Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

May the force be with you – Service design for invisible connections

Posted in Events by emma.gerard on August 28th, 2013

29 August , 2013
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Image from SDNM

From the Service Design Network Melbourne (SDNM) by Yoko Akama

The innocuous seeming arrows and lines in organisational charts and process diagrams often represent time, context, and connections that are essential to the experiences people have with those organisations. The problem is that arrows and connecting lines are so ubiquitous in diagrams that they seem invisible and are often overlooked.

It is much easier–and human nature—to focus effort on “things” because they represent tangible touchpoints, such as a website, ticket machine, and so on. As a result, many forget to attend to designing the experience of the arrows and lines—the transitions from one touchpoint to the next. They are too important to let just happen. Too important they are.

This talk with Dr. Andy Polaine and discussion explores how thinking about and designing the space and time between touchpoints can help bridge the silos within organisations that prevent engaging and positive service experiences from happening.

Dr. Andy Polaine has been involved in interaction design since the early 90s and was co-founder of the award-winning new media group, Antirom, in London. He was a creative producer at Razorfish, UK and later Interactive Director at Animal Logic, Sydney. Andy was Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of Media Arts at The University of New South Wales, Sydney before moving to Germany and holds a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney in which he examined the relationship between play and interactivity. He now divides his time between being a Lecturer and Researcher in Service Design at the Lucerne School of Art and Design in Switzerland and his work as a service/interaction design consultant and writer, working with clients such as Telenor, VW Germany and live|work. He has written over 160 articles and papers and co-authored the Rosenfeld Media book, Service Design: From Insight to Implementation. He can be found online at and on Twitter as @apolaine.

Time: August 29, 2013 from 6pm to 8pm
Location: Multipurpose Room (Level 1), RMIT Design Hub
Street: Victoria Street, corner of Swanston Street
City/Town: Melbourne
Event Type: talk
Organized By: Service Design Melbourne Network read more on their website

Fair Food Week – Australia’s First

Posted in Events, Movements by Jessica Bird on July 22nd, 2013

19 August , 2013 9:00 amto25 August , 2013 5:00 pm

Image from

From ‘Australia’s First Fair Food Week is Coming‘ by ACFCGN:

FRESH, good and fair food needs a fresh, new and innovative event to demonstrate its value to all Australians. That’s why the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance are bringing together communities, social entrepreneurs, creative individuals, smart food businesses and even local government across Australia to celebrate the work of Australia’s fair food pioneers – the women and men doing the vital work of creating a fairer food system for all of us.

“It’s a new national event, Fair Food Week”, said Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance spokesman, Nick Rose. Across the country during Fair Food Week there’s a wonderful diversity of events that will attract, intrigue and entertain you: food forums, food workshops, food films, farmers’ fairs, food swaps, community garden and farm tours.

“What we call ’fair food’ is food that is produced in ways that are fair to all and that guarantee nutritional health to everyone in Australia’s food supply chain – Australian farmers, Australian food processors, small to medium size food retailers and, most importantly, we who eat the products of these enterprises”, explained Mr Rose. “Fair food that the farmer has been paid properly for and that is sold through a retail system that is not dominated by the supermarket duopoly that controls 80 percent of Australia’s grocery sales, but that is sold through a truly free market that includes thriving small to medium food businesses to give us – Australia’s eaters – authentic true choice in what we buy and where we but it. It’s good, healthy and tasty food that all Australians have access to irrespective of their income and where they live. This includes Australians living with disability, illness, those living on a government allowance, such as pensioners,  and those in remote indigenous communities… the more then five percent of our people who presently live with an insecure and unhealthy food supply”.

Fair Food Week will highlight the fresh, innovative ideas found in the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance’s Peoples’ Food Plan, Australia’s first crowdsourced policy directions document and the result of democratic, consultative forums held across the country.

>>> Australia’s First Fair Food Week will be held 19-25 August 2013.
>>> You can learn more about Fair Food Week events or add your own on their website.

Water Sensitive Cities Tour 2012: Project snapshots

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 21st, 2012

Photo of the Isar River in Munich by Marcio Cabral de Moura via flickr CC

From “Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour Group return home“:

The Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour group, comprising of 18 young water professionals from across Australia, have now completed the overseas leg of their trip. The group travelled to Singapore, the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands to develop their knowledge of integrated water management and to draw out relevant learnings that can aid Australia in moving towards a Water Sensitive City.

Tour participant Nicole Sexton, Senior Planner Strategy and Sustainability from Barwon Water, produced a poster presentation for the Healthy Cities Conference in Geelong on 6-8 June. The poster provides a snapshot of the sites that the group visited.

Click here to view the poster.

Enviro Trivia Contest

Posted in Events by EcoCentre on June 18th, 2012

1 July , 2012
2:00 pmto4:00 pm

we'll give you something to puzzle over

Sunday 1 July, 2pm-4pm

Get your green thinking caps on for a cozy afternoon of environmental trivia at Port Phillip Eco Centre.

