Francesca Desmarais

Francesca Desmarais is an Interaction Design Lead at CIID. Across the institute, she leads professional projects with organisations and companies, teaches workshops, and is venturing a specific focus for CIID on designing for climate adaptation.

Francesca is responsible for leading teams through a people-centred design process to identify effective strategies, driving deep research, creative prototyping and tools, and incorporating distinctive elements like quantitative data and science into the design process. She teaches workshops in Design Research, Service Design, and Designing for Adaptation – both on the Interaction Design Programme and the CIID Summer School.

A systems thinker and strategist, Francesca has a strong background in environmental and social design. Her passion is fusing disciplines to shape a design process that helps communities and systems adapt to climate change. Prior to joining the CIID team, she was the Strategy and Research Lead for Architecture 2030, a top U.S. think tank in low-carbon architecture. She worked as a project lead, strategist, and spokesperson and was the Director of the 2030 Challenge for Products, an innovative initiative to reduce the embodied carbon of building products.

Francesca grew up on five different continents and has a bachelors of distinction in International Political Economy. She graduated with honours from CIID’s Interaction Design Programme in 2014.