Skip to main content

Design As Catalyst

Cristina Sanchez Orti

Cristina grew up in Valencia, Spain, where she studied Industrial design and product development at CEU University. She collaborated in FREE DESIGN BANK, a social codevelopment project in the form of an open source design bank, to help women at risk of social exclusion, and did 6 months internships at Odosdesign in her hometown. Thereafter, she moved to London where she worked as Interior design consultant at BoConcept for one year and a half. Based in London, she decided to continue with her career as a product designer at the Royal College of Arts.

Her work encompasses products, graphics and communications. She is interested in the intersection of sociology and well-being. She enjoys the user research phase where insights for projects emerge. Her design role consists in creating interventions and products in different contexts to improve experiences, raise awareness and for behaviour change. 

The project developed at FREE DESIGN BANK for the women at risk of social exclusion “Association des Femmes de la Medina Dakar” (Senegal) has been exhibited at the Design Museum of Barcelona at REHOGAR 2016.


Linkedin profile


Portfolio website

Degree Details

School of Design

Design As Catalyst

I am all set for work in new projects and open for collaborations. I feel motivated by design briefs that push me to grow and expand my knowledge in different fields. I see the unsettled times that we are experiencing as an opportunity for new interventions, where design plays a major role facilitating different perspectives. These will have a positive impact on people's lives, without compromising caring for the planet.

How mums that breast pump without their babies can increase breast milk flow and production?

How it works.

Capsule, container of the baby's garment.

Opening the capsule to smell the garment

Opening the capsule to replace the garment.


The garment.

Mum and baby using the garment.

Capsule in use.


The project looks into the experience of breast pumping. In particular in how milk flow and production can be improved when mothers have to breast pump wherever they are without their babies.

There is a hormone called Oxytocin that makes the milk flow for the current feed, this hormone can be stimulated by the mother’s feelings and sensations originated by touching, seeing, smelling or hearing her baby.

Smell is a sense that is directly connected to the limbic system, which plays an important role in controlling mood behaviour and emotion. Mums on lactation have revolutionised hormones and this makes their senses more sensitive to anything related to their infants. So, they are able to distinguish the scent of their babies on a t-shirt among t-shirts worn by other infants.

Therefore when pumping time arrives the mother smells her baby’s garment, and this will evoke feelings and sensations on the mum, stimulating at the same time the oxytocin hormone which will generate a quicker let down reflex to breast pump. After a period of time, when a mother has a quicker let down reflex her milk production will increase.

The shape of the capsule is designed in a way that can be opened with one hand with a screw closing system, one turn on the middle to open partially and not leaving the lid out and other on the top, to release the lid and be able to replace the garment when it is not smelling. As the life of the product is quite short the material chosen for the capsule is PLA, biodegradable material.

The garment is a cotton strip designed to be placed on the baby’s head or trunk because during the first year of life babies have all the sweat glands but just some are active mostly in the forehead trunk and afterwards in limbs. Their bodies are learning how to regulate them. For this strip organic cotton has been chosen mainly because the skin of babies are very sensitive so cotton is the gentlest fabric that can be in contact with baby skin for days, also is absorbent enough to hold the scent of the baby.


PLA and organic cotton.


Capsule size: 650mm x 380mm / Project duration: 5 months, February to June 2020.
babiesCustomized NutritionHealthlactationscentSensesSmellwellbeing

Research questions and concept.


Launch Project

Smart device.

ADU film — In order to empathise with children, participants watch a short animation that shows a possible consequence of their interactions with smart devices. In this episode is shown what can happen if they give their personal data anywhere on the internet.

Teacher's guide.

Teacher's guide and stickers

Workshops' tool kit.

Guide for each topic.

How can digital natives be more aware of the importance of privacy on the internet?

Digital natives are people who grew up or are growing up in the digital age.

ADU (awareness, discussion and understanding) is a handbook that offers teachers guidance to impart workshops, designed to help children from 8 to 11 years old, to understand the importance of privacy on the internet.

Every workshop tackles various privacy issues present in four different areas:

· Chapter 1: The Internet
· Chapter 2: The Internet of Things
· Chapter 3: Artificial Intelligence
· Chapter 4: Robotics

These workshops aim to awake children’s critical thinking with their interactions with smart devices and the internet. And the teaching methodology used when imparting these workshops is not the same as the traditional forecasting method.

Each session is structured in the following order:

· First, to test children's trust, the teacher uses a smart device that interrogates children.

· Second, in order to empathise with children, participants watch a short animation that shows a possible consequence of their interactions with smart devices.

· Third, they learn briefly how these technologies work through infographics, shown in a small booklet.

· Fourth, they discuss their interactions with their peers and teacher, the ones that they had at the beginning of the session with the device.

· Fifth, questions that will help to improve the workshop flow for future meetings.

· Sixth, the teacher gives to participants a sticker as a reminder of the lesson tackled during the workshop.


Paper, cardboard, plastic and electronic parts for the speaker.


Size: 210mm x 297mm / Project duration: 4 months.
24 July 2020
13:00 (GMT + 0)

When The Place Shuts Down: Sarah Mann

Students and Leading Practitioners in Conversation with Sarah Mann.
Read More

Previous Student

Next Student

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art