Zina Semenova

The quintessential millennial, Zina wears many hats. She dedicated her early life to classical music and holds a BA in musicology from Conservatory in Russia. Besides her academic studies she enjoys interviewing people and telling good stories.

Once, she found herself with pen, camera, and notebook in the middle of Siberian taiga interviewing local indigenous people and writing a piece about their disappearing culture.

To Zina design combines both analytical and creative thinking. This connection is essential to both make an impact and scale it up for maximum use. This aspect is the most inspiring and gives Zina confidence that small groups can make large positive changes in people’s lives.

Zina spent the last year helping families raise money to fund their children’s gene therapy treatment. These children were all born with an ultra-rare gene disorder called Canavan disease. Recent advancements in medicine have made it possible to find an effective treatment for previously fatal conditions although the price tag is extremely expensive.

Zina hopes the design course at AC4D will better equip her to solve difficult problems. She is excited to collaborate on a team and bring her insights to the table.

When is not working, Zina likes to try new authentic restaurants with her husband Manuel or play at Austin parks with her two year old daughter Claire.

Recent blog posts

Eight Authors on Design Research Metodologies

For class we read eight different positions on theories, frameworks and practices of design research.  My role  for this assignment was to make sense of these diverse sources and choose another angle to look at the design with, design for paradigm. In constructing a perpendicular axis to design with, design for I evaluated where each author…

Five Positions on Ethics: The Role of Design in the Society

What ethics mean when talking about design? What ethics mean to me? What products I allow in my life? The following principles are important to me when considering ethics in design:  well researched, user-centred design that has a purpose.  provides an optimistic promise to solve the problem.  does not have hidden business goals to influence behaviour…

Research Plan or Not an Easy Journey Revealed

In our first Design Research class we split into teams of three. The goal for the next two quarters (IDSE101 & IDSE202) is to work with a nonprofit organization of our choice, from a predetermined list. We were warned that this class has a fast-moving speed and an initial research plan, plus presentation are due…

Reflection on Bootcamp

It’s been eight years now since I’ve been outside of formal learning experience and I was a bit nervous before orientation week.  I’ve known design by browsing the web, taking online courses from design practitioners back in Russia, and exercising my creative juices by doing things in Sketch/Photoshop.  However, AC4D is an entire new chapter in…

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