DESIS Scholar

The DESIS Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student each year who develops research in line with the theories and objectives of the DESIS Lab at Emily Carr University, and plays a supportive role in DESIS lab events throughout the academic year. The DESIS Scholar has direct access to DESIS Lab faculty and resources.

2024 DESIS Scholar: Parnian Anaa

Parnian Anaa is a third year multidisciplinary designer, majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in Social Practices and Community Engagement (SPACE) at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Parnian’s passion for equity, social innovation, and community engagement has made her commit to exploring the intersection of ecological design, community, and social change. She believes that her work serves as an ongoing thread of reflexive research, navigating (slow) design, art, and craft through integrating practice-led engagement with materials, and communities. Parnian is particularly drawn to working with flexible materials and movement (performance), exploring the intricate relationships between textiles and the human body. Her approach to design is deeply rooted in storytelling and ecological perspectives, where she uses participatory design to convey ideas and catalyze meaningful change: striving to create a positive difference in the communities she serves. She is currently researching/ with Water.

The DESIS Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student each year who develops research in line with the theories and objectives of the DESIS Lab at Emily Carr University, and plays a supportive role in DESIS lab events throughout the academic year. The DESIS Scholar has direct access to DESIS Lab faculty and resources.

2024 DESIS Scholar: Morgan Martino

Morgan Martino is an interdisciplinary designer, researcher, and educator whose work investigates the relationships between people and objects through a lens of care. Her practice involves developing and hosting spaces for communities to connect, as well as collecting odds and ends from the ground. She is currently a Research Assistant with Emily Carr’s DESIS Lab. Before taking on the role of graduate student at Emily Carr, Morgan was an undergrad here, where she received a Bachelor of Design in 2021 and acted as Student Speaker for her graduating class. Morgan is delighted to be able to continue her relationship with DESIS, having previously worked as an Undergraduate Community Organizer for Emily Carr’s Lab as well as a Community Builder & Events Facilitator with DESIS Students.



2023 DESIS Scholar: Ayako Takagi

Ayako Takagi – DESIS Scholar 2023

Ayako Takagi is an industrial designer working at the UBC BioProducts Institute, where she collaborates with researchers to prototype and to develop sustainable bioproducts. Ayako has a particular interest in ancient traditional techniques related to paper making and their philosophy of care for their products. At Emily Carr, she is exploring how to apply traditional artisans’ knowledge to the latest scientific research in order to tackle climate change issues and develop sustainable societies.

While Ayako enjoys collaborating with scientists, she is also interested in communication on an interdisciplinary level and exploring how to share design and science research with public audiences, allowing her to involve non-designers in her research.

Ayako is currently exploring how to use design as a conversational tool to develop dialogue surrounding climate change. Her journey to engage conversation through design activities was shown in her storytelling workshop “Stitching and Talking”.

2023 DESIS Scholar: Eden Luna Goldet






Eden Luna is a determined designer driven by engaged social work that tackles societal and urgent matters. She likes to address them through serious playfulness and forms of accessible public engagement connecting (to) people with ambition and joy.

She believes that our social systems need to be rethought and improved. Through engaging research, she aims to make complex issues accessible and welcoming.

Currently, Eden Luna is investigating how at a systemic scale, she could stimulate change towards more-than-climate justice and shift our politics towards non-anthropocentric views. She explores democracy beyond its human properties, looking into how to reach powerful systems and redefine political rules to question scales, roles, and agency considering interdependency, rights, and representation.

2023 DESIS Scholar: Melanie Camman






Melanie Camman (MDes 2023) researches ways to transform the power dynamics in participatory design methodologies. Her thesis: Sensory Sensemaking: exploring meaningful engagement through textiles, tactility, embodiment & the sensory, investigated how embodied reflection could support a collective process of attending to ongoing relationships. This exploration came from her desire to develop design research methods that would be decolonizing, or at least anti-colonial. She advocates ongoing work to find ways for people with a plurality of experiences and worldviews to have generative conversations without needing to reconcile or erase their important differences.


2022 DESIS Scholar: Sheyda Rashidi

Sheyda Rashidi is an interdisciplinary designer and researcher whose practice is situated at the intersection of systemic design and behavioural change. Currently, her space of inquiry focuses on translating notions of symbiosis, mutualism and reciprocity in nature into Experience Design and Participatory Design. She aims to evoke a sense of wonder and gratitude for the environment, in people and enable them to see their prosperity in other humans’ and more-than-human’s prosperity. Much of her research centres around food and gardening as vectors for community relationships. In 2022, she began her collaboration, as a research assistant, with the Vancouver Economic Commission and the City of Vancouver on the Circular Food Innovation Lab project. This project aims to enhance circularity and waste management in Vancouver’s food system with place-based food sector clients. Sheyda is Emily Carr’s 6th Annual DESIS Scholar. She came to Emily Carr specifically because of our DESIS lab.

2021 DESIS Scholars:
Marcia Higuchi, Morgan Martino and Pat Vera

Marcia Higuchi is a communication designer and researcher from UNESP, Brazil. Her research is focused on which ways design can empower children’s ecological wisdom and political agency as future stewards in the environmental crisis.

