I am Mirian Rodriguez Calvo, the new PhD candidate for the Leapfrog project within the Institute of Design Innovation at the Glasgow School of Art. My research interests have broadened from perceiving the built environment to understanding the complex relationships between people and their social conditions. Another brick in the wall is exploring the symbiotic relationship between the built environment and the flourishing of public social life, while embracing sociological approaches through design practices that shift the focus onto social issues.

What excites me about Leapfrog is that it seeks to incorporate communities into the design process by using a co-​design approach. It also looks at enhancing people’s lives by empowering communities. Another relevant aspect is the fact that it questions how to address challenges, for instance, how to evidence the use of engagement tools as part of collaborative approaches. It is all about exploring alternative models of consultation and how these have a long-​term impact.