Contributor Biographies
Amina Abbas-Nazari / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

Amina is: a designer…but not really a designer. A singer…but not really a singer. An artist…but not really an artist.

Wenbo Ai / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

I am a PhD student at Royal College of Art, where my research is looking at participatory communication design and health promotion. I studied for a BA in Visual Communication Design at Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in China, and an MA in Service Design Innovation at University of the Arts London. My research areas include visual communication design, service design, design thinking, design anthropology, participatory co-design, inclusive design and social design.

Sohaila Baluch / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

Sohaila Baluch is an interdisciplinary artist with a research-based fine art practice that draws from feminist strategies to unite performance and fibre arts. Her work engages with durational processes that prioritise the notion of gendered and racialized labour to challenge dominant aesthetics and hegemonic discourses. Sohaila’s research investigates the deliberate erasure of exploitative practices linked to South Asian textile production, labour and trade in British historical narratives and visual representations. It unveils how this intentional exclusion marginalises non-white contributions to British history and ruptures a sense of belonging within diasporic communities, ignoring the labour of Black and brown bodies which have been crucial in advancing Britain’s economic prosperity. Additionally, her research and work underscore the persistent difficulties faced by British South Asian women in surfacing their stories within the confines of established norms and precedents. 

Sohaila is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Arts and Humanities at the Royal College of Art and a recipient of a LAHP Scholarship Award. She is a Globe Artist for the World Reimagined, and recent works have been shown at Bishopsgate Institute, Beaconsfield Gallery, and Copeland Gallery as part of the RCA PGR Research Biennale 2023.


Nick Bell / Issues 1 (Vol. 1), 2 (Vol. 3)

I am a communication researcher/designer working alongside community leaders and charities employing contactless participatory practice methods and tools to widen participation in local social infrastructure. We invite neighbours into intracultural and cross-community communication, the ethnographic study of which I am carrying out on a PhD at Royal College of Art. For many years before this, I ran an award-winning design studio specialising in exhibition and editorial design. I am a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale), Special Consultant to Eye magazine, the international review of graphic design, and a founding co-editor of itinerant space, the PGR-run experimental academic research platform at RCA.

Karen Bosy / Issues 1 (Vol. 1), 2 (Vol. 3)

When I was a child, my family moved from Toronto, a city in the middle of a continent to a rural island in the Caribbean Sea. Although I was young, this move away from extended family and a place I understood as my world, brought into view for me the constructedness of my reality. As James Lingwood explains: ‘we learn to interpret the conversations associated with photography, cinema, painting, street signs and so on,’ and our knowledge of these systems ’lead us to believe that the world is a fixed and orderly place’ (Lingwood quoted in Kester, Rachel Whitread’s House, 1995). Lingwood’s comment corresponds to an early impression of my new home where, mixed in with my astonishment at the clichéd truth of the velvety heat of the scented tropical air, was my awareness of the unfamiliar design of street lighting.

As a result of this move, my understanding of television also changed. What had been for me a remotely controlled, public form of entertainment became a tool for communication within the community. My mother’s informational puppet show, she was in public health then, was broadcast daily. The puppets could be found in the opening time slot on the sole TV channel of this island, broadcast during after school hours. In contrast with this experience of the image as a productive space, later my school selected me and other girls to play the pirates for a commercial promoting Birds Eye ready-made food for children, which was also broadcast in the UK. This experience highlighted for me the role of landscape within the potential of moving image.

Subsequently back in Toronto, I studied painting at OCAD and then printmaking and painting at The Slade School of Fine Art. Currently I move between London and Toronto; my work has been held at the Eagle Gallery, Emma Hill Fine Art for many years. As a PhD candidate at RCA, I am considering the dispersed nature of site and conversations associated with media. My main field of reference is experimental film and I use photography, drawing and other media in my video installation practice and my practice-based research. My proposed submission date is Sept 2024. My thesis title is Inside here: dispersal as a strategy in landscape-based critical-documentarist art practice

vault, on-going series of works can be found on itinerant space, Issue 1: Pilot Issue, keyword dispersal.



Ling Cai / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

I am a PhD candidate specialising in Information Experience Design (IED) at Royal College of Art. With extensive experience in international digital experience design and innovation in online working environments, I bring a deep understanding of the field. In critically questioning existing and speculative platform-methods in workplaces, my interdisciplinary research deploys IED to investigate alternative understandings of global real-time virtual collaboration.

