We are like hearted with different minds. We believe great ideas come from radically new horizons and is the product of talented individuals working collectively. We work with people that are exceptional practitioners, experimenters, hyper-connectors, and big believers of creative serendipity. Individuals who have insatiable curiosity and that are comfortable with the unknown. As collaborators, advisors, clients, partners and friends, this is the company we keep.
Dimitri ChamblasDancer, Choreographer, Dean of Dance, CalArts
Dimitri Chamblas’s work examines the body and its representation in various concrete or imaginary contexts. His choreographic work springs from his perception of his immediate environment. One of his underlying goals is to invent new dance forms and their transmissions.
His work has been performed in venues such as Tate Modern (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Opéra national de Paris , St Mark’s church (New York), among others.
Captivated by dance, Dimitri Chamblas joined The Paris Opera’s celebrated dance school at age ten. During his career, he notably collaborated with creators such as Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagarfeld, composer Heiner Goebbels, artists Chrisitian Boltanski, Andy Goldsworthy, Dan Colen, Xavier Veilhan, choreographers William Forsythe, Boris Charmatz, Lil Buck, Mathilde Monnier, Benjamin Millepied.
In 2017 he launched Studio Dimitri Chamblas, a structure that hosts all of his projects and collaborations, including a duet with the star dancer Marie-Agnès Gillot, his participation in the new creation of Boris Charmatz premiered at the Volksbühne in Berlin, and a creation with architect François Perrin and François Dallegret for the Performa Biennial in New York.
He is also the dean of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts).
Alexis NikiStory Strategist & Narrative Coach, Story Nova
Somebody once said, "The shortest distance between two people is a story." I help clients harness the power of story to unite their teams away from fear and toward hope.
Under my consultancy StoryNova, I provide the tools that clients need to identify and embody their most important stories. I facilitate honest conversations that build understanding and align people behind a common goal. Narrative intelligence allows clients to become more intentional and positive about the stories they enact in the world.
A New Yorker by birth, I have lived more than half my life in Europe. Each encounter with a new culture required me to adapt and to integrate new information into my personal narrative. With a background in screenwriting, I worked as a story consultant in independent film production before bringing my story skills to the nonprofit and business worlds. I’ve been accompanying clients since 1998. I am an ICF-accredited Whole Person Coach (WPCC).
Sample clients include: Euronext, Lab Pareto, Opera de Paris, Orchestre National de Lille. With the corporate training company LightHouse, I have worked with GRDF, Pôle Emploi, Servier, and Safran among others.
Phil OttoArchitect, Anthropologist, Seeds & Growth
Philip Otto is an entrepreneur, creative leader, and designer. Creating systems, as well as spaces, that maximize value engineering for design and construction. Philip’s interest in retail, environments, and experience began with a position at Comme des Garcons after college. He continued on this path with positions at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, and at the Headlands Center for the Arts, where he worked on projects with world class artists and creatives.As a cultural anthropologist turned designer, Philip seeks to explore the intersection between architecture, design, art, and culture. In his career, he has maintained dialog between these interconnected worlds. Philip has worked across a variety of platforms to create environments that are both practical and poetic. He has had the privilege to work with some of the premier brands in the world including Free People, The North Face, Coca-Cola International, Levi’s, Nike, Undefeated, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and REI to name a few.
Andrew ZhangAI Expert, Senior Data Scientist, Kinestry
Dr. Andrew Zhang is one of the leading experts in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, as well as IoT, and Blockchain integration.
Serving as the CTO at Kinestry, Andrew leads a long-term technology vision, and is responsible for the applied AI programs, industry thought leadership, and advanced technology application. Through his commitment in this role, he has helped Kinestry scale and optimize product management, talent acquisition, and strategic partnerships.
Prior to his current role, Andrew worked as a research fellow at Stanford University, an AI expert at Sharp Corporation on leading AI-powered systems connected to IoT devices for preventive maintenance; and Head of AI at HB, a leading behavioral AI FinTech company. Andrew holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
Amy BlackmanFounder/Creative Strategist, Fruition.co
LinkedIn / Website
Amy Blackman was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After receiving an MA in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, she moved to LA and had a successful 18-year run in the music industry, managing the global businesses and careers of multi-Grammy Award winning music artists and producers. Her music management career culminated in being named a Cultural Ambassador for the US State Department across two different presidential administrations. She produced public diplomacy missions in 18 countries, and several regions that had never before seen live music from the West. Dreams fulfilled, she sold her house, quit her job, and took a two-year sabbatical, attending Georgetown University for a Global Executive MBA. She was recruited to run the North America subsidiary of a global multimedia design agency, and then was appointed VP at Contend Immersive, where she ran a global team of rogue, vanguard and brilliant strategists, designers, artists, branders. Her latest venture, Fruition.co is the coalescing of her life, work, and academic
adventures. For fun, Amy does international channel swimming expeditions.
