Jesi Carson is a design researcher and interaction designer who believes in the power of design as a tool for activism, engagement and leadership. In her view, analogue interaction is as important as our globally connected digital realm, and she has led and collaborated on projects that navigate both these spaces throughout her career. Jesi's design work is research-led and exploratory, often including on-the-ground visioning, co-creation and rapid prototyping with community groups.
Currently, Jesi is the design and communities coordinator for Participedia, an international research initiative, of which SFU's Centre for Sustainable Development is one of many project partners. In this role, she co-leads the redesign of a crowdsourcing platform to share knowledge and stories about participatory democratic innovations (beta: participedia.xyz). Additionally, she remotely collaborates with NGOs and political scientists in South Africa on innovative fieldwork using technology and media to promote human rights advocacy. Her work with Participedia operates out of the Studio for Extensive Aesthetics at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. At the same institution, she completed a master of design degree using participatory 360 video production to explore the reclamation of urban public space through public participation and art and design activism. Her thesis is titled "Citizen Spaces: Experiments in Reclaiming the Right to the City."
Jesi also serves as a project lead and on the board of Vancouver Design Nerds, a non-profit society dedicated to public engagement around urban challenges. Her experience with the Design Nerds has honed her facilitation skills and inspired a great appreciation for design thinking and the design process as a method of engagement. Design Thinking is engrained in her design and research practice, with empathy, presence and storytelling central to her approach to engagement-based knowledge creation.