Innovation School MDes Design Innovation & Citizenship

Pat Joyce (he/him)

My approach to design is informed by my background in psychology, sociology, and politics, as well as my experiences working in labour and service industries in Canada, Australia, and the UK. To me, design is the art of detail. My design interventions delve into the detail of people’s interactions with and understandings of civic and social systems in order to bring people closer to the issues that affect their lives.

Raised in a rural, working-class region of Canada, I am conscious of the space between the academy and the many different types of people that scholarship endeavours to serve. I believe that design’s power lies in its ability to bring people into the fold and bridge the gap between academia and the everyday. In this ethos, I see my role as designer as that of translator: facilitating knowledge-sharing to understand the ways people and systems interact and using this knowledge to design co-creative processes that prompt speculation and imagination of alternatives.

Growing Masculinities: Speculation, Reflexivity, and Masculine Spaces
Dancing with the Past: Connecting Communities Across Time

Growing Masculinities: Speculation, Reflexivity, and Masculine Spaces

This project, a feminist-influenced exploration of masculinities, aims to create spaces and provide tools for men to contemplate, critique, and contest normative ideals of masculinity and to engage men in the development of feminist blueprints for healthy masculinities.

Using a speculative design methodology and iterative process through a series of pilot workshops, I propose a method that serves to foster reflexive conversations among men on the nature and experience of masculinity. I go on to discuss the potential evolution of this method toward a multi-modal exploration of masculine experience, underpinned by a theoretical understanding of masculinities as multi-dimensional and dynamic. Through the use of co-creative engagement tools, this project endeavours to create spaces and offer reflexive tools for men to contemplate, critique, and contest normative masculinity.

Workshop Prompts

Using a speculative design framework, participants were asked to imagine and describe a world based on alternatives to traditional masculine norms.


By analysing the different ways participants engaged with workshop materials, I created six personas that reflect the various ways men engage with conversations about gender and masculinity.

Visualisation of Reflexivity and Expansion of Male Identity

This visual captures the ways by which my engagement method expands the ways for men to contemplate and discuss the experience of masculinity within the context of a masculine space, allowing for an imagining of alternative forms of masculine identity.

Workshop Participants

I partnered with Andy's Man Club and Men Matter Scotland, two men's mental health support groups, to pilot my design engagement. Using a values-based approach, participants were invited to describe a world rooted in the principles embodied by these organisations in contrast to messages about what 'real men' 'ought to do.'

Modality Matrix

By mapping the various components of my workshop by axes of group-individual and discursive-generative, I could see how future workshops might engage different types of participants in speculation about gender and masculine norms and the co-design of future engagements.

Project Process Journal

In endeavouring to create spaces and offer reflexive tools to contemplate, critique, and contest normative masculinity, this method engages men in creating multiple stories about masculine identity. Through its methodology, textural elements, and various modalities, this method and future iterations thereof use design innovation techniques to open a conversation about the future of masculinity among men who experience it. The method proffered through this research serves as but a small seed with the ambition of 'growing masculinities.'


The pandemic has offered an opportunity to re-think the ways in which citizens and organisations serve communities. The primary driver of community resiliency, tested during successive lockdowns in the UK and worldwide, is the presence of thick networks tied to community anchor organisations with the capacity to support citizen-led endeavours.

Inspired by the emergence of mutual aid and informal support networks in communities throughout Glasgow, I used a speculative making process informed by expert interviews to imagine ‘post-pandemic citizenship’ and design vignettes of five anchor organisations within a speculative ‘wise city’ framed by principles of feminist solidarity economies.

Speculative Future Workspace

Using paper prototyping, I designed a homeworking space for a character in a speculative community with a solidarity economy at its core.


In designing this speculative community, I imagined the values its citizens might hold - crucially, interdependence and collectivism.

Speculative Diary

Imagining what my character, Pedro, might have in his diary informed the direction of my design. My research had shown the importance of resilient community organisations and my process of speculative making reflected this facet of post-pandemic citizenship.


Takes a Village

The foundation of Phronopolis is a shift in the delivery of childcare, from private to community-based. In my engagements with leaders of informal community organisations, childcare emerged as the largest factor in allowing parents, particularly mothers, to participate in community-based work.


Ours by Hours


The Project Table

These anchor organisations exist within an ecosystem of communal decision-making and authority, supported by The Project Table.

Dancing with the Past: Connecting Communities Across Time

‘Dancing with the Past’ is a local engagement tool to create spaces for interaction with historical and contemporary local knowledge expressed through performance and movement. Engagement with a local community, its people, and its history creates a sense of connection to place that allows and encourages long-term thinking.

When people lack a sense of connection, particularly a connection to present place, it becomes more difficult to consider and make decisions with the long term in mind. The sharing of local knowledge can foster this sense of connection but can be inaccessible to those not already embedded in communities, making it challenging to ‘place’ oneself in the long-term future.

‘Dancing with the Past’ fosters community engagement through dance, using archived footage projected via multi-dimensional techniques to allow new types of intergenerational interaction within public spaces.

Values Statement

Our team began by brainstorming to create a set of values that articulated our vision for a world wherein people and communities think and act for the long term.

Research Findings

Through a series of semi-structured interviews, we noted a relationship between long-term thinking, sustainability, and community. People told us that thinking about the long term - or about the future at all - was overwhelming because they felt powerless to do anything as individuals that would last for a long time.

Thematic Analysis

We used thematic analysis to begin to zone in on areas from our research that had potential for design interventions. One of the themes that emerged was the relationship between long-term thinking in communities and the ability for those communities to hold and transfer knowledge and tradition over generations.

Mapping Resiliency-Building

We came to understand that the ability to access long-term thinking is contingent on a sense of resiliency and that one way to foster such resiliency is through connection to a local community - not a city or town, but a neighbourhood or block.

Dancing with the Past: Design Concept

Inspired by the experience of one of our group members in traditional dance, we developed a concept for a hyper-local community engagement using archival footage and a low-fidelity projection method, allowing for real-time engagement with a place and its history.