Why We Need Fluid Design Education

*Preview: Why We Need Fluid Design Education*


I came to Berlin in September to help design a university with new learning model.

Last week we closed the first year with the first class. We worked together with 10 students who facilitated an ideation workshop with 10 corporate partners on what projects we want to collaborate. Most importantly, what draws meaning to them.

Feeling proud of all our future designers, makers, entrepreneurs, hackers of life and creativity. Taking ownership. Crafting at CODE University of Applied Sciences

*Full article coming soon

Design For Qualities / Dubai / join my workshop April 2018

Together with AstroLabs Dubai I'm hosting the first introduction workshop DESIGN FOR QUALITIES

(the child of my PhD research)

How your products – services can amplify qualities of sustainability in the experience economy.

Open to any company that wants to learn about a new paradigm of designing for sustainability & impact in the age of emerging tech.

Can't wait to meet the community out there!

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impactboom.org interview // February 2018

impact boom in Australia asked me some poignant questions and gave me a wonderful opportunity to share thoughts of my practice lately including #DesignDharma book project and the soon-to-be-launched service #DesignForQualities  


Shared about some meaningful projects and learnings of lately.

You can read here

Facilitating a design bootcamp for school teachers / Egypt / January 2018

What happens when teachers from all over the world come together to discover how simple creative problem solving can change the conditions of their own teaching context?  What happens when they learn to connect deeper to their local communities and undercurrent challenges? What happens when school teachers facilitate students to explore their local communities through simple design tools?

Some of the questions I will be exploring in Luxor Egypt this month with a group of stellar designers and facilitators.

Organised by Challenge 4 Change LTD
Facilitated by senior designers & educators with a solid worldview.
Our collective experience: IDEO / Kiva / Harvard University / Stanford University  /  United Nations Development Programme - UNDP / American University Cairo

Design tools for school teachers
<3 I cant wait to see what unravels with this group of people.

Speaking at Disruptive Innovation Festival / November, 2017 London


November 15th I contribute to Disruptive Innovation Festival -- Join us online here

My talk shares insights on why Designers should empower people not formally trained as designers, to design themselves.

Another drop of PhD research.  Super excited to see so many design discussions on this menu!

#disruptive #design #innovation #methodologies #empowerment#designdharma


World Design Summit / October 2017, Canada

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Looking forward to speak and share my research outcome at the World Design Summit, 18th October 2017, Montreal Canada.

In the track 'Design for Beauty' my talk will be based on the framework 'qualities of sustainability' and I will share examples of small businesses I worked with during the research and how these foster qualities of sustainability through their communications.

What is she doing now that she is here?

Published on Medium.

Dear Community,
A thought to share that I am excitingly exploring new professional adventures! Over the last few weeks, after completing my PhD thesis, I took my time to transition. Now, I have opened up more space for collaborations, new business and to co-create meaning. This note serves to share the things I am creating and the opportunities I am seeking as designer-researcher. Here is an invitation.


Mentor for Civic Innovation Fellowship / Manila, Philippines

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Excited to join Five by Five as a Mentor to the fellows exploring solutions towards major challenges in Metro Manila, Philippines.

About Civic Innovation Fellowship
What happens when bright young minds are given two weeks of funding, tools, space and mentorship to start prototyping the change they want to see in their city?

About Five by Five
An international innovation consultancy, with one foot in the world of large organizations and the other in that of startups. We help organizations of all stripes--corporates, international organizations and government institutions--understand how startups work, how to work with them and how to work like them. Our portfolio includes blue chip players such as Google, SNCF, BNP Paribas and The World Bank.

PhD Thesis submission

After 13 months writing and challenged by my dyslexia, amongst life's eventful forces, the thesis was finally complete and submitted at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

"Design for Communication:  a collaborative practice to amplify the qualities of sustainability." 
A research degree project at the cross of communication design and social innovation for sustainability, strategy, design thinking, co-creation methods.

Defence will happen in September and my examiners will be Paul Micklethwaite and Peter Hall.

Speaking at Hubud, Bali, Indonesia

Sharing the key research outcomes with a collective of impact driven businesses.

Beyond "sustainability"
Many businesses today have at heart principles of impact, whether social, environmental, cultural or ethical. Such principles often are (and should be) embedded in the business service model to become seamless. More often, we find these principles make up components of the brand and communications to public.

This session will overview insights from a four-year research project in communication design and sustainability. It will share examples of best practices in experiential communication design from businesses around the world in the area of sustainable food innovation across various cities (London, San francisco, Lisbon, Berlin, Amsterdam, Mumbai). 

What you will learn:
- commonalities found between startups and social enterprises to amplify engagement
- the qualities of sustainability as a concept of experience design
- current and most used communication strategies to amplify sustainability

About the speaker:
Joana Casaca Lemos is a hybrid design strategist. Working at the intersection of communications, co-creation methods and sustainability as flourishing. A PhD in design research at Central Saint Martins London (2017) and creator of 'Communications Assembly', a method developed to empower small-scale biz. She runs a location independent practice and collaborates with various organisations, facilitates trainings in design for the likes of, General Assembly, National Institute of Design India and Designmatters California. An ambassador of Sandbox Network and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Interview on 21st Century Design Podcast

21st Century Design is a research podcast by Engage by Design (Rodrigo Bautista) and Regenerative Design (Jan Leyssens), in which we ask designers, tech-experts, writers, theorists, academics, activists and campaigners 5 questions on the future and role of design in creating the 21st Century.

