Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures

Transitioning towards Sustainable Futures

School of Design Inaugural Learning & Teaching Symposium
in cooperation with QUT Design Lab & More-than-Human Futures Research Group

held in conjunction with the New Economy Network Australia (NENA) conference 2021

Tuesday 2 November 2021, 9am – 5pm, E Block Level 5 Functions Space, QUT Kelvin Grove – and online via zoom

Register for free >

Design usually doesn’t exist in isolation. It thrives on partnerships with other disciplines and domains, such as design & health, design & technology, and design & sustainability. It thus often fulfills more than just its usual roles of creativity and creation; it is design that provides the lateral thinking skills and polymath diplomacy that is the conceptual glue enabling better collaboration and bringing disparate cognitive areas together, such as STEM & HASS, digital & physical, academia & industry, built & natural environments.

We are facing uncertain times with multiple planetary crises unfolding at rapid pace. Not only does this call for new ideas and innovation, it requires systems thinking and transdisciplinary approaches. We can no longer break up and compartmentalise the urgent task of sustainability into quick technological fixes; bold and urgent reform-work is required that goes beyond science and engineering ingenuity.

This raises some challenging questions: How do we prepare the next generation of design graduates to tackle these wicked problems? And how do we inform teaching pedagogies and practices by research into post-anthropocentric and more-than-human futures?

We invite you to join members of the QUT School of Design’s Sustainability Committee and the More-than-Human Futures research group for our inaugural learning & teaching symposium on the topic of transitioning towards sustainable futures.

The symposium is partly inspired by discussions as part of the Great Transition Initiative’s online forum The Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want.

ZOOM videoconference link >

Meeting ID: 847 1802 2012 – Password: 353814


draft – subject to change

0830 – 0900 Registration
0900 – 0915 Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

Professor Marcus Foth, Chair, School of Design Sustainability Committee, QUT

0915 – 0945 Opening Remarks

Transforming QUT into a Sustainable University

Professor Kerrie Wilson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability Strategy), QUT

0945 – 1030 Opening Keynote

Why we need Aboriginal political philosophy now, more than ever

Dr Mary Graham, Adj. Assoc. Prof. in the School of Political Science & International Studies, University of Queensland

1030 – 1100 Morning Tea
1100 – 1230 Lightning Talks ⚡️ More-than-Human Futures Research Group

chaired by Dr Keith Armstrong, Visual Arts, School of Creative Practice, QUT

  • Alinta Krauth: Working with the Voices of Flying Foxes
  • Kavita Gonsalves: TransHuman Saunter
  • Hira Sheikh, Lowana Davies, Merinda Davies, Bella Deary: Smart Urban Governance for More-than-Human Futures
  • Dr Charles Robb, Dr Courtney Pedersen, Dr Keith Armstrong et al.: Groundwork / Honouring Exchange @ Botanica 2021
  • Dr Anna Tweeddale: Araucaria futures – Life beyond the plantation
  • Dr Keith Armstrong: Carbon_Dating – A Network of Artworks Exploring Care for Native Grasses and Grasslands
1230 – 0130 Lunch
0130 – 0230 Panel Discussion 🌳 School of Design Sustainability Committee

Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want

chaired by Dr Liz Brogden, Transdisciplinary Design, School of Architecture & Built Environment, QUT

  • Madeline Taylor (Fashion)
  • Dr Manuela Taboada (Visual Communication)
  • Charlotte Kessler (PhD Candidate: Design Education)
  • Jock McQueenie (DCI Candidate: Intermediation Practice)
0230 – 0300 Plenary Discussion
0300 – 0330 Afternoon Tea
0330 – 0430 Closing Keynote

The ‘ask’ of Designers in More Than Human-Centred Worlds

Professor Ron Wakkary, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada & Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Netherlands; author of Things We Could Design For More Than Human-Centered Worlds (MIT Press 2021)

0430 – 0500 Closing Remarks

Professor Lisa Scharoun, Head of School, School of Design, QUT


We acknowledge the Turrbal and Yugara, as the First Nations owners of the lands where QUT now stands. We pay respect to their Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits. We recognise that these lands have always been places of teaching, research and learning.


Location: E Block Level 5 Functions Space, QUT Kelvin Grove [link to map]
Start Date: 02/11/2021 [add to calendar]
Start Time: 9.00 am
End Date: 02/11/2021
End Time: 5.00 pm
RSVP By: Friday 29th of October 2021
Cost: free
Organiser: QUT Design Lab, School of Design, and More-than-Human Futures research group