My research focuses on the inherent tension between what people do to improve their well-being and the social disparity and ecological degradation that has resulted from the way organizations have helped them achieve this goal. Even though the interconnectivity between well-being of people, organizations, and the ecosystems we live in has long been recognized, the development of design frameworks and methods that account for such factors can be considered relatively new. As such, our organizations were not designed according to their potential to promote well-being outcomes; they often lack the competence and structure to operate at the speed and scale within which we are dynamically interacting with each other and the natural environment.
So I became interested in investigating how design frameworks and methods can help improve well-being. Currently, I lead solution-oriented research projects on two complementary paths: one is field-focused, advancing design knowledge; the other is project-focused, exploring complex application areas related to improving well-being.
Examples of the former include creating and disseminating new frameworks and methods for social innovation, new approaches towards organizational boundaries and management practices, more inclusive and responsive methodologies for public policy design, and design models for infrastructuring systems change and large-scale collaboration. Examples of the latter include life after pandemics, tuberculosis, rural livelihoods in developing countries, redevelopment of post-industrial territories, sustainable food systems, outdoor experiences of marginalized populations, and environmental conservation.