Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Design Research and Practice; Design Ethnography; Action Research; Design and Community Development; Inclusive Design, Environmental Education

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Personal profile


I am a designer and lecturer whose work primarily explores the intersection between design and ethnography. In my work I try to understand and explore the ways in which different social, cultural and environmental contexts have potential to inform what we design and the ways in which we design.

In September 2011 I joined ECA’s Design School as a lecturer where I teach various courses across the different design disciplines at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Since April 2012 I am also a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Program for Art, Culture and Technology.

Prior to this I was a doctoral student and seminar tutor at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London where I have dedicated my research to the study of the Silbo Gomero, a whistled form of language that is still alive in the small island of La Gomera in the Canarian Archipelago (Spain).

Part ethnographic study, part acoustic and ecological reinterpretation, this project has culminated in a doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Here We Don’t Speak, Here We Whistle: Mobilizing a Cultural Reading of Cognition, Sound and Ecology in the Design of a Language Support System for the Silbo Gomero’ and the design of audio based media for sensory exploration to be used by local youth.

Amongst other institutions, I have presented my research at the 21st Century research-based programme, Chisenhale Gallery (London, U.K.) and at the ‘Verbindingen/ Jonctions 13’ an annual multidisciplinary festival organized by Constance – Association for Art & Media (Brussels, Belgium). Part of my dissertation will be published in the peer-reviewed proceedings of the 8th Conference of the International Committee for Design Histories & Design Studies.

Research Interests

More recently, I am working on a research project entitled: ‘Edible Oceans: In Search of a Vernacular Knowledge of Maritime Plants’, developed in collaboration with biologists Dr. Ana Neto and Dr. Isabel Sousa Pinto from CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of the Azores and University of Porto respectively.

This project looks into the almost lost tradition of collecting seaweed in the wild by the Azorean people while attempting to mobilize a new cultural reading of this situated form of knowledge and its relation to local ecosystems.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Master of Design, Design Academy Eindhoven

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Bachelor of Design, University of Lisbon

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

External positions

Research Affiliate, Massachussetts Institute of Technology



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