Reckon you could tell a tawny frogmouth apart from a barn owl? Do you know when the first earth day was held? or how many tonnes of pollution hazelwood power station produces annually? A tip: you’ll be needing all your senses for this quiz (and if you can recognise a few animal calls, that’ll help!)

Answer quiz questions covering natural history, geography, science and current affairs; win points in a round of charades (Could you act out ‘An Inconvenient Truth’??); plus have a go at other fun challenges to get your team over the line.

Round up your friends or come alone and join an impromptu team. The first team of five to RSVP will receive a special door prize.

There’ll be prizes/give aways for every round.  Hot drinks (inc. our house made chai) and appetizers available.

Entry: Gold coin donation.

RSVP to Paula: 3102/0417 501 383.

Port Phillip EcoCentre
Cnr Blessington & Herbert St., St Kilda (adjacent St Kilda Botanical Gardens)
Enquiries: paula – 0417 501 383 /

Our Say: Support crowd-sourced democracy

Posted in Movements, Policies, Seeking by CBiggs on February 22nd, 2012

The locally grown democratic media start-up ‘OurSay‘ is currently competing with 50 other companies from around the world to get into the Unreasonable Institute, a six-week, high-intensity program for entrepreneurs tackling the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.

OurSay enables people to get important issues on the public agenda. It locks in public decision-makers such as CEOs, politicians and community leaders and gets them to answer tough questions about the issues you care about most. The aim of OurSay is to inform better decision-making, slow down the media cycle to engage seriously with challenging issues, provide more direct feedback between decision-makers and the people they affect, and help people own, influence and take responsibility for the issues they care about. In just under 2 years, OurSay has grown a strong community of users from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Their vision is to see this model of crowd-sourced democracy operating in every city around the world.

Now, after 2 gruelling rounds of vetting, competing against more than 300 organisations from 60 different countries, OurSay is the only Australian organisation left with a chance to make one of the only 25 places at the Unreasonable Institute. By achieving this, OurSay will have the opportunity to build its profile and learn from some of the best organisations for social and environmental good.

To get through, OurSay needs to demonstrate a base of supporters that are willing to support financially. They need to raise raise $10,000 in just 22 days (they are already halfway there).

If you are passionate about using social media for societal change and would like to help this little Aussie start-up, you can donate here in the Unreasonable Institute Marketplace.

Speed Date a Sustainable Designer

Posted in Events by sashashtargot on January 30th, 2012

19 February , 2012
1:00 pmto3:00 pm

Are you renovating or building? Do you have plans and ideas you’d like to discuss with green architects or building designers?  The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) would like to invite you to Speed Date a Sustainable Designer.

When: Sunday 19th February

Time: 1-3pm

Where: The Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne

Speed Date a Sustainable Designer brings together Australia’s leading sustainable architects and building designers so that you can discuss your plans in a relaxed ‘no obligations’ environment.

What to Bring

Bring your sketches, plans and photographs on your tablet, laptop or good old hard copies! The designers will offer solutions, ideas and alternative viewpoints.

You can watch the short YouTube video from the last event here:

Supported by bankmecu

A free event. Limited spots available!  Bookings are essential. Go to

Green Energy Future Day 2011

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 24th, 2011

3 December , 2011
10:30 amto3:30 pm

Growing Food in Pots: SGA article

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 11th, 2011

Source: cuttings, the Sustainable Gardening Australia(SGA) newsletter

Photo by David_Turner via flickr CC

From “Produce in Pots” by Helen Tuton:

Plants in pots… it’s hardly a new or revolutionary concept… I mean, we are all well acquainted with the potted Maidenhair fern in the bathroom, a dusty ‘Parlour Palm’ struggling for life in the corner of the office, or the ubiquitous ‘Peace Lily’ given as a gift when we can’t think of anything better. But what about productive plants in pots? Imagine a ‘movable feast’ in your inner city courtyard, providing a fair whack of the food you love to eat? A bounty of beautiful herbs out by the BBQ, or tonnes of tumbling tomatoes at your townhouse? Just about anyone has room for a few pots at their place, and we reckon you will be amazed by just how much produce you can grow in just about any space!

Gone to Pot – Getting Started

Planting a productive potted plot is no different to getting going in a garden – it’s all about planning, position, potting mix, patience and productivity. […]

Read the full article by Helen Tuton for the SGA.

Sustainable House Day 2011

Posted in Events, Uncategorized by Kate Archdeacon on August 30th, 2011

11 September , 2011
10:00 amto4:00 pm

Sustainable House Day, Sunday 11th September, will be celebrating its 10th year, the event will continue to showcase some of Australia’s most sustainable homes to the public as millions of Australians continue to embrace renewable energy, recycling, and other practices suitable to their lifestyles.

Houses are open for FREE between 10am and 4pm.

This year over 300 homes will open their doors for tours and give visitors opportunities to see firsthand the benefits and practicality of solar, ventilation, water harvesting, recycling, shading, thermal mass (materials that absorb and release heat), glazing and window treatments, gardens, and lifestyle products. Architects, builders and specialist service providers will also be on hand at many of the homes to provide expert tips.

