Personal, political, professional

A practice in transition


  • Niki WALLACE University of South Australia



transition design, practice transitions, transformation, designer politics, power


It is widely agreed that in order to contribute to transitions towards sustainability, both practitioners and design itself must also transition. This paper presents findings from the first two years of transition in my Australian-based design practice. The paper explores what this transition has required of me personally, politically, and professionally, and draws on cases from my PhD. The PhD and paper are both part of an analytic auto-ethnography of my practice’s transition from ‘making greener things’ towards design for transitions. The projects discussed use ethnography, action research and reflective practices in their temporal approaches. This paper explores how slower methods such as transition design and autonomous design can extend the political reach of a design practice and discusses sacrifice and the financial stabilisation that comes from enveloping old practices within the new. The analysis presented here also reflects on my experiences practicing design for transitions and on data collected through participant engagement.




How to Cite

WALLACE , N. . (2019). Personal, political, professional: A practice in transition. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management, 2(1), 340–351.