Gentle Design

In Gentle Design, we take refuge from the fray; away from performative pressures and scaling ever and ever up in learning and teaching. In a world besieged by the fast and the loud, the Gentle Design track invites you to linger in a quieter, slower, more careful contemplation of our learning and teaching ways. We offer you time to consider the possibilities inherent in the humble power of gentleness, and to explore how gentleness might be expressed in our existing educative practices.

Gentle is the common ground we start on, as we unravel our thoughts towards philosophies and pedagogies that help us say what we mean, and bring it—gently—into our practices. In Gentle Design, we offer new starting places and approaches with multiple ‘practice pools’ that curate dimensions of gentle such as place, pace, silence, humility, gratitude, listening, nature, quiet, play, stewardship, compassion.

This track is not a path, but a landscape within which to wander, appreciate, and to wonder. Start where you like, and go where you like, letting yourself be drawn. In each collection of gentle ideas, we offer inspiration and practices that invite you into a quieter, slower pace for thinking about learning, and designing learning. Following your curiosity, you may be taken back to timeless pedagogies of place, or the defining moments we find ourselves in now, or leaning forward into imagining future ways of learning.

In the calm centre, Angela and Nicola will wait for you to come back with your thoughts, questions, insights, and imaginings. Here, together, we will be encouraged to distill, from our individual explorations, some common-ground, usable ‘living’ principles of gentle design that can be taken with you into your ongoing practices.

This track is ideal for:



Angela Brown
Angela Brown is a Learning Designer at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.
Nicola Parkin
Dr Nicola Parkin likes questions, enigmas, and human depths. She is a higher education practitioner who locates her work in the difficult spaces between teaching, learning, professional practice, philosophy, design, and creative practices. Sometimes she just stumbles into the borderless worlds betwe…
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