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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSC)

Lisa Aoyama

Hi! I’m Lisa, a designer that loves to question things, and get people to question things too. Questions are powerful because they can trigger curiosity, enquiry, and empathy.

Before RCA, I studied design at Tokyo University of the Arts, where I was trained as a maker and an artist. So I gravitate more towards questioning the unquestioned, and exploring what could be rather than what will be.

I use expression to shift the way people think. I like to think of innovation not through behavioural but perceptual change.

When I learnt about misinformation spreading on Instagram through influencers, I really felt like I was not exempt from the whole “fake news” problem. My feed was not a “safe haven” just because I curated my feed myself. We live in a society with big problems, but how are we supposed to act if we are influenced unknowingly, and end up believing in the wrong things?

I was told that this was a “difficult topic” on so many occasions, and it certainly was, mainly because it’s about how people think and what they believe, and that’s a contentious area. But I do hope that the project acts as a provocation for you — even if momentarily — to pause and think about how you're influenced, and how you trust someone, on social media.


Cheetham, J. (2021, February 19). Does yoga have a conspiracy theory problem? BBC News.

Farivar, S., Wang, F., & Yuan, Y. (2021). Opinion leadership vs. para-social relationship: Key factors in influencer marketing. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59, 102371.

Haubursin, C. (2020, October 28). The Instagram aesthetic that made QAnon mainstream. Vox.

Pennycook, G., & Rand, D. (2020). The Psychology of Fake News. PsyArXiv.

Roose, K. (2021, March 4). What Is QAnon, the Viral Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theory? The New York Times.

Tiffany, S. by K. (2020, August 18). The Women Making Conspiracy Theories Beautiful. The Atlantic.

Tukachinsky, R., & Stever, G. (2019). Theorizing Development of Parasocial Engagement. Communication Theory, 29(3), 297–318.

van der Linden, S., & Roozenbeek, J. (2020). Psychological Inoculation Against Fake News. In The Psychology of Fake News (pp. 147–169). Routledge.


@ashleyjoyhouston. (2020, July 18). A s h l e y h o u s t o n on Instagram: “Speak Up, Get Loud! Y’all have been doing THAT! My heart is so overwhelmed by the amount of people that have shared my previous post! Thank…”.

@ciarachanelself. (2020, July 28). C I A R A C H A N E L S E L F on Instagram: “Every 30 seconds a child is sold for sex, labor or organ harvesting. Most can’t even think about it, let alone talk about it. It’s too much…”.

@dentistwivesclub. (2020, July 30). Rebecca on Instagram: “Today is human trafficking awareness day. Four Million children are missing every year 800,000 in USA alone!!! I challenge you to post to…”.

@dryflymom. (2021, March 4). Tnobs on Instagram: “I am simply STUNNED at the amount of people lining up for poison. The indoctrination and obedience was so easy. It was NEVER about a…”.

Gillespie, E. (2020, September 30). ‘Pastel QAnon’: The female lifestyle bloggers and influencers spreading conspiracy theories through Instagram. The Feed.

@graceinhisbeauty1. (2021, March 4). Elizabeth Marie on Instagram: “It’s pretty simple. Like 1+1=2. Oh wait, is that racist?! God created you to breathe freely. He also made you with an immune system to…”.

@helenowen. (2020, July 31). Helen Owen on Instagram: “This topic is not a ‘trend’. This is not an Instagram challenge. Today is World Day Against Human Trafficking, but tomorrow 10 million…”.

@krystaltini. (2020, June 8). Krystal Tini on Instagram: “Hey all, please look into the 5G Summit as well as InPower Movement as previously mentioned. The most important thing you can do right…”.

Loofbourow, L. (2020, September 18). It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Slate Magazine.

@madluvv21. (2020, July 10). Maddie Thompson on Instagram: “Love this quote- I feel it to the core and it radiates through my posts as of late. “The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it,…”.