Chelsi Cocking

Research Assistant
  • Future Sketches

Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Chelsi Alise Cocking is a Jamaican-American media artist, product designer, and computer programmer. The foundation of her practice falls within using code, computing, and media technologies for craft in art and design, particularly within the visual arts and the performing arts. More singularly, her work also explores the inherent possibilities of understanding the human body, motion, and movement through computing and utilizing that understanding to create updated and novel experiences within computational arts and interaction design. The goal of her research and art is to use computing to aid and enhance human creativity and expression. Empowering us with new ways to create and express ourselves through computing and also creating new ways in which we experience art, design, and performance in the world today through technology.

Chelsi’s artistic practice aims to create a world that bridges media arts, visual arts, performing arts, design, technology, and everyday contemporary culture and community. Giving herself and others the ability to express themselves, create, and design in new, experimental ways and experience this designed world in new ways as well. 

A lover of creative minds and spaces, she thrives off of community and collaboration. She aims to create both through her work by notoriously collaborating with other artists, practitioners, experts in their fields, and ultimately friends on projects and works. This interdisciplinary nature means a wide variety of outputs in her work, from artworks and exhibitions, to workshops and educational experiences, to new products and tools for creative expression, and other various forms of solutions.

As a native Jamaican and Black woman in design, science, technology, and engineering, Chelsi has begrudgingly become used to being the only one like herself in the room. This dynamic is something she wants to change. Therefore, her practice is equally and more importantly about working to establish increased access and opportunity for underrepresented minorities, women, and those from marginalized backgrounds within the fields of design and STEM. Her mission is to work to move the needle across these industries so that underrepresented groups can better access and thrive within these fields. She works with and within communities, organizations, and institutions that conduct educational research and provide accessible educational programs and outreach for students K-12 and in college to learn design and STEM. Along with organizations that provide career development and growth opportunities for underrepresented professionals. All serve the mission to empower diversity, equity, and inclusion in design and STEM. 

Chelsi is currently a researcher and graduate student at the MIT Media Lab in the Future Sketches group under Zach Lieberman, where she is studying for her Masters of Science in Media, Arts, and Sciences. She received her Bachelors of Science in Computational Media – an interdisciplinary degree that combines computer science, digital media, and design – with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2017.

She worked for four years as a product designer in the technology industry between degrees. Most notably, being the designer over the Dropbox Preview and the Dropbox Family product and redesigning Dropbox Photos on the web.  

She currently lives in the United States in the Boston area.