Stories

We publish a wide range of stories on a weekly basis, including articles and essays produced by fellowship participants, transcripted lectures, and original pieces by the Futuress team, often in collaboration with partner organizations.

Learning

We offer a lively monthly program of online workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and networking events around the politics of design.

Community

We are a globally-dispersed team of mostly womxn and non-binary designers, writers, journalists, editors, researchers, educators, artists, activists, and beyond.

Nina Paim, co-director
Nina Paim (she/her) is a Brazilian designer, researcher, curator, educator, and activist. Her work revolves around directing, supporting, and collaborating. She was born in Nova Friburgo 168 years after Swiss settler-colonialists displaced indigenous puris, coroados, and guarus. In 2014, she curated the exhibition “Taking a Line for a Walk” at the 2014 Brno Design Biennial in the Czech Republic, and co-curated “Department of Non-Binaries” at the 2018 Fikra Design Biennial in the United Arab Emirates. 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 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Maya Ober, co-director
Maya Ober (she/her) is an activist, designer, researcher, and educator. As a trained industrial designer, she co-ran a design practice for several years; in parallel, she was part of different activist collectives. 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, Switzerland, which examines how intersectionality can inform design practice. She has taught internationally in Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, and the U.K., among others. As a Doc.CH grantee by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Maya is a doctoral researcher in social anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland. 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.

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.

Franca López Barbera, associate editor
Franca López Barbera (she/her) is an Argentinian designer and researcher based in Berlin. Her work interweaves local stories and histories with scientific narratives to critically address the power structures that configure and are configured by design, particularly at the intersection of nature, coloniality, gender, and ethics. A trained industrial designer, Franca has experience working with various design and artistic practices, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. In 2021, she curated the Argentinian Pavilion at the London Design Biennale. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Institute for Architectural History and Theory at the University of Braunschweig, where she examines the introduction of consent in design-nature relations against extractive regimes. As a firm believer in the creative potential of refusal, her favorite word is “no.”

Morgan Brown, website programmer
Morgan Brown (he/him) is a California-born Software Engineer based in Berlin, Germany. 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.

Tereza Bettinardi
Tereza Bettinardi (she/her) is a Brazilian designer, researcher and editor based in São Paulo, Brazil. After working for major Latin-American publishing companies for almost a decade, in 2014 she launched her own studio, which specializes in editorial, visual identity design, packaging, and exhibition design. In parallel to commissioned projects, Tereza co-edited A Escola Livre: Entrevistas [vol.1], a book of interviews with several Brazilian graphic designers conducted as part of A Escola Livre (The Free School, 2014-18), an experimental educational project. She recently contributed the chapter “Bea Feitler: The Sir to Ms. Years” to Baseline Shift: Untold Stories of Women in Graphic Design History, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2021. In 2020, she founded Clube do Livro do Design, a virtual book club that evolved into a publishing house devoted to expanding the range of design writings available in Portuguese.

Lucas D’Ascenção
Lucas D’Ascenção (he/him) is a designer working through a multidisciplinary approach in the fields of graphic design, art direction and illustration. He has a degree in Product Design from the Design School of the Minas Gerais State University. Since 2021, Lucas has been working at Studio Tereza Bettinardi, where he brings his enthusiasm, sensibility, and experience to develop visual identity, editorial design, illustration, and web design projects with the utmost attention to detail.


Former Team Members

Cherry-Ann Davis, former 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, 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, 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, former founding editor
Madeleine Morley (she/her) 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.

Iyo Bisseck, former 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.