skip to Main Content
shaymaa DT Gumbo facebook_linkedin_website graphics

Using Critical Utopia in Research

A free virtual design thinking workshop
Nov, 16, 2020, 6:30 to 7:30 pm CDT.

About the Workshop

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary to explore different ways of thinking and re-imagining new futures. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to co-creation methods that focus on the future, in particular Critical Utopian Action Research (CUAR), a research method that allows people to be critical of the present, dream of utopia, and then to take action.

This method combines utopian thinking and social learning to act upon critical experience and co-create visionary ideas directed by imagining better futures. Participants will learn how other researchers have used this method in their own work, with a particular emphasis on how it has been used in design research. Finally, participants will learn to use CUAR-based approaches in a few short activities.

“ I just wanted to say thank you for telling me the third question. I just put it in the chat, but I went to a meeting once where they said they were doing this but they only got to the second question and it was so disappointing because we were all like great in the future. It’s going to be awesome and then they like didn’t have us think go back and think about like what we could do now together.”

– Kristy Pace, Workshop Participant

Presentation Information

About the Presenter

Woman smiling wearing black clothes in front of a white wall.

Shaymaa Abdalal is a Physician-Scientist who loves to find innovative ways to approach her population based Public Health research.

  • As a graduate assistant in Design Thinking for Social Impact at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center at Tulane University, she is integrating her dreams of an equitable world into a design tool that can be useful in a pandemic.
  • To change the world, we live in we need to be able to imagine the world we desire.
  • She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Tropical Medicine at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.


About the Series

Design Thinking (DT) Gumbo is a series of one-hour workshops on a variety of methods that can be used in design research. Each workshop will introduce a method, share examples of its use in other settings, and include space for participants to practice the method together.

  • Think of these methods as ingredients to make your design thinking work much more rich and flavorful. Try out the different ingredients and see which ones appeal the most to your palate.
  • This semester all of our method workshops will focus on understanding people’s experience of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • DT Gumbo is a project of the design thinking program of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University.
  • All workshops are co-facilitated by Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel and a Taylor Center Design Thinking Graduate Assistant.
Back To Top
×Close search