Mr Domenic Svejkar1, Kate Elton1, Bridget Malcolm1, Catharine Pruscino1, Mariana Zafeirakopoulos1
1Design Innovation Research Centre, Ultimo, Australia
Respect.Now.Always. is an Australia-wide campaign to address sexual assault and harassment within universities. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has taken a proactive stance and established a Student Consultative Group and a Senior Working Group to address this issue. The UTS Design Innovation Research Centre (DI:rc) was engaged to understand diverse UTS student perspectives on sexual violence and identify student-centred opportunities for prevention and support.
DI:rc developed insights on UTS student experiences through a participatory design research approach. Reframing the engagements to be participatory experiences, rather than being simpler user-centred research interactions, enabled students to engage in two-way dialogues. In turn, this approach strengthened relationships within the UTS community and enabled perspectives to shift. This unique design research approach was made possible through careful work establishing trust with senior stakeholders, and leads the way for more novel activations to engage the community in preventing sexual assault and harassment.
Domenic Svejkar is a Strategic Designer working at the UTS Design Innovation Research Centre with a multidisciplinary background across Service Design, Engineering, and Creative/Entertainment Industries. He has a particular interest in social impact design, as well as sculptural installation work, music, and audiovisual projection, having exhibited in events such as Vivid Sydney and Sculpture by the Sea Bondi.