Nina Paim, co-director
Nina Paim (she/her) is a Brazilian designer, researcher, curator, educator and activist. Her work revolves around notions of directing, supporting, and collaborating with others. She was born in Nova Friburgo 168 years after Swiss settler-colonialists displaced indigenous puris, coroados, and guarus. Love and fate brought her to Basel, where she now seeks to transmute her daily immigrant anger into care practices of 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. Nina has served as the program coordinator for the 2018 Swiss Design Network conference “Beyond Change” and she also co-edited its resulting 2021 publication Design Struggles. Between 2018–2020, Nina also co-led the design research practice common-interest. A two-time recipient of the Swiss Design Award, she is currently a PhD candidate at the Laboratory of Design and Anthropology of Esdi/Uerj, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Maya Ober, co-director
Maya Ober (she/her) is a Jewish-diasporic activist, designer, researcher, and educator. As a trained industrial designer, she had co-ran a design practice for several years; in parallel, she was part of different activist collectives, such as Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott from Within. Unsettled about the character of dominant industrial design practices, after immigrating to Switzerland, Maya began looking at ways to connect her activism with design. In 2017, she founded depatriarchise design, a non-profit design research platform with manifold investigative, educational, and activist practices rooted in intersectional feminism. Believing in the socially transformative potential of education, Maya co-conceptualized the “Imagining Otherwise” program at the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, looking at how intersectionality can inform design practice. She has taught internationally in Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK. As a Doc.CH grantee by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Maya is a doctoral researcher in social anthropology at the University of Bern. Her research looks at feminist practices of design education and their intersections with activist movements.
Mio Kojima, managing editor
Mio Kojima (she/her), is a designer living in Germany. Her passion lies in the playful exploration of a field that moves between politics and practices of knowledge production, community-building and collaborative approaches. As a German-Japanese born in Germany and raised in both countries, her background is reflected in her interest in subjects such as language and signs and their role in constructing worldviews, and questions of identity and space. Her engagement is often shaped by the idea of creating frameworks that can be appropriated, expanded and reformed by others. In doing so, a critical engagement with design tools and a preoccupation with feminist theory play an important role.
Cherry-Ann Davis, 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.
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 UK 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. She joined Futuress in 2021 as a polisher of its powerful weapons of mass communication: its words.
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.
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.