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GOOD19 was the most recent edition in a series of international conferences named the ‘Great Outdoors Of Design’. This event brings design researchers from all around the world together to reflect on their research practices, by encouraging them to look at their own practice with a new perspective. This year the conference was focused on the topic of Considerate Transformation.

This theme touches on how design research cultivates a strong collaborative effort that involves ongoing experimentation, reflection and learning. Empathic conversations between design researchers, research participants and organisations in search for a deeper understanding of needs, preferences and motivations are at the core of creating meaningful change. Throughout the conference special attention was paid at connecting issues from the fields of Care, Work and Planet to all the workshops and keynote speeches.

The two keynote speakers for GOOD19 were

Sophie Thomas from Thomas.Matthews (London) and Richard van der Laken from What Design Can Do (Amsterdam).

Sophie shared her experience of becoming a design activist. She described how she developed her sustainable design practice, and gradually focused her attention specially on awareness of the impact of plastics & waste. Her development as a designer, a researcher and an activist inspired the audience to reflect on their own practices and how their believes as researchers can shape the world and the design team they work with.

Richard told the story that sparked What Design Can Do, an international platform showcasing the impact of design on transforming society in cities around the world: Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, New Delhi and Nairobi. His presentation triggered discussion around the differences between local and global design practice and the challenges and the opportunities we face together as design researchers around the global.

The conference programme also consisted of two sets of collaborative workshop sessions on the following topics:

  • Designing (and surviving) for the end of life
  • Fostering local narratives to build resilience
  • Redefining communities through entrepreneurship
  • Encouraging behaviours that make meaningful work
  • Facing global climate challenges with local interventions
  • Inspiring reflective practices among professionals
  • Converting stakeholder resistance into engagement
  • Empowering people to take charge in care

Each session was hosted by REACH partners from different locations, sharing stories and insights they encounter in their current design research practices (see details of the program here). The sessions were designed to encourage multi-directional conversations amongst the participants, based on the input provided by the hosts. The sessions sparked stimulative and reflective conversations amongst the researchers. The participants were able to share their own research stories and discuss on a constructive basis what their role is and can be.

Many participants described this event as the most inspirational event they had in the year.  One specifically described it as ‘a safe place for design researchers to share their honest reflections on not only the work they do but also on the principles underpinning how they do it’.

The GOOD conference is not a regular conference that comes around every year at a set time, it is organised by the REACH network, but the time and location of the next conference are not set in time. If you are interested in joining us for the next conference, please follow us on Twitter.


GOOD = Great Outdoors of Design

GOOD conferences bring together design researchers from around the world to share experiences and jointly reflect on organisations, economies and societies in transition – and particularly on the strategic roles, design researchers play in helping to make these changes happen.

More information on the program





Who is it for?

GOOD19 is the perfect event for early adopters and thought leaders with an interest in engaging with the latest thoughts and views on global design research. They will encounter inspiring examples, engaging discussions and new ideas. Previous audiences included design and research practitioners (both in-house and consultants), managers, academics, and students – especially early adopters who are keen to exchange their points of view with other thought leaders in the field. All benefitting from reflective practices that sharpen their thinking towards important implications for their practice.





We are very excited to share our dream line-up of speakers for GOOD ‘19. These inspiring speakers have
expertise in different domains and contexts all over the world, and are pioneers in the field of design research Our line-up isn’t yet complete so check back as we’ll be adding more names, and announce our schedule soon.

Read more on the speakers…




When and where?

GOOD19 is a full day conference, taking place on 27 June in London at Plexal – the new innovation centre at the Olympic Parc. This venue is a good fit for our offering  a mix of presentations on international case studies and extensive discussions in small groups among the audience.

More information on the location



Who is organising this?

The conference is supported by REACH network. At the previous GOOD conferences, our speakers came from all corners of the world, including Europe, Asia and North and South America. Follow us on twitter to always be fully up to date! @GOOD19_London   @reachnetworkHCD