Aalto University: Finding the red thread between design research, science and technology and innovation

Andrea Botero Cabrera has been appointed to the position of Associate Professor, New Frontiers in Design starting from August 2022. The professorship builds on Aalto University’s mission to seek and build crossovers between disciplines, communities, education, research and practice. Andrea Botero Cabrera will be involved in the Department of Design degree programmes, such as the MA programmes Collaborative and Industrial Design and Creative Sustainability, as well as the new international BA programme in Design.

”I want to develop infrastructural relations and distributed, collaborative and experimental arrangements for invention, co-creation and design otherwise. I also want to provide conceptual, theoretical and methodological contributions to teaching and research that engages with complex arrangements of socially embed, relevant and just innovations; from a critical and creative perspective that values highly the potential of people’s everyday experiences and experimental capabilities”, Botero Cabrera says.

As an academic Andrea Botero Cabrera has worked as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at Aalto ARTS Department of Design since 2019 and as a post-doc at the faculty of information systems and electrical engineering at Oulu University (2016-2017). She has also worked as researcher and project manager at Aalto ARTS department of media, where she conducted her doctoral research and taught in the MA in the New Media program. In 2006 she was a visiting researcher at the Meraka Institute of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, in 2008 visiting researcher in Stanford University, USA and in 2014 visiting professor in Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.

As a practitioner Andrea Botero Cabrera has worked as interaction, service designer and design researcher, in a large variety of projects at the intersection of collaborative design, creative practices, emerging digital technologies and transformations. Before coming to Finland she worked in a design studio in Bogota, which she co-founded. She is also a partner in a design research consultancy in Finland called Suo&Co.

Andrea Botero Cabrera has worked on a variety of different levels of design practice and research, and one aim is in common with all of her projects: to find more just innovation processes. All in all, her work combines design research, science and technology studies and innovation studies — she is interested in the blurred area between these, trying to find the red thread between the cases.

‘I believe all innovation processes are collective’, she says.

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