Sharleen ChenCreative/Art Director, Graphic Designer
Sharleen Chen is a creative/art director and graphic designer who grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and is now based in Los Angeles, California. Her work sits at the intersection of design, storytelling, and emergent technologies, and has been recognized by Type Director’s Club, Communication Arts, and GD USA, among others. She holds a Graphic Design MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a Communications BA from University of Pennsylvania.
Henry FisherChef, Storyteller, Hank and Bean
Born in Köln, Germany, Henry began his culinary journey as a young man, first carrying bags of flour and cutting dough at age 10 for a local baker. Henry has more than 20 years of world-class industry experience. Having trained, studied and worked in Europe, Asia, and the continental United States, Henry has honed his passion and skill in many of the globe's foremost institutions of the past and present.
For a number of years, Henry has been cultivating an array of high-concept, site-specific products that encompass a broad survey of both ancient and forward-thinking techniques, including methods of preservation and modification.
Nu GotehCo-founder, Room for Magic. Co-founder/Creative Director,Deem Journal
Nu Goteh is a multi-disciplinary creative & designer who works in audio, visual and written mediums. He is the co-founder of the strategy and design studio, Room for Magic, and co-founder and creative director of partner publication, Deem Journal. Nu’s practice is informed by his love for counter/subculture(s), his background as a Liberian-born refugee, and a lifelong dedication to building platforms that enable communities to engage in shared experiences. Holding a Masters in Strategic Design & Management from Parsons School of Design, Nu is focused on the capabilities of design-thinking and on investing in ideas that solve bigger problems as a means of elevating the well-being of others. Based in Los Angeles, he has helped brands such as Puma, RedBull, Sonos, Adidas, and Sesame Street, improve upon the way people experience culture, community, and social capital. With an inherent understanding of the elements needed to build community platforms, Nu brings over a decade of branding, research, strategic development, ideation and production to creating equitable change to the way communities are being represented.
Alice GrandoitCo-founder/ Editorial Director
With a talent for engaging deeply to develop strong social microcosms around design and social engagement, Alice Grandoit is a champion for enhancing the way people connect with their experiences. Grandoit’s practice is rooted in empowerment, cultural collaborations, and the creation of experiential platforms molded around emergent creatives. As a social engagement designer and cultural researcher who builds awareness through strategic community partnerships, programming, and experiences, she is focused on a multi-dimensional experience with the world. These ideas are united by her work as the co-founder and editorial director of Deem Journal. Alice’s desire to pioneer human-centered solutions, combined with her experience working with global organizations for more than a decade, have informed her projects Room for Magic, a collaborative design studio, and its partner publication Deem Journal.
Anna Rose HopkinsChef, Storyteller, Hank and Bean
Anna Rose began her culinary path cooking for private clients, start ups, corporate entities and art institutions in NYC and the Hamptons. In 2015, Anna relocated to Los Angeles where she began a tailored chef service focusing on Paleo, Keto, Cancer Combative and Postpartum Nutrition before partnering with Henry in 2017 on HANK AND BEAN.
With a background in narrative performance, Anna expands her passion for food creating site-specific, conceptual dining experiences in collaboration with various artists. Such events have been hosted / produced by Boston University (MA), RICE University (TX), the Barbara Seiler Gallery (Zurich), PST LA (a Getty Initiative) and UCLA LENS at the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden.
Eli HongInteraction Designer
Eli is an interaction designer, who designs and prototypes for emerging tech, user experience, and fun.
With a background in urban design and planning, Eli recently got an MFA from Media Design Practices at ArtCenter College of Design. Eli’s work uses design to make communication and emerging technology more courteous and respectful.
Originally from Amoy, Eli currently resides in Los Angeles.
Rachel Joy VictorCo-founder/ Editorial Director
Rachel Joy Victor draws from a degree in computational neuroscience and a background in media research and content strategy for companies like HBO and Disney to design, write, and produce transmedia content, interactive stories, and immersive experiences through the lenses of worldbuilding and engagement. Her projects explore education and speculative futures and are informed by research and practice on POV, identity, and culture.
Willem Henri LucasDesigner/Educatior, UCLA Digital Media Arts
Willem Henri Lucas studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem in the Netherlands and did his post academic studies at the Sandberg institute (Rietveld Academy) in Amsterdam. After his studies Lucas worked as an independent designer in Amsterdam. From 1990 to 2002 he served as a professor and chair of the Utrecht School of the Arts’ Graphic Design department. In 2004 Lucas moved to los Angeles as a visiting lecturer at UCLA Design Media Arts, and is a tenured professor since 2007. From 2007 to 2014 Lucas was the department chair, and currently is a Senate faculty member and Professor Step 6.
His works is based in the field of Culture and the Arts. In 1998 he designed a series of 20 holiday postage stamps for the PTT (Dutch Post and telecom company). He won several (book) design awards in the Netherlands as well as in the US. Primarily a book designer (exploring sensibility of printed matter; in material as well as content) most of his projects are self-initiated and he is (co-)editor, producer, as well as the designer. Lucas is interested in addressing social issues and bringing design back ‘to the street,’ and humanity back into design, encouraging future designers to be a valuable part of their communities. His body of work deals with issues of war, love, and the human condition.
