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.common design studio 


The Common Design Studio (CDS) is an online intensive project that introduces students and staff from different Higher Education Institutions to transnational and transdisciplinary practices and collaboration, situated in pluralistic and global ways of designing together whilst exploring subject-driven opportunities for online learning. 


This year 187 students and 15 staff from four different institutions (UAL/LCC, RMIT Melbourne, Elisava and RMIT Vietnam) worked together on the issues surrounding ‘Air’ in this collection of Recipes for Action - Ideas for Humanity, A Cookbook for Planetary Health. 


This the fifth iteration of CDS, and this year the Studio continued to address non-trivial issues that connect participants in different parts of the world through a concern for planetary health and more than simply survival. This year we looked at our relationship with our imminent environment through the lens of more-than-human centered design. In mixed groups, we worked towards design interventions and propositions that take the form of recipes to be collected and shared as part of the Planetary Health Cookbook - looking to positive futures made possible through knowledge sharing and design as a means of action. 


In 2019, the Anthropocene Working group, made up of geologists, climate scientists and ecologists voted on the naming of a new epoch (geological time): The Anthropocene. It is proposed that the anthropocene is defined by and begins when human activities start to have a significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems to the extent where human activity is altering the planets make up (geology). Signifiers for the alteration are for example the presence of radioactive isotopes released by atomic bombs, carbon dioxide, concrete and aluminium manufacture and plastic production and use. These human practices cause severe climate change and are threatening biodiversity.


The planetary shift brings consequences for all of us and as designers we have a responsibility to act, propose, challenge and share. Over the period of two weeks students and staff collaboratively worked together on the Planetary Health Cookbook, populated with radical interventions, design challenges, guides, advice, hacks, tips, tutorials, instruction sets, individual stories, coping mechanisms, training exercises, manifestos and collective actions; recipes for people to act individually or collectively. 


 studio partners 


Design School 
London College of Communication 


RMIT Melbourne

School of Design 
RMIT University 



School of Design

& Engineering 


RMIT Vietnam 

School of Communication 
& Design


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