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Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc)

Thao Ha

Hello! I’m Thao - a Vietnamese designer coming from a mixed background in media, product marketing and social entrepreneurship. I’m interested in how technology and design can be used to reimagine and co-create alternative futures for education.

Prior to GID, I began my career at Fortune 500 companies before taking the leap into social entrepreneurship as one of the 25 founders in South East Asia selected for the Young Sustainable Impact incubator in 2020. Since then, I have been helping various start-ups in the climate tech space to launch and validate products and services from scratch.

Relevant experience

Product Design Lead at AgriG8 (2022)

Design Facilitator at Royal College of Art - Executive Education (2022)

Digital Strategist at the Wall Street Journal (2020-2022)

Founder in Residence at Young Sustainable Impact SE Asia (2020)


MA/MSc Global Innovation Design - Royal College of Art and Imperial College London (2021-2023)

Exchange at Nanyang Technological University - Art, Design & Media School (Singapore)

Exchange at Keio University - Graduate School of Media Design (Tokyo, Japan)

BSc Management - University of Bath (2015 - 2019) 

profile picture of Thao Ha

Joining GID from a non-design background, my professional practice utilises design methodologies as a tool for cross-disciplinary collaboration. With the unique opportunity to study in Tokyo and Singapore, my work over the past year has revolved around designing with and for Asian communities. 

In this showcase, I am sharing two pieces of work that explore the role of emerging technology in pushing boundaries for cultural storytelling and education. 

  • Ecoscape is a virtual reality-based tool to help architectural students gain hands-on knowledge of sustainable building design.
  • Re-told is a storytelling tool for preserving cultural heritage and endangered languages through crowdsourcing oral stories.

Ecoscape Virtual Reality Demo
in situ photo

Ecoscape aims to address the sustainability skill gap within architectural education.

Through a co-design process with practitioners, educators and students there has been little innovation in learning tools that can meet urgent pressure to upskill students in climate literacy. 

In an attempt to explore the role of immersive technology, Ecoscape is a virtual reality based tool to help architectural students gain hands-on knowledge of sustainable building design on topics such as evaluating material options and design for disassembly in a 3D environment.

By allowing students to engage with real life sites that are difficult or unsafe to replicate in real life, the VR experience is designed as a teaching aid to supplement classroom based learning. It is imagined that the platform can provide an unique opportunity for students to learn from real life sustainable design projects, which can bridge the gap between academia and practice. 

children holding retold book

Re-told is a storytelling tool that helps younger generations document their families’ oral stories, whilst preserving their cul

Through ethnography and fieldwork research with two descendants of Orang Pulau, Singapore's indigenous islanders, Syazwan Majid and Asnida Daud, we learned the importance of documenting stories about cultural traditions that are slowly disappearing. Oral storytelling, despite its integral role in indigenous cultures, was found to be overlooked as a communication method in today’s increasingly visual world. Together we co-designed a multi-sensorial workshop to understand the younger generations’ relationship with their cultural heritage. The results demonstrated a disconnection between young people and their roots, including lacking knowledge of the dialects and languages spoken by older family members. 

As an intervention, we designed a digital tool that would turn everyday families’ stories into an audiobook. Capturing all of the recorded stories in their original languages, along with the written translation, Re-told then delivers a keepsake book that can be passed on for generations. By having a digitised family archive of cultural anecdotes, the audio data crowdsourced by the Re-told community can also be contributed to conservation initiatives such as Indigenous AI to slow down the threat of disappearing languages.

retold storyboard
retold app interface
retold book
tile showing students
What is the one question you would ask your grandparents?