Design Trouble Participants

Morehshin Allahyari is a media artist, activist, educator and curator who uses computer modeling, 3D scanning and digital fabrication techniques to explore the intersection of art and activism. Inspired by concepts of collective archiving, memory, and cultural contradiction, Allahyari’s 3D printed sculptures and videos challenge social and gender norms. She is developing a new body of work on digital colonialism and ‘re-figuring’ as a feminist and de-colonialist practice, titled She Who Sees the Unknown. Researching female monsters, jinn and dark goddesses of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises narratives through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning and archiving. Continued development of the project is supported by a joint commission from The Whitney Museum of Art, Liverpool Biennale and FACT, as well as a 2018 Rhizome Commission.


Sara Zewde is a founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm practicing at the intersection of landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art. The studio is devoted to designing enduring places where people belong. She holds a master’s of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master’s of city planning from MIT, and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University. In parallel with practice, Sara regularly writes, lectures, and exhibits her work and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Silberberg Memorial Award for Urban Design and the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and in 2018, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s inaugural “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” list. Her work has been exhibited at the 2016 and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, in the Brazilian and U.S national pavilions.


Elizabeth Chin is an anthropologist whose practice includes community based research, experimental writing, speculative design, and performative scholarship.  Her ongoing project the Laboratory of Speculative Ethnology brings together the immersive rigor of ethnography with the making and intervention energies of design to investigate questions of race and social inequality.  She is author of Purchasing Power: Black kids and American Consumer Culture and My Life With Things: The Consumer Diaries. In 2006 The Young America’s foundation named her one of their so-called “dirty dozen” for her course “The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie,” an example of what they called bizarre and troubling instances of leftist activism supplanting traditional scholarship in our nation’s colleges and universities.  


Kalaniopua Young is a mahuwahine+ and QTPI (Queer/Trans Pacific Islander).  She is a recent PhD from the University of Washington’s Department of Anthropology.  She is a former board member of the United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance (a Fafafine led organization in Seattle) and a founding member of Tent City Kweenz at Pu’uhonua O Waianae, the largest and longest running organic outdoor village in contemporary Hawaii.  Kalaniopua has served with a number of social movements and organizations throughout her life including but not limited to: Stonewall Youth (Olympia), the AlterNative Lifestyles Club (SPSCC), Transgender Advocates of Central Texas (Austin), the Gender and Sexuality Center (UT-Austin), Queer Students Alliance (UT-Austin), TransAction (UT), The Students Speak (Austin), All-go (Austin), The Feminist Action Project (Austin), the Tent City Collective (UW-Seattle), Tent City Three (Seattle), People of Color in Anthropology (Seattle), and Hui Ku Like Kakou (Hawaii)


Azzurra Cox comes to landscape architecture by way of her love of cities and her commitment to public space—as well as her obsession with rows of poplars and stands of aspens. Her childhood in Florence, Italy, and Charlottesville, Virginia, gave her an appreciation of vastly different notions of landscape, which she further developed living in cities including NYC, Chennai, and Lisbon. Her interdisciplinary background in social theory and the humanities informs her approach to the discipline, including her interest in the power of landscape to shape and reflect collective social narratives. Azzurra holds an MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BA in Social Studies from Harvard College. She was named the 2016 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation and is pursuing ongoing research on landscapes of memory in St. Louis. She brings a range of professional experiences in the worlds of education and policy reform, publishing, and curation.


Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan’s audio-visual and written work engages with the ways in which digital media consumption, production, and circulation shape understandings of migration, gender, race, and urban space. His forthcoming monograph, titled The Globally Familiar: Digital hip hop, masculinity and urban space in Delhi (Duke University Press), narrates the stories of Delhi’s young working class and migrant men as they productively re-fashion themselves and their city through their online and offline aesthetic practices. Dattatreyan has also published articles exploring digital media worlds in relation to, amongst other themes and concepts, waiting, memory, masculinity, postcolonial solidarity, and global racial formations. His work has appeared in Culture, Communication, and Critique, Wide Screen, Identities, American Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Visual Anthropology Review, and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (CSSAAME). He has screened his films and exhibited his audio-visual work in various venues including the Tasveer International Film Festival, Ethnografilm, Mustard Seed Film Festival, Bow International Arts, Khoj International Arts, TIFA – Pune, The RAI (Royal Anthropological Institute) and the Slought Foundation.


