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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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


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!

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

PhD Research Week 48

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London College of Fashion - Centre for Sustainable Fashion:  Habit(AT) 13 at The Trampery in London Fields. The Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) at University of the Arts explores the field of Design for Sustainability and its application to fashion as both artistic and business practice.  The event framed thinking around issues related to urbanisation, sustainable cities and the role of fashion.

From here we sought to explore London as a microcosm of the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene, the geological age defined by human’s being the dominant influence on climate and the environment was a concept that Dilys outlined in her thinking around the subject in her introduction to the afternoon.

Lucy Orta then invited guests to sign up for an Antartica World Passport, an initiative to mobilise the citizens of the world to protect the Antarctic and its unique status, and to take action against global warming and for peace. Those who signed up were given a beautiful stamped passport as a reminder of the commitments they have made.

Rodrigo Bautista from Forum for the Future, who came to share with us his recent project: Informal City Dialogues.

Kate Fletcher "part of a group of designers, artists, scientists and journalists on an expedition entitled What Has To Be Done? to the Scottish Western Isles on a wonderful tall ship. The trip was inspired by a journey made by Joseph Beuys three decades before to the same islands – and like Beuys our intention was to both encounter and evolve a response to the epic story of our times: the interdependencies of sustainability."


Adaptive resilience, according to Mark Robinson, is “the capacity to remain productive and true to core purpose and identity whilst absorbing disturbance and adapting with integrity in response to changing circumstances”.


phd research week 47

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The World We Made: Visions of a Sustainable Future - talk and book launch of Sir Jonathon Porritt, Founder of Forum for the Future  

"most of the things we value don't cost money" said Jonathon, money is only an expression of value.

The main thought of this talk I took, is much aligned to my PhD research interest, on the notion of value.  How do we re-define, what we value?  Here the intervention must be made at early stage of each individual, through the family, through love, through learning empathy.

We must "see the wood from the tree" and the willingness to reinvent environmentalism that is inspiring and allows us to pick up the tools and do it.  The notion of utopia is here important, our vision of a better future.  Jonathon talks of the "techno-cornucopianism", the singularity notion that environment and technology should go hand in hand, but questions how good may the outcome be?

On the thought of motivation towards engagement; if you don't think is possible to do, you wont do it.  So we must reinvent the story of sustainability in to a story of adventure, a story publics will want to participate in.  Most sustainability messages are "this is whats gonna happen even if you don't like it".  This para-dime is not working.  Anyone who does not offer a positive vision of the future without acknowledging the reality of today, is 'unreal', or in Jonathan's terms "a phony cornucopian".

key-points towards re-making the world are: - technical motivation to drive technology - social innovation - compassion, solidarity, empathy (this is the foundation on which technology revolution needs to be built)

"The failure to address environmental issues is not the failure of information but failure of imagination" - Jonathon Porritt

Environmentalism has not been good at engaging with technologists.  They have been suspicious/skeptical since the 1970's, and only now, we are witnessing a shift of partnership between tech vs (and) nature.  It is because of the maker revolution, the tech revolution, and the environmental revolution.  Combined, these three are elements towards a better world.

The common individual must intervene in the system through small acts of questioning more often.  It closes the triangle of Media, Politics and Big Business (Chomsky, theory of democracy/media).

For example, walk into Apple and say "your product is great, but your supply chain is shit. Can you improve that?"

phd research week 46

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UAL DESIS LAB This Way Up: Design Activism as Social Innovation - a talk given by Thomas Markussen of Kolding School of Design, Denmark. Talked through the unexplored potential in design activism to contribute to social innovation, as mentioned by Christensen and Morgen “the social innovator is an agent of change who through actions rather than dialogue aims to change existing social structures” and Anthony Giddens “…has to do with the freedom of the individual to act independently…” Thomas is interested in disruptive Actions:  what kind of structures in the urban environment limit and constrain local actions and social change? How can design actions/design activism be used to disrupt these structures to better conditions are created for social change ?

Main points: Commodification of culture and events: the citizens are the consumers but they can be socially exclusive and: only for a small segment of society ie. the creative class. Is the creative city solving the post-industrial problem? taking into account hat ordinary people can make the extraordinary happen. Citizens are not consumers but people.  The city must be planned to act with imagination in harnessing opportunities or addressing seemingly intractable urban problems.

What is the role of design in disruptive design?  Design activism / political activism / art activism (disruptive practice) What is it that makes it design activism and not political or art activism?

Design activists introduce heterogeneous objects and artefacts into public space.  In doing so, design activists alter or challenge the conditions for peoples' urban experience - the forms of experience (time, space) become the domain for aesthetics.

Thomas also introduced his framework for disrupting activism (DESIGN ISSUES 2013) re-enforcing that design is not about smoothing difference, it is about enabling disruption (agnostic design…) and the designer facilitates the co-design processes.