Mariana Pestana is an architect and curator interested in critical social practice and the role of fiction in re-imagining futures for an age marked by technological progress and an ecological crisis. She co-founded the collective The Decorators, an interdisciplinary practice that makes collaborative public realm interventions and cultural programmes, currently design fellows at Stanley Picker Gallery. Previously Mariana worked as a curator at the Department of Architecture, Design and Digital at the Victoria and Albert Museum and lectured at Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, and Royal College of Arts. Recently, she co-curated the exhibitions The Future Starts Here, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2018) and Eco Visionaries: Art and Architecture After the Anthropocene at MAAT (2018), Eco Visionaries: Towards an Interspecies Future at Matadero (2019), and a third iteration of the latter at The Royal Academy (2019). She was the curator of the exhibitions The Real and Other Fictions for Close, Closer, Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2013) and This Time Tomorrow for the V&A at the World Economic Forum (2016). She curated Fiction Practice, the Young Curators Lab for Porto Design Biennale 2019. Pestana holds a PhD in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture.
Billie Muraben (Assistant Curator & Deputy Editor) is a writer, editor and lecturer based in London. She has written for Artsy, Disegno, Elephant, Eye, Maharam Stories, Port and Varoom among other publications, and was previously Online Editor of The Gourmand. Her work is informed by an interest in design by its broadest definition, and challenging the spaces, places and practices that we privilege in the context of art and design. Of British/Turkish descent, she has a particular interest in practices rooted in the Eastern Mediterranean. She’s previously written about television as a potential site of distribution for art practice; postmodern architecture and ruin value; and dancing water fountains as monumental symbols of power. She teaches on the Experience & Environment platform of BA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, and previously taught MA Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art and BA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. She is currently Editorial Advisor on the third edition of A Line which Forms a Volume, a publication and symposium on design research by MA Graphic Media Design at London College of Communication. She holds an MA in Visual Communication from the RCA.
Sumitra Upham (Curator of Programmes) is a London-based curator working at the intersection of art, design and technology. She is currently Senior Curator of Public Programmes at the Design Museum where she is responsible for public programming, residencies and temporary projects. Previously, she was Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Design Curator at Coin Street Community Builders, and part of the exhibitions team at White Cube, London. Last year she sat on the curatorial committee for London Festival of Architecture 2018.
Future Anecdotes (Exhibition Design) works collectively, with a strong interest in building narratives and spaces. The group has been investigating issues of display, exhibition-making, publication and public-action since 2010. Future Anecdotes have undertaken design collaborations for exhibitions such as The Way Beyond Art (2018-2021) the permanent collection display for Van Abbemuseum, and the accompanying userspaces titled Werksalon; Trespassing Modernities (2013) at SALT and The City of Tomorrow (2019-2020), a travelling exhibition on Soviet Modernisms in Yerevan, Minsk, and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Future Anecdotes were also the authors of the Reading Room at the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial.
Maria João Macedo (Graphic Design) has been establishing her graphic design practice around books and visual identities since 2008. Her approach prioritizes content over signature, where conversation and exchange play a crucial role. Working mainly with artists, curators and cultural institutions, her studio is responsible for the new visual identity of Culturgest (since 2018), the publication series devoted to the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum Collection (since 2014), and several books with artists such as Von Calhau, Bruno Pacheco, Vasco Barata, Alberto Carneiro or Nairy Baghramian. She is also a founding member and head of the editorial programme of Sismógrafo, a non-profit art space curating and presenting contemporary art exhibitions in Porto since 2014.