Tracks: Research Through Design

What Strive means to me: Finding ways to include unheard voices.

When designing for those who live on the margins, traditional research and design processes don’t always work. Co-design is one of the methods that the Inclusive Design Research Centre employs; we are constantly redefining co-design to strive towards making design processes and outcomes more equitable and inclusive.

In this talk, we will be discussing co-design from an inclusion perspective. We’ll share some of opportunities and challenges that we have encountered when trying to co-design with diverse communities, particularly marginalized populations who are often left out of research processes. We will cover different aspects and modes of co-design from our organization’s point of view, and elaborate on what differentiates co-design from other research methods. Finally, we will ground our discussion in tangible case studies of projects we’ve done.

Cheryl Li.

Inclusive Designer, Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)


Cheryl is a designer who is passionate about using participatory and inclusive practices to turn human needs into tangible products and experiences. She currently spends her time working for the Inclusive Design Research Centre and Ample Labs, a grassroots nonprofit building technology to empower those experiencing homelessness. Her experience spans interaction design, service design, and design research.

Sepideh Shahi.

Senior Inclusive Designer, Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)

Sepideh works as a senior inclusive designer at the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) at OCAD University in Toronto. Her work focuses on design research and user-centered design methods. Sepideh started her career as an industrial designer then transitioned to design research. Throughout her career, she has advocated for the inclusion of people with varying needs and capabilities to ensure their perspectives are directly incorporated in the design process right from the beginning. She is currently leading the co-design activities related to Coding to Learn and Create project–a federal funded project in partnership with Bridges Canada that aims to build an inclusive coding environment for kids with disabilities.