Ivana D Monson

Open Studio: 3rd - 4th February 2023
MA 2023

Bright. Adventurous. Thoughtful.

My favourite flower is the golden poppy. The bright orange hue instantly makes me smile, I once dyed my hair the very same shade. As my home state's official flower I was taught young that it was illegal to pick them, and true to my nature I never once plucked a single bloom. Though I would often kneel down to feel the irresistible velvety texture of the petals. What I love about flowers is how humans love them. Every variety has a bit of human history wrapped up in its story...and if you know the stories a garden becomes a library.

As a designer, I am passionate about creating narratives that move people. After graduating with a B.S. in industrial design and working for the past 10 years as a designer and director, I found strength in my ability to articulate direction and lead teams to success. Aspiring to make a meaningful impact and tackle systemic challenges I came to the RCA to study service design.

Outside the design studio, you will likely find me exploring the world with my husband Vizal, petting a cat, or tossing a disc with my old college ultimate frisbee teammates.

final project 2022

WIP project 2022

The Royal College of Art partnered with The White Eagle Appeal and leading design agency Hellon to expand U.K. services to the Ukrainian refugee community and to help define a system that could be scaled. A team of five co-designed a service concept entitled Context, a digital friend which helps newly arrived families settle in the U.K. 

Context is a browser extension which supports refugees by overlaying crowdsourced cultural interpretations of information onto existing websites. Context was developed and validated through a series of in-depth interviews, workshops and feedback sessions with members of the Ukrainian refugee community at the White Eagle Appeal.

Copyright © Royal College of Art, 2023. All Right Reserved.


Hidden Kitchen

My thesis project centres on cultural preservation through tourism and food. Examining how stakeholders in the service industry might expand their offerings to meet the demands of travellers seeking authentic and rich experiences with respect to local communities. Focusing on food as an entry point for such cultural exchange, and the many ways we can experience food beyond just eating at a restaurant. As a part of this project, I will be exploring greater themes of cultural identity, travel ethics, and the hidden contributions of matriarchs in society.

I am currently seeking project partners that are interested in the future of travel.  Do you want to be a pioneer in the advancement of ethical tourism? Let's break bread!

*Pictured above is Maria making poi, educating the audience on this traditional Polynesian staple.