DISRUPTing DESIGN for positive change

At Disrupt Design we are all about using design as a platform for effecting positive social change. We use unique methods, which combine cognitive and behavioral sciences with design and sociology, to catalyze creative change projects. We develop our own work and take commissions from clients and collaborators. We also run an experimental knowledge lab for creative rebels and change agents, called the unschool of disruptive design.

 

WE ARE PROBLEM LOVERS

We see problems as opportunities in disguise, and believe that they hold the key to their own solutions. But we know that they get a bad rep, often avoided and misunderstood, so we design workshops and experiences that help others become creative problem lovers and solvers too! Join us in disrupting the status quo, find unique and evocative ways to solve complex real-world problems, and catalyse solutions by deeply connecting with, and learning to love, any problem.

Our Methods

We take a unique multi-disciplinary approach to our work, combining expertise from design thinking, sociology and cognitive sciences to draw together a series of productive methods. For us, creating positive social change is our core business and, in order to do this well, we find and unlock potential in diverse and obscure places.

Using insights from art, research, sociology and experience design, we have developed a toolkit of surprises that we employ to evoke positive change through our projects. In line with our goal of having a positive impact through disruptive design, we work hard to make sure that our experiences and products have the smallest negative ecological impacts possible, while still serving their functions. 

We developed the Disruptive Design Method for activating positive social change by design. We use this unqiue approach and also teach the methodology through our UnSchool > 

Research 

Through a mix of sociological methodologies and design approaches, our research process explores, unpacks, evaluates and presents opportunities for enacting positive change. We believe change and innovation are best formed through understanding your community, its patterns, actions and motivations. We take a systems approach and employ an embedded action research methodology to our projects. 

From community understanding, opportunity analysis, ethnographic research, participation and engagement, gap analysis, life cycle assessments, systems interventions, interviews and more, we employ a range of expertise and robust research foundations in all our work. Our founder, Dr. Leyla Acaroglu, has also developed a disruptive design methodology that leverages systems interventions in order to generate change outcomes. 

Sustainable Design

We are committed to finding the best sustainable methods and processes for producing our products and events. Any printed materials always use post-consumer waste paper, we use recycled materials when possible, seek out certified products, and employ local artisans and small scale producers. We also seek out producers who themselves are committed to sustainability and use renewable energy sources. We make sure that all labor is ethical and ensure that our suppliers operate at very high standards. We try to produce locally and to seek out new ways of producing, to help stimulate sustainable markets. 

We have a strict policy against disposability (such as single-use cups and plates). We invest in high quality materials and promote durability and reusability over single use products. Of course, we are not perfect and we are still learning. But, in all that we do, we prioritize the discovery of new ways to do old things, in order to do better. 

Systems Thinking 

We are a little obsessed with taking a systems approach to everything we do. We use a range of systems mapping and analysis tools to help us understand and identify the areas for most effective interventions. Aside from systems being the foundation to our creative approaches, we also teach systems thinking through our workshops and at the UnSchool. 

inquiry and discovery

Our core objective with all of our work is to find ways of unlocking tacit knowledge and sharing in productive and empowering ways – we are all about helping others find new ways of changing the world. Critical to this is the ability to rapidly access and understand complex ideas, such as systems thinking and social change theories, and to find creative ways of implementing them in strategic and holistic ways. Many of our mentally stimulating analog experiences and workshops came out of our experiences and discovery phases. We constantly seek out and delve into the "why" of things, using our own experiences as methods for building new solutions to age old problems.