Speculative Body Semantic in the Digital Space

Presenting a conversation through a playful exploration with food — and a participatory investigation of future bodies, movements, gestures, and interactions in intelligent and immersive environments.

Event Details


Collective Future
1325 Palmetto St, Los Angeles, California 90013 United States


August 01, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



As our lives become increasingly mapped, mirrored, and interwoven with intelligent machines, our need for new interaction forms continue to grow. Body Semantics is an exploration of human movement as a natural interface between our bodies and technology, whether via mobile devices, gaming consoles, and soon, in intelligent environments and whole virtual worlds.

swissnex San Francisco, the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco, and Collective Future, will bring together a group of diverse experts and practitioners to explore Body Semantics in the digital age in an evening filled with conversation, dinner, and participatory food explorations to investigate our bodies — and the language of movements, gestures, and the interface/interactions in the context of future intelligent and immersive environments.

If you would like to apply to attend the event, please send us an email with a reason to attend: nicola@nullswissnexsf.org.



Collective Future

Ronni Kimm is a designer, researcher, and educator based in Los Angeles. Her work has spanned 20 years of diverse partnerships with organizations, creatives, and technologists. Her most recent work focuses on using speculative design and fiction to help clients imagine new possibilities for their future. She has led future visioning initiatives with multiple clients and industries including Art Center College of Design, Autodesk, Clif Bar, Ford, Nike, among others. As an educator, her background includes lectureships and visiting artist/critic roles at the Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, Cal State Long Beach, General Assembly, Otis College of Art & Design, Sci-Arc, UCLA, and USC. As part of her exploration of new meanings and forms, Ronni loves to incite conversations and collaborations with brilliant thinkers and doers whenever possible.

Eric HoldenerEric Holdener is a Swiss entrepreneur who started his career in consulting and then spent over 12 years with Nestlé in numerous functions both in Switzerland and in the USA. His expertise includes driving business innovation and technology transformation initiatives, launching products, conducting large-scale LEAN initiatives and partnering with executive leadership teams on strategic projects to deliver organic growth. He introduced Design Thinking and developed innovative tools to help organizations visualize value and improve their performance. His passion and expertise in organizational alignment, innovation design, and disruptive technologies make him a versatile and strategic thinker who likes to operate in any environment.

Hank & Bean

Anna Rose HopkinsAnna Rose Hopkins brings a focus on narrative storytelling, nutrition and ethos to Hank and Bean. For more than a decade in New York and Los Angeles as a private chef, Hopkins has worked to develop a sensation of abundance and freedom with — at times — rigorously limited ingredients. Immersive, site-specific dining experiences have been hosted and produced by Boston University (MA, US), RICE University (TX, US), the Barbara Seiler Gallery (Zurich, CH), PST LA (CA, US) and the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden (CA, US).

Henry FischerHenry Fischer (Vendome, Noma, Animal Group) brings over 25 years of world-class experience plus years of research in Korea and Japan to the forefront of his exploration with fermentation, texture and flavor development. His Middle-Eastern-by way-of-Eastern-Europe roots further shape his work with duration-based process and old world technique. Fischer brings a professional rigor and attention to detail to Hank and Bean.


Dr. Ross Mead is the Founder and CEO of Semio, a Los Angeles-based software startup defining the way in which people will live, work, and play with robots in their everyday lives. 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 research focuses on enabling social robots to autonomously recognize and generate fundamental social behaviors (e.g., speech, gestures, eye gaze, social spacing, etc.) in face-to-face human-robot interactions. His research provides the foundations upon which Semio software is being built.

Featured Guests

More Guests TBA

Maria Guta was born in Bucharest, Romania, where she studied graphic design and made her practice in fields as visual communication, art direction and fine arts. She moved to Switzerland in 2010 and in 2015 she has completed a Master’s degree in Art Direction and Photography at ECAL (Lausanne). Very soon after the graduation she discovered VR as a new and intriguing medium to explore and worked as the curator of a major VR event in Switzerland. She is currently an independent artist interested in photography, immersive media and new technologies, while always looking for new challenges (like performing, shapeshifting or creating costumes for theatre). Her work was exhibited in Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, Paris, Zürich, Bucharest and her latest project premiered this year in New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival.

Charlie HodgesCharlie Hodges graduated Valedictorian from Walnut Hill School where he earned the Arnold C. Taylor Award for Artistic and Academic Excellence. He spent four years dancing soloist and principal roles with the Sacramento Ballet and ten years working with Twyla Tharp. In 2006, he made his Broadway Debut in the Tharp/Joel musical Movin’ Out and went on to perform in Tharp’s subsequent projects “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and the Sinatra musical “Come Fly Away.” He has guested with Lar Lubovitch, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Westside Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He recently retired from LA Dance Project, under Benjamin Millepied’s direction, where he worked as Associate Artistic Director, Rehearsal Director, Ballet Master and Dancer. He graduated Valedictorian from ArtCenter College of Design with a degree in Product Design and a Minor in Social Impact and Sustainability. Charlie currently spends his mornings teaching ballet and composition at California Institute of the Arts and his afternoons working with JPL, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Lastly, he dedicates his passions towards a new start-up toy company launching this year that combines the best of his lives on stage and at a design desk.

The Interactive Geometry Lab (ETH) is a research group within the Institute of Visual Computing of ETH Zurich led by Prof. Olga Sorkine-Hornung. They do research in Computer Graphics focusing on interactive shape modeling geometry processing digital fabrication as well as image and video processing. Shihao Wu and Oliver Glauser are presenting their project ‘Interactive Hand Pose Estimation using a Stretch-Sensing Soft Glove’ at ACM SIGGRAPH 2019.

Javier Bello Ruiz is CEO and co-founder at IMVERSE. Born in Spain, MSc in Computer Science Engineering by the University of Zaragoza (2010) with focus in HCI and business management, later lab manager at the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (2013-2017). Previously managing VR projects for cognitive neuroscience research about brain mechanisms of body perception, body awareness and self-consciousness, he co-founded IMVERSE in 2017.


M A Greenstein has spent a career driving collaborative, design research and arts, tech & science initiatives in the US and throughout the AsiaPacific region. A former somatic educator and Asia Pacific ethnographer, M A brings the values of design research, bio-spatial intelligence and frontier thinking into business development, content generation and workshop facilitation.

The founder of three Los Angeles based, design-focused companies along with the Inventio!Brains brand, M A has spent the last two decades working with pioneer neuroscientists, architects, world builders and game designers to test and forecast what works in health and education.

Cross-sector partnerships and live conversations have been at the heart of her efforts knowing stories, products and systems are made stronger when pollinated in real time with varied sources of human and machine intelligence. As the principal of MaMax Studio, M A currently orchestrates conversations and generates content to help teams imagine future systems, build teams, test markets, develop brands, grow partnerships and tell their stories to investors, employers and the community they wish to serve.