Sonia Lala

Associate Researcher
Department of Health Policy and Management

Sonia Lala, (M.Eng, M. Des) leads Systems and Behavioral Research for the D-Lab. She leverages design knowledge to explore and address multiple dimensions of well-being as a cohesive system. She is passionate about uncovering the compelling “what” and “why” of an individual or community narrative and works with people in the context of change to identify a better, more elegant “how” through co-creative ideation, prototyping, and implementation of solutions.

At the D-Lab, Sonia supports the research and competency-building programs and contributes to the evolution of new methodologies at the intersection of design and public health. Her attention to detail and intellectual rigor when investigating diverse areas of inquiry and making sense of complexity enables her to form and clearly articulate a point of view through verbal and visual presentations.

Prior to joining the D-Lab, Sonia was an innovation consultant at Doblin (Deloitte), where she helped clients in a variety of industries, including both the public and commercial healthcare space, to identify and pursue new opportunities through design research and strategy, concept development, and user-testing of prototypes. She transitioned into the field of design research from a career as a federal regulator for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, where she focused on human factors and radiation safety challenges in high-risk environments such as nuclear power plants and cancer care facilities.

Sonia holds a Master of Design from IIT Institute of Design (ID), a Master of Clinical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Engineering Physics from McMaster University. While at ID, her explorations in health and well-being included the areas of prenatal care for underinsured women, sound and touch therapies for dementia, novel applications for continuous cardiac monitoring technology, and the patient experience during external-beam radiation therapy.