Dr Manuela Taboada

Manuela Taboada


Senior Lecturer


School of Design, Visual Communication

Areas of research & interest:

  • Behaviour change
  • Circular economy
  • Communications
  • Communities & society
  • Education


  • Communities in transition
  • Nature based solutions
  • Technology solutions

Research Institution:



Dr Manuela Taboada, Senior Lecturer in Visual Communication, has over 15 years experience in visual communication design, design for change, collaborative design methods and systems thinking. Manuela has a PhD from the University of New England (Australia), and degrees in Industrial Design / Visual Communication (Federal University of Bahia, Brazil) and in Computer Science (Salvador University, Brazil). In her research and practice, Taboada uses bespoke collaborative design processes as tools for facilitating innovation and triggering systemic change. She combines systems thinking (complex emergency) with decolonial design theories and concepts of deep ecology to establish the framework for her co-design methods. Over the years, Taboada has worked as a researcher and designer in Australia, Brazil, Timor-Leste and Fiji. As part of the QUT Design Lab and the QUT Centre for a Waste-Free World Manuela has lead several co-design projects which delivered interventions in the areas of marine conservation, policy design, plastic waste, identity development, entrepreneurship and improvement of healthcare services. Recently, Taboada has led projects focused on reducing plastic consumption and waste where she applies co-design and technology to test multiple ways that might help people shift their everyday habits and perceptions in relation to plastic.