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Co-making workshops

  • Client: The Social Studio

  • Requirements:
    - Connecting people together
    - Work collaboratively
    - Promote TSS

  • Tool use:



Co-making workshop


Melbourne, Australia


June 2023


As an international student, it was the first time I was about 7000km far away from my home. I came to a brand new city and urgently needed to rebuild everything here, including finding a place to live and building relationships with roommates, classmates, tutors, and everyone I met daily. Everything went okay until the last year of my bachelor's degree when I lost my lovely grandmother, who had raised me since I was only three. Unfortunately, I could not fly back due to the pandemic, and it took me nearly 8 hours to go back home. It was too late for me to see her for the very last time. Three months after her passing, I found out I was already in a severe stage of clinical depression, with anxiety and sleeping disorders. I started to overthink, and everything was out of control. My psychologist and counsellor suggested that I switch my attention from regretting and self-blaming to growing something like plants or flowers, so I could better understand life's growth. Even plants or flowers, have a growth cycle - from a bud to blossom and then withering. When I first stepped into the social studio, the vibe of the studio and the people in it made me feel comfortable. It is a friendly community/space that welcomes people from different cultural backgrounds and gives them chances to have an education, and most importantly, rebuild/restart their lives in Australia. This special feeling immediately built the bridge/affinity between me and the social studio. It reminded me of when I first came to Australia and tried to rebuild my life here, searching for a place that I could regard as my home. From my personal experience to the social purpose of TSS, it smoothly inspired me with two of the core ideas - stories and rebuilding. We all have stories, and what kind of stories lead or teach us to become a particular personality. Because of these stories, we may move around the world, may need to rebuild a home, or even a community in a new place. Through my research on the social studio, I have seen several artist interviews. One of the artists, Lisa Hu, inspired me with my last core idea - imperfection. She mentioned that some of her favourite design pieces are the ones with the most "mistakes". Since we are human beings, we make mistakes, and there is no such thing or person as perfect. But as a designer/design student, we try so hard to put so much effort into making things perfect. In order to dive deeper into this concept, I conducted interviews and meetings with various designers and artists as part of my research process and data collection. Phong is one of the artists who will be taking part in the Cross-Stitch exhibition. When we talked about "imperfection," he mentioned that from his perspective, imperfection already exists everywhere in our daily lives. However, he emphasised that imperfection is not necessarily a bad or negative thing, since it allows us to perceive the passage of time and to try new things. The way he explained imperfection was something that I had never thought about before. Our conversation completely elevated my ideas to a new level. During the entire two-hour interview, I gained a lot of knowledge not only about art, but also about how he perceives and conceives his practice in this modern world, which is full of wealth and rich information about the topic of imperfection, his journey, and how I can approach my final design outcome. Therefore, having conversations with different artists is a fantastic way to gain knowledge and should continue in this project. Then I came up with this design question: "How might I develop a co-design process that utilises co-making to access/surface/reveal stories of 'rebuilding'/ 'making' home in a new place?" By adding a co-making section to the conversation, the artist and I will have a more comfortable space to talk and share stories. Additionally, depending on the artist's specific interest in a particular art practice, I will prepare a material kit that suits their design practice, so they can have more freedom when going through the co-making/co-design section. 01


- Reaching out to 12 different artists. 

- Package design of the material kit itself.

- Elevating up this project from my personal experience to showcase the social purpose of TSS.

Final Outcome:

Final documentary

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