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Carla is a design educator and researcher committed to addressing global challenges through collaborative methods to foster inclusive and resilient communities.

Dr Carla Amaral is a senior tutor who contributes to interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning across the School of Design. She is a member of the multi-year New Economic Models for the Ocean (NEMO) project, which is part of the RCA’s work as a UNESCO Ocean Decade implementing partner. She currently supports the co-management of the MDes Design Futures programme and has previously taught on the MA Design Products and the MRes Design Pathway. Carla is co-leading this year’s Grand Challenge, a cross-school design project involving close to 700 master students working across London’s 32 boroughs using co-design and place-based approaches to increase the city’s resilience to ocean-related impacts of climate change.

Carla started her career as an industrial designer in Brazil until she began to focus on design democratisation and its transformative impact in addressing systemic issues. This led her to complete a Master of Design by Research and an Australian Research Council-funded PhD intersecting the fields of inclusive design, service design and disability research at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia.

Her research expertise is in developing community engagement strategies and designing custom methods for collaborative and inclusive design. She has extensive experience creating resources and facilitating cross-sector activities, including working with schools and governments and cross-cultural exchanges in countries such as Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Greenland. As part of the NEMO project, Carla applies her skill set to understand the interconnectedness of coastal communities worldwide and the sea, looking at design innovations that combine science with human behaviour to create more balanced economic models for the future.

Carla has a decade of academic experience and has worked at leading universities. Before joining the RCA, she was a lecturer in the Design and Social Context College and a member of the Hybrid Futures research group at RMIT University, Australia. She was a member of the founding team of the Bachelor of Design programme at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and has taught at QUT, Australia in the areas of inclusive, visual and interactive design. Over this time Carla has developed a research-based curriculum for different international contexts at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her pedagogical approach has been recognised by the Higher Education Academy, through peer-reviewed published papers and teaching awards.

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