Head of Department Product Design and Fashion Design
PhD BSc (Hons) PgCTHE FHEA
t: 029 20416624
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0187-7395
Specialist Subject Areas
Product Design, Human-Centred Design, Design Thinking, Medical Product Design, Human Factors, Ethnography, Design Process, Disruptive Innovation
• BSc (Hons) Product Design University of Wales Institute Cardiff
• Post Graduate Certificate in Research Skills: Art & Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University
• PhD Disruptive Innovation: Designing Culturally Appropriate Transformative Medical Product Solutions in Rural Zambia Cardiff Metropolitan University
• PgC Teaching in Higher Education, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Clara is a Senior Lecturer in Product Design and Head of Department CSAD’s BA, BSc and MSc Product Design and BA and MA Fashion Design programmes.
Clara completed her post-doctoral studies in 2017, which aimed to understand the impact of social, economic, political and cultural elements on the use of medical products in low-resource environments. She is a member of Cardiff Met’s User Centred Design Research (UCD-R) group and works closely with Cardiff School of Medicine, University Hospital Wales. Using the findings from her PhD studies she is working on a number of projects in collaboration with Cardiff Medical School, the National University Hospital in Wales and Cardiff Universities Phoenix Project (winner of Times Higher Education, International Collaboration of the Year Award, 2017). The aim of these projects is to improve patient care through increasing the usability and accessibility of life saving equipment. She is currently collaborating on a range of products for users including: the British Ministry of Defence, the International Community of the Red Cross, the Zambian Ministry of Health, the Welsh Ambulance Services, the NHS, and The Namibian Police Force.
A key element of her research involves the creation of low-cost, fit for purpose, sustainable medical products that enable universal access to life-saving medical equipment. A key outcome of the research has been the development of a low-cost user friendly Trauma Pack for use in low-resource environments. The Trauma Pack was included in Cardiff Met’s REF 2021.
In 2019 Clara took up the role of project lead for Phoenix Arts, a newly established sub-project under Cardiff Universities Phoenix project. Through this project Clara has been working with Cardiff University, The University of Namibia and the Namibian Ministry of Education to review and develop the Namibian curriculum for enterprise. This project is focused on enhancing the countries innovation sector through implementing a new curriculum that supports the delivery of a STEAMD curriculum, design thinking, circular economy and social enterprise.
Clara has also been awarded commonwealth funding, to explore methods of strengthening the health communication amongst marginalised populations in Zambia by developing non-invasive, human-centred, participatory approaches to visual communication. The approaches align with the WHO’s guides for effective communication: Accessible, Actionable, Credible and Trusted, Relevant, Timely, Understandable.
This Research strongly informs her teaching. In 2018, Clara graduated with a Post-graduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education (PgCTHE) and became a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Clara’s research aims to understand the impact of social, economic, political and cultural elements on the use of medical products in low-resource environments. She is a member of Cardiff Met’s User Centred Design Research (UCD-R) group and works closely with Cardiff School of Medicine, Cardiff Universities Phoenix Project and Cardiff Universities Bill Mapleson Centre. A key element of her research involves the creation of low-cost, fit for purpose, sustainable, medical products that enable universal access to life-saving medical equipment.
Principal Publications, Exhibitions and Awards
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0187-7395
2019 - Short Term Mobility Funding Cardiff Metropolitan International Office: Imagine: Namibia: £13,000
2017 - AHRC Research Networking Grant, - "Improving healthcare support for rural communities in India": £53,000
2017 - Medical Research Council, Early Phase study: £149,995
'TrauNAM-1 Introduction of the Cardiff Trauma Pack in Road Traffic Accidents in Namibia for use by First- Responders: An early phase study.'
2017 - Welsh Government, Life Sciences Hub, Bridge Funding: £63,413
'User testing Red Cross First Responder Pack with the Possibility of Improvements.'
Watkins, C.A., Loudon, G.H., Gill, S., and Hall, J.E. 'Improving Aid through Good Design: A Case Study in Rural Zambia.' 6th International conference on Design Research. ICord '17, Guwahati – India, 2017.
