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CfD Conversations 04

How might we approach designing in a world where many worlds fit?

How might designers venture to develop understandings to help people do things together better? The panelists will share their explorations of collective action, resource sharing, difference and sameness, conceptions of the sacred. Together they will offer a view of the worlds from which they speak, and ask what kinds of design thinking might be needed to create more resilient and convivial communities. 

Registration is required for this event and please note that this event is in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

This event is part of the Center for Design (CfD) Conversation Series. At the end of each month, CfD faculty members will invite research players from Northeastern, and beyond, to addresses the multifaceted expressions of interdisciplinary design research. 


CfD Faculty Curator

Michael Arnold Mages is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art + Design. His research interests include developing a rich understanding of the ways that service design, technology, and the material environment facilitate human conversation. Professor Arnold Mages is especially interested in creating work that supports participants’ understanding of their own intersectional identity as a component of a conversation and creating work that can support conversations that are difficult, or high-stakes, or where one or more participants are in a leveraged position.


The Panelists

Dr. Dimeji Onafuwa is a designer, artist, and researcher with several years of UX design and research, transition design, service design, and social design experience. He has worked as a design studio owner, UX consultant, and researcher. After working as a senior design researcher at Microsoft, where he explored the future of work, Dimeji recently joined Google as a senior researcher in the Cloud Commerce space. Dimeji also teaches courses on Design and the Pluriverse at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC. Dimeji earned a Ph.D. in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. His doctoral study at CMU sought to understand commons-based approaches to user experience on platforms. To investigate this topic, he worked with various collectives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Portland, Oregon. Before his Ph.D., Dimeji also earned an MBA in management from UNC Charlotte and BAs in design and studio art from Concord University. Dimeji recently co-founded Common Cause Collective, an interdisciplinary group of designers exploring transition design methodologies for social impact in the Pacific Northwest. He has published papers, written a book chapter on design for the greater good, given talks, and conducted workshops on design’s role in social justice.


Hajira Qazi is an accountant-turned designer currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Transition Design. She worked for four years in finance and then in a nonprofit organization, where she first began to recognize the value of systems-level approaches to design. In 2016, she joined the School of Design Master of Arts program and received her Master of Professional Studies in 2018. Her doctoral research is centered on how conceptions of the sacred can inform an alternative worldview that moves away from the consumeristic aspects traditionally associated with design towards design that fosters resilient and cohesive societies. Past work and research interests include participatory design, decolonization, and design for political change.


Alexandra To is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University jointly appointed in the Art + Design (Games) department and the Khoury College of Computer Science. Her core research interests are in designing social technologies to empower people in vulnerable and marginalized contexts using qualitative methods to gather stories and participatory methods to design for the future. Her most recent research focuses on designing social technologies to empower support-seeking and coping with interpersonal racism. Alexandra is an activist, a critical race scholar, and an award-winning game designer. She previously received her Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. and M.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. She has published work at CHI, CHI Play, DiGRA, FDG, UIST, CSCW, and DIS.


CfD Conversation Series
Spring 2021 Schedule

Service Design (Tools)
May 21 | Friday | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Curator: Miso Kim