Hello! My name is Gabriel Mugar and I work as a design researcher at IDEO. I have over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of technology, media, and community building. I draw on this experience to work with communities and organizations to design opportunities for learning, collaboration, and storytelling.
At IDEO, I have worked with governments to improve visibility and access to services through their digital platforms, helped corporations share their history to inspire new employees, and brought faculty together to use design thinking to innovate new student services. In addition to using traditional human-centered design research methods, I likes to collaborate with data scientists, bringing qualitative and quantitative data together to generate insights across scale.
I draw on a multi-disciplinary background in human computer interaction, organizational sociology, media studies, and education to inform my approach to research and design. Prior to IDEO, I worked as a researcher and educator, studying and using technology to support collaboration and learning in contexts ranging from large online communities to on the ground civic contexts. Some of my projects included helping astronomers at Oxford University improve their online platform for engaging volunteers in the discovery of new planets, working with Boston Public School students to use AR technology for community storytelling, and leading a national study funded by the MacArthur Foundation on the state of civic design. My research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
I hold a Ph.D in Information Science and Technology from Syracuse University and I am an affiliate faculty member at Emerson College where I teach courses on digital media and society, and qualitative research methods. I am the co-author of a forthcoming book on civic design, published by Oxford University Press.