The WG 1 conference “Design: Shaping Social Innovation” in Newcastle.

This event aimed to decelop a multidisctiplinary appraisal of design in social innovation contexts. The programme included: academic and practitioner keynote talks and discussions; experiences of social enterprises; and collectively participants discussed and built an exhibition based on the analysis of design work presented at Northumbria University.


The RSA Student Design Awards is a competition for emerging designers that’s been running since 1924. The RSA challenges students and recent graduates to tackle pressing social, environmental and economic issues through design thinking. This is a competition often built into UK design education, find out more here:

See this year’s design challenges here:

During the meeting we had the chance to see what the Northumbria students and many more tackled for their major projects – this competition was the warm up!

Dr. David Parkinson and Dr. Nick Spencer produced a podcast about the RSA student design awards and how in particular their BA (Hons) Design for Industry programme support students to engage meaningfully in these complex and diverse challenges. Follow the link or scan the QR code to listen to the 18 minute conversation.

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