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Dr. Marie-Monique Schaper specializes in design research at the intersection of interaction design, embodiment, and emerging technologies. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) and Serra Húnter Fellow at the Department for Computer Engineering and Digital Design at the Universitat de Lleida in Spain. Her research endeavors delve into innovative educational strategies and digital tools aimed at fostering understanding of emerging technologies through the lens of Computational Empowerment. Dr. Schaper’s work is particularly focused on critical approaches that examine intersectional perspectives encompassing embodiment, gender, and ethnicity.

Previously, Dr. Schaper was a Post-Doc Researcher at the Center for Computational Thinking and Design at Aarhus University in Denmark and a Guest Professor at the University of Vienna in Austria, specifically at the Center for Teacher Education. She has also engaged in collaborative research projects and lecturing roles with institutions such as Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), and ELISAVA – Barcelona School of Design and Engineering. Additionally, Dr. Schaper is one of the co-founders of COSICOSA, a cultural association dedicated to employing creative, participatory, and reflective methodologies in educational exhibitions, learning experiences, and didactic materials, all geared towards instilling a critical and socially conscious mindset in future generations and empowering them as thoughtful users and responsible designers.

Dr. Schaper holds a PhD in Information and Communication Technologies and a Master of Science degree in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She has also enriched her academic journey through a visiting researcher position at Center for Participatory Information Technology at Aarhus University in Denmark, where she deepened her knowledge of Participatory Design practices for learning experiences in Cultural Heritage. During her undergraduate studies in Design at HAWK University of Applied Science and Arts, Germany, Dr. Schaper collaborated on design projects with the international partner university Kymmenlaakso Polytechnic Kouvola in Finland. In addition, she has studied Fine Arts at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and Illustration at the Melbourne Polytechnic in Australia. Before returning to academe, Dr. Schaper spent five years in the industry working as a designer. Her research contributions and design projects have been published in international conferences, journals, and design magazines.

Currently, in collaboration with the theatre school Plàudite Teatre and the research group GenTIC at Open University of Catalonia, Dr. Schaper is engaged in the #ACTFEM project, which focuses on developing social inclusion strategies and creating professional opportunities for young vulnerable women at risk of exclusion by integrating performative arts, digital technologies, and feminist education approaches. Previously, she was involved in the CEED project at Center for Computational Thinking and Design at Aarhus University in Denmark, where she explored human-centered approaches to understanding and engaging with emerging technologies in secondary education, with a particular emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things and their societal implications.

Over the years, Dr. Schaper has been actively involved in various research projects centered on co-design strategies and research methods for enhancing the user experience of educational technologies at the Full-Body Interaction Lab at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Further, she collaborated in the projects RavalSTEAM and Makers a les Aules in the context of the María de Maeztu Strategic Research Program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra to provide teaching support in STEAM related educational activities for local schools in Barcelona in the context of social inclusion.

She has also organized and led workshops targeting diverse audiences, including children, teenagers, and adults, covering topics such as artificial intelligence and ethics, gender perspectives in technology education, design thinking, STEAM education, maker technologies, and interactive storytelling using Augmented Reality. Dr. Schaper has volunteered her expertise in teaching design and emerging technologies both locally and internationally, supporting initiatives aimed at promoting technology education and social entrepreneurship among underprivileged communities. Among others, she has volunteered for GirlsInLab in Barcelona and the programme GirlsTech from Universitat Pompeu Fabra which offered free educational and hands-on STEAM workshops for young girls to promote their interest in technology. At an international level, she provided support for the job creation project Ubunye Beadworks in social entrepreneurship, brand building, brand promotion and social media activities that was organised by The Homestead, a non-profit organisation for street children and their families in Cape Town, South Africa.

Her dedication to advancing research, education, and social impact underscores Dr. Schaper’s commitment to fostering inclusive and empowering learning environments that transcend disciplinary boundaries and embrace diversity in all its forms.