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