Hannah Clarkson / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)
Hannah Clarkson is a visual artist, writer and researcher with an interest in materialities of storytelling and voice, and embodied languages of empathy. With a BFA from Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University (2013) and an MFA from Konstfack, Stockholm (2017), she is currently a practice­-led PhD candidate in Arts & Humanities at the Royal College of Art, London (2021-2025). Alongside an active art and writing practice, she teaches creative writing for post-graduate students at Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. Publications include: Decolonizing Architecture anthology (ed., 2021); Synonyms for Shelter poetry collection (2020); and The Green Room: Perspectives on Artistic Research (ed., 2018).
In Clarkson’s PhD research – building on medical humanities practices – autoimmunity meets autopathography and absurdity in an embodied illness narrative, advocating both personal and social agency through exploration of the possibilities and parameters of play. Led by practice, this research aims to re-present ‘autoimmune’ understandings of shelter, playing with absurd sculptural costumes and performance to articulate material, relatable narratives of trauma and care.
Chang Gao / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

Dr. Chang Gao is a Berlin and London based artist. Chang recently obtained her PhD degree at Royal College of Art in London. She is a Lecturer at University of Art London, and a Postdoc candidate currently working at Berlin Free University. She was working as Public Art Researcher at Public Art Research Centre of China, Director and Establisher of Social Innovation Research Lab at Central Academy of Fine Art, China. Her research topic overlaps the fields of psychology, politics, philosophy, sexuality. As a multiple media artist she uses sculpture, robotics, AR interface, film, photography, hologram and installation. Her sculptures and multimedia art practice have been widely exhibited in and outside of the UK, in Europe, Argentina and China.

Hengzhi Gong / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

In 2018, Hengzhi Gong graduated with a BA in Industrial Design from the Beijing Institute of Technology and, in 2020, with an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art. Now, he is completing his PhD in Arts and Humanities at the RCA. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, Southward Park Galleries, No.20 Arts, Josh Lilley Gallery, Fold Gallery, Hockney Gallery, West Bund Museum (Shanghai, China), A/W Space (Nanjing, China), Western Exhibitions (Chicago, US) and Gallery LVS (Seoul, Korea).

Carl W. Jones / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

Carl W. Jones is a PhD Candidate in the RCA School of Communication and a Senior Lecturer in PR & Advertising at the University of Westminster. His research is on “Decolonizing Advertising,” sets out to redefine the concept of advertising through his analysis of the political economy of race in Mexico, and its manifestation through the spectacle of advertising.

Semiotics is Carl’s preferred method to investigate meaning in visual communication, both digital and analogue. While presenting seminars internationally to audiences exemplified by those of Clio’s Asia, Marketing Magazine Toronto, El Ojo Buenos Aires, as well as within the academic sphere, Carl has been interviewed by the BBC, The Telegraph, BBC Mundo: Periodico Reforma, TV.UNAM, on the effects of publicity on society. He has won numerous awards and recognitions for his creative work, including Cannes Lions, and his newspaper articles on Racism & Classism in Mexican advertising have been shared widely on social media.

Carl served as issue editor for “Advertising for the Human Good”, Volume 15, Issue 2 of academic journal Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC). His papers on: Branding, Design, Digital Gaze, Advertising Tools & Techniques, have been presented at global conferences and published in a variety of languages in Europe and Latin America. In addition, he uses “Art Through Research” as a method to investigate and create subversive artworks. His pieces have been exhibited in galleries and museums in Mexico City, Toronto, Dubai, London, and others and collected by the ‘Fundacion Televisa Art Collection’ an important collection of works in Latin America.

Trent Kim / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

My name is Trent Kim and I am a Glasgow-based South Korean born Scottish artist. I was trained in theatre lighting design and art-based research, and I am most interested in the medium of light and researching how lighting reveals the world to us.

I am currently a part-time PhD student at Royal College of Art revisiting the art of Lumia by Thomas Wilfred (1889-1968) through the lens of practice. I am critically re-enacting the early 20th-century artist’s prototyping. I term this particular type of prototyping ‘mythopoetic prototyping.’

Outside my PhD, I teach New Media Art at the University of the West of Scotland, serve as a board member of Vanishing Point and a member of the Scientific Committee at xCoAx. I am also currently involved in other community projects, including: Paisley School of Arts (funded by Renfrewshire Council and in partnership with Dr Rachael Flynn); Dynamic Dunure (in partnership with South Ayrshire Council); Bridging Digital (funded by ERASMUS and in partnership with Intercult (Sweden) and Fablevision Studios (Scotland).

