Samira Matan (she/her) is a Canadian human-centered practitioner committed to using design and research to help solve complex challenges. She can often be seen laughing until she cries missing Timbits (very Canadian, eh?), and basking in the sun.
Samira was born to East African parents and grew up with dual-identities that have shaped the way she views and interacts with the world. Learning how to say “why” in multiple languages did not end in at her childhood. These days, she is fascinated by people and culture. She learns about people by focusing on what ties us together and what sets us apart from one another. As a researcher and designer, she can naturally connect with anyone—regardless of their background. She can often be found immersing herself in different contexts to better understand the people she is designing with: from homestays in Tanzania and learning about child malnutrition in northern Madagascar, to creating a storybook focused on the experiences of older adults in Canada, ethnography and co-design are a vital component of her research and design toolkit.
Samira has an interdisciplinary academic background in sociocultural anthropology, health sciences, and design strategy, which has allowed her to work on projects in Canada, Germany, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Senegal. She has worked on projects in ethical and responsible tourism, mental health, media broadcasting, civic technology, (mal)nutrition, smart cities, and sexual and reproductive health. She leverages her qualitative research, ethnography, and project management background to bring different people into the design process.
At ThinkPlace, Samira hopes to use her design and research skills for good by helping scale the impact of projects across the African continent and beyond.