We are thrilled to welcome four amazing new faculty to Products of Design for the 2018-2019 year. Meet them below!
Marc Dones is the Invention Lead for Equitable Systems at Future laboratories. Dones has worked in program and policy development for their entire career. Currently their work focuses on the development and integration of equity oriented policies and program procedures across a number of projects. Previously, Dones served as the Associate Director of Equity Initiatives at the Center for Social Innovation (C4) and lead the SPARC (Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities) Initiative. SPARC is currently focused on reframing homelessness response systems through an anti-racist lens by working with 8 jurisdictions across the nation, over 20 partner agencies, as well as the federal government. Additionally, Dones worked with a small team of C4 staff to build a training institute for over 300 provider agencies funded to work with individuals living with substance use disorders. Prior to C4 Dones served as a Program Manager in the MA Executive Office of Health and Human services where they assisted in the development and implementation of Governor Deval Patrick’s youth violence reduction program, the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative. The program, with $10 million annual operating budget, was developed and implemented in 11 cities with site-specific responses. Additionally, Marc served as the policy manager for the Massachusetts Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. In this capacity they advised the commission, authored its reports, and conducted research on numerous issues.
Deborah is a design strategist, venture advisor, and educator with a penchant for blurring the line between for-profit and purpose-driven organizations. She is currently a Director at WeWork, developing new offerings focused on culture and organization transformation. Approaching 20 years of experience incubating offerings, shaping organizations and culture, and building bridges, her work has ranged from innovation and brand consulting for Fortune 100 companies to establishing new models for business and education. She's had the privilege of advising hundreds of inspiring entrepreneurs and leading the design and development of four purposeful organizations—most recently, as the Founding Managing Director of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, an initiative of Pratt Institute focused on supporting ethical design entrepreneurs. A frequent guest critic and facilitator, she has taught human-centered design and research at IIT Institute of Design, CEDIM in México, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, where she was the Inaugural Chair for the BFA in Visual Communication. She is regularly invited to speak globally including SXSW, TEDx, Icograda World Design Congress, ASODI Congreso Interiorismo, and Tallinn Design Week.
Dr. Samira Thomas is a storyteller and equity scholar. She believes that it is through the sharing and telling of our stories that we will best learn perhaps the most fundamental lessons of our lives: how we might live and work together on our shared planet. Specifically, she helps organizations, particularly schools, create space for people of color, women, and other minorities to thrive through curriculum and pedagogy. She is currently a Visiting Scholar George Washington University where she is conducting research with the aim of creating space through curriculum and pedagogy for people who have been marginalized by society. She also currently serves as the Academic Director of the Sparks Academies in Afghanistan, a group of six Early Childhood and Community Development schools in Afghanistan. Samira attended Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific where she completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. She graduated Pi Sigma Alpha from Brown University with honors, and she holds a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2012 - 2013 she was an Action Canada Fellow. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Pedagogy from the University of British Columbia. Much of her research has been in the context of violence: war, race, and gendered violence. Her philosophy of education emerges from this experience and is fundamentally about engaging with 'otherness.' The implications for the research are far-reaching, becoming relevant in virtually every situation in which people interact: from the workplace to bullying in schools, from post-conflict communities to conflict even within oneself. You can read more about Samira's research here.
Daniel Perlin believes in listening closely as a strategy for design. He is currently the founder of Make_Good_, an experience design studio dedicated to bettering lives and the planet. As a designer, he has produced a wide range of works, from screen-based experiences to objects to installations and spaces. Recent collaborations include work with Google, IBM, Under Armour, Vito Acconci, Maya Lin, Errol Morris, the Venice Biennial of Architecture, the Cooper Hewitt Museum and Domus magazine. He has created VR and MR experiences for The Seoul biennial of Architecture, The Storefront for Art and Architecture and Fake Love, a New York Times agency. After 3 years as Director of User Experience Design at Droga5, an agency in New York, Daniel left to found Make_Good and its first product, a platform to help slow human-made climate change. Make_Good is currently based out of New Inc., the New Museum's incubator in New York. Daniel is a graduate of Brown’s Modern Culture and Media department, NYU’s ITP and the Whitney Independent Study program and he has taught as an adjunct professor at NYU ITP, Magnet Program and RISD. When he isn’t designing, he likes to ride his bicycle and play music.