Instead of focusing on all the ways remote research fails to replicate the face-to-face experience, think about the possibilities it opens up.

In response to social distancing restrictions that have been implemented around the world to slow the spread of COVID-19, people working in design (UX, service or policy) and research (user, social, market, etc.) have been grappling with what it means to do their work in restricted ways.

After years or decades of advocating that product, service or policy directions be informed by lived experience, genuine understandings of human needs and behaviours, and most recently by the inclusion of users in the decision-making process (through methods like co-design), it can seem like an insurmountable challenge to have have many of the…

We helped Telstra Health to address social isolation amongst elderly and disabled people.

A few years ago, Paper Giant worked with Telstra Health to design and conduct a research project with elderly and disabled care receivers living in regional Queensland, to help inform the design and development of new digital products to combat depression that arises from social isolation.

We had a particular focus on what role technology plays — or could play — in alleviating social isolation.

Through the project, we interviewed a range of elderly and disabled people in different living situations through regional and remote Queensland.

In conversations about their healthcare, their technology use, their families and their lives, we…

On the 27th August, I had the pleasure of presenting at The Mandarin’s event ‘Design for Public Sector Leaders’, hosted by the excellent Mathan Ratinam and Lina Patel.

Alongside presenting some recent work with the Victorian State Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), I also participated in a session that discussed design partnerships. The session was designed to give the public service tips, tricks and insights into partnering with designers, and to provide some solutions to common issues around procuring processes (design) rather than solutions (platforms or deliverables).

As a prelude to the panel I was asked to give a…

The role of designers is not to divine solutions, but to help groups of people work with complexity and make decisions together.

At Paper Giant, we treat design research less as a method for representing the world – capturing data from the ‘field’, and distilling it to ‘insights’ – and more as a way of creating the conditions under which research participants, designers and clients can make knowledge together. We think that the role of designers is, in many ways, to help build collective understanding, and to facilitate the challenges in communication that can occur when contexts and cultures collide.

One way designers are being asked to do this is through the versatile and complex genre of activity known as the workshop.


Chris Marmo

Design researcher and co-founder of Paper Giant, a strategic design studio based in Melbourne, Australia. Doctor of anthropology, designerly intents.

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