I am very excited about my recent invitation by Atolye, Dubai’s Creative Hub, to join an online presentation by Dr. Joana Casaca Lemos. She is a designer, researcher and educator, who specialises in interdisciplinary work. Her current engagements include her involvement in an independent run consultancy that supports organisations with research and writing a book titled: ‘When Research is Mesearch.’ She has worked with organisations such as Daimler, Sustainable Oceans Alliance, Business Council for Sustainability, Forum for the Future, among others.
Joana is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts UK and holds a PhD from Central Saint Martins College of Art in London.
The aim of Joana’s presentation was to provide a space for creative professionals to reflect and assess their personal growth with reference to their practice. She proposed to question the value of work experiences, which are transformative? The other deliberations were concerned with looking at what makes us feel uncomfortable and, therefore, challenged our understanding of the world.
Joana started by sharing her journey and reflective practice to introduce a framework drawn from her experience as a design researcher. Subsequently, all participants were guided through a collaborative activity, which enabled them to reflect on their practice and articulate their own ‘me-search’.
Joana’s intellectual provocation was very inspiring, as follows:
“As curious creatives we often draw inspiration from the world around us – but what might happen if we look into the world within?“
Leen Sadder, the organiser, explained the broader concept, which underpins the new series of presentations and stated in her invitation that:
“Insight Out is a brand new guest series hosted by ATÖLYE Dubai, featuring creative seekers, whose inward explorations have positively impacted the work they put out into the world. Once a month, we welcome you into the inner world of a designer, artist or maker to learn about the practices and experiences that have shaped their creative output.”
Despite questioning Joana’s spiritual perspective, which may have distorted and skewed her ability to critically analyse her research findings, I found this video conference very inspiring and thought provoking. Her travel experiences have a substantial impact on her thinking and this key element is also echoed in my own creative practice and exploration.
Thank you Atolye for your invitation and another remarkable cultural and professional experience.