As per the World Bank, children make up almost 30% of the world population, and their specific rights, carefully protected by the 1989 UN Convention, make them active, creative social agents.
DESIGNEDIN beliefs in the power of design to uplift our society and shape a future where children thrive.

15 years after founding and successfully growing the design and innovation studio, Claan, — graduated company from the Creative Industries of the Science and Technology Park of University of Porto — I have united our acquired expertise and established DESIGNEDIN.

DESIGNEDIN is a profit-for-purpose specialised in design services and digital media dedicated to children and other stakeholders such as museums, institutions, companies with specific needs or challenges on this field, embracing a child-centered and rights-based approach, driven by the ethos foundational principles of the well-being of children and the commitment to a sustainable planet.

In 2021, I led an application to the European Commission by a remarkable consortium of professionals and institutions committed to the cause – engineers, sociologists, psychologists and designers (FEUP, FCUP, ProChild). Although not approved, its impact left a legacy, the seed that germinated into what we now know as DESIGNEDIN.

What might a world designed for children look like?

During the first lockdown in 2020, I gained a new perspective while deeply reflecting on my role as a designer, a mother, and an educator.

In the midst of the pandemic, with the kindergarten closed I’ve used design methodologies and daily co-design and co-creation activities with my child. We drew, built things, made stop-motion videos, and experimented with different materials. This time became an opportunity for both of us to bond and tap into imagination, providing an enjoyable escape from the world’s happenings.

By closely observing her daily life, I started to realize that the world around her wasn’t designed with her best interests in mind. Sometimes, she struggled to fit in because as she couldn’t understand or interact with her surroundings. This made me question: What might a world designed for children look like?

I’m genuinely interested in how design can enhance life and empower children, parents, designers, entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, communities, and society as a whole. Through intentional design I aim at creating outstanding solutions based on a kid’s and teen’s first approach.

About me

Hello, I’m Clara Vieira Rodrigues, a designer, entrepreneur, and design activist.

I am a columnist on child-centered design and tech at PÚBLICO newspaper and I serve as a dedicated mentor, guiding individuals and startups to success at NEW INC, the New Museum of Contemporary Art NY incubator for art and technology.
I am a passionate volunteer who has founded the Portuguese chapter of the Designing for Children’s Rights global non-profit association. I’m committed to promoting children’s rights and driving positive change in society.

I was born in Porto, Portugal and I’ve lived in many cities, including overseas:
— I studied interaction design at the Willem de Kooning Academy of the University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
— Early in my career I’ve lived in Vienna and freelanced at Siemens Austria.
— In 2011, I joined the International Acceleration Program Startup Chile and lived in South America. I have been sharing expertise in creativity, entrepreneurship, and digital creative design at companies and universities.
I was an invited tutor, coach and mentor at the School of Startups, an acceleration program for entrepreneurs of the Science and Technology Park of the University of Porto and at Startup Pirates.

Most importantly, I’m the proud mother of an inspiring girl. 🙂

Listen to the podcast ‘Designing for Children’s Best’ episode 6 about co-creation and design activism: