Terry Irwin & Laurene Vaughan: Mapping Transition



Mapping Transition is an initial exploration of how the Transition  Design framework developed by Terry Irwin, Gideon Kossoff and Cameron Tonkinwise can provide an architecture for exploring the complexities of forced migration and the social and cultural dimensions of this. In particular, it embraces the temporal nature of displacement and the deep cultural and social aspects of identity and the experience and manifestation of place. Realized in the gallery, Mapping Transition is a live exploration of theory and a design proposition that will seek to envision the temporal nature of forced migration, and how vernacular cultural heritage, practices and traditions from the past (home) can provide a framework for transitioning into unknown lands, comprised of new and unfamiliar ways. This is not a new phenomenon, throughout history millions of people across the globe have been forced to leave home, to seek safety in unfamiliar lands and cultures; and it continues as an outcome of power struggles and climate change.


Terry Irwin has been a designer for over 40 years and has taught design at the University level since 1986. She was a founding partner and creative director of the transdisciplinary design firm MetaDesign with offices in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Zurich. There she directed projects for clients such as Apple Computer, Nissan Motors, Berlin Transport Authority, Audi, Ernst & Young, Sony and Samsung among others. In 2004 Terry joined the faculty at Schumacher College and taught design thinking. In 2009 she moved to Pittsburgh to become Head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University where she led faculty in a 2-1/2 year redesign to place sustainability at the heart of all programs and curricula. In fall of 2014 the School launched all new programs and introduced Transition Design as an area of doctoral study and as a key strand in both undergraduate and graduate curricula. She is actively engaged in helping other colleges and universities to integrate Transition Design into courses and curricula. Terry holds an MFA in Design from the Allgemeine Kunstgewerbeschule in Basel, Switzerland and an MSc in Holistic Science from Plymouth University/Schumacher College, England.

Dr. Laurene Vaughan is Professor of Design at RMIT University. She is an artist, writer and designer who is fascinated by the ways that people design and make place. Her practice spans a spectrum of embodied domains of making and performance, from walking interventions to the design of collaborative digital performances. She is a founding member of the Arts and Cartography Commission in the International Cartographic Association. her recent projects include The Stony Rises Project, a curatorial exploration of vernacular practices, immigration, modes of dwelling and the crafting of landscape in the making of place. This included an associated book Designing Place (Melbourne Books, 2010).