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Keynote: Articulatory, Respectful Service Design

Prof. Norman Sheehan, a Wiradjuri man, and Dr.Tristan Schultz, a Gamilaraay man, engage in a dialogue about the role of Indigenous Knowledge as articulatory, respectful service design. Through a selection of visual patterns they contemplate how service design requires taking an ontological turn, to propose ways of being and becoming, that respects knowledge of intelligible revealing patterns in environments. This is as valid as are any minds, where patterns reveal in their own time and place through human and more-than-human designs. The speakers set the stakes for a service design in the context of plurality and systemic wicked problems to argue that designing radically new social and political patterns is going to require re-inscribing relational ways of being. This means opening up options beyond the suite of knowledge acquired under the rubric of the modernity/coloniality. They share where in their enmeshed practices, which span education, Indigenous Knowledge, futures thinking and design, this re-inscription might begin.

Conference overlay: Patterning Place


Patterning Place is a confluence of perspectives and an opportunity to see intelligible revealing of patterns.


In respecting the aliveness of Country that ServDes.2020 is hosted on, guests are invited to be in a respectful, relational way of being to reflect on and articulate the diverse contributions as patterns of relationships. It requires a re-orientation to always be in dialogue with knowing that lives within and embedded in Country, revealing itself to us to listen and observe. This means to regard as valid this knowing that lives within the visual relations and depend on it to situate us with place, during the conference. This is an Indigenous ontological framework that respects knowledge being offered by relationships between collective bodies and Country. We encourage guests to recognise difference from a Western ontology that posits that knowledge derives from individual humans extracting it from inert matter.


Throughout the conference, guests are asked to carry and engage with cards with questions on social and political patterns. How are you related to the being of designing? How does it move over the conference? Between presentations and workshops, guests are invited to Patterning Place to offer their cards and cumulatively build visual dialogues. Here, the collection of cards offers a reading into the relational patterns that emerges. In turn, participants are encouraged to experience and transform their perceptions each time by being in dialogue with visual patterns that designs back on them in revealing ways. This is important for recognising visual patterns of service design in a context of plurality, in respecting what has been revealed on Country and accommodate other patterns offered to us by other Countries in their time and place too.

Student Forum Keynote:

An imperative for systemic transitions: Complexity - in time for change


Mark Strachan MDesRCA, FRSA

Mark is a designer and educator who is passionate about, and committed to, interdisciplinary collaborative design and strategic development.  He draws upon many years in industry, academia and consultancy where he has extensive experience in systems, services and product design & development.  Mark has a strong commitment to social change and sustainability, and chairs two non-for-profit organisations.

Opening and closing performance by Wiradjuri soprano Shauntai Batzke

Wiradjuri soprano Shauntai Batzke is one of Australia’s leading vocalists and a major emerging compositional voice in the Australian art music scene, migrating across genres. ServDes.2020 is absolutely thrilled to have Shauntai open Day 1 with a welcome song in Wurundjeri / Boon wurrung, and close the conference on Day 4 in a performance in her own Wiradjuri language. 


Starting out as a singer songwriter in Inspirational Soul & Gospel, Shauntai has now embarked on a career in the world of opera, classical music and composition and theatre making. She made her operatic debut at the Sydney Opera House in 2010 in Pecan Summer, written by Deborah Cheetham AO, and featured in the role of “Old Alice” in 2011, 2012 & 2014. In 2014 and 2015 Batzke was the proud recipient of the Harold Blair Scholarship with the Melba Opera Trust after which she was invited by Belle Arti to New York in 2015 and 2016 for further training. Other productions include Forgiveness (Monash University), Stand By Your Woman (Arts Centre Melbourne), The Beginning of Nature, (WOMADelaide 2016 with Australian Dance Theatre; RICERCAR (Present Tense Ensemble); Fidelio (Melbourne Opera); Showboat, and Ragtime (The Production Company), and Corrugation Road (Black Swan Theatre). In 2019, Shauntai was a featured emerging composer at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and was commissioned by the festival to create two new song cycles, drawing on Wiradjuri heritage and First Nations languages, which received their world premieres to critical acclaim at the festival’s opening and closing concerts and most recently in February this year Shauntai made her Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sidney Myer Music Bowl debut singing Deborah Cheetham AO's musical acknowledgement of country Long Time Living Here in the language of the Boon Wurrung.