Fjord Fika podcast: We chat with Ralph Vacca
Episode 12: Ralph Vacca is a designer, researcher and educator. Through design-based research, his work draws together theories and methods from design, the social sciences and the humanities to analyze the cultural and social qualities of design and to prototype experimental systems and processes. He’s particularly interested in how the research through design (RtD) and participatory design approaches work together to amplify the needs of marginalized groups and provide resources for new forms of empowerment.
Ralph holds a PhD from NYU in Educational Communication and Technology, where he is also a visiting assistant professor, and he co-founded a simulations design company in New York City focused on mental health.
In this Fika break, we talk to Ralph about how growing up as a Latino male helped him become interested in education technology and influence his perspective on design work. We also talk about the implications for the future — whether that’s cultural identity, machine learning, or the importance of prototyping. And we can even kick around the age old question: “Should a designer code?”