Filed under: About Yoko Akama, Communication Design, User/Human Centred Design
Dr. Yoko Akama is a Senior Lecturer in communication design in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. She undertakes research to explore the role and agency of design to tackle social issues. Her expertise is in human-centred design that sees design as ’scaffolds’ to facilitate communication, engagement and co-creation with people that leads to transformative change. Her current research project with the Bushfire CRC explores design methods to strengthen community resilience in mitigating bushfire risks. She co-leads the Service Design Network Melbourne and Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability-Lab Melbourne. She is also an active design researcher at the Design Research Institute, RMIT.
She is Japanese, but loves meat pies and brussels sprouts. She came to Australia 11 years ago chasing sea turtles, contemplating a career change from graphic design and ended up teaching and studying more design instead. Though the connection she has felt to this amazing land, people and creatures is still evident in the kinds of design projects she does at the moment.
Her practice-led PhD explored a human-centred practice in communication design. This was completed in 2008. It was titled, ‘The tao of communication design practice: manifesting implicit values through human-centred design’ and can be downloaded electronically from RMIT library.
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