Charlotte Lengersdorf / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

I am a visual communicator, researcher and lecturer born in Germany and based in London. I specialise in type design, interactivity and critical theory with specific emphasis on the nonsensical, undetermined and unknown. I hold a BA from Peter Behrens School of Arts in Düsseldorf and an MA from the Royal College of Art in London. I am currently a PhD candidate in the School of Communication at the Royal College of Art, funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Larissa Nowicki / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

Visual artist and researcher, Larissa Nowicki, is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, London where she received an MA in Communication Art and Design. She holds a BA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design. Her practice-led research is performed by hand through gendered processes, which have long been associated with marginalized communities (i.e. weaving, sewing). Her practice across art and design draws from a material based non-linguistic form of communication. In her research she is developing alternative practice-based methods for expanding feminist scholarship within art history through hands-on making with materials. Nowicki’s artwork is held in both private and public collections. She is represented by Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Clara Palmberger-Suesse / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

Clara Palmberger-Suesse (*1991, Germany) is an artist and writer from Hamburg. Her paintings move in a space between abstraction and figuration, as she is interested in states of dissolution, emerging and submerging. In this vein, she writes about experiences of consumption, the aesthetics of – and the encounter with – food stuff. As an exploration of perspectives on the object-subject relationship, this feeds back into her painting. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Arts at the Royal College of Art, with an expected completion date in 2024.

Yunqi Peng / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

I work as a graphic designer under the pseudonym of CheapBall in social media, alternative bookstores, and art book fairs. With text, typography and graphic languages as visual methods, I use self-publishing and art book exhibitions as my main avenues of intercultural and subcultural exploration. An experimental practice in the form of art publications, the outcomes are a study of the credibility of narrative structures and non-traditional narrative models and a concern for the delicate issues hidden beneath the grand social narrative.

I am one of eleven Chinese designers nominated for the 2023 Tokyo TDC (Type Directors’ Club) Award. My work and conversations have been featured in several design magazines and yearbooks in the Asia Pacific region. I am now pursuing a PhD in the School of Communication, Royal College of Art. I completed my MA at Royal College of Art in July 2022. My previous education includes a BA from Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (Milan, 2020), and a BFA from East China Normal University (Shanghai, 2020). With part of my family in Toronto and close companions in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, I swirl like a cloud above several different scents of the air.

Colin Polwarth / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

I am a registered architect and Director of Studio Colin Polwarth, a practice specialising in major transport infrastructure projects, urban design, architecture, heritage, and public art. My core thinking and design responses are strongly committed to environmental advocacy, the origins of which lie in my love of nature and an esoteric connection to the earth from my childhood in Zimbabwe to adulthood in Australia. We are a transdisciplinary, multi-award-winning practice. Accessibility and humour are ingredients of my personality that permeate my practice research.

My doctoral study extends practice knowledge into new areas of specialisation and consultancy, including presentations, writing, publications and lectures. I presented my CAREV research spatial findings to the Academy of Neurosciences in Architecture (ANFA) as a keynote speaker for the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) at the University of California, San Diego, in September 2023.  Parts of the research, such as Videos 1 and 2, are designed to appeal to non-academic audiences. Video 2, the CAREV spatial investigation, was presented at the Royal College of Art Biennale in July 2023 at the Copeland Gallery in London. The two videos, the thesis, and the appendix of drawings and multimedia will be publicly available in the 2024/25 academic year.

Kam Rehal / Issues 1 (Vol. 1), 2 (Vol. 3)

Kam Rehal is a PhD Candidate in the RCA School of Communication and Programme Leader for Graphic and Digital Design at the School of Design, University of Greenwich. His research interrogates emerging perspectives of place – encountered within the current social and political context – and questions the role and responsibility of the subjective researcher within local communities. Through his research-practice, Kam explores design, writing and making, situated within the theoretical and material contexts of conversation, environment, participation and performance.

In 2019, he designed, co-edited and contributed works to the flash fiction collection ‘Story Cities: A City Guide for the Imagination’ – engaging the physical printed book to facilitate reading as a narrative spatial practice.

Since 2018, as part of an EU (£4m) research project funded by Interreg Europe, Kam has been working with colleagues at the University of Greenwich, leading on the development of a co-design research methodology to engage Academic and Social Partners across North West Europe – the Ruhr area, Greater London, Flemish Triangle, European Metropolis of Lille, and Tilburg. The ‘Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurial Skills’ project aims to produce a common (EYES) approach, communications and digital tool that can be implemented across regions to support Coaches, Volunteers and Young People in addressing educational, employment, training and entrepreneurial needs.

Prior to his academic appointment he led the graphic design team at the Natural History Museum and was senior designer at Imperial War Museums. Kam’s professional design experience covers environmental graphic design for museums, galleries and physical spaces, book and editorial design for publishing, art direction and design management, and frequent collaborations with other artists, writers, researchers and makers.

