Design for Wildlife

About Mariana

I am here to support your work in Wildlife Conservation.


A Note from Mariana

I am a designer. The kind who makes things that look good. But also the kind who was trained to listen to people, design for their needs, and co-create solutions with the people who will use the products and services we create.

My first design challenge took me to Guatemala in 2010, at a time when Lake Atitlán bloomed with toxic cyanobacteria. It was the first time I stood as a bridge between scientists treating the problem and the communities who lived in the region and wanted to help, but didn’t know how. They found themselves working toward a common goal, but their competing approaches often stunted the overall progress.

After Guatemala, I spent many years helping organizations working in humanitarian aid and poverty alleviation to better understand the people they serve

Today I do much the same, working to bridge wildlife conservation leaders and the people they need to reach. Organizations who embrace design, whether they are non profits or even large multinational companies, benefit greatly from design because it helps them understand their users. In wildlife conservation, the users can be farmers struggling with elephants eating their crops or the public who need to embrace conservation actions.

I can help wildlife organizations alleviate tensions, build programs which are economically independent from donor funding, and achieve long lasting relationships with local and global communities.

I am here to support the amazing work that wildlife conservation organizations are already doing, and augment it by supporting the relationships they have with the public and the communities on the ground who coexist with wildlife on a daily basis.

Today, I am a designer for wild animals.



TED, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Lash / TED

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Lash / TED

Filmed at TED HQ December 2018. Coming soon to!


Awards & Recognitions

TED Residency, 2018 

TED Residency, 2019

Smithsonian / Cooper-Hewitt Museum Exhibit, 2018

Core77 Best Service Design Award, 2016 Fellowship, 2013

The Tech Awards: Young Innovator Award, 2012 

NCIIA Sustainable Vision Grant / Venture Well, 2012

NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Exhibit, 2012

Watch TEDx Talk: How design can save your life


Filmed at Caltech University for a TEDx event. 2013