Knowing Through Doing: Teaching Design Thinking Panel Discussion

Design thinking shapes responsive, problem-solving, entrepreneurial thinkers and doers who can rise to the challenges and opportunities of complex issues; it’s an approach that has benefits beyond creative and technology-driven disciplines. Understanding and teaching the knowledge required for design thinking is akin to learning to swim from a book.
On April 1 2023 at MPavilion, the Robin Boyd Foundation presented an advocacy panel of design professionals and education leaders who discussed how we can better understand and teach the skills required for design thinking in primary and secondary school contexts.


Louise Wright, Director, Baracco & Wright Architects / Practice Professor, MADA Monash University

Louise Wright (PhD) is an Architect and a Director of Baracco+Wright Architects. She is interested in a role for architecture that can extend its relationship with the natural world towards one that supports all life. She designs and builds, and in the laboratory B+W+ researches, writes and speculates architectural possibilities through collaboration with ecologists, landscape architects and artists. She has recently been appointed a Practice Professor at Monash School of Architecture, MADA.


Andrew Atchison, Education Manager, MPavilion

Andrew Atchison’s work in education focuses on the power of the direct encounter with works of architecture, art and design. His pedagogical approach involves providing learners with opportunities to experience new and unfamiliar forms and ideas within a supportive environment to stimulate curiosity, experimentation and inquiry. Andrew has worked with students across early learning, primary, secondary, tertiary and adult education contexts and produced resources, designed workshops and delivered educational programs. Currently, he is the Education Manager at MPavilion, and before this, he held the role of Artist Educator at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. 

Leire Asensio-Villoria, Co-Director ADD+F / Senior lecturer in Urban Design and Architecture, University of Melbourne

Leire Asensio is a senior urban design and architecture lecturer and Co-Director of the Advance Digital Design + Fabrication (ADD+F) at the University of Melbourne School of Design. Previously, Leire was a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (2010-2017), taught design and theory at Cornell University’s department of architecture (2006-2010) and Landscape Urbanism at the graduate design school of the Architectural Association, London (2004-2007). Professionally, Leire has worked within international design practices, including Zaha Hadid Architects and Arup. Since 2002, Leire has collaborated with David Mah as asensio_mah, as editors, writers, and producers of architectural and creative works.

Monique Dalli, Director of Learning & Growth, Xavier College / National President, Design and Technology Teacher Association

Monique Dalli is the President of the Design and Technology Teachers Association of Australia (DATTA), Director of Learning and Growth at Xavier College in Kew and a Secondary Teacher of Design and Technologies. Monique also works in Initial Teacher Education at Southern Cross University as a Unit Writer, Assessor and Casual Academic.

Peter Murphy, Lecturer and Leader of Design and Technologies Education

Peter Murphy trained as an industrial designer and worked as a retail designer before moving into design education in schools. He is currently working in Technologies and STEM initial teacher education at La Trobe, Southern Cross and Australian Catholic Universities and lectures in Industrial Design at RMIT University. Peter is also a design education consultant for schools across the country. He created a Teaching Design Masterclass, which he delivered in Victoria and Queensland, resulting in upskilling over 150 out-of-field teachers. Peter is a former state and national president of the Design and Technology Teachers’ associations (DATTA Vic & DATTA Aus).