Design for complex civic, social and cultural challenges to support equitable and impactful positive change

The Civic and Social Design Research Group seeks to advance contemporary thinking and practice through design research, addressing the complex civic, social and cultural challenges faced by society, and realising equitable, impactful, and sustainable outcomes that support positive change.

Working collaboratively, the research group seek to  

  • co-create new knowledge that is representative of and relevant to diverse communities in society. 
  • work across and between professional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries to support and engender knowledge exchange. 
  • explore the potential of design to innovate, create, and embed new solutions that address civic and social challenges faced by society. 
  • advance contemporary thinking and practice through socially responsible and ethical design.



  • Co-Design in Academia, Leigh-Anne Hepburn. Brown Equity Research Grant, USYD, 2022-2023 
  • Brain, Mind and Mallett Street, Leigh-Anne Hepburn, Chris Smith, Donald McNeill. Funded collaboration ADP & BMC 2021-2023 
  • Building a Resilient Future, Leigh-Anne Hepburn. Royal Academy of Engineers, 2019-2022 

Community resilience draws on the ability of communities to respond to challenges faced, taking meaningful and deliberate collective action. This project seeks to build knowledge and practice on community resilience through design and education.