Playful interventionist and design researcher, Tomo Kihara develops situated playful interventions to challenge and reframe societal issues. His recent project Street Debaters aims to change the act of begging into a job to create public discourse through playful artifacts. His projects to reframe societal issues through design activism has been acclaimed internationally, with project “phonvert” – a project to raise awareness of the potential that retired smartphones have – being nominated as Design of the Year 2016 by the London Design Museum.
As a founder, he is now currently in charge of developing this project at the Waag Society in Amsterdam. Some people also refer to him as the Chief Street Debater since he is head of the Street Debaters around the globe. On sunny weekends you can meet him street debating about almost anything − from politics to the best anime − in Amsterdam Dam square. Originally from Tokyo, he is now a graduate student based at TU Delft, Design for Interaction program in the Netherland.
Natasha Jen is an award-winning designer, an educator, and a partner at Pentagram. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she joined Pentagram’s New York office in 2012. A three-time National Design Award nominee, Natasha’s work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, verbal, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts. Her work is immediately recognizable, encompassing brand identity systems, packaging, exhibition design, digital interfaces, signage and wayfinding systems, print and architecture.
Natasha is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and is a guest critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale University School of Art, Cooper Union, Rhode Island School of Design, and Maryland Institute College of Art.
Cécile Dormeau is a French illustrator based in the suburb of Paris. She worked in Germany in different graphic design agencies and as a junior art director at the advertising agency Ogilvy one for two years before starting her career as an illustrator. Using simple bold lines and bright colors, she creates illustrations and GIFs that explore body image and everyday issues faced by women. Parallel to her personal projects, she works for clients such as Google, GQ, the Sunday Times, NEON.
The flag of the Refugee Nation was designed by the artist Yara Said, a Syrian refugee who found asylum in Amsterdam. “Black and orange is a symbol of solidarity with all these brave souls that had to wear lifevests to cross the sea to look for safety in a new country. Since I had wear one, I have a personal engagement with these life-vests, and these two colors.”