RMIT University has taken a whole-of-university approach to enabling agile and interdisciplinary collaboration across and outside the university to solve real-world problems, through the Enabling Capability Platforms (ECP). The Design & Creative Practice (DCP) is one of eight ECP research clusters at RMIT University.
DCP researchers are inventive, playful, explorative and progressive in their approach to real-world problems that lie at the intersection of digital design, sustainability and material innovation. Focused on critical, agile and interdisciplinary practice-based research, this platform is committed to advancing social and digital innovation and alternative pathways for impact through collaboration.
As leaders in Art & Design in Australia, the DCP ECP’s interdisciplinary, applied approach centres on social and cultural impact, making us the partner of choice in our collaborations with research agencies, other universities, and government, community and industry bodies.
The DCP has four key priority areas that seek to capture our unique expertise in key areas for industry and external collaborators. DCP are leaders in innovative interdisciplinary methods around practice-led research, social and digital inquiry, and providing alternative modes of engagement.
With expertise at the intersection of arts, design, health, education, medicine, and science, this priority area works with service and care facilities and sectors, while advancing imaginative, speculative, and investigative research. This priority area highlights our ability to solve social problems through creative solutions in, and around, design and technology. This area promotes a STEAM (Arts in STEM) approach whereby designers collaborate with STEM disciplines to re-imagine care services, facilities, infrastructure, behaviours, promote health and well-being and implement cutting-edge ideas through innovation in digital, physical and medical technologies.
This thematic asks how can creative practice provide new possibilities for how we harness technological innovations creatively to reinvent and reinterpret our material world for the better. Under this thematic, DCP consolidates work on hybrid realities (from augmented reality [AR] and virtual reality to AI and automation), performance, ethnography, user experience, games, 3D printing and co-design. In this assemblage, DCP brings together the social, creative and playful to transform how geographic spaces are experienced and defined, providing creative and human-centred solutions to emerging contemporary problems. A great example is changing commuter behavior to take public transport or cycling through use of games and urban play as a solution to the problem of transport congestion.
This priority area highlights the ways in which the social is pivotal to all that we do. Practitioners, ethnographers and designers can offer different ways to imagine, visualise and experience our environments, specifically by envisioning the intersection between business, arts and the social through social enterprise models. It also considers the future of labour especially in terms of the digital. This area seeks to identify key social and sustainable questions and develop solutions through a multidisciplinary approach focused on the needs of everyday people in diverse gender, cultural and socioeconomic contexts. STEM disciplines focus on diverse ways of assisting people to adopt sustainable solutions. Here designers can provide accessible, affective ways in which to translate technological innovations into adoptable social practices that promote sustainability.
This priority area celebrates the intrinsic proposition of design and creative practice to value-add to industries in ways that are only now being understood through models like design thinking and a reintegrated approach to creative and cultural industries. This priority area maps the creation and value of meaning making through practice, across a range of interconnected, interdisciplinary living labs of practitioners, economists, industry, visualisation analysts and creative industry experts.
This priority area identifies DCP’s ability to value-add as well as create new models for evaluating and measuring cultural practice (i.e. museum engagement), as well as human practice through performance and creative ethnographies. Examples include expanding public pedagogical impact of cultural institutions, and value chain assessment of a process (e.g. manufacturing or construction) to identify where value can be added through design and creative practice.