Ready to jump on this journey together?

I am a designer, strategist and humanitarian with experience in international cross-disciplinary team. I work on projects that have a positive impact on human and environment. I founded the NGO Humanitarian Designers in January 2021 and I am working for the European Commission with the New European Bauhaus Unit.

A bit more about me

Design must consider people and nature. This is what we learnt in school. However, after visiting a few design agencies during my Master in Strategic design, the conclusion was striking: designers prioritise clients desires, namely time and money, they work “quick and fast so the client comes back”.

“What are you doing for people and the environment?” I asked.

“Clients are not asking for it, so we don’t do it” they replied.

Okay. Let’s forget the internship and let’s go to the island of Lesvos, in Greece. There, I could be useful to society and maybe help real human beings. Accepted by a Search & Rescue (SAR) NGO, I will be helping people fleeing wars and risking their lives on dinghies. I may not use my design skills daily but, at least, it would give me some thoughts about the ethics of design.

After a few weeks spotting pneumatic boats at night and observing new volunteers arriving weekly, I quickly realised that my design skills were highly needed. Especially with the internal communication of the NGO. I told the coordinator about it, he accepted, we shared our experiences, we experimented, it worked: new spotting procedure, new rescue exercise, new training, new maps. The usefulness of design was now proven and I was reassured. Other SAR NGOs saw my work and asked me to adapt it for them: a total of 400 volunteers per year were using my training and maps. Motivating you said?

Two years later, I don’t speak proper Greek but this island became my home. I joined several NGOs on several topics: search & rescue, community center, child-friendly space, information management, mentoring, mapping, … First as a volunteer, then as a project and volunteer coordinator.

I didn’t know back then, but my work was to enable NGOs to develop their vision, and to help people to understand each others. My colleagues described me as a “comforting presence in the middle of a stressful crowd” because I am not easily affected by the events and I can always come up with an actionable strategy that could answer everybody’s needs and capabilities… followed by a big optimistic smile.

This may sound like a detail but they are real design capabilities: to be optimistic with life and to understand all the stakeholders’ needs to provide well-throughout solutions. But it wasn’t enough. I really felt empowered as a designer when I was able to start a humanitarian project from scratch and incorporate the environmental values and collaborative methods that I was looking for.

It’s at this moment that I knew the humanitarian sector and designers had much more in common than anybody else knew. After Lesvos, I continued this path: I worked on the ship Alan Kurdi with the NGO Sea-Eye in Central Mediterranean; in Tunisia as project officer; and I am now a trainee at the European Commission.

One of my teacher used to say “we are all here on this room, talking, but we are all here on a different journey”. What is your journey? Are you a motivated human being? Are you just missing that simple push on the back that will bring you this huge change in your life? What if contacting me was this simple little step?

Publications & Public Events

Work in progress

  • Artist for the three-day festival “Les Gros Maux” organised by Médecins du Monde in Ground Control (Paris, France) in 2023.
  • Invitation to discuss with the students from the Master of Non-Linear Narrative (KABK University).
  • Speaker during three presentations for the contest “Can design rescue our life?” organised with Istituto Europeo di Design and hosted by Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi (Turkey) in 2023. Topic: “Can design rescue our life?”. Replay
  • Speaker for the event “Sens et Radicalité: quel design face à l’urgence environnementale et sociale?” organised by the non-profit organisation Les Radicales! in 2023. Topic: “Design et alignement, un chemin vers la radicalité”
  • Speaker for the Climate Care Academy focusing on Emergency architecture in Slovakia 2022. Topic: presentation of the New European Bauhaus. Replay
  • Interviewed for the Next Generation Podium for Eurodelta 2.0 (2023). Topic: Presentation of the New European Bauhaus. Video
  • Artist for the New European Bauhaus Festival 2022.
  • Speaker for the event Zone d’Échange Privilégié 2022 (online) organised by Marseille Design Méditerranée. Page event
  • Speaker for the event Tana Design Week 2022 (online).
  • Interviewed by the newspapers Changes in November 2021. Title: Se il design diventa umanitario – Link
  • Speaker for the event “Design et humanitaire: rencontres, convergences” organised by Humanitarian Designers during the France Design Week 2021. Topic: Le parcours de l’engagement, conseils aux jeunes designers –  Video
  • Jury for the Master’s degree “Care Design Lab” from the Design School Nantes-Atlantiques, 2021.
  • Interviewed for the newspapers on 9th of July 2021. Topic: Human design: cinque progetti di design sociale per far fronte ai grandi problemi globali – Link
  • Selected projects for the exhibition Point Commun organised by Alliance France Design in 2020.
  • Selected projects (Mandala,  for the repository of Social Design Platform in 2020.
  • Interviewed by Intervallo 2 in 2020. Video
  • Speaker for the transform! webinar organised by Transform Europe and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung North Africa Office in 2020. Topic: Sea Rescue in the Mediterranean in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic – Replay
  • Mentioned in the thesis of Clarissa Fusini titled “Perspectives of international voluntarism in Samos. An ethnography on humanitarian borderwork practices” (page 30), from the department of International Science in the Universita degli studi di Torino. Link
  • Photograph for the poster of the documentary “Volunteer“.
  • Speaker for the event Ethics by Design 2020 organised by the French non-profit organisation Les Designers Ethiques. Topic: Regards croisés sur la pratique professionnelle du design, la parole aux étudiants. Full replay

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