Dr Mariana Fonseca Braga

School of Arts, Media and Creative Technologies

Photo of Dr Mariana Fonseca Braga

Current positions

University Fellow


I am a hybrid designer with industry and academic experience of developing and implementing transdisciplinary innovation projects (e.g., in collaboration with local communities, a comprehensive array of stakeholders from the private, non-profit and public sectors, and experts from different knowledge areas from academia and business). As a design researcher and educator, I am interested in advancing Social Design practices, education and research towards the building of respectful, just and sustainable worlds. Within this wide research scope, I utilise creative methods for identifying and analysing community’s tacit knowledge(s), strategies and actions to mitigate health and wellbeing problems and build upon healthy lives considering their livelihood diversity. These communities’ social assets are poorly (or not) documented although they contribute to tackling health and wellbeing challenges. My work aims to help the development of more effective, responsible and just solutions (e.g., public policies, services, systems, technologies) that meet especially the needs and respect the diversity of underrepresented groups and underserved communities.

Areas of Research

I am interested in the transformational role of design and designers in the transition towards healthier, more just and sustainable societies. For example, my research has been specifically investigating this in the context of different global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil; and, in collaboration with other colleagues, I have also looked at Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Sub-Saharan Africa (Angola; Cameroon), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Southeast Asia (Delhi and Gujarat, India; Nepal; Bangladesh; Vietnam) and Africa (Ghana, Nigeria; Kenya), and adaptive materials for future prosthetics’ application in the UK. I am particularly interested in making the tacit knowledge(s), strategies and actions of local underserved communities and underrepresented groups visible in order to inform the development of more effective, responsible and just solutions such as public policies, services, systems as well as technologies when it’s the case (e.g., a new technology for prosthetics).