Meet Erika and Pras

Meet Erika

Erika Renedo likes to create, and to invent things. She likes to solve puzzles: to work on something that seems very hard and impossible, to find a way to connect all the pieces, and somehow make them fit. 

As a kid...

She wanted to be an inventor. 

Meet Pras

Pras Gunasekera does not want to be a traditional designer. He does not want to design objects like an iPhone. Instead, he wants to add value to social structures. He wants to create positive change by empowering individuals to work together on co-design projects. 

Co-design = the process by which design professionals empower, encourage, and guide users to develop solutions for themselves.

As a Kid...

He wanted to be an architect. In college, he studied architecture and became interested in the psychology of people within public spaces. 

Together

They are creating a design studio called Bidean to democratize therapy. 
They are treating mental health issues through design methodologies. 

Through design: 
They are helping mental health patients communicate and express their emotions.
They are empowering patients with the skills they need to design solutions for themselves, and for the world. 

Erika and Pras are co-creating solutions with the patients: spaces, services, and design objects which serve as cost-effective alternatives to therapy. 

Today

They are working with the biggest mental health charity in the UK, running workshops which empower patients to speak about their experiences, and to develop the tools needed to assist them in their own recovery process. The patients are designing solutions for themselves, and for a larger public interested in psychology and mental health. 

"I believe that you have to accept diversity in order to become equal... Over time, the project developed into a series of objects that being analogous to the principles that govern dreams and troubled minds, help to generate conversation and empathy, make diversity tangible. Celebrate it."


"I believe that you have to accept diversity in order to become equal... Over time, the project developed into a series of objects that being analogous to the principles that govern dreams and troubled minds, help to generate conversation and empathy, make diversity tangible. Celebrate it."

"The static archetypes of the everyday are`dynamized’. Objects make the static matters of our minds, dynamic. The relationships are `dynamized’. 'They make the sane mad and the mad sane' "(Bosson to Renedo, 2012)


"The static archetypes of the everyday are`dynamized’. Objects make the static matters of our minds, dynamic. The relationships are `dynamized’. 'They make the sane mad and the mad sane' "(Bosson to Renedo, 2012)

"The objective is to help families bypass judgemental perspectives; go beyond the pathological view of the affected person." 


"The objective is to help families bypass judgemental perspectives; go beyond the pathological view of the affected person." 

"NHS Funding for Mental Health is decreasing lately, and patients no longer have periodical visits to a psychiatrist and psychologist. The care of the affected people depends on the community and the local charities, opening a new area for design intervention."


"NHS Funding for Mental Health is decreasing lately, and patients no longer have periodical visits to a psychiatrist and psychologist. The care of the affected people depends on the community and the local charities, opening a new area for design intervention."

"The speculative nature that we apply to some of our projects, … hardly links back to the `real world´ and lacks of mediums to do so. This project explores the therapeutic value of these design approaches." Work and words by Erika Renedo. 


"The speculative nature that we apply to some of our projects, … hardly links back to the `real world´ and lacks of mediums to do so. This project explores the therapeutic value of these design approaches."

Work and words by Erika Renedo.