Cara Broadley is a Research Associate on Leapfrog. Underpinned by her interest in the changing role of the designer and design-led approaches to addressing complex social challenges, in 2013 she completed her practice-based AHRC-funded PhD exploring the role of participatory design approaches, visual methods, and reflective practice in engaging with organisations and communities. Working in contexts of wellbeing, care, and equality through her research with The Institute of Design Innovation at The Glasgow School of Art, Cara has contributed to a number of projects in collaboration with NHS Scotland, The Scottish Government, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and has presented at conferences, both nationally and internationally. In 2015, she worked with the AHRC-funded Design in Action (DiA) Knowledge Exchange Hub to investigate how design approaches can enhance societal wellbeing, whilst driving enterprise and innovation.
Inspired by her background in ceramics and drawing, Cara’s research investigates how the layers of knowledge and wisdom embodied by cultural artefacts might be unpicked, unravelled, and reimagined through different materials to evoke narratives of people and place. Employing her practice in these contexts has informed an ongoing research interest around the application of asset-based approaches – to identify existing skills, talents, and capabilities from within communities, that may be hidden or ineffable – and to devise creative, visual ways to share these strengths with others.