Dr Mariana Braga

Post-Doctoral Research Associate International

Design Capability-Building, Design Policy and Management, Strategic Design, Design Innovation, Product-Service Systems, Human-Centred Design

+44(0) 1524 510873



Mariana is a hybrid designer interested in the role of design in tackling organisational and ‘glocal’ (UN Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]) challenges, such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She looks into how design capabilities can effectively contribute to a shared, fair and plural future, feeding and bridging policy planning and implementation.

Braga was Principal Investigator of Damn It, a pilot project that identified areas of challenges, problems, adaptative strategies and needs of informal-settlement communities during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Her recent publications look at the design value and challenges in organisations and design for community resilience during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is passionate about designing better futures, and developed skills to help non-designers integrate design approaches (design thinking, strategic design, product-service systems, design-driven innovation) into their organisations and with communities. During her PhD, she looked into barriers and drivers to design in Micro-, Small-, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and their relations to and implications for design policies and organisations dedicated to MSMEs’ development. Her background in product design and ergonomics was extended into design thinking, service design, strategic design, and design management and policy through tutoring, mentoring, teaching, and research activities in 7 European countries and 9 cities. Braga is used to multicultural environments and enjoys collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds.

Before this, Mariana worked in her design studio on ergonomics consultancy and product design, especially home appliances and furniture, designing and launching over 40 products, including best-selling ones and industrial design patents, for Brazilian companies (SMEs and large enterprises). She also managed innovation projects, provided consulting services to firms in diverse industries, did research on ergonomics and taught in the furniture design course for a Brazilian non-profit organisation. Moreover, Mariana took part in the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT) as a guest member (part of the scientific panel, expert in product design and ergonomics) of the office chairs study committee.