Project Portfolio

Links to resources and materials for some projects of mine (since about 2004):

Current work at the intersection of complexity thinking, capability approach, and design thinking

  • How to use the map of the social innovation (theory) landscape: Instructions for using this navigational tool for curious and metaphysically adventurous scholars and changemakers traveling through epistemological and ontological landscapes of 21st century. Forthcoming in Social Innovations Journal.
  • A Glossary for the Anthropocene: Capitalocene? Plantationocene? Cthulucene?@?&*?
    We need better words to help understand the global crises of climate, what elements of homo-sapiens/humanity got us here, and what to do next. Ongoing project. Help welcome!
    • Design Capabilities Everyone Changemaker: A manuscript elaborating on the intersections of the capability approach + design thinking as framing for design ‘thinking’ as capabilities for anyone to develop. Presented at the 2019 International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), Sept 2-4, 2019. Glasgow, UK. 
    • Navigating Complexity via Design: Presentation for the 2017 International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), Melbourne. The nature of complex systems and challenges calls for  design through prototyping to help navigate our way forward.
    • Design Krewe project with TopBoxFoods+Liberty’s Kitchen organizations to teach design thinking to a group of youth to help them address the food desert that is in New Orleans. Watch the short video on Fresh Food Access, by Design, put together by Tulane alum Jenn Miller and a few of the Design Krewe members:
    • Map of the Landscape of Social Innovation Theory: A hand-drawn sketch of a metaphorical territory of sea monsters… plus a long (60 page) narrative literature review that helps position design thinking and other tools and aspects of social innovation in an epistemological and ontological ‘map’, across mainstream liberal to European-to critical theory– to ecosystem-complexity-pluriversal approaches. Taylor Provocation paper #3.

    The Pluriverse and the future of design

    Social innovation theory and practice:

    The TAYNGO puzzle reflecting aspects of social innovation
    • Social Innovation Toolkit: a graduate course on system-thinking and design thinking. Get in touch for the syllabus.
    • The TAYNGO puzzle/pedagogical tool. This is an adaptation of the ancient Chinese game to teach social innovation principles and tools. See photo.  
    • The Design Canvas: A tabloid-size worksheet to support anyone learning design mindsets and methods in a short hands-on workshop or longer sprint.
    • Taylor Provocations #1, Bringing Design Thinking to a Changemaker Campus and Community, with M. Faughnan, 2018 (PROVOCATIONS-DT_ChangemakerCampus-_August_20180-Final
    • Taylor Provocation #2: Theory of Change-Making Download from Taylor Center website:
    • 2021: Taylor Provocation #3: A Map of the Landscape of Social Innovation> Download the PDF of the graphic and the separate 60 page literature review from:

    Projects related to designing to address climate change: 

    • Concept Note climate changing conversations, an A Studio In The Woods (ASITW) faculty-artist “Flint & Steel” residency with journalist Christy George, 2016
    • MurphyTEDxTU_DesignConversations  a TEDxTU 2012 (also a Youtube video)
    • River Road Cocktail, a visual story about a “design krewe” practice (with Amy Biedermann and Jordan Stewart) for the non-profit activist organization, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. The aim was to develop a bike tour along the Mississippi River Road to educate about the “plantations to plants” history of the region and environmental impacts of the oil and gas industry.

    Hybrid Technologies project on cellphones and kitchen gardens in rural Africa as responses to the impact of HIV/AIDs, 2004-2010 (NSF, MacArthur funding)

    • AIDS and Gardens in the Journal of Population and Environment. Write for a copy of this manuscript that came out of the Hybrid technologies project about unexpected revitalization of kitchen gardens as responses to the AIDS epidemic in rural Africa.
    • My Co Wife Can Borrow My Phone: gendered geographies of cellphone usage and significance for rural Kenyans‘ in Gender, Technology and Development
    • 13 ways of looking at the mobile phone (in Sub-Saharan Africa), a monograph summarizing (14) social science insights into the study of technology, with a focus on the mobile phone revolution in rural Africa.
    • Power is Knowledge a short report on solar and hand-crank cellphone-charging tests in Kenya c. 2009
    • Ploughs and HIV/AIDS in South Nyanza:  murphyPloughAIDSnyanza A draft manuscript from the Crops, Cellphones, and T-Cells (2004-06) MacArthur Foundation-funded project.
    Scenes from research on cellphones and handhoes in rural Kenya in the age of HIV and AIDS c. 2007-8.

    Gallery of images from various projects