Scoping Design-led Ecological Transitions on the island of Ireland

   Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

  Dr Brian Dixon, Dr J Magee, Mrs Alison Gault  Monday, February 26, 2024  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

​​This study will explore the role that design practice can play in supporting high-impact green transitions—changes at a societial, materials and/or process level that result in sustainable outcomes—on the island of Ireland. The precise focus of these transitions (i.e., what specific social, material, and/or process contexts) will not prescribed in advance of commencing the project. Rather it is expected that the researcher will build a broad network of governmental, industrial and social stakeholders across the island who hold concerns relating to developing specific green transition strategies. Alongside these stakeholders they will also be expected to engage with the design community and professional design organisations (e.g., the IDI) to identify best practice and opportunities for further exploration.

​It is expected the research will be framed in three phases. The first initial phase of work will see a literature survey coupled with stakeholder mapping and case studies reviews. This will allow for a broad overview of potential contexts for the research and the challenges therein. A second phase will focus on stakeholder consultation, connecting with government, industry and social partners, as well as professional design organisations. The final phase will be design-orientated. Here, the researcher will be expected to work with specific groups or in specific contexts to prototype possible green transition strategies and frameworks for these groups/context.

​The all island focus of the study is expected to allow for the identification of gaps in design’s existing role in the green transition movement and organisation/governmental strategies.

​The outcome will be a package of all-island focused recommendations for specific green transitions which pertain to the groups/contexts of the study.

Creative Arts & Design (9)


​​Buchanan, R., 2019. Systems Thinking and Design Thinking: The Search for Principles in the World We Are Making, She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation, Vol 5, no. 2 (2019): 85–104
​Escobar, A., 2017. Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
​Fogarty, P., 2017. Whittled Away. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan Ltd.
​Fry, T., 2009. Design Futuring: Sustainability, Ethics and New Practice. London: Berg.
​Gare, A., 2017. The Philosophical Foundations of Ecological Civilisation: A Manifesto for the Future. Abingdon: Routledge.
​Irwin, T., Kossoff, G., Tonkinwise, C., & Scupelli, P. (2015). Transition Design: A new area of design research, practice and study that proposes design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon School of Design.