Satellite x DESIS 2020


From May – October 2020, Satellite partnered with the Emily Carr DESIS lab to offer a residency to develop major sustainability and social innovation projects.

In scope of Satellite X DESIS, 5 Emily Carr project teams received access to studio space, mentorship, peer support and funding toward the goal of developing projects within a real-world context, including developing products or services; initiating events, programs, initiatives or community partnerships; or starting studios, collectives, agencies or non-profits.

Read the report that documents the approach and project outcomes here

2020 projects:

Pocket Change
By Morgan Martino and Naomi Boyd
Mentor: Kate Fletcher, UA London and Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion 

Pockets facilitate the interactions we have with everyday objects and the world around us. They give us autonomy and freedom to carry things, privacy for our possessions, spaces to share, exchange, and demonstrate reciprocity with our friends and community. Their size and placement can show us gender inequality, their contents; wealth inequality, their materials and construction; environmental injustices.

Pocket Change is an opportunity to engage others in dialogues related to experience of gender, class, place and the environment through accessible and shareable design activities centering around pocket equity. These activities will explore the repair/reuse/redesign of pre-existing artifacts and materials as a sustainable practice, rather than relying on the consumption of new products. They will be celebrations of identity sharing, storytelling and worldmaking through textiles. We see this moment as an excellent occasion for individuals and communities to interrogate their role in global material and cultural economies, to create and enact meaningful and significant paradigm shifts within our relationship to textile design, production, consumption, and equity.    

Fruitcake Press
By Josh Singler
Mentor: Be Oakley, GenderFail Press 

Fruitcake is an independent queer publishing initiative that exists within a constant state of flux and disorientation. Born out of the belief that within the conflict of disorientation lies great potential, Fruitcake pulls on queer and feminist theories to support this ideology.

All Fruitcake projects accept and welcome failure, open dialogue, and respectful critique through queer design, art, and writing. Fruitcake aims to publish works that engage in a critical reimagining of self to contribute to a more inclusive understanding of the world that we live in.


By Annie Canto, Nura Ali and Jean Chisholm
Mentor: Bopha Chhay, Artspeak

POOL fosters community-based practises that explore new ways of gathering and collective learning. Antiracist pedagogy, decolonial methodology, and peer-to-peer solidarity make up the core of our practises. With these interests at the heart of our work, this project expands our understanding of community support and activism by exploring new ways to gather that embody relational and mutually supportive ways of being, and challenge the hegemonic structures that disconnect us from the communities and ecologies we live within.

Through different iterations of social gatherings we aim to build relationships with community leaders and activists in our networks while reflecting on the flexibility of our socially engaged practices as they transition in the face of new and unforeseen social barriers. We aim to work with mentors and collaborators who support their communities through equity work in various ways – individuals who enact an understanding of homeplace as a site of resistance. We are excited to explore the new kinds of connectivity that can be fostered in this time of precarity and to learn from the practices of labour organizers, artist/activists, and social justice scholars who are beginning to transition their work to and from distant spaces.

Studio Peal
By Zara Huntley and Lauren Thu
Mentor/Advisors: Nu Goteh, Room for Magic; Cas Holman, Rigamajig; Gillian Russell; Amanda Huynh; Pratt Institute; Alex Groves and Azusa Murakami, Studio Swine

Peal is a design studio created to address the lack of platforms for critically minded design work in Vancouver, BC. We see opportunities for inquiry in everyday routines and discarded endeavours, and use design to address issues in new ways. By embracing humility in our work, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to new perspectives and dialogues regarding resiliency, empathy, accessibility and agency. Our projects are not meant for consumer consumption, instead, they are tools and devices for social conversation and change. They are meant to be lived with, taken along as talismans towards our unknown fate.

Our first project as Peal will explore and address issues surrounding materiality and place. We are currently in a conceptual phase, experimenting with local material collection and processing techniques to find new ways of talking about the land around us and the context in which we operate on it. Through storytelling and engagement with non-experts, we speculate that interactions with materialities can help connect these concepts and support the passing of tacit knowledge. 

The Radical Waste Project

by Garima Sood and Damien Stonick
Mentors: Michelle Austin,, Sarah Hay, Slow and Steady Design

Radical Waste reimagines the food system by considering waste from the food industry as a resource to generate social and material resilience.

The project aims to map local waste streams in order to redirect and reformat waste as a method of reimagining our existing economic, social and political systems. Through meaningful interaction with waste material and other material and social endeavours, these systems can be restructured around local resilience, circular patterns of production and consumption, as well as reciprocity and interdependence.

Ongoing works are grounded in material exploration and development, collaborative design exercises, social innovation and impact and  waste redirection through crafts and design. By developing a network of information flows, this project encourages dialogue with industry, business, and agriculture to support equitable and accessible food systems.



The Emily Carr DESIS Lab supports research that advances design for social innovation towards sustainability. DESIS envisions a future that supports resilience, equity and diversity across human and ecological systems through social innovation, design and environmental justice.

Emily Carr’s lab joined the DESIS network, made up of 46 labs worldwide, in 2012 and is currently the only DESIS lab in Canada. The lab supports a range of projects and activities, including mentoring DESIS students, contributing to curriculum at Emily Carr, supporting academic and extra-curricular activity, and contributing to discourse and advocacy for sustainability and social matters.

Satellite X DESIS is generously supported by the Vancouver Foundation and the Accountability Council for Co-op Education and Work-Integrated Learning (ACCE-WIL) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.