Strategic Programs Team

The Strategic Programs were developed to grow the capacities necessary for professionals of all disciplines to flourish in environments and organizations where uncertainty and complexity are the norm. The programs immerse participants in a design studio setting modeled on Rhode Island School of Design’s 142 years of teaching excellence. Participants become better critical thinkers and problem solvers, better collaborators, and better communicators. Our aim is to help expand their capacities and empower them to contribute to some of the most exciting work the world has to offer.

Daniel Hewett Executive Director

Daniel Hewett leads RISD’s Strategic Design Programs, the Center for Complexity’s principal platform for delivering learning opportunities to RISD’s external partners. An architect, he teaches in the Departments of Landscape, and Interior Architecture and has held teaching and research appointments at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Architecture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he lectures in the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies. Mr. Hewett’s own teaching and research explore generative interactions between infrastructure and cultural systems in rapidly changing cities. He is the founder and director of URBANFRAME, a non-profit organization mobilizing individuals to design and pilot catalytic interventions in response to inefficiencies in complex urban systems. Mr. Hewett studied at the Graduate School of Architecture at Rice University.

Katie Edmonds Studio Lead

Katie Edmonds is a strategic designer specializing in the intersection of design and research. As Studio Lead, she develops and delivers programs that introduce and develop strategic design capabilities. Directly prior to joining RISD she worked in New York City at the intersection of nonprofit and government developing strategic interventions in economically vulnerable communities. This practice was based in placemaking and participatory design on topics including public safety and smart cities for clients including the NYC Mayor’s Office of Tech and Innovation and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Prior to her graduate studies she worked in Silicon Valley and New York City in a variety of startup contexts focusing on entertainment and technology. She holds a Masters degree in Media Studies and a Masters degree in Transdisciplinary Design from Parsons School of Design, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Charlene Sequeira Studio Lead

Charlene Sequeira is a design and communication strategist currently working as a Studio Lead for the Strategic Design Programs in India. Prior to RISD, she built over a decade of experience across UAE, Oman, India, and USA. She has worked in print and digital media, retail experience design, brand strategy, community engagement, social innovation, and education with a diverse portfolio of international clients. Working across cultures, industries, and design mediums brings openness and adaptability in Charlene’s approach to systemic issues. She holds a Master’s degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute, New York. Her final thesis on pedagogy and systems change for sustainable cultures was showcased at the European Academy of Design Conference (EAD) 2019. Her ongoing professional work explores low-carbon print and digital communication, and provides workshops around sustainability and design.

Past Team Members
  • Hyunseok An
  • Jonathan Melendez Davidson
  • Rohit Sen
  • Dongrui Tang
  • Yuying Shen
  • Punit Balamurugan
  • Sachin Salunke
  • Radhika Jamwal
  • Zera TK
  • Rebecca Nolan
  • Bryan Boyer
  • Dave Hampton
  • Tej Dev
  • Chaitanya Jambuluri
  • Praveen Indoori
  • Amruta Salunke
  • Ramon Solis
  • Louna Bou Ghanem
  • Sajiya Chaudhary
  • Sudhir Desai
  • Maria Gerdyman
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