as well as the relational notion of trust, proved to be central tropes. Through the co-design outcomes of the project involving a range of stakeholders and students, we made such concepts tangible and reflected on the critical arguments for and against media as vector for sustainable renovation. In this article, we argue for the multiple impacts of non-commercial design outputs for design research, the role of prototypes as arguments, and integration of student engagement for situated learning.