Loudon, G.H., Watkins, C.A., D'Onofrio, A., Hopkins, H. and Ancelot, E. 'Collaborative Research Model for Designing Sustainable Water Usage Solutions.' 6th International conference on Design Research. ICord '17, Guwahati – India, 2017.
Gill, S. and Watkins C. A. 'We made a lightweight trauma pack to save and change lives on rural African roads' The Conversation, 2017
'Cardiff Met students learn through Richard Parks' Antarctica Expedition.' National Centre for Universities and Businesses, State of the Relationship report, 2019.
'Product design students support Welsh business' National Centre for Universities and Businesses, State of the Relationship report, 2019.
Watkins C. A., Loudon, G. H., Hall J. E., Gill, S. and Hall, J.E. 'The Challenges of taking a User-Centric Approach within developing countries: A case study of designing medical solutions for Zambia' in the proceedings of the 11th European Academy of Design Conference, Paris Desartes University, Boulogne Billancourt, France, 2015.
Watkins, C.A., Loudon, G.H., Gill, S., and Hall, J.E. 'Can design thinking be used to improve healthcare in Lusaka Province, Zambia?' International Design Conference, Dubrovnik – Croatia, 2014.
PATENT: Watkins, C., Gill, S., Loudon, G., Hall, J. Trauma Kit 0222P/GB New Patent specification. Patent Application Number 1616282.8
- March 2021 - Modern University for Business & Science, Lebanon. Webinar. 'Unlocking Design Thinking to Reimagine the Future.'
- January, 2020 - RCBC Wales, Community of Scholars, Keynote. 'An Interdisciplinary Approach to Design for Development.
- February 2020 - Public Uni, Speaker. 'What is design for development?'
- August 2019 - Phoenix Project: 360 Data Communications; Cardiff University,
- August 2019 - Phoenix Project: Imagine Namibia, University of Namibia, Rundu Campus. 'Imagine.Namibia.'
- August, 2019 - Phoenix Project: Imagine Namibia, University of Namibia, Windhoek Campus. 'Imagine.Namibia.'
August 2018 - Namibian MVA 'Women in Road Safety' Conference. Presentation: The Cardiff Trauma Pack.
- January 2017 - 6th International Conference on Research into Design, ICord 2017. Podium Presentation: 'Improving Aid Through Good Design: A Case study in Rural Zambia.'
March 2017 - Life Sciences Innovation Showcase, 'Bottom-Up Innovation: A User-centred approach to developing First Responder Care.'
December 2017 - AHRC Next Generation Design Research Workshop: Presentation '"The experience of developing a low-cost trauma pack"
September 2017 - First Aid European Education Network (FAEEN), International Federation of the Red Cross, Annual Conference. Presentation and workshop: 'The Cardiff Trauma Pack: Design for Development.'
February 2017 - TrauNAM, Presentation of the Cardiff Trauma Pack; Namibian Police Force, Police Head Quarters.
February 2017 - TrauNAM, Presentation of the Cardiff Trauma Pack; Windhoek City Police, Head Quarters Windhoek.
February 2017 - TrauNAM, Presentation of the Cardiff Trauma Pack; The Namibia Red Cross Society, Head Quarters.
- July 2016 - MediWales Connects: NHS Collaboration Conference, Cardiff. Speaker: 'Designing for Development, Trauma Africa.'
- March 2015 - European Year of Development Conference, Cardiff. Key Note Speaker: 'Design for Development.'
- November 2015 - Clinical Innovation Wales, Speaker: 'Trauma Africa.'
July 2015 - Clinical Innovation Wales, Speaker: 'Mobile Monitoring for Rural Environments.'
April 2015 - the 11th European Academy of Design Conference 6th International Conference on Research into Design, ICord 2017 Podium Presentation: 'The Challenges of taking a User-Centric Approach within developing countries: A case study of designing medical solutions for Zambia.'
- February 2014 - International Design Conference, Podium Presentation: 'Can design thinking be used to improve healthcare in Lusaka Province, Zambia?'
Honours / Awards