Keith (he/him) is an Associate and Senior Director of Experience Outcomes for the global design agency Forge Media and Design. He holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from York University. He serves as a Fellow at McLaughlin College with peer-reviewed published works in Taylor and Francis Architectural Science Review. Keith is a member of the BrainXChange Design and Dementia Community of Practice, a board member of the Canadian Healthcare Infrastructure, a guest lecturer for the Ontario Association of Architects, the Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design program in Venice, and other organizations. He’s also the founder of COUP, The Community of Unlikely Partnerships.
Natalia Olszewska: Keith, your journey through the world of design is special. You focus on the experiential aspects of design. What does that mean and how did you get there?
Keith Francis: I always thought there was a relationship between creativity and how it affected the human experience. It was often frustrating to work in a creative field where aesthetics, color palette, form, materiality, all of those things were leading the discussion. Especially when that happened at the expense of people who felt absent from the process.
The design palette was generally placed before the lived experience of people, whether they were neurotypical or neurodiverse or different cultures. I always felt that it should have been reversed.