I was trained as an industrial designer and soon discovered how fascinating it is to see people solve their own problems in the most ingenious ways and how people relate emotionally to the products they use. The best part of my academic and professional experience has been to learn from everyday makers, especially from people who find themselves in extreme circumstances.
For my PhD, hosted by UNIDCOM-IADE, I was fortunate to do research around the country about stroke survivors and their daily lives, using ethnographic techniques. My intention was to study assistive products to bring the knowledge into inclusive design. I have been working in assistive technology ever since, but have shifted my focus a bit to digital technologies and to how these can improve the lives of older people, people with chronic illnesses, and disabled people.
Meanwhile, I have worked as an industrial designer in a design studio, I have worked on my own and I have lectured at different universities. I have worked at the R&D unit at CRPG (Gaia Vocational Rehabilitation Centre), and I am currently a senior researcher and head of Human-Centred Design at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, leading a multidisciplinary team of circa 20 people. Occasionally, I collaborate with the AAL, MSCA and COST programmes as an expert in inclusive and human-centred design.
Either in teaching, researching or designing, the main topics have always been: inclusive design, ageing & chronic diseases, disability, human-centred design, appropriation, and design & emotion.