Subscribe for the podcast through iTunes or Soundcloud, or look us up on our home on the web www.21stcenturydesign.org.

Speaking at CreativeMornings/London Feb. 3. 2017

Joana Casaca Lemos
February 3, 8:30am - 10:00am GMT. Hosted at General Assembly Part of a series on Moments

Joana is a communication designer and PhD in design research at Central Saint Martins. Her practice focuses on communications, sustainability and co-creation.

On her journey she’s worked with an eclectic range of people from coffee farmers to nanotech startups. She’s had the pleasure to collaborate with Doi Tung Sustainable Development in Thailand, Green School in Bali, Forum for the Future, Hyper Island, General Assembly, IDEO U and Tate Modern. Alongside, volunteer mentor to young women in conflict zones at WEDU, ambassador of Thousand Network, and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

She is the author of “Assemblage”, the communications strategy tool designed to empower small-scale businesses. As a hybrid in design & philosophy, she advocates for nomadism, sustainable futures and the human spirit by exploring “Design Dharma”.

At Creative Mornings under the theme Moments, she will unravel a series of epiphanies emerged out of commitment to a four-year solo research project with 20 start-ups across 3 continents. The conundrum of research as a mesearch: the process of design and the process of becoming.


Ozone Coffee Roasters is a well-established specialty coffee roastery committed to all facets of coffee excellence.


Hi folks! As per usual doors open at 8.30 for coffee, breakfast and chats and the talk kicks off at 9am sharp!

Future Designers: JOANA CASACA LEMOS — The Cross+ng

I was interviewed for Central Saint Martins publication The Cross+ng and got to say a couple things relevant for the Now.

"There is what I call 'design intelligence' which is not something that you can download or buy as a kit. There is an intelligence in the design process that you can only learn through practice, over and over again. That takes time and cannot be replaced"

"If we grow a distance between Designers and the World then we undermine their very reason for existing!"

stories. all the shit that comes up.

“the story becomes the thing we tell ourselves the next time we need to make a choice.” arrived in my inbox this morning from Seth Godin.

A life choice is like a design process choice.

And if we see life as just a happening, like Alan Watts described [among others] a collection of events that will inevitably take place, the learning we are here to do is how to respond, interpret and derive meaning from as to design our next interaction [intervention rather].

These memories Seth Godin refers to will ultimately be what we store in our intelligent hard body [as well as our soft body]. The stories Seth mentions is exactly the ‘shit’ that comes up in introspective meditative practices.

Sometime ago in Bali a friend poignantly asked “Ok great, all this shit has come up, so now what am i supposed to do with it?” Re-design your brief.

ps. Seth is on my list of people I want to meet in my lifetime, hint hint ♥

on medium

Talk at Royal Society of the Arts, London

Last night at the RSA sharing the byproduct of 4 years of communication design research: The Assembly For Communication. 
How can design(ers) support the flourishing ecosystem of small-scale local businesses mindful of their impact. How to empower these indispensable initiatives to communicate their values? How to leverage them to foster their qualities of sustainability? What happens when this story is co-created with the public as a shared narrative of the reality we want to live in? What happens when the qualities of sustainability become experienced, rather than just illustrated?

1.5 months to closure.... and underway to a whole new chapter of practice under a philosophy of Design Dharma. Individual and Collective. Research and Mesearch. Interwoven co-creations for the experiential qualities of sustainability.

#designdharma #designforcommunication #designresearch

The acknowledgements of this thesis is sounding like a manifesto of thankfulness to all that trusted this process along the way VidacycleSoleShare Bloombox salads Ubuntu Chocolate INFARM Perennial PlateSnact Save The Date Cafe Rubies in the Rubble Pede Salsa DAMn Food Waste Disco Soupe I Say Organic The Food Assembly Jack's Veg House of SverreFine & Rare Gourmandizing London Under The Mango Tree Lucid Selections Growing Communities Golden Company People's Kitchen The Orchard Project

Thank you my dear friend Abby for relentlessly supporting and inspiring my deviations and for documenting this moment in time! <3 Farmerama Radio

through being in, not through being about

Yesterday, Sunday, in a peaceful community coworking gathering I looked around me to the diversity of creative (re)searchers. Yes, academia, re(searchers). Because everyone plugged into life, into their itch, into creating, into giving into the world, is (re)searching the beautiful mystery of what are we here to do in the first place. In this I was reminded of why I am doing this PhD project in the first place. It's good to be reminded of why; and probably not by academia, but by the world itself. It's good to be reminded of what are we designing for; through being in, not through being about. Any design research should be a "mesearch", too. It's about the individual being in the collective. About becoming the design. About re(searching) the unnoticeable in the interconnectedness of all things; and helping them notice each-other. Sustainability can only prevail if we design from within, not from outside.  Makespace Coworking provides pop-up creative spaces offering a change in daily routine and a kinder relationship to "work."