Nia Easley (b. 1983, Chicago) received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006 with a concentration in Painting and Printmedia. She is now also receiving an MFA from the School with a focus in Visual Communication Design. Nia is an artist creating works that address issues of visibility, accessibility, urban migration, social justice and data visualization. Her artist books are currently in the Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, DePaul University, Northwestern University, and the University of Iowa special collections. She has participated in exhibitions in the United States, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. She is a 2017 recipient of the ThreeWalls RaD Lab grant.


Sara Gon­za­lez is an assis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton, Seat­tle where she is devel­op­ing a local pro­gram in community-based archae­ol­ogy and explor­ing the inter­sec­tions of dig­i­tal media and tribal his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion. Prior this appoint­ment she was a Scholar-in-Residence fel­low in the Depart­ment of Soci­ol­ogy & Anthro­pol­ogy at Car­leton Col­lege and a Chris­t­ian A. John­son Fel­low in the Depart­ment of Anthro­pol­ogy at Vas­sar Col­lege. She received her doc­tor­ate from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley Depart­ment of Anthro­pol­ogy in 2011. An archae­ol­o­gist by train­ing, her cur­rent research inter­ests include the archae­ol­ogy of colo­nial­ism, com­mu­nity and pub­lic archae­ol­ogy, Indige­nous and fem­i­nist archae­ol­ogy, and his­tor­i­cal archae­ol­ogy.


Doenja Oogjes is a PhD student at the Everyday Design Studio at SFU, Vancouver. Her design practice explores different types of relations people might form with everyday computational things, particularly through perspectives that may have previously been overlooked (such as non-normative and non-human). Doenja holds a Bachelors and a Masters in Industrial Design from the Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands, and prior to joining the Everyday Design Studio, she has worked as a research assistant at the Interactive Institute in Eskilstuna, Sweden.


Giulia Tomasello is an interaction designer specialized in women’s healthcare combining biotechnology, interactive wearables and innovation. Winner of STARTS Prize 2018 – from the European Commission honouring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts. She considers herself an explorer, using materiality to question and communicate the boundaries between technology and our bodies. She questions our notions of wellbeing to develop innovative tools in the intersection of medical and social sciences.


Juno Salazar Parreñas is an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation (Duke University Press, 2018) and the editor of Gender: Animals, a Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbook (Macmillan Reference USA, 2017). Her work has appeared in the journals American Ethnologist and Positions: asia critique.


Nisi Shawl wrote the 2016 Nebula finalist Everfair and the 2008 Tiptree Award-winning story collection Filter House.  In 2005 she co-wrote Writing the Other: A Practical Approach, a standard text on inclusive representation in the imaginative genres.  Her stories have appeared in Wired Magazine, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s SF Magazine, and many other publications. She co-edited the anthologies Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany; and Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler.  In March, Solaris published her latest editing venture, New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color. Shawl has spoken at Duke University, Spelman College, University of Hawai’i Manoa, and Smith College.  She contributes book reviews and criticism to The Seattle Times, Ms. Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Washington Post.  She also edits book reviews for the feminist journal Cascadia Subduction Zone. Shawl is a Carl Brandon Society founder and a Clarion West board member.   She lives in Seattle near an enticingly large lake filled with dangerous currents.


Regina Yung Lee is a Lecturer in Gender, Women &Sexuality Studies at the UW, where she teaches on feminist science and technology studies, new media and participatory online communities, and science and speculative fictions. Her co-edited anthology, Biology and Manners: The Many Worlds of Lois McMaster Bujold, is forthcoming from Liverpool University Press in 2020.


Heidi Biggs is a second-year graduate student studying interaction design at the UW’s School of Art + Art History + Design. With a background in English Literature, ceramics, movement practices and web design, they are currently interested in embodied ways of experiencing interfaces and intersections of sound, movement, gender and technology. Their current projects include creating time-bending wearables for everyday cyclists which make climate change projections tangible and building wearable, electronic instruments that interrogate gender binaries.


Constanza Piña (Curicó, Chile / 1984) is a visual artist, dancer, independent researcher and educator focused on experimenting with electronic media, open-source technologies and collaborative practices. Her work reflects on the humankind and its relation with technology, the role of machines in contemporary culture, questions education, capitalism and technocentric patriarchy as a juxtaposition on open learning and the value of manual technical labor.