The Designer as Explorer

The Designer as Explorer was a 3 day Design Thinking Camp for all first year students in the Design School at the at the University of Technology Sydney, initiated and directed in May 2011 by Lizzie Muller. Since the initial cap in 2011 it has been run  every year.

Caption: This video was produced by Object Gallery as part of a focus on Design Thinking in issue 61 of Object magazine (

Design Thinking at UTS is a core first year subject that aims to give all first year students in the Design School an insight into the nature of design practice. In 2011 the subject brought together more than 360 students from courses in Interior and Spatial Design, Visual Communications, Industrial Design and Fashion and Textiles for a three day design thinking camp on Cockatoo Island.

The camp emphasised an exploratory and experimental approach to Design, underpinned by the development of core skills such as observation, documentation, ideation, problem framing and collaboration. Immersed in the natural and historical context of Cockatoo Island the students worked in teams on two tasks, the Mapping Challenge and the Inhabitation Challenge.