Claire van Rhyn / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

Claire van Rhyn is a design researcher and educationalist with a distinctly post-disciplinary approach. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art, funded by the AHRC’s London Doctoral Design Centre. Her work investigates the body as modality of communication. Through employing a participative Social Design approach – influenced by choreographic thinking and awareness-based approaches – her research develops a Collaborative Improvisational methodology for supporting processes of social transition within educational communities.

She holds a MSc in Education Research with distinction from University of Exeter. As transition consultant, she has worked with numerous school communities, as well as in-service and pre-service teacher training. She has researched social cognition in schools with Universities of Cambridge, Exeter and Roehampton.

Claire is a member of the Presencing Institute’s Social Presencing Theatre research group. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Design Research Society. As Assistant Director for Shambhala Art Europe, she teaches and hosts workshops internationally on the subject of perception, embodiment and mindful-aware approaches to creativity. Claire’s early professional background is in Art Directing and Publishing Design.

Damien Roach / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

Damien Roach is a London-based artist, researcher and lecturer. His projects span art, design and creative direction, publishing, sound/music and audio-visual. Recent projects include immersive AV performances at London’s ICA and Tate Modern; design for clients ranging from Caribou to Disney; and publishing a journal exploring non-dystopic future visions with a host of contributors including Susan Hiller, Dr Isabella Maidment, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Liam Gillick. He has exhibited internationally, including at the 51st Venice Biennale; Learn to Read at Tate Modern; Art Now at Tate Britain; Housewarming at Swiss Institute NYC; and solo presentations at institutions including The Roberts Institute of Art, London; Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland; Arnolfini, Bristol; Gasworks, London; and Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Germany.

Kirsty Smith / Issues 1 (Vol. 1)

Biography text from Kirsty is pending.

Yu Xiao / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

Yu Xiao is a contemporary artist, and art educator. Born in Hangzhou, China, she graduated with a Master’s in Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins in London. She is currently a practice- led doctoral candidate at the Royal College of Art in the UK and is based in London. Her work primarily revolves around painting but also includes painting-related installations and performances. She has held five solo exhibitions and has been invited to participate in numerous significant group exhibitions in China, the UK, Italy, Poland, the USA, and more. Notable exhibitions include the annual show at the Royal Academy of Arts in the UK, the ‘Meta-forms’ public project at Miami Art Basel, and ‘Elsewhere/Here’ at the He Xiangning Art Museum. Her works have been showcased at international art fairs like Art Basel, as well as domestic ones such as WestBund and ART 021, and have been collected by institutions and private individuals.

Sharon Young / Issues 1 (Vol. 1), 2 (Vol. 3)

Dr Sharon Young is an artist working on feminist strategies of subversion through multi-disciplinary approaches to language based artistic research. She is a lecturer in photography, fine art and performance at Glasgow School of Art, University of the Arts, London, Ithaca College, London Centre, Boston University, Study Abroad, London and Royal College of Art, London.

Her work has been presented and exhibited worldwide including The Freud Museum, London, Stroud Film Festival, Tate Exchange; Liverpool // Venice, Encontros das Imagem, Braga; Goa Photo Festival; Cosmos, Arles; The Centre of Photography, Clement-Ferrond, Tate Liverpool, and P3 Ambika Gallery, London and has been the recipient of awards such as Flash Forward Magenta Awards, Canada and The International Photography Awards, New York. Her work is held in public collections such as the V&A Library, The Yale Centre for British Art and PhotoIreland Foundation. She has presented her research at conferences such as She is Hysterical, UCLA, PSi 25, Calgary, Ithaca College, New York and University of Oxford.

Sharon has a PhD from the Royal College of Art entitled:
Once More with Feeling: A reinvention of ‘hysteria’; through photography, performance and autofiction.

You can see more of her work at: @sharonyoung_studio,

Jinya Zhao / Issues 2 (Vol. 3)

I see glass as an ideal medium to explore themes of environment, emotions, and personal experiences. In my current practice and research, I ask how the material phenomena unique to blown glass can make multi-sensory connections between the artist and viewers, and how colour, shape, form, as well as techniques of obscuring and revealing can be used to connect memory and imagination in my work. I propose the concept of the ‘synaesthetic touch’. My work is collected by museums and galleries such as Prague Gallery of Czech Glass, Qingdao Art Museum, Southern Illinois University, Ulster Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum; key exhibitions include a solo exhibition at the Liuli China Museum in Shanghai, China, a duo exhibition in Shenzhen, China and a group show at Hauser & Wirth London in 2023. Born and raised in China, I received a BA in 2017 from the China Academy of Art and an MA and MRes from Royal College of Art in 2019 and 2021. I am currently pursuing a PhD at Royal College of Art, London.