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138: The Future of Design Education with Dr. Ana Rita Morais

Updated: Jun 15


We’re back at it! My creative confidant, Nat Lumby, and I recently sat down with a design education leader, Dr. Ana Rita Morais.


Ana Rita Morais (she/her) is a Portuguese-born, Toronto-based academic, educator, and administrator. She is the Chair of the School of Design at George Brown College where she works closely with faculty and students across twelve academic programs. While in this role she was the recipient of Eastern Canada's 2021 RGD Educator Award.


Currently, she runs Pay Design Interns (an ongoing database of the companies and studios across Toronto that are committed to paying design and creative interns), is the Principal Investigator on a multi-year NSERC CCSIF funded project in partnership with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and a former member of the Board of Directors at The ArQuives.


Ana Rita holds a Doctorate from the Communication and Culture Program at Toronto Metropolitan University where she produced a SSHRC-funded research-creation project, me-dérive: toronto— an augmented reality counter-archive of Toronto's historical urban environments.


Previously, she was a member of the HXOUSE programming team, and faculty at both George Brown College and Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching courses in Interaction Design, Media Research, Strategic Storytelling, and Research Methodologies for Design and Media.


She has given talks at MIT, Oxford, City University London, and TIFF. Her work has been featured by the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, the Registered Graphic Design Association, The—Brand Identity, and Typewolf (twice!).


Overall, she's passionate about pedagogy, research, calendars, and her English Bulldog Rosie.


In this conversation, Ana Rita shares her thoughts on where she believes the future of design education is heading. She gives us a peek into the ways in which paradigm-shifting tech like AI can be integrated into educational spaces, as well as the evolution of her large-scale calendar project supporting BIPOC students in need. The conversation continues with Ana Rita’s vision of future learning environments and how the traditional classroom continues to expand into new spaces, helping students embrace curiosity, develop critical thinking skills and improve their communication skills. Ana Rita shares what excites her the most – and what scares her the most – about the future of design education, as well as how the myriad of free design resources online is (or isn’t) changing formal means of design education. Lastly, you’ll learn about a big, important project Ana Rita’s embarking on in this space.


Let’s listen in…







About Our Guest:

Ana Rita is a Portuguese-born, Toronto-based academic, educator and administrator. She holds a doctorate from the Communication and Culture Program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has devoted much of her academic career to investigating mobile media, including her SSHRC-funded research-creation doctoral project, me-dérive: toronto— an augmented reality counter-archive of Toronto's historical urban environments. Ana Rita runs Pay Design Interns, is the Principal Investigator on a multi-year NSERC-funded project in partnership with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a former member of the HXOUSE programming team, a director on the board at The ArQuives and the recipient of Eastern Canada's 2021 RGD Educator Award.




Music: I Care - Loyalty Freak Music licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal License.


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Episode Artwork: Canva (remixed)


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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