Alison Thomson

Alison started her doctoral studies in the Department of Design at Goldsmiths in October 2012. Her practice-based PhD explores how design-research can re-do ‘the patient experience’ considering the multiple realities of Multiple Sclerosis and its ontological politics. A core empirical part of this involves working as a Visiting Researcher with Professor Gavin Giovannoni and the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at the Blizard Institute, Queen Mary, University of London.

Through using performative design-led interventions, the research is uncovering the various ontologies of Multiple Sclerosis at play in the outpatient clinic at The Royal London Hospital, in the Neuroimmunology Group at the Blizard Institute and at international scientific conferences. This practice-based research hopes to expand on the potential implications for design research in studying enactments of MS through proposing alternative service interactions.



Maria Portugal

Maria began her doctoral studies in the Design Department at Goldsmiths in 2012. She is exploring how designers can create new pedagogies and practices, extending the design actions towards political literacy and apathy/alienation during the current financial (and social) crisis.
Previous to her studies at Goldsmiths, Maria worked as a designer and completed her Masters in Urban Space at the School of Arts and Design in Oporto, Portugal. Here, she investigated contemporary approaches to experience and social participation within suburban spaces.
Maria continues to work as a designer with academic communities and collaborative projects such as Talk to Me (RSA) – she is currently working on a cancer research collaborative project with Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto Ipatimup (Portugal).



Bianca Elzenbaumer

Bianca completed her doctoral degree at the Design Department at Goldsmiths in February 2014 and is now working as a Junior Research Fellow at Leeds College of Art. Her thesis ‘Designing Economic Cultures’, investigates the political economy of design and explores, by way of practice-based research, the potential of peer-to-peer activities to enable structures that support the resilience of socially and politically engaged design practices.

Since 2005, Bianca has worked with Fabio Franz as the collective as ‘Brave New Alps‘. Here, they produce design projects that engage people in discussing, rethinking and intervening in social, political and environmental issues. The projects combine design research methods with radical pedagogy, conflict mediation, communication design as well as ‘DIY’ making techniques.

Between 2014 and 2015, Bianca is also a design fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, where she is developing, with Fabio Franz and Caterina Giuliani, Precarity Pilot, a nomadic career service that invites designers to speculate collectively about the future of their working lives. With Brave New Alps, Bianca is a cooperation fellow at AIR-Laboratory in Warsaw (Poland), where she is contributing to the bottom-up creation of a ‘special economic zone’.


Treechada Chotiratanapinun

‪Treechada completed a Masters of Research (MRes) in Design at Goldsmiths in 2008, where she explored issues of sustainability in Indonesian craft industries through ethnographic fieldwork in Java and Bali and drawing on postcolonial theory. She took this experience and knowledge to Thailand and worked for several years as a design educator specialising in sustainable design. ‬

‪Treechada is currently on a study leave from her position as a lecturer at Silpakorn University in Bangkok. She returned to the Department of Design in 2003 as a PhD student in order to examine the shift towards sustainability in Thailand’s design education. By bringing ‘whole systems thinking’ (e.g. Fritjof Capra and Stephen Sterling), critical pedagogy and Thai education culture into focus together, she aims to create a transformative pedagogical model for teaching sustainability to undergraduate design students in Thailand.‬