“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver-based Designer Giulia de Oliveira Borba

Giulia de Oliveira Borba is a Brazilian designer, writer and educator who lives in Vancouver. She has a bachelor of arts in visual communications from Loyola University Chicago and a master’s degree in design from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Her work is centred around helping people come to terms with how they feel about the changes that our climate is going through and those to come. Full of an informed optimism, through Mente Ambiente (“environment mind” in Portuguese), she seeks to untangle the mix of emotions that can overwhelm people into inaction, and help them instead work towards taking action.

Her work comes from a beautifully poetic space, merging words that help us to reflect on our place in the world with the immediacy and tactility of embroidery and print-making practices that help us to move from this reflection towards making, and the affirmative action that this type of creativity inspires.

-Written by Isla Pedrana, friend

Giulia de Oliveira Borba
This is an exploration of printmaking with clay slabs, I was exploring this different way of creating prints with a material that could later be reused easily for printmaking.
Giulia de Oliveira Borba
A work-in-progress picture of one of my embroideries in the Landscapes of Connection series. This particular one was made imagining the future. The completed collection can be seen at The Show at Emily Carr University.
I enjoy looking at the natural environment around me in the city, and since it’s spring now, there are so many beautiful flowers! I would encourage everyone to pay attention to the world around them. What beings do we encounter every day?
This is the moment the print is revealed. I have only recently started this printmaking practice but have quickly become really fond of it.
This is me setting up for The Show at Emily Carr University. I was writing the poem I wrote that speaks about the journey my thesis took.
One of the things my friends and I enjoy doing is watching the sunset at the beach while we chat away.
Giulia de Oliveira Borba
This is part of the view from my studio with one of my projects leaning against the window. My studio at ECU is one of the places I spent a lot of my time in during the MDes program. I enjoy being surrounded by other people working on their projects and it’s incredibly important to maintain discourse to advance our research. I’m very grateful for all the support I have received at ECU over the last few years.
Giulia de Oliveira Borba
My mother (Ana Claudia Tonelli) and I in front of my exhibit at The Show at Emily Carr University. ECU has had the biggest role in my life these past two years. It has been an amazing journey. The people I have met here are incredible. I am constantly amazed at their talents. It has been such an honour to work in the same environment as them.


Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in Mount Pleasant. It has been such a great neighbourhood to be in since I moved to Vancouver. I enjoy walking around the neighbourhood and Main Street. There are so many great places to stop and enjoy, whether it is a store, a café, or simply admiring the scenery.

What do you do?

I am an interdisciplinary designer and design researcher. My research and practice have, during the last two years of the master’s program at ECU, become interlaced. I have found that research can be done through a creative practice and the learnings from it hold great value. My practice consists of embroidery, printmaking, and editorial/graphic design. However, I am interested in exploring different materials that I can work with and enjoy finding materials that speak to the concept of the piece I am trying to communicate. Right now, I am interested in the role a creative practice has in helping us understand the condition of living during a climate crisis and how it can be an avenue for working through climate crisis-evoked effects.

What are you currently working on?

In my personal practice, I recently finished an embroidery series called Landscapes of Connection. This series was made with the intention of inquiring into the connection I have felt and hope to feel with the more-than-human world. It showcases moments in my past, present, and speculative futures.

This last year, I was also part of a project as a research assistant with some other recent ECU graduates (Melanie Camman, Yejin Eun, and Eden Zinchik). The project, called Nature Relations Platform, is composed of the RA team and field researchers: Dr Louise St. Pierre, Dr Kate Fletcher, Zach Camozzi, and Dr Caro McCaw. It has been such an incredible opportunity and honour to work alongside these amazing researchers on the project and learn from and with them. The publication we worked on about the Nature Relations Platform Project will be published by and with the help of the team at Occasional Press soon.

Where can we find your work?

My most current work can be found on Emily Carr University’s website and here.



About Demian Vernieri 485 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.