If you're looking for someone who embodies "multidisciplinary," look no further than TED Senior Fellow Angelo Vermeulen, a space systems researcher, biologist, artist and community organizer. The one common thread in all his work: the desire to understand the relationship between nature and technology, to learn from what's happened in the past in order to build a promising future for us all.
Having received his PhD in Biology from the University of Leuven in Belgium, Angelo nonetheless eschewed a life in the lab to apply a creative lens to everything he does. To date, that includes working on independent projects around the world, including Biomodd, a worldwide series of interactive art installations in which technology and nature coexist. Throughout 2011, he was a member of the European Space Agency Topical Team Arts & Science (ETTