Design Informatics Webinar – Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

Don’t Press Snooze: Design in a Crisis

The design sector has always considered climate change as a design problem. Design-tinted glasses one might say. But almost 50 years since Design for The Real World was published by Victor Papanek, we clearly aren’t any closer than our tree-hugging parents were. If anything we’re more anxious and find ourselves with a limited set of tools to choose from in design. We need to move from the consumption of climate change as part of our ‘bad news apocalypse’ to real, impactful, incremental and sometimes dramatic actions in ourselves as designers and others as clients and the general public. But how do we do that when ‘the right answer’ is always the same and doesn’t actually work. How do we find the courage to act in the world in the ways Papanek did? In this talk Alexandra will explore the last 15 years of climate change in design and look to the future and outside of design’s usual outputs.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is an author, consultant, public speaker, entrepreneur and designer living in London. She wrote ‘Smarter Homes: how technology will change your home life’ (Apress, 2018) and her new book ‘Creating a Culture of Innovation’ is out later this year. She is the founder of the Low Carbon Design Institute, a residency for creative people focused on climate change. She ran the internet of things meetup in London for 8 years, one of the largest in the world and helped the community create BetterIoT, a free checklist to help founders and product managers make more ethical decisions.

She was the founder of the Good Night Lamp a connected product for global families included in the permanent collection of the London Design Museum as a key example of the internet of things. She co-founded Tinker London, the first UK distributor of Arduino, the open source electronics education platform that kicked off the maker movement. Two of her projects are in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was named 1st in a list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers (Postscapes, 2016), 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014) and in the Top 100 Influencial Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014). She’s been included in the longlist of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in Tech in the UK (2017, 201820192020). She studied industrial design at the University of Montréal and interaction design at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea.

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