Mio Kojima, co-director
Mio Kojima (she/her) is a German-Japanese designer, researcher, and educator exploring the politics and practices of knowledge production. From education to publishing and curating, her work is a space-making practice that centers community and exchange, and often employs frameworks that can be expanded and reformed by others. After participating in Futuress fellowships herself, Mio joined the team in 2021 as managing editor and initiated the conversational format Let’s Talk. Since 2023, Mio is co-director of Futuress, where she, along with Maya Ober, is responsible for curating the platform’s learning programs, conceiving compelling content on social media, and securing the finances to steer the Futuress ship forward. As co-editor-in-chief, she supports the Futuress authors in crafting and polishing their original stories. Alongside her work with Futuress, Mio is also a mentor for the educational programs Make Your School Hackdays and Education Innovation LAB/Digital Sparks, where she facilitates workshop formats for critical thinking and digital literacy in schools across Germany.
Maya Ober, co-director
Maya Ober (she/her) is an activist, designer, researcher, and educator temporarily based in Basel, Switzerland. As a trained industrial designer, she co-ran a design practice for several years, while also taking part in different activist collectives in Jaffa-Tel Aviv. Believing in the socially transformative potential of education, Maya co-conceptualized Imagining-Otherwise, and initiated feminist curricula. A grantee by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Maya is currently a lecturer and doctoral researcher in social anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland, focusing on feminist practices of design. In 2017, she founded depatriarchise design, which in 2021 merged with Futuress. As a co-director, along with Mio Kojima, Maya is responsible for curating the Futuress learning program and securing the finances—including writing funding applications, outreach, filing taxes, and other administrative tasks—to keep the platform flourishing in the years to come. As co-editor-in-chief, she collaborates with authors to expand the Futuress universe of voices and vantage points.
Sacha Fortuné, copyeditor
Sacha Fortuné (she/her) has over 15 years experience in the public and private sectors as a Communications Professional, with roles in academic research and magazine feature writing; proofreading and editing; and content management and curation. Based in Trinidad & Tobago and working with regional and international clients, she directs her love affair with words towards causes that command her passions. Her writing has appeared in WellnessConnect, an online wellness magazine that she co-founded, as well as Caribbean art and lifestyle magazines including U Health Digest and MACO People. A professionally trained writer with U.K. Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in International Journalism and Media & Cultural Studies respectively, her academic background lends to her profound interests in design and gender politics, and to her own creativity in her writing as a women’s fiction author. Since January 2021, Sacha freelances for Futuress as a copy-editor, polishing the texts on our platform to become powerful weapons of mass communication, touching our readers throughout the world.
Franca López Barbera, associate editor
Franca López Barbera (she/her) is an Argentinian designer and researcher based in Berlin, Germany. Her work explores the intersection between nature, coloniality, gender, and ethics. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Institute of History and Theory of Architecture at theUniversity of Braunschweig in Germany, where she examines the introduction of consent in design-nature relationalities against extractive regimes. Prior to this, she studied Industrial Design at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and did a Master’s of Science in Design Research at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Franca has experience in several forms of design, working with various design practices, art studios, non-profits, and academic institutions. In 2021, she curated Monte Abierto, the Argentinian pavilion for the London Design Biennale. Since May 2022, Franca has been collaborating with Futuress as an associate editor, developing compelling, critical stories around the politics of design with our fellowship participants.
Morgan Brown, website programmer
Morgan Brown (he/him) is a software engineer based in California, U.S.A. His work focuses on delivering web technologies to clients of all sizes. He believes that the Internet does not only serve a functional purpose, but it is also a tool of mass empowerment and a place to encounter experiences. Morgan programmed the Futuress website, and is the wizard behind its code.
Studio Tereza Bettinardi, design
Based in São Paulo, Brazil, the studio was founded in 2014 by Tereza Bettinardi, an award-winning designer with over 15 years of experience in the fields of editorial design, visual communication, graphic design, branding and environmental design. Tereza is also the founder and editor of Clube do Livro do Design, a virtual book club that has blossomed into a publishing house devoted to expanding the range of design books in Portuguese.
Former Team Members
Iyo Bisseck, fellowship facilitator
Iyo Bisseck (she/her) is a France-based designer, researcher, and artist. Her work explores biases that show the link between technologies and systems of domination, with a specific focus on racial bias in the realization of virtual agents. She is part of the Dreaming Beyond AI collective, a space for critical and constructive knowledge, visionary fiction and speculative art, and community organizing around Artificial Intelligence. Through her work as a website designer, she also supports many initiatives such as Black Film Festival Zurich and Transplantation Project. As an artist, she is interested in creating alternative and collaborative narratives using virtual tools. By focusing on understanding these tools and democratizing their use in the form of workshops, she hopes that the communities most marginalized by these tools would have the opportunity to shape them and create other meanings.
Cherry-Ann Davis, fellowship facilitator and associate editor
Cherry-Ann Davis (she/her) is a designer, writer, and marketing strategist from the Caribbean twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. A success story from a marginalized and impoverished community, her drive is to inspire other young people, especially girls, to achieve their dreams. Dearly departed from the corporate world of advertising, she is now flexing her design muscle as a visual communications specialist by combining artistic practice, business acumen, and storytelling traditions. A common thread in her design practice is creating Caribbean stories in an authentic Caribbean voice, respecting the past while looking to the future to sustain our stories, and using accessible formats to share these stories.
Eliot C. Gisel, co-founding editor
Eliot C. Gisel (they/them) 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, and Valiz, among others. 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, United Arab Emirates.
Madeleine Morley, co-founding editor
Madeleine Morley (she/her) is a writer, editor, and researcher originally from London, U.K. and now based in Berlin, Germany. She is especially interested in histories of design, media, and feminism, and often seeks to combine the tools of journalism and archival research. She was previously the senior editor at American Institute of Graphic Arts (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 from Cambridge University, and in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London, both in the U.K.
Nina Paim, co-founding editor and co-director (Nov 2020–Jul 2023)
Nina Paim (she/her) is a Brazilian designer, editor, curator, and educator based in Porto, Portugal. Her work revolves around notions of directing, supporting, and collaborating. She has co-initiated, curated, and worked on a number of exhibitions, workshops, and events, including the 2012 “Escola Aberta” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, “Taking a Line for a Walk” at the 2014 Brno Design Biennial in the Czech Republic, and “Department of Non-Binaries” at the 2018 Fikra Design Biennial in the United Arab Emirates. She was the program coordinator for the 2018 Swiss Design Network conference “Beyond Change,” and co-edited its resulting publication Design Struggles, launched in 2021. Nina is a three-time recipient of the Swiss Design Award.