Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) in Australia focus on themes of national interest, such as low-carbon living (LCL). Such projects engage interdisciplinary teams of academics, industry, and government and occasionally design disciplines. A key aim of such collaborations is to explore industry and government relevant research with a view to commercialization. In the interdisciplinary CRC LCL project described in this article, the role of media, intermediaries, and other social networks, as well as the relational notion of trust, proved to be central tropes. Through the co-design outcomes of the project involving a range of stakeholders and students, the author made such concepts tangible and reflected on the critical arguments for and against media as vector for sustainable renovation. In this article, the author argues for the multiple impacts of non-commercial design outputs for design research, the role of prototypes as arguments, and integration of student engagement for situated learning.
situated learning theory; social networks; research institutes
co-design; Collaborative Research Centre; design research; home renovation