Fireside Chat: Co-design

Event Information

On 2nd September 2020, we hosted our second “Fireside Chat” on Co-design. The Fireside Chat featured special guests Larissa Hjorth & Robyn Martin who reflected on the benefits of co-design, which underpins everything FSSI does.

Co-design helps to create products, services and programs by bringing stakeholders in as ‘design partners’, giving a voice to those who are often excluded from the design process. Decision-making, design, information sharing and project planning are among the equal roles between trained designers and design partners.

The valuable role of co-design in recognised in VCOSS’s 10-Year Community Services Industry Plan and co-design underpins everything FSSI does. We’re seeing the rise of the use of co-design through the social service sector and co-design approaches are more important than ever as we tackle an unprecedented crisis that is impacting on public health, society and the economy.

“Thank you for keeping us intellectually stimulated during these difficult times.”

“Great session and speakers.”

“Very thoughtful and thought provoking discussion.”


Larissa Hjorth

Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth is a digital ethnographer, socially-engaged artist, and director of the Design & Creative Practice (DCP) research platform at RMIT University.

Larissa has two decades experience leading collaborative digital and mobile media projects that innovative methods to understand intergenerational and cross-cultural relationships around play, loss and intimacy. She has lead 20 national and international research projects in locations such as Japan, South Korea, China and Australia.

Larissa has published over 100 publications on the topic—recent publications include Haunting Hands (with Cumiskey, Oxford Uni Press), Understanding Social Media (with Hinton, 2nd Edition, Sage), Creative Practice Ethnographies (with Harris, Jungnickel and Coombs, Rowman & Little) and Ambient Play (with Richardson, MIT Press).

Robyn Martin

Robyn Martin commenced Social Work practice in 1990. Since that time, she has practised, taught and researched in trauma, violence, abuse, homelessness and critical mental health. She is currently the Associate Dean for Social Work and Human Services at RMIT and commenced in this role in December 2019.

Robyn is particularly interested in creating the conditions for the meaningful involvement of service users and their supporters in service delivery, research and teaching. She has co-led university-based projects which bring lived experience educators into the academy. This work has influenced future health and human service graduates in their approach to and valuing of lived experience. Robyn is a critical social work academic and her research and teaching is informed by post-structuralist, feminist and intersectional theories and concepts.