About us

Comwithpeople-06-02

We believe in communication with people, in human – centered design and C4D strategies.

We are a German-African-Indian team of professionals from different backgrounds and are working together in Transcultural Design Consultancy International. Since each team member holds a different role, our team has diverse and complementary perspectives.

We, as transcultural designers, activists and writers, photographers, video makers and economists are aware that it is not only the tools themselves that create good communication, but rather a rich and theoretically informed understanding of the political, social and cultural contexts in which media and communications interventions occur. Human-centred design is at the heart of our work, as a problem-solving process that begins with understanding the human factors and context surrounding a challenge. Most of all it is sharing ideas and knowledge with participants and gaining an understanding of the needs and behaviours of the participants which guide us how to design the right tools. C4D, Communication for Development, lies at the heart of sustainable development. It is part science, part craft and design, its multidisciplinary nature draws on aspects of anthropology, sociology, psychology and the behavioural sciences. Its implementation depends on strategy, creativity, innovation and an understanding of communication design and its tools, which evolve around the perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of the user.

Sabina von Kessel (South Africa, Germany), designer, photographer, film maker and lecturer, is the creative and strategic head of the team. Originally from Germany, she lived more than a decade in India, before she migrated to South Africa and worked in several African countries. She has 30 plus years of international experience in the design of communication strategies and products in the non-profit sector. She has conceptualised and led strategic communication campaigns for a variety of clients in multilateral international environments. Her interest lies in a human-centered approach to design, applying theories and strategies of Social and Behaviour Change Communication. She is interested in investigating the perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of users to gain more of an understanding how innovative technologies could be applied to empower people. How to communicate using images and how images are perceived by people in different cultures and illiterate communities is another of her interest.

Warren Lodge (Life Brand, South Africa) has worked in the corporate world with the biggest advertising agencies and on the world’s biggest brands. During his part-time post-grad studies at Vega, he realised the power brands have to change behaviour and influence culture. Warren works on brands driving social change. In 2013, LIFEbrand was born. Since then, Life Brand breathed life into over 70 brands in the non-profit, social enterprise, CSI, education arenas, helping to amplify and accelerate their positive impact in the world.

Gautam Vishwanat (Finland, India) is an experienced Game Designer with know-how working with various Virtual Reality headsets in designing interactive experiences that foster creativity in its users. He is highly passionate about design and development of experiences within the genre of ‘serious games’, i.e games centered around human rights, history, culture, education and behaviour as well as the application of data to respond to evolving humanitarian/political challenges. Gautam has substantial experience in programming with C# using the Unity game engine, C++ with Unreal game engine and other languages such as python. He likes working with new media such as virtual and augmented reality, especially in areas of children’s education. His sharp design skill sets focus on users and extensive testing with a deep analysis of metrics. He also has considerable skills with cinematography and film-editing.

Urmila Pullat (India) is a trained lawyer, a skilled legal researcher and has worked on several human rights issues over the years. She has been a freelance writer and written world movie reviews from a human and social interest angle for an Indian magazine for 3 years. She is the founder and editor of the How Revealing Project, an online repository of experiences of gender-based violence from India and other parts of the world. Widely covered in Indian and international media, the aim of the project is to use story- telling and SBCC approaches to bring about policy and legal changes, and influence behavior change with respect to gender norms and gendered behavior.  The project also aims to generate data that can be used for research on issues such as victim blaming and shaming, sexual assault in India, child sexual abuse and related issues. She has also taken workshops on the law related to sexual harassment and on gender norms and how to handle disclosure of abuse for school teachers. 

Jagadish Singh (India) is an experienced Film Director, Editor, Photographer and a DSLR cinematographer from Bangalore. He is passionate about features and documentaries, using film as story-telling tools to empower people and create social change. Skilled in Advertising, Film, Event Management, Video Editing, Video Production, Audio Production, Jagadish is a strong media and communication professional. He likes to explore people’s stories.

Friedrich von Kessel (Germany) is an economist and strategist with 20 plus years of experience in business strategy, advocacy, public policy and project management.

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