Designing Smart

for Sustainable Communities

Reflecting on the Role of HCI for Addressing the Sustainable Development Goals
OzCHI 2 December 2019

The Workshop

This workshop reflects on the role of the HCI community in addressing sustainable development in cities, regional centres and rural communities. The workshop will bring together academics, researchers and practitioners to share their experiences, expertise and visions for: (1) evolving HCI design approaches to move beyond the individual; (2) re-engaging with institutions in order to repoliticise HCI practices, projects and methods; and (3) counteracting depoliticisation in large parts of the design field. We are specifically interested in ways of 'designing smart' by engaging communities throughout the process of addressing complex challenges, such as  social inequality, economic disparity and environmental degradation.

Audience and Theme 

The main objective of our workshop is to bring academic, researchers and practitioners together to explore and debate new approaches for co-designing communities, cities, regional centres, services and experiences of the future by engaging a variety of people in the design process.

Submissions to this workshop should take the concept of designing smart to the next level by exploring strategies, mechanisms, stakeholders (and their roles), technologies, design approaches, and methodologies that look at "scaling-up" efforts to go beyond sustainable development on an individual level and push and scale up to the broader community, city, state, national or planetary level. Specifically, submissions should either address systemic issues pertinent across different layers, or align with one or more of the UN sustainable development goals.

Topics of interest for this workshop include but are not limited to the following areas of HCI scholarship and inquiry:

  • HCI, interaction design, participatory design that explore political issues, such as designing for existential crises, institutioning, re-politicising HCI

  • HCI for civic design, community activism, community engagement

  • HCI for smart engagement and smart city planning and design

  • HCI and post-anthropocentric design, post-humanist design, more-than-human futures

  • HCI and sustainability

  • HCI and new economic paradigms such as circular economy, doughnut economics, degrowth, voluntary simplicity, prosperous decent, cooperativism

Submission Process

Submissions to this workshop will take the form of a short abstract of approximately 200-500 words. This can take the form of a statement outlining your interests, questions, insights, or current research or practice. Please email your abstract to

Important Dates

13 October 2019: Abstracts due 

27 October 2019: Notifications 

2 December 2019: Workshop day

UN Sustainable Development Goals. Source:


8:30 am


9:00 am


Dr Joel Fredericks, Dr Callum Parker, Dr Hilary Davis

9:15 am


Professor Marcus Foth & Dr Glenda Caldwell

9:45 am

Presentation Session 1 

Andreas Duenser, 

Teis De Greve, Anna Brown

Session discussion

10:35 am

Morning Tea

10:45 am

Presentation Session 2

Marius Hoggenmüller, Kaspar Raats, 

Ryosuke Aoki

Session discussion

11:15 am

Presentation Session 3

Joanna Mehtälä, Tomayess Issa, 

Ruben Kirkham, Albrecht Kurze, 

Bridgette Engeler

Session discussion

12:30 pm


13:30 pm

Group Design Challenge

14:45 pm

Afternoon Tea

15:00 pm

Group Presentations

15:45 pm

Workshop Wrap-Up

16:00 pm

Workshop Close

16:15 pm

Networking Session

Workshop Organisers

Dr Joel Fredericks Headshot.jpg

Dr Joel


Lecturer in Design 

The University of Sydney

  • Twitter - Joel Fredericks
  • Instagram - Joel Fredericks

Joel is a Lecturer in Design at the University of Sydney and Managing Director of Thrive Engagement. Joel's research sits across the domains of community engagement, urban planning, digital placemaking, media architecture, smart cities and immersive technologies.

Dr Callum Parker

Lecturer in Design Computing

The University of Sydney 

  • Twitter - Callum Parker
  • Instagram - Callum Parker

Callum is a Lecturer in Design Computing at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on the digital augmentation of cities to improve the lives of the people within them.


Dr Glenda 


Senior Lecturer in Architecture


  • Twitter - Glenda Caldwell
  • Instagram - Glenda Caldwell

Glenda is the QUT Design Lab Associate   Director, a Senior Lecturer in Architecture, a founding member of the Design Robotics research group. Embracing trans-disciplinary approaches Glenda explores the intersection and translation of physical and digital media in creative processes for community engagement, placemaking, and media architecture.

Prof Marcus


Professor of Urban Informatics


  • Twitter - Marcus Foth
  • Instagram - Marcus Foth

Marcus is a passionate wombassador and beekeeper and Professor of Urban Informatics in the QUT Design Lab, Brisbane. He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, Denmark, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Marcus brings together people, place, and technology with a keen interest in cities and sustainability.


Dr Hilary 


Senior Research Fellow

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

Hilary is a Senior Research Fellow in the Swinburne Social Innovation Institute, and in the Living with Disability Research Centre (LIDS), La Trobe University. Her current research focuses on digital participation for diverse and marginalised communities; including people with intellectual disabilities, housebound people and those disadvantaged due to place.

A.Prof Martin


Chair of Design & Director of Innovation

The University of Sydney

  • Twitter - Martin Tomitsch
  • Instagram - Martin Tomitsch

Martin is Chair of Design and Director of Innovation at the University of Sydney, Visiting Professor at the CAFA Beijing Visual Art Innovation Institute, and founding member of the Media Architecture Institute. His research focuses on the role of design for shaping the interactions between people and technology, and how digital technology and new design approaches can improve life in cities.


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QUT design lab.png


Esplanade Hotel Fremantle

46-54 Marine Terrace &, Essex St, 
6160 Fremantle 
Western Australia