Convocation Research and Design (CoRDs) is a research, design, and art agency that combines human rights, technology, activism, advocacy, policy and design together to make complex technology more human readable. CoRD entwines justice, research and design to build provocative tools and creative interventions. With our staff and affiliates we build technology and tech interventions, along with crafting research and research outputs, using design research methods, qualitative research, quantitative research, criticality and technology analysis. 

Convocation Design + Research catalyzes change by creating innovative public facing research and advocacy work, through campaigns, research publications, consulting, and tool building that pushes for social justice and equity driven technology. We believe in good communication strategies and great design to help tell research and unpack some of technology’s most difficult problems. Some of our work manifests as publications creating frameworks and exploring topics that affect everyday users, such as when to use AI in cities, how online harassment effects journalists and activists, and how to work with emerging technology through an intersectional lens.

We think of our work across four areas: weave, entangle, secure and transfer. 

Weave: designing spaces for and with communities. Making use of participatory design frameworks and connecting people and their future.
Entangle: revealing dark patterns, holding tech companies accountable, revealing relationships and connections that aim to remain hidden or obscure — entangling them into their world.
Secure: keeping spaces safe, protecting from harm, and mitigating risk.
Transfer: transferring information as a means to transfer power. Educational resources, course design, public information campaigns and projects.


Strategic Research + Development / Applied Research / Design Research / Policy and Advocacy Analysis / Design Storytelling / Technology R&D

The Team

Caroline Sinders
Founder & Researcher

I’m a machine-learning-design researcher and artist. For the past few years, I have been examining the intersections of technology’s impact in society, interface design, artificial intelligence, abuse, and politics in digital, conversational spaces. I’m the founder of Convocation Design + Research, an agency focusing on the intersections of machine learning, user research, designing for public good, and solving difficult communication problems. As a designer and researcher, I have worked with Amnesty International, Intel, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation, and others.

I’ve held fellowships with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Mozilla Foundation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Eyebeam, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the International Center of Photography. My work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Open Technology Fund and the Knight Foundation. My work has been featured in the Tate Exchange in Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, LABoral, Ars Electronica, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Slate, Quartz, Wired, as well as others. I hold a Masters from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Melina Garcia
Junior Researcher

Melina A. Garcia is a first-generation scholar and researcher exploring the intersection of digital human rights, artificial intelligence, and marginalization. She holds a Master’s in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she cultivated an interdisciplinary skillset rooted in social network analysis, sociotechnical design, media studies, and critical race and ethnic studies. Her graduate work focused on the effects online platforms have on marginalized communities. Through her work, Melina aims to implement sociotechnical design that intentionally promotes diversity and inclusion. Melina spends her free time perfecting her basic step in Salsa, Cumbia, and Bachata.

Leila Wylie Wagner
Project Manger

Leila Wylie Wagner is a project manager with a background in user research and strategic planning, particularly in healthcare and disaster response. Her areas of interest are how technology intersects with disaster response and environmental resilience, with a focus in the Gulf South. She earned her Bachelors degree in Anthropology at Brooklyn College. 

She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Environmental Management at Tulane University.

Our Affiliates and Collaborators

Schessa Garbutt 
Brand Identity and Creative Direction

Schessa Garbutt (they/them) is the founder and creative director at Firebrand in Inglewood, CA. They specialize in visual identity and UI/UX for mission-driven organizations and social impact efforts within larger companies. Clients include Black Wealth Data Center, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Mindfulness for the People, and Facebook Open Arts. Garbutt is also an essayist and lecturer, speaking on topics of diversity in design education and co-design practices. They are currently working on a forthcoming anthology of QT-BIPOC near-futurism art and writing called Time and Its Travelers.

Hadeel Abdelkarim
Design and Social Media Strategy

Hadeel Abdelkarim is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer from Cairo. Influenced by relocation and being part of the diaspora, their work explores visual storytelling as a form of resistance and its impact on the collective memory.

Eryk Salvaggio
Content Strategy

Eryk Salvaggio is a systems researcher and interdisciplinary artist examining technology and design from a critical perspective. He holds a Masters in Media and Communication from the London School of Economics (2014) and a Masters in Applied Cybernetics from the Australian National University (2021) with undergraduate degrees in New Media and Journalism from the University of Maine (2010).  He has presented talks and keynotes to the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), California College of the Arts, Brown University, Melbourne Design Week, RightsCon, and Gensler. He has exhibited work at the United Nations, Eyebeam/The New Museum, Rhizome, City Art Gallery Ljubljana, Pace University, CalArts, Brown University, Turbulence, The Internet Archive, and in books including Jon Ippolito & Joline Blais’ At the Edge of Art, Alex Galloway’s Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization, and Peter Langford’s Image & Imagination. His website is cyberneticforests.com.

Roxy Zeiher
Graphic Design

Roxy Zeiher is a graphic designer living and working between Berlin, London and Zurich. Particularly interested in critical and contemporary subject areas communicated through design, she pursues a multi-disciplinary creative practice. She interrogates culture with her research-driven design practice that investigates how the designed world, especially new technology, is shaping our behavior, perception and understanding.