Rafaella Houlstan-Hasaerts (ULB - Faculty of Architecture, Research Labs LoUIsE & sASHa; ESA Saint-Luc Bruxelles) is a Belgian-Panamenian architect, researcher and teacher. Her work focuses on citizen participation in the urban environement, from an aesthetic and a political perspective. In 2019, she completed her PhD thesis entitled : "The aesthetic turn in urban participation, challenged by civil society. A field inquiry in Brussels". Appart from her research and teaching activities, she has contributed to several creative and collaborative projects, with members of Brussels associations such as City Mine(d), Recyclart and Constant (http://www.towards.be; http://encuentros-cartograficos.net/logbook/; http://spreektu1060.be/media/frombosnia/). Along with Pauline Etienne, she wrote and directed the short fiction film "Mémoires sélectives".
Giulietta Laki (ULB - Grap, Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy; sASHa, Faculty of Architecture) is a German anthropologist researching and working on cities and diversity with a strong focus on innovative and experimental methods, both from the arts and from social sciences. Her research activities cross academic borders through interdisciplinary collaborations and research missions (Mudam Luxembourg, Fabrik Saint-Josse), by giving workshops (a.pass, Human Cities Festival, Académie des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles) or curating urban interventions (Maelström festival outdoors 2011, Maelbeek Dans Tous Ses Etats EGEB). In 2018 she completed her PhD thesis entitled “Streets, things and their publics. An ambulatory exploration of Brussels objectal public space”, which presents an empiric and ethnographic approach to the public sphere, attesting that objects in urban environments have a political agency and enable what she calls an “objectal participation” to public life.
Thomas Laureyssens is an interaction and game-designer, researcher, artist, and teacher at LUCA School of Arts. His work is inspired by urban and societal matters, and driven by grounded optimism. Thomas designs games and interactive interventions for public and semi-public spaces, with the intention that they are inspirational or even transformative for the people or communities that engage with them. His PhD dissertation (in progress) concerns with how urban social technologies are appropriated and activated by local communities, and which role human actors play in this process. Former research project include the design of the participatory workshop methodology MAP-it together with research group Social Spaces.
Greg Nijs is a sociologist working as a researcher at Urban Species. Bringing together social research and collaborations with artists and designers, his interests revolve around issues of human and other-than-human entanglements, participation, experience, affect and cognition in the design and use of urban environments, other/ed knowledge practices, and questions of the urban, nature, and technology. In his approach, he draws on a range of social scientific sources such as science and technology studies (STS), design studies, multispecies studies, cognitive sciences, HCI, pragmatism, and the like. Greg is also curator and co-director at c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e, a Brussels-based contemporary art space, as well as guest lecturer at the Printmaking Dept. at ENSAV La Cambre.
Guillaume Slizewicz is a French designer. His work is at the crossroad of social sciences and interaction design. Having completed Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Sciences-Po Lille, he specialized in Product development and design at KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology. Before landing at Urban Species, Guillaume has worked as a strategic planner at M&C.SaatchiGAD, and for design firms Superbe, Idemolab and Strategy Scenarist. He is interested in the possibilities offered by electronic objects, the unexpected behavior that glitches provoke and the surprise created by misused hardware systems and hijacked algorithms.