Joana is a design researcher and educator specialised at the cross of interdisciplinary design thinking and sustainability.

Her current work is focused on the technologies that will define the Forth Industrial Age.  She collaborates as a consultant to organisations employing technologies such as machine learning and automation to ensure that the qualities of sustainability and humanity are put at the forefront of design.  

Currently serves as professor at CODE University of Applied Sciences Berlin within the interaction design department, she lectures on design methods, field studies, futures & impact and co-creation.  In the past, Joana taught at Hyper Island Masters Experience Design and the teaching team for IDEO U.

Completed her Ph.D at Central Saint Martins London on how design amplifies qualities of sustainability.  During this time she developed a new design method to empower impact-led businesses. Since then, it has benefited start-ups around the world and accelerator programmes like the Sustainable Oceans Alliance.

Joana writes about Design.Dharma (book launching 2020) a platform of professional designers whose practice manifests their inner life.

Originally from Lisbon, Joana is partly based in Berlin and bridges projects across continents.


Fellow Royal Society of the Arts 
Resident House of Beautiful Business 
Resident The Point People 
Former Ambassador Sandbox  

visiting lecturer

School of Creative Entrepreneurship, Stockholm
Designmatters Art Center, Pasadena, California
California College of Arts, San Francisco
National Institute of Design, Bangalore

Publications & Media

PhD by Design - Instant Journal #2 - Researching across difference (2015)


some client love

I had the privilege to experience Joana's work at the first Edacy Design Bootcamp in Dakar, Senegal where she trained our graduate students and partner companies in Design. I was particularly impressed by the patience, method, intelligence, and adaptability she employed to transform design into design thinkers in the space of a few days.

Temitope Ola, Founder Edacy Inc. Senegal


Her expertise, presence, openness and honest curiosity towards the participants was amazing. Even though participants came from very different backgrounds, Joana found a vivid language that spoke to everyone. Her knowledge, experience and presence allowed her to adjust to every situation easily.

Ben Sahlmuller, Project Manager Leadership Research LEAD Academy GmbH