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​Hames Sharley’s Head of Design Education in Practice, Professor Khoa Do, will be presenting a live webinar from Tokyo, Japan as part of Okamura’s ‘Empower and Inspire Quality of Work Life’ seminar on 16 February.

The session called ‘Seen in a New Light’ is a call to empower designers to lead others on the journey of discovery, rather than bear the burden of ideation in isolation.

Our environment poses a formidable force for today’s designers – a space where challenges are fluid, complex and far-reaching. However, our environment is also shared by a range of communities bound by the very challenges the designer is looking to solve. That’s where the role of the designer can really thrive.

By breaking with conventional boundaries, designers can become a ‘lighthouse’ – a facilitator that empowers others on a shared creative journey of discovery. Our world consists of multiple layers of communities at any one time that is bound by a common challenge or goal. Designers have an opportunity to rally these communities and empower them to co-create with designers, rather than ask designers to ideate in isolation.

As part of this session, Professor Khoa will unpack what it truly means for designers to be that lighthouse for their communities:

  • DESIGN: Designers today and into the near and far futures are not your traditional seekers of lightbulb moments, but instead, they are an emerging breed of designers driven by a sense of belonging to a progressively futurist design fraternity. They are proficient collaborators with data-driven, methodical, systematic thinking and thoughtful human-centred design. They are characterised as possessing the ability to illuminate new pathways in turbulent conditions, typifying lighthouse qualities 2. They seek their luminosity in the service of others with an incontrovertible moral pursuit of solutional sensibility.
  • CONTEXT: Our world is facing tremendous strain and tension from the uncertainties of tumultuous global events, with long-term impacts resonating from the global health crisis. The post-global health crisis: the new normal affirms the commitment and diligence required to stay ahead of the evolving variants of wicked problems on a worldwide scale. Developing generational resilience ensures the safeguarding against the crippling long-term effects that were, and still are, being felt across all corners of the globe.
  • RESEARCH: Now more than ever, the collective communities of design practice are more intrinsically integrated and transdisciplinary through research and practice; here, designers focus on innovating new applications to effectively provide for physical and psychological safety, well-being, and healing into all aspects of our society. The global health crisis has heightened our renewed appreciation for the importance of upscaling our investment in research into designing for spatial well-being.

“I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse. They were built only to serve.”

George Bernard Shaw
Khoa Do, Head of Design Education in Practice

Khoa Do, Head of Design Education in Practice

Professor Khoa Do is the Head of Design in Practice at Hames Sharley and is an internationally-recognised champion of empowering designers to collaborate and drive real, creative solutions to today’s ever-changing built environment challenges.

Professor Khoa works across both corporate, industry and academic spaces in an effort to encourage designers to test the constraints of conventional design practice and empower them to drive critical change for their local and global communities. Professor Khoa has led a range of internationally recognised, award-winning global research initiatives in his career and is an Adjunct Industry Professor of Architecture and Design at the Swinburne University of Technology. Professor Khoa has encouraged creative thinking to today’s challenges in a number of ways, including using his in-depth knowledge of emerging global pedagogy in international education and commercial market opportunities, having established academic and industry relationships across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taiwan.