Submit your design to 2021 IDA DESIGN AWARDS


Design Scientist, Founder Bionic City

A recipient of several international awards for innovation, creativity and enterprise, Dr. Melissa Sterry is a transdisciplinary design scientist, complex systems theorist, biofuturist and serial founder whose research and practice explores how emerging and anticipated near-future science, technology and thinking may help humanity to build a brighter future in the face of challenges including climate change, resource shortages, and biodiversity and virgin habit loss. Her career largely spent crafting first-to-market concepts and companies, she has a PhD in developing architectural and urban resilience to major wildfire events, together with over two decades experience in delivering strategic advisories at board-level to multinational corporations, NGOs, and market-founding start-ups. Melissa is a visiting lecturer/fellow, guest critic, thesis supervisor, assembly member, scientific committee member, peer-reviewer, editorial board member, author, juror and keynote speaker to manifold leading international STEM, design, architecture, and arts journals, conferences, awards, societies, and academic and professional institutions.
Melissa is the founder/director of London-based biofuturism consultancy Bioratorium® [est. 2019], and its lab Labioratorium®, and of Bionic City® [est. 2010], which asks “how would nature design a city?” and explores the potential of biomimetics, biotechnology and biology in the built environment in the now, near and far future. Developing original research, concepts and creative works, Bionic City® has attracted a global community of interest and has collaboration and co-creation partners worldwide. Her earliest interrogations dating to the early 90s, Melissa has 25+ years experience in researching and developing original biodesign, biomimetic, biofabrication, and biotechnology concepts across fields including textiles, fashion, architecture, construction, urban planning and infrastructure. One of her most recent scientific enquiries is available open access through the Panarchic Codex® project.
Her previous works include founding the award-winning sustainability think tank and collaborative laboratory Societás [2004 – 2010]; co-founding award-winning catalyst for rapid innovation in sustainable design, New Frontiers [2009 – 2010]; co-founding the world’s first online digital visual arts awards, Creative Graduate Prize [2004-2010] and Iconique Societás Awards [2007-2010]. Having founded her first creative business in her early 20s, she has also served as an executive director, board-level advisor, and mentor to several market-founding start-ups in fields including digital publishing, marketing, communications, events, music, and social business, amongst others.