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Design Research Institute

The Design Research Institute (DRI) aims to build design research’s role as a ‘solution finder’ toward the challenges of the Urbanisation and the Cities of the Future. DRI is a unique location for transdisciplinary research collaboration. We understand many of the complex issues facing our communities and industry require more than one area of expertise and discipline to solve their complex social, environmental and industrial challenges. A transdisciplinary approach to project based research ensures a range of knowledge, expertise, creativity and innovative ideas is focused on a topic. DRI brings over 100 university researchers and their industry, government and community partners together to access a broad spectrum of design thinking. Researchers are from architecture, fashion, aeronautical and chemical engineering, business, industrial design, art and new media form teams around significant projects. DRI Flagship Program projects are speculative and practical initiatives, applicable to the ways we live and work, create culture and communities, plan and navigate our world. The DRI was established in 2008.

Design Ethnography Research Centre

Founded in 2012, the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) fosters cross-cultural, interdisciplinary and multi-sited research into digital ethnography in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) was founded by Larissa Hjorth and Heather Horst, and is currently directed by Heather. In 2014 DERC will be focusing upon three research focii: Media Methods (MM); Design + Ethnography (D+E) and Emergent Media Practices (EMP). The node leaders are Emma Witkowski (MM), Yoko Akama (D+E) and Shelley Brunt (EMP).

Design Futures Lab

The field of Media and Communication includes the study of systems of communication, modes of mediated expression, media industry practices and models of development, and the cultural, political and social contexts in which, and through which, media and communication systems and products allow the contemporary world to function, and by which that same world is debated, critiqued and known. Members of the Design Futures Lab are united around key questions of how the world works through global media and how the world communicates locally, regionally and internationally. We are interested in technological, cultural, and expressive modes of communication; in industries and creative practices that support information gathering and dissemination across Australia and the world, in new forms of play, and in the design matrices of the present and future. Our focus ranges from industry-oriented ‘real world’ problem solving, to interactive, iterative and affective expressions of new knowledge and passionate ideas. The activities of the DFL include public presentations, project critiques, visiting scholars and practitioners. The design driven exploratory nature of the DFL, means that we actively connect with other research groups and projects across RMIT and internationally. We welcome partnerships with industry, communities, and peers across Australia. We are involved in a number of international networks, Australian Research Council research activities and industry.


mediaccions is a research group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC) based in Barcelona for the study of social transformations and cultural practices related to digital technologies and media. Our aims are: a) to contribute to a critical analysis of digital culture through empirical studies of practices, collectives and technologies in the context of everyday life; b) to develop ethnographic and qualitative enhanced research methods; and c) to contribute to knowledge co-creation working with collectives, companies and institutions in projects of media, storytelling, design, technology and social innovation.

Future Anthropologies Network (FAN)

The Future Anthropologies Network is a network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). FAN was established as an outcome of the work of the Anthropology at the Edge of the Future Lab held at the 2014 EASA conference. The intention of the group is to continue our shared work in conceptualizing, debating, theorizing and practicing an engaged anthropology that puts futures at the centre of its agenda.

The Swedish Centre for Applied Cultural Analysis (SCACA)

The work of the SCACA is rooted in the qualitative social sciences and humanities, has an interdisciplinary and external outlook and is develops applied research in dialogue with theoretical scholarship around themes of knowledge, improvisation, change and futures. SCACA members so this by advancing their expertise in the fields of digital and sensory research, and their relevance in everyday life, home, learning, leisure and work contexts. Their work is generative of innovative research methodologies in ethnography, arts and creative methods and intervention research. SCACA’s work is developed in collaboration both in Sweden and internationally with academic industry and other stakeholder partners and environments.

Communities and Culture Network+

The Digital Economy ‘Communities and Culture’ Network+ (CCNetwork+) in the UK facilitates research, knowledge exchange and innovative connections in one of four challenge areas identified by the EPSRC. We explore digital transformations, bringing them together with a wider public through direct engagements, innovative methods and digital resources.

Culture-based Service Design.

This group, based in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Lapland in Finland works towards bridging the gaps between cultural analysis and design through multidisciplinary collaboration.  The group is currently bringing these themes together as a doctoral programme under the name of Culture-based Service Design, and works on a co-authored book on the topic, involving doctoral students, supervisors, steering board members and international collaborators. The group’s members are: Soile Veijola, Petra Falin, Anu Valtonen and Satu Miettinen, University of Lapland.

RMIT University

RMIT is a global university of technology and design and Australia’s largest tertiary institution. The University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and vocational education and outcome-oriented research. RMIT is a leader in engineering, accounting and finance, computer science and information systems, communication and media studies, psychology, education, law and economics.

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RMIT University Design Research Institute Design Ethnography Research Centre Design Futures Lab Mediaccions Communities & Culture Network+

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