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John Bertolaso

Multidisciplinary Designer,
Mechanical Engineer and Explorer

As a mechanical engineer and multidisciplinary designer, my work bridges the realms of sciences and arts to explore how emerging technologies, design and research can help us build more resilient and sustainable futures.

Beyond pragmatism, my projects aim to probe and provoke in order to make us question our reality and what could be. I’m very interested in the futures of food and agriculture, but I also think a lot about what materials, supply chains, architecture and networked urbanism might look like tomorrow.

From glacial equatorial jungles to some of the most populated cities, the adventures I go on help me discover spectrums within cultures, people and behaviours, and continually influence my process.

I’m currently designing, engineering, making, breaking things at Random International where we develop experimental interactive experiences enhancing the human condition in an increasingly mechanised world. By night, I also grow the world's most sustainable cotton and work on the future of clothing and outdoor gear with my friends.

Drop me a line if you want to connect or collaborate.



Sustainable and transparent cotton for the 21st century


Automated food growing unit

A food manifesto

Foundations for future food production


Sustainable food app

Generations (pt.1)

Modular garments

Generations (pt.2)

Modular garments


Waste management initiative


Augmented speech assistance

In need of transformation

Augmented materiality


Interactive digital being


Augmented adventures


Self and other

Prosthetic Foot

Biomedical engineering

Thermoelectric Device

Off-grid electricity


2019 - now Co-founder & CDO
hydroCotton, London
2017 - now Design Engineer
Random International, London
2017 - now Co-founder & Designer
ODC Technologies, London
2017 - 2018 Design Engineer and Advisor
Studio INI, London
2016 - 2017 Design Engineer
Tangent, London
2013 Summer Intern
Troika, London
2012 - 2013 Co-Founder & Treasurer
Imperial College Design Collective, London
2012 Design Researcher (UROP)
Imperial College London, London
2006 - 2010 Summer Intern
TR Engineering, Luxembourg
2008 - 2009 Group Leader
Patro Desmond Tutu, Belgium


2014 - 2016 Global Innovation Design (MA, MSc)
Royal College of Art & Imperial College London,
Pratt Institute (NYC),
Keio Media Design (Tokyo)
2010 - 2014 Mechanical Engineering (MEng)
Imperial College London
2009 - 2010 Architecture (1st year)
Institut Supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc, Brussels


2014 - 2016 Industrial Design Studentship,
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851


Field of work → Design engineering, design thinking, future probing, cross-cultural design research, human-centered design, experience design
→ Problem solving, prototyping, technical drawings, industrial design and DFM, project management, field implementation
Softwares Adobe Creative Suite, Solidworks, C4D, HTML/CSS, Javascript, Processing, Arduino, Rhinoceros, Unity (basic), InVision
Manufacturing Metals, polymers, woods
→ lathe, milling machine, drill press, band saw, table saw, power saw, belt sander, grinder
→ rapid prototyping, vacuum forming, design for injection moulding
Languages French (mother tongue, fully fluent), English (fully fluent), Spanish (conversational, good reading)