University of Technology Sydney

89151 Design for Change: Specific Retail Environments

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade and marks


In this studio students are required to apply various methods of problem exploration and design research to develop solutions to a current crime problem for real retail business clients. Students work on real projects, often in teams and always supported by experts in the fields of socially responsive design, environment design, crime prevention, and retail planning.

The studio process requires students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the range of commercial, organisational and community drivers in the retail context, including loss prevention. The challenge is to develop a design approach that addresses the various drivers, while also providing an environment less prone to crime. Working with real clients in a commercial setting requires students to develop their team and project management skills in a situation dependent on the professional delivery of design outcomes.

Through an applied project with a large retail store client (supermarket, department store or hardware store), the subject builds students' skills and knowledge about how to research and understand crime problems. DOC methods of problem exploration and reframing are reviewed and applied to the client's problem. Through this studio students start to develop key skills and understanding of how design processes can be employed to develop innovative solutions to crime problems.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Obtain experience and skills in collaborating with real clients to explore, design and develop solutions that create better retail environments with less crime.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of design research, crime statistics and offender modus operandi in a variety of retail environments.
3. Gain knowledge and experience in using the exploration of frames, themes and paradoxes in a problem context to develop new understanding and solutions to crime problems.
4. Develop skills and understanding in communicating design concepts to clients that includes a narrative of how the proposed design concepts respond to framing of the problem.

Teaching and learning strategies

Students are introduced to the structure and key concepts of this subject through weekly specialist lectures and communications with stakeholders. These concepts are supported and developed through weekly collaborative workshops and research conducted by students during site visits.

Students are expected to respond to progressive critique on their projects through their design work, particularly critique received through client feedback.

Content (topics)

In this subject students work with real retail sector clients and stakeholders to develop ways of creating vibrant, safe, sustainable and profitable retail environments. With stakeholders and tutors, students will investigate current practice, design research and the retail and criminology literature to develop an understanding of the retail context. Through site visits and collaboration with a client, students a thorough understanding of a design problem for large retail site. In groups students will then explore widely how their understanding of the design problem can be used to develop design concepts that address the brief and promote vibrant, safe, sustainable and profitable retail environments. These concepts will be presented and further developed with the clients.

Minimum requirements

Active participation in group work, and other studio activities. Successful completion of assessment tasks.

Required texts

Clarke, R., & Newman, G. (2005). Designing Out Crime from Products and Systems: Crime Prevention Studies, Vol. 18: Monsey (New York): Criminal Justice Press.

Dorst, K. (2006). Design problems and design paradoxes. Design issues, 22(3), 4-17.

Gamman, L. and Hughes, B. (2003). ‘“Thinking thief”: Designing out misuse; abuse and “criminal” aesthetics’. Ingenia Journal, 15(February), 36–43.

Recommended texts

Camacho Duarte, O., Lulham, R., Kaldor, L. Olga (accepted for publication) Co-designing Out Crime, CoDesign - International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts

Kimiecik, R. C. (1995). Loss prevention guide for retail businesses (Vol. 25): John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Lulham, R., Camacho Duarte, O., Dorst, K., Kaldor, L. (in press 2012) Designing a counterterrorism
bin In P.Ekblom (Ed) From Research to Realisation: Designing out crime from products. Crime
Prevention Studies (27). Boulder.: Lynne Rienner.

Norman, D. A. (2004). Emotional design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things: Basic Civitas Books.

Sennewald, C. A., & Christman, J. H. (2008). Retail crime, security, and loss prevention: an encyclopedic reference: Butterworth-Heinemann.