Dr Ganna Borzenkova
Dr Ganna Borzenkova is a Research Fellow at the Design Research Hub at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, and a member of Design for Health and Wellbeing research group (DoWell), exploring how design and craft practices can improve both mental and physical wellbeing and health. Previously, she was a Research Associate at the Research Centre for Logistics and Sustainability, Heriot-Watt University (2020 - 2022), leading research on gamification for sustainable development and a member of Gamification Lab for Sustainability (GLAS). Ganna’s background is in engineering with MSc (2012) and product design with PhD in Design (2021) in which she investigated designing play environments for encouraging peer social interactions amongst children with cerebral palsy, aged 4 to 6 years, as a means of developing their social competence.
Ganna’s research interest lies in design for health and well-being with the core interest in the role of design to engender social interactions, psychosocial well-being and social behavioural change. She is interested in innovative design solutions to improve subjective well-being and to enable self-empowerment, in particular, through serious game design and gamification.
Her most recent work is developing design strategies for social inclusion and social-emotional wellbeing of children with cerebral palsy. Ganna is leading ‘Peer 2 Peer: Designing for Peer Social Engagement and Social-Emotional Wellbeing of Children with Cerebral Palsy’ project, funded by Wellcome Trust (2022 - 2027) which investigates how design-based relational play can be used to empower and encourage children with cerebral palsy, aged 7 to 10 years, to engage pro-actively in peer social interactions to support the development of peer social skills and social-emotional wellbeing.
Whilst in Heriot-Watt University, Ganna has worked on a number of research projects on gamification for behaviour change, including “Sustainable Transportation in National Parks”, which aimed to encourage sustainable transportation in the Lake District National Park through gamification and focused on the behavioural component of the issue; developing a gamified communicative strategy for indigenous communities in Colombia during COVID-19 pandemic, and a gamified communicative strategy to address infodemic and fake news issues in impoverished communities in Brazil, using gamification and persuasive design.
Peer 2 Peer: Designing for Peer Social Engagement and Social-Emotional Wellbeing of Children with Cerebral Palsy
The aim of the research is to investigate how design-based relational play can be used to empower and encourage children with cerebral palsy, aged 7 to 10 years, to engage pro-actively in peer social interactions to support the development of peer social skills and social-emotional wellbeing. Middle childhood (age 7-10) is a critical time when children develop peer social skills, and relational play is a key means by which children learn to interact and build friendships. Details…
Ganna Borzenkova is a member of the Design Research Hub.