Ollie Cotsaftis is the founder and creative director of future ensemble, a post-disciplinary and speculative design studio operating at the intersection of the human experience, the built environment, and the realm of creative technologies. Exploring the boundaries of disciplines, future ensemble designs preferable futures and crafts bespoke and relevant brand, product, service, system, venture, and spatial experiences. Ollie is also a RMIT University School of Design Industry Fellow, experiments with new ideas through his visual art practice, and most recently, co-founded the Melbourne chapter of Speculative Futures, an international network for those interested in futurism and design fiction.
Dr. Leah Heiss is a designer and RMIT academic working at the nexus of design, health, and technology. Her practice traverses device, service and experience and her process is deeply collaborative, working with experts from nanotechnology and health services through to manufacturing. Her wearable health technologies include Diabetes Jewellery; biosignal sensing emergency jewellery; and swallowable devices to detect disease. Facett, the world’s first modular hearing aid that Leah designed for Blamey Saunders hears won the 2018 Good Design Award, the CSIRO Design Innovation Award and several iAwards. In total Leah has won five Good Design Awards and a Victorian Premier’s Design Award. Her work is part of Museums Victoria heritage collection and she has exhibited at the Melbourne Museum, Gallery of Modern Art and other galleries locally and globally. Leah teaches through RMIT’s Master of Design Futures and her teaching practice focuses on health sector innovation.
Bio-hacker, artist, and researcher, J.J. Hastings fuses and folds together the fields of biology (tissue engineering, genomics), informatics (machine learning), and new media art. She is alumna of New York University, Harvard University, the University of Oxford, and Central Saint Martins with advanced degrees in Biology, Fine Art, and Bioinformatics. J.J.’s career in scientific research spans over a decade and rooted in her longstanding roots as a bio-hacker. Her artwork has been exhibited across Europe, India, Asia, North America, and Australia. She teaches an array of subjects in science, design, and art at RMIT and the University of Melbourne.
Emma Luke has an extensive design background in accessories, design, and fabrication, specialising in watches, bags, jewelry, and wearables. She has collaborated with other brands, formed her own label, owned a store, produced collections, and consulted on various projects.
Emma is currently completing a PhD focused on post digital craft which explores emerging constructs of multimodal design practice and new processes of creating and visualising hybrid personal objects. This enquiry aims to challenge digital obsolescence and the loss of lasting cultural narratives through the creation of auratic objects manifested in a series of multifaceted generative objects and design projects.
Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library