The installation, designed by Future Earth Systems, looks to foster collaborative working using “systems thinking”, an approach which encourages problem-solvers to look at the forces impacting an issue in an effort to remedy it more effectively.

systems thinking container warehouse

A 40-foot shipping container in South Australia is the centrepiece of a plan to take on Australia’s toughest problems, with Dulux products playing a significant role in helping to create a new hub for community collaboration.

The Systems Thinking Container at Tonsley TAFE in Clovelly Park is a prototype space that aims to decode existing complex problems and challenges, like homelessness in Melbourne or managing diabetes in South Australia.

“Essentially, the Systems Thinking Container began as a bare bit of concrete, which has been adaptively used to produce something that is useful to the community and economy at scale,” says architect Chris Sampson from Future Earth Systems.

Fundamental to the success of the program was creating a space that enabled people to interact with problems in both analogue and digital formats; a feat made possible with the application of Dulux 101 Wash&Wear Low Sheen formula and DryErase paint.

Together, the products’ combined properties have transformed the space into a canvas for comments and ideas. Participants use markers to draw or write their suggestions on the container walls, which can then be wiped clean following each session, ready for the next flux of thoughts.

To ensure every idea leaves a lasting imprint beyond the session itself, this physical interaction with the space is bolstered by digital elements.

systems thinking container hallway

“The support from Dulux Australia has been fantastic as we have already got an ‘analogue’ and friendly way to interact,” continues Chris. “We are currently building on this by adding some initial digital-style interactivity features ‘inside the box’ using projection and sensors, which work in tandem with the Dulux DryErase and markers."

“Following each episode in the Systems Thinking Container, the written content is captured using an electronic sensor or photographic means. This lets us digest the information, make sense of people’s perspectives and ensures everyone’s input is valued as a result.”

Future Earth Systems is aiming to establish a network of these spaces, both physically in this ‘container’ form and also in online, augmented and virtual reality forms to offer people multiple ways to participate.

“The idea is that the physical prototype will be taken through a journey from being in the form of an industrial age icon (a shipping container) to being part of the digital age by incorporating technology,” concludes Chris.

Image credit: Future Earth Systems