Futuress is a feminist platform for design politics. We understand design as an expansive social and political practice, examining the objects, systems, and structures that shape our lived realities. A queer intersectional feminist platform, Futuress strives to be a home for the histories, people, and perspectives that have been—and still often remain—underrepresented, oppressed, and ignored.
At Futuress, our model is two-fold: We run online workshops on design research, and we publish original reporting and critical writing. Our digital community space seeks to foster transnational networks of solidarity, and we’re excited to publish the research of workshop participants. We feature nuanced, rigorous, and accessible stories centered around an expanded notion of design—and in this, we’re committed to the power of storytelling to convey untold histories and underrepresented perspectives to a broad audience. Our mission is to hold power accountable, give space to those who are seldomly represented, and make more just futures imaginable.
Currently based in Switzerland, Futuress also casts a critical eye towards its own locality and design traditions. The project was dreamt up in the summer of 2020 by Brazilian curator and design researcher Nina Paim, Swiss journalist and editor Corin Gisel, and British-German writer and editor Madeleine Morley. During uncertain and unstable times, we came together to imagine a space for togetherness, generosity, resistance, growth, social purpose, and emotional support.
Nina Paim is a Brazilian curator and design researcher. Her work usually involves many others and revolves around notions of directing, supporting, and collaborating. She was born in Nova Friburgo 168 years after Swiss settler-colonialists displaced the indigenous tribes of the puris, coroados, and guarus. Love and fate brought her to Basel, where she seeks to transmute her daily immigrant anger into care practices for making space. She curated the exhibition “Taking a Line for a Walk” at the 2014 Brno Design Biennial and co-curated “Department of Non-Binaries” at the 2018 Fikra Design Biennial. She was a program coordinator for the 2018 Swiss Design Network conference “Beyond Change.” She’s a two-time recipient of the Swiss Design Award, and co-founder of the design research practice common-interest.
Former Team Members
Corin Gisel is a Swiss journalist, editor, and researcher. With a background of being a design practitioner themselves, their writing has explored topics such as design education, dress culture, the digital turn in museums, city politics, visual rhetorics of resistance, and—for even more personal ones—LGBTQIA+ activism, culture, and the politics of language. Their writing has been published by Lars Müller Publishers, Diogenes, Spector Books, Occasional Papers, Walker Art Center, Valiz, and more. In 2018, Corin co-founded the non-profit design research practice common-interest with Nina Paim, which received a Swiss Design Award in 2019 for the exhibition “Department of Non-Binaries” at the inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial in Sharjah (UAE).
Madeleine Morley is a Berlin-based writer, editor, and researcher originally from London. She is especially interested in histories of design, media, and feminism, often seeking to combine the tools of journalism and archival research. She was previously senior editor at AIGA’s Eye on Design, and has also worked as an editor for magCulture and It’s Nice That. Her writing has appeared in Dazed and Confused Magazine, The Observer, AnOther, Elephant, Eye, Creative Review, amongst others. She has MAs in English literature and art history from Cambridge University and the Courtauld Institute of Art respectively.
Selected Press about our Feminist Findings zine
“One of the most in-depth and eye opening publications on feminist publishing we’ve seen”—It’s Nice That
“The different starting points and personal tales of research are compelling”—magCulture
“As you might expect with the formidable team behind it, Feminist Findings is beautifully designed”—Elephant
“In a lovely way, Feminist Findings is itself an act of devotion”—Stack Magazines
“The diverse stories collected in the zine leap across cultures, continents, and decades”—AIGA’s Eye on Design
“The editorial team has analyzed an exciting selection of historical publications that allow us to discover the significance of feminist movements past for our times”—Slanted.de
Futuress is currently run by the Swiss non-profit common-interest.
Concept and design: Futuress
Design of Futuress logo and initial visual identity: Ann Kern
Website design: Corin Eliot Gisel
Website development: Morgan Brown
Grants and Support
We are indebted to the generosity of our supporters and funding partners, without whom Futuress would not be possible. Thus far, Futuress has received a generous grant by Pro Helvetia as part of their “Close Distance” COVID-19 related temporary funding scheme, as well as financial support and guidance from the “What’s Next_Project” initiative of Zurich University of the Art’s Z-Kubator. Additional support in the form of mentoring was provided by the Swiss Cultural Challenge (SCC).