Through a dialogical and reflexive approach, she aims to investigate the importance of storytelling, sharing how our own personal experiences brought into a broader understanding of our social relations, can affect our sense of interdependence and belonging to nature.

In her first year at Emily Carr, Marcia developed a series of cross-DESIS workshops that included participants in both the Emily Carr DESIS Lab (Vancouver), and the Rio DESIS Lab (Rio de Janeiro).

Morgan Martino is an interdisciplinary designer, researcher and facilitator, whose work focuses on building and supporting communities that can foster caring relationships, critical learning, and informed social change. Morgan’s current research practice explores how everyday material culture and designed systems inform and reflect our complex relationships to care.

During her career as a student of Industrial Design and Social Practice + Community Engagement (SPACE) at Emily Carr, Morgan has had many opportunities to foster her community practices. Through the creation of small communities such as the Mixtape Collective and Vintage Digicam Club, Morgan aimed to recontextualise perceived obsolete technologies as tools for artistic expression and alternative media engagement.

In 2020, Morgan collaborated with Naomi Boyd to be a part of the Shumka X DESIS Satellite residency, where she was able to co-develop Pocket Change; a series of workshops centering the pocket as a lens to help unpack wicked design problems. Most recently, Morgan created the Roving Designers, a place based design collective exploring how to engage in design work outside of traditional studio contexts. This year, Morgan has acted as the Undergraduate Coordinator for DESIS, helping to communicate the values and goals of the lab and invite other students to become involved in its work.

Pat Vera – DESIS Scholar 2021

Pat Vera is an architect, designer and researcher whose work focuses in incorporating Indigenous knowledge and alternative epistemologies into land-based design and pedagogy as a way of building sustainable futures with practices that already manifested in an equitable, respectful and balanced relationship with the earth.

Pat’s current research promotes the Pluriverse as the space in which to converse among different worldviews, creating community-oriented design practices that can work towards healing from the systemic damage caused by the colonial matrix of domination.

In her practice, Pat brings in her own background from Paraguay with the Guarani peoples’ cosmovision and the native Guarani language that she speaks as a way to recognize her own “borderlands”: those cultural borders that she redefines as intersectional margins, where the racialized view of capitalist and mod­ernist societies define and delimit geographies and cul­tural identities, creating oppression, discrimination and marginalization. For Pat, recognizing our own positionality in the world makes us recognize the others in their own opening the space for a Pluriverse world where different ways of being and knowing can build com­munity and transform realities of exclusion, racism, social and ecological distress into possibilities of change.

Pat’s research work is available at:

2019-20 DESIS Scholar: Joshua Singler

Josh Singler – DESIS Scholar 2018/19 & 2019/20

Joshua Singler is a designer and researcher whose practice focuses on unearthing rhythms, patterns, and layers embedded within the complex nature of our daily interactions with the public realm. Joshua’s research practice aims to tap into the power of communication design with the objective to intervene, disrupt, and inspire a redirection to the habitual routines of everyday life.

While obtaining his Bachelor of Design (BDes) at York University–Sheridan College’s Joint Program in Toronto, Ontario, Joshua’s final thesis project “Story/telling” received an Honourable Mention for the Mosaic Award for Storytelling from the Registered Graphic Designer’s Association of Ontario (RGD). Joshua’s undergraduate project ‘A Title. Magazine’, was a single-issue print publication successfully launched through Kickstarter and was created with the intention of establishing a platform to share stories from the underserved LGBTQ+ community.

Through social and cultural analysis, photographic typologies, manipulation of analogue technologies, a variety of printing techniques, and deep reflection on human interaction and co-habitation, Joshua aims to engage the community around him to think more consciously about their daily lives.

You can follow Joshua’s research process as it unfolds by visiting his blog:

2018 DESIS Scholar: Reyhaneh Yazdani

Reyhaneh Yazdani– DESIS Scholar 2018

Reyhaneh Yazdani is an architect, designer and researcher whose experience design-based work addresses concerns in the areas of: social equality, democratic design and cultural empowerment. Her creative-social practice aims to challenge public perception as well as incite social change.

Her current research explores the intangible quality of food-based design encouraging critical conversations, social engagement and cross-cultural relationships in the contemporary political climate.

2017 DESIS Scholar: Natalia Gomes Franca

Natalia Gomes Franca – DESIS Scholar 2017

Natalia Gomes Franca’s research was centred on theories of empathy and how empathetic communication helps communities collaborate and grow. Her research paper, ‘Sensory Storytelling’, documents her participatory research into non-verbal ways for people to understand one another’s emotional states. This paper was accepted at the Cumulus 2016 Conference in Hong Kong. While at Cumulus, Natalia was also able to represent the Emily Carr DESIS Lab at the DESIS Assembly Hong Kong 2016. As our representative, she presented a project from the Emily Carr DESIS lab to an international gathering of DESIS labs. Her final thesis, Sensory Cards: Fostering Empathy and Connection within Community Groups can be found at (