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Jessica

Jessica  Riley

Empowering and engaging people in the places and communities they’re part of has never been more important. I believe the future of design lies in creative social innovations, empowering social infrastructure, and finding better ways of looking after and understanding each other as well as the world we live in. The experience of living in London, Beijing, and Singapore as part of the GID programme, meant engaging with design in the context of deep physical, material, cultural and emotional “embedded-ness”. This sensitivity to place is has been formative in my projects and my professional and personal perspectives. GID encouraged my fascination with people, allowing me to explore how we understand each other and the world around us. I was able to explore behaviour change principles, human perception, social constructs, participatory design methodologies, inclusive processes, and collaborative working. Fundamentally, it reinforced my intention to work with people and for people. Throughout the course, I constantly asked: “Why? What happens if? Could we try?”. This allowed me to dig deeper, broaden, narrow down and re-purpose methods, things, and information. Through observation, listening to, uncovering, and engaging with people and places, I used design research methods to explore cross-disciplinary challenges and challenge the status quo. GID has allowed me to explore design as a tool to engage with and provoke new understandings, new dialogues, and new ways of seeing. I have been able to take complex, intangible challenges and turn them into something tangible and actionable. I have tackled deeply meaningful questions, designed inclusive methods of interaction, and pursued real-world opportunities for genuine impact. Above all I have emerged from GID as practically optimistic; facing global, complex challenges with empathy, cultural sensitivity, and creativity.

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