How you do anything
how you do everything
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Design Research & Strategist
I use human-centered & equity-centered design methodologies to help uncover complex social challenges and center the needs and desires of communities that have been marginalized. I help frame problems, sense make with community and translate insights into community principals that then inform design criteria and opportunities.
Co-creation & Facilitator
I believe that those most impacted by oppressive systems and policies are the people closest to the solution. Therefore my personal practice & leadership role has evolved as a facilitator & guide-er rather than a design expert. My focus is on creating the conditions to build capacity for others to define and create their own positive outcomes.
I use co-creation methods to design experiences and engagements as a way of disrupting power dynamics and breaking down invisible and harmful constructs and boundaries that exist within social systems. I strive to build and model ways of collaborative practices that are democratic and enable shared power.
I use strategic visual communication to support research and storytelling. I design tools of engagement such as mapping to help understand and “see” the system, visualize relationships and their interdependencies. I design probes to engage community and guide conversations during the research phase.
Ultimately these visual artifacts create an invitation for diverse co-creators, designers and non-designers alike to collaborate and build on an idea - which hope to generate agency in the design process.
My work is centered on process.
I strongly believe that the way you do something is equally as important to the goal being achieved. If we are striving to dismantle and disrupt injustices in our services and policies, our processes getting there must reflect values of equity and inclusiveness as well. We must relearn how to lead, teach, work and create collaboratively to redesign and rebuild new systems.
Born: Cartago, Costa Rica
I identify as a Latinx woman, immigrant, first generation college graduate, naturalized U.S citizen, designer & maker.
Drawing from my own lived experience growing up in a low income family and entering into the design field, I’ve been predominantly surrounded by white and upper class privilege as the dominant norm in my educational and professional settings.
Carrying several marginalized identities myself, I have felt I was unable to bring my whole self into these creative environments. I have often felt inferior and less than.
But I’ve learned marginal identities can be a strength and help me lead authentically and compassionately with individuals with whom I share a common lived experience.
MFA School of Visual Arts, Design for Social Innovation
BFA Parsons School of Design, Product Design
Recent social impact projects include:
leading a sustainable home furnishing brand’s efforts in their commitment to racial equity.
shaping the membership experience and community engagement initiatives for a community art center
a user experience game that challenges designers to discuss their relationship to privilege and identity.
co-creation of a community-led audit supporting a legislative study bill in partnership with We Act.
a communications strategy for the fellowship program at Museum of Design Atlanta.
a year long design research project using participatory style workshops to center the needs of founding members of Custom Collaborative’s first immigrant women worker owned manufacturing cooperative.
Before transitioning into social design, my professional experience included 15 years designing for small design studios and large corporate retailers. For ten of those years, I’ve worked as an independent consultant alongside international design teams and artisan communities helping to empower communities and providing market access for their designs. Projects ranged from design development with independent craft businesses in rural towns in Central & South America to working on project initiatives with international government agencies such as Guatemala Zero Hunger Pact and UNHCR United Nations Refugee Agency, Made 51 project .