Design Innovation for Society









Redesigning governance – a call for design across three orders of governance 

Tanja Rosenqvist, Cynthia Mitchell 

University of Technology, Sydney

Keywords: design; governance; politics; activism


Designers are increasingly engaged in solving large-scale societal issues and the interest in the potentially activist role of design is growing. These new roles call for judicious approaches to designing and, importantly, for designers to be critically aware of how their work influences, not only our physical, but also our social worlds. This paper explores how designers can take part in rethinking governance structures by facilitating a process of questioning and re-imagining how, for example, public services are governed and importantly - by whom. This involves articulating people’s day-to-day experiences of governance and making explicit the institutional arrangements and the often embedded and unarticulated societal values that govern these experiences. This paper shares preliminary findings from an on-going research project, in which low-income communities and government stakeholders in Indonesia are involved in critically rethinking wastewater governance and their deeply held assumptions about how public services should be governed. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Rosenqvist, T., Mitchell, C. (2016). Redesigning governance: A call for design across three orders of governance. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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