*Satu Miettinen, University of Lapland, Finland
Nicola Morelli, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Melanie Sarantou, the University of Lapland, Finland
Paul Wilson, University of Leeds, UK
Essi Kuure, University of Lapland, Finland
*contact: satu.miettinen@ulapland.fi 

Complexity is a key characteristic of many participatory and community-oriented design activities. Designers’ varied roles are being transformed as they have to manage the complexities and entanglements associated with global societal, technological and environmental change. As design turns towards a social mode of operation and application, this track seeks to open a discourse on the role of design in managing the complexities that affect communities and individuals, alongside their attendant processes and practices. This track discusses the necessary skills and competencies designers may need in order to manage experiences of complexity associated with collaborative and community-oriented design. The role of design in creating solutions that result from understanding, interpreting and analysing multi-disciplinary processes, whilst seeking to adapt to sensitive societal and political situations will be considered. The practical solutions and outcomes that can be produced when (sensitive) social complexities are managed through design will be explored. The track invites practitioners and academics to contribute through case studies, methods, theories and initiatives that deal with complexities through design research and practice.

Topics to be explored include:
• The roles, skills and competencies of designers in mitigating complexities, in particular, those that emerge during collaborative processes and projects of community-oriented design
• The complexities associated with design interventions that are aimed at social transformation and the opportunities they deliver for designers to envision new possibilities for better futures
• The ways in which complexities affect upon both design researchers, the communities they collaborate with, and their impact on methods used in these collaborations
• Methods and methodological approaches for managing complexity or supporting community-oriented initiatives and in particular, with communities at the edge or margin, in transition or in a state of precarity.

Indicative references

Concilio, G., De Götzen, A., Molinari, F., Morelli, N., Mulder, I., Simeone, L., & Van Dam, K. (2019). Innovation and design. In G. Concilio & I. Tosoni (Eds.), Innovation capacity and the city: The enabling role of design (pp. 56–72). Retrieved from http://designscapes.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/The-Designscapes-Book-preprint.pdf

Gatt, C. & Ingold, T. (2013). From description to correspondence: Anthropology in real time. In W. Gunn, T. Otto, & R. C. Smith (Eds.), Design anthropology: Theory and practice (pp. 232–250). London & New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

Kuure, E., & Miettinen, S. (2017). Social design for services: Building a framework for designers working in the development context. The Design Journal20(Sup1), S3464-S3474. doi:10.1080/14606925.2017.1352850

Montuori, A. (2013). Complexity and transdisciplinarity: Reflections on theory and practice. World Futures, 69(4–6), 200-230. doi:10.1080/02604027.2013.803349

Norman, D. A. (2010). Living with complexity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.