Check out the house locations pages to see if there is house open near you, this list will keep getting updated until the event, so be sure to check back in.

Sunday 11th Sept 10am – 4pm

Where Are They Now? Ben Nicholson, Groof

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 30th, 2011

Here at Sustainable Melbourne we’ve been contacting Sustainable Cities Round Tables (SCRT) presenters, to find out how their projects and ideas have grown and changed since Ferne Edwards first launched the Round Tables in May 2007.

Ben Nicholson gave a presentation at the SCRT in November 2008, after spending two months studying green roofs in cities around the world as a Churchill Fellow. During this time, Ben met green roofs advocates; planners, environmentalists and designers, and he visited research sites and commercial sites, some of which have been in existence since the early 1990s. In his presentation, “Vital Signs for a Healthy City”, he described Melbourne as an adolescent city at risk of on-going health problems due to its large energy requirements, poor water management lack of biodiversity. Green roofs would change this prognosis by cooling the city, increasing urban food-growing space and wildlife habitat, and conserving storm water and energy.

In 2007, Ben established his own green roof consultancy, Groof, providing designs and advice to green roof developments in Victoria and overseas.

We caught up with Ben to ask about the changes in green roof implementation and acceptance in Australia since his presentation in 2008. There have been some notable green roof and wall projects developed in that time, including the vertical garden we sat next to in the foyer of the Gauge building in Docklands. During our conversation, Ben reiterated the importance of solid research and demonstration projects for industry players to assist in the development and maintenance of a successful Green Roof program in Australia’s cities.

Below are some extracts from Ben’s Churchill Trust Report:

Just as the ant spends a lifetime crawling up and down a tree without ever comprehending the tree’s full scale or its place in the wider world, so we spend our lives in cities without ever comprehending their true size or the impacts they are having on the planet… imagine for a moment you are sitting on a hill, watching a tree grow that, one day, will be crawled upon by an the ant mentioned above. And from this hill, imagine that you can fast-forward time as quickly as you like, so you sit and watch this tree grow from a tiny seed to a sapling to a huge, spreading lemon-scented gum in only a few short minutes. Now imagine that from the same hill you are watching your own city grow up from its earliest days of a few tents and dusty tracks into the sprawling suburbs, skyscrapers, freeways, factories and warehouses that it has become today. From this perspective, it is suddenly much easier to comprehend the amount of disruption that has occurred to all the other living things and natural systems forced to make way for the people and non-living things that make up your city today. We may never be able to bring everything back, but from the vantage of this hill we can at least start to imagine what our cities would look like when transformed into thriving eco-systems.

In many cities around the world, harm is being reducing by people as they build each new piece of eco-infrastructure into the city fabric. To do this properly, people first ask:

  • what does harm look like?
  • where is it most concentrated?
  • where is the worst of it coming from?


During the fellowship I learnt that the green roof and wall industry in each city has developed in the presence of local champions, detailed science, government support and an enlightened citizenry. The people in the cities I visited have developed policy responses and designed ‘eco-infrastructure’ that is unique to their local topography, climate and system of governance. In the more advanced cities, I observed some or all of the following activities taking place:

  1. Environmental indicators such as topography, temperature, rainfall and biodiversity are examined to understand the ways in which a city impacts upon its host environment. Using data sourced from early settlement to the current day, time-lapse analysis reveals the extent to which the city has affected its surrounds. Forecasting models are then used to predict future impacts with the key variable being extent of vegetation cover.
  2. Economic costs for the design, construction and maintenance of air conditioning/cleaning systems, water supply/removal systems and agricultural production/distribution systems are compared with the costs of using green roofs and walls to identify areas of city management that can be carried out more efficiently using green roof and wall technology.
  3. The benefits of green roofs and walls are tailored to address environmental and economic ‘trigger points’ specific to each city. These trigger points inform local green roof and wall design and assist in targeting the most effective locations for the placement of green roof and wall infrastructure.
  4. Demonstration and research projects raise awareness and provide information for public, private and government sectors.
  5. Political support for green roofs and walls leads to subsidies for the eco-infrastructure industry and the incorporation of built form standards and incentives.
  6. Environmental and economic indicators are regularly monitored to refine eco-infrastructure design and placement.
  7. Over time, the economic and environmental costs associated with the negative impacts of urbanisation are reduced and the benefits associated with an increase in vegetation cover are multiplied.


As eco-infrastructure projects begin to reduce harm, there will be an increase in the demand for high quality products and services. It is therefore up to the people and companies who stand to benefit the most from this demand to provide funding for eco-infrastructure research and demonstration projects in the early phase of the industry’s development. We can learn a lot from the failures and triumphs of other cities. Now is the time to transform our negative impacts into positive ones. And in doing so, we will transform ourselves from being harmful pests to welcome guests.

Download Ben’s report to read more about his research, including case studies from his tour and further reading and recommendations.