Garance DoreFounder/Fashion Influencer, DORÉ
Ross MeadRobotics Expert/Founder/CEO, Semio
Dr. Ross Mead is the Founder and CEO of Semio. Ross received his PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in 2015, and his BS in Computer Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2007. Ross’s dissertation work focused on socially assistive robots, specifically, on the principled design and computational modeling of fundamental social behaviors (such as speech, gestures, eye gaze, social spacing, etc.) that serve as building blocks for automated recognition and control in face-to-face human-robot interactions. His research provides the foundations upon which Semio software is being built.
Beyond Semio, Ross serves on the Board of Directors for two organizations: (1) AI LA to promote artificial intelligence in the Los Angeles community; and (2) the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics to promote robotics and STEM in K-12 education around the globe, with a focus on underrepresented populations. In 2018, he co-founded the Social Robot Community Slack team to spark an international community around robotics and natural language technologies. Previously, Ross also served as a technical and scientific advisor to Disney, Intel, and National Geographic, among others.
Todd TerrazasFounder & Executive Director, AI LA
Todd Terrazas is a mission-driven entrepreneur, storyteller, and engineer of serendipity. With his startup, Brainitch, Todd has developed a wide range of creative technological solutions for disaster relief, fan engagement, and consumer research. Todd is the Founder and Executive Director of AI LA, a non-profit think tank in the Greater Los Angeles area that focuses on education and collaboration on subjects related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a wide range of stakeholders. Todd has built on-going partnerships for AI LA with esteemed organizations, including Google, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, X Prize, Cedars-Sinai, Kaiser-Permanente, Children’s Hospital Innovation Lab, and the University of Southern California (USC). Todd is a graduate of the USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he focused on entertainment business and short-form storytelling. When Todd is not in production mode, you can find him advocating for affordable housing and after school enrichment programs, performing improv, and walking his dog, Lady.
Jennifer AxenSocial Researcher, Content Writer,Principal, Axen Institute
As a researcher and writer, Jennifer Axen has spent the past two decades interviewing strangers all over the world, observing and documenting their quirky habits and curious behaviors. From hard core gamers to convenience store shoppers and burlesque dancers, she makes her living lifting insights out of the most fascinating and peculiar pockets of culture.
Her expertise in research design and strategy has led to research partnerships with dozens of Fortune 500 companies including Panasonic, Target and Coca-Cola. Jennifer completed the D.School executive program at Stanford University and is a frequent speaker on the subject of consumer empathy, design research and brand strategy.
Jennifer is the Founder of Axen Institute, a collective dedicated to social research, insight development and training.
Mike KrausFounder & Principal, VENT
Mike is the founder + CEO of VENT, a collective of thinkers and doers who partner with hospitality clients to solve problems and discover opportunities to evolve their business.This works crosses multiple disciplines including business strategy, operations, finance and investments, brand strategy and voice, organizational structure and process, sales and marketing, communications, and creative concepting and design.
At the heart of the work is one tenet that drives everything: How do companies build relationships with their employees, customers, guests and clients in an emotionally connected, authentic way in order to differentiate themselves and stand out.
Mike’s work experience cuts a wide swath across theme parks and attractions, location-based entertainment, retail and agencies in roles from management and marketing / branding, to operations, blogging, media spokesperson and cross-departmental problem solver. This variety of personal career experiences and VENT’s 75+ client history continues to drive Mike’s curiosity, allowing him to bring a wealth of “outside the industry" thinking to each client.
Advisors, Strategic Partners, and Collaborators
Jennifer AxenSocial Researcher, Content Writer
Principal, Axen Institute
Founder/Creative Strategist, Fruition.co
Dimitri Chamblas Dancer, Choreographer, Dean of Dance, CalArts
Sharleen Chen Creative/Art Director, Graphic Designer
Garance DoreFounder/Fashion Influencer, DORÉ
Henry Fisher Chef, Storyteller, Hank and Bean
Nu GotehCo-founder, Room for Magic. Co-founder/Creative Director,Deem Journal
Alice GrandoitCo-founder/ Editorial Director, Deem Journal
Eli HongInteraction Designer
Anna Rose Hopkins Chef, Storyteller, Hank and Bean
Mike Kraus Founder & Principal, VENT
Willem Henri Lucas Designer/Educator, UCLA Digital Media Arts
Ross MeadRobotics Expert/
Alexis Niki Story Strategist & Narrative Coach, Story Nova
Phil Otto Architect, Anthropologist, Seeds & Growth
Todd Terrazas Founder & Executive Director, AI LA
Rachel Joy VictorNarrative Designer
Andrew Zhang AI Expert, Senior Data Scientist, Kinstry