Gemma Jones

A researcher and strategist specialising in semiotics, cultural insight and futures methods.

Gem is the Director of Insight at Protein Agency where she works with established and start-up organisations to understand early adopter communities and emergent culture.  She guest teaches undergrads and post grads from diverse design disciplines in critical research and futuring methods.  Gem’s a co-founder of the School of Critical Design, a forum for exploring and teaching experimental methods for design and business to address critical social and environmental issues.



Malex Salamanques

A British – Venezuelan designer & researcher centering her practice at the intersection of semiotics & cultural insight, design and speculative futures.

Malex has been over 20 years practicing and teaching design, and over a decade working in commercial semiotics. She has pioneered Design Semiotics frameworks and methodologies specifically to help brands internationally and across a wide range of categories to optimise communications.

She is part time Director at Space Doctors, an international cultural & creative consultancy specialised in Semiotics alongside running her own studio, Mundano, where she helps disruptive Latam business and start-ups to conceptualise and develop meaningful brands and services that are changing the landscape in their categories.

She is a fellow of the School of Critical Design and she has special interest in understanding how Critical and Speculative Design Practices can help to imagine alternative visions & narratives of futures for Latin America.


Workshop: Re-Semiotizing Futures: Introducing Speculative Design as a Tool for Semioticians


In this mini workshop session, we will introduce some core principles of speculative and critical design and highlight where semiotics offers a powerful contribution to the field.


Key takeaways for participants will be:

  1. New ways to expand how semiotics defines and explores ‘the future’.  Exploring what’s next for trajectories/ RDE models in order to engage with chaotic and inconvenient futures.
  2. The value critical and speculative design prototyping can bring for the research and insight process through developing and engaging with fictional artefacts of the future.
  3. Understanding how we can re-semiotize these emerging disciplines so that futures prototypes are humanized and culturally specific and sustaining.