Rita Maldonado Branco

Rita Maldonado Branco is a communication designer and researcher. She holds a degree in Design (2008) from the University of Aveiro and graduated with distinction in the MA Communication Design (2012) from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, with a project that explored communication design contributions to dementia. This research was taken forward through her PhD in Design (2018), at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto in partnership with the University of Aveiro and the Research Institute for Design Media and Culture (ID+). Her practice-based doctoral research focused on how communication design can support the maintenance of social relationships and communication between people with dementia and their families, who were involved to participate in the project. Rita also worked as a communication designer in Porto at Providência Design studio, and in London, at the Design Against Crime Research Centre and Minus9Design studio. Her professional practice revolved mainly around editorial, information, wayfinding and exhibition design, and science communication. Her main research interests are related with supporting social causes, health and education through design. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Minho, and at Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra (ESEC).

Current positions

  • Visiting Professor Universidade do Minho
  • Assistant Professor Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra

PhD Details

Publications

Books
  • Canli, E., & Branco, R. M. (2016) (Eds.) Proceedings of UD15: Periphery and Promise, 4th PhD in Design Forum. Porto: PhD Design, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Hendriks, N. & Wilkinson, A. (2018) (Eds.), Dementia Lab event: Stories from design and research. Dementia Lab Belgium. Link
Book chapters
  • Branco, R. M. (2014). Design de Comunicação ao serviço da Doença de Alzheimer. In Fonseca, A. M. (Ed.), Demência na Terceira Idade: Contributos Teóricos, Competências a Mobilizar e Estratégias de Intervenção (pp. 97-117). ADRAVE. Link
  • Branco, R. M. (2015) Communication Design for Alzheimer’s Disease: understanding the disease and facilitating interaction through communication design. In Lee, Y. & Moore, P. (Eds.), Ageing, Ingenuity & Design: International Cases Collection 2015 (pp. 174-183). Hong Kong: DESIS Network. Link
International journals
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2015). Getting closer, empathising and understanding: setting the stage for a codesign project with people with dementia. Interaction Design and Architectures Journal – IxD&A, 26, 114–131. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2017) Personalised participation: an approach to involve people with dementia and their families in a participatory design project. CoDesign, 13(2), 127–143. Link
National journals
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J. (2015) Observation Through Design: A preliminary study for a design research project with people with dementia. In Proceedings of UD14 – Encontro Ibérico de Doutoramentos em Design. Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro.
International conferences
  • Slegers, K., Hendriks, N., Duysburgh, P., Maldonado Branco, R., Vandenberghe, B., & Brandt, E. (2016). Sharing Methods for Involving People with Impairments in Design: Exploring the Method Story Approach. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3331-3338). ACM. Link
  • Van Dijk, J., Hendriks, N., Frauenberger, C., Verhoeven, F., Slegers, K., Brandt, E., & Branco, R. M. (2016). Empowering people with impairments: How participatory methods can inform the design of empowering artifacts. In Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Interactive Exhibitions, Workshops-Volume 2 (pp. 121-122). ACM. Link
  • Branco, R. M. (2017) Tapping into other resources; a cross-disciplinary approach. In Hendriks, N., Wilkinson, A. & Schoenaers, D. (Eds.) Dementia Lab: The role of design (pp. 29-32). Dementia Lab Belgium. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2015). “I’m always well when we are together”: Observation of institutional activities with people with dementia and its implications fora co-design research project. In K. Christer (Ed.) Proceedings of 3rd European Conference on Design4Health, Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2016) Playing with personalisation and openness in a codesign project involving people with dementia. In Bossen, C., Smith, R. C., Kanstrup, A. M., McDonnell, J., Teli, M., & Bødker, K. (Eds.) Participation in an Era of Participation: Proceedings of the 14th Participatory Design Conference, (pp. 61–70). Aarhus: Aarhus University. New York: ACM. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2016) Tactile explorations in a codesign project involving people with dementia. In Desmet, P. M. A., Fokkinga S. F., Ludden, G., Cila, N., & Van Zuthem, H. (Eds.) Celebration & Contemplation: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion (pp. 642-650). Amsterdam: The Design & Emotion Society. Link
  • Branco, R. M., Quental, J., & Ribeiro, O. (2018) Co-creating stories with people with dementia: experiences of using a cards game in familial and institutional settings. In Branco, R. M., Hendriks, N. & Wilkinson, A. (Eds.), Dementia Lab event: Stories from design and research (pp.109–122). Dementia Lab Belgium. Link
Other publications
  • Branco, R. M. (2015) Books of Forgetfulness. In Zeilig, H. (Ed.) Mirror Mirror: Representations and Reflections on Age and Aging, Age Culture Humanities Journal, Issue 2. Link
  • Branco, R. M. (2018, 29 de Julho) Design e Demência: Cuidar com Significado. Público/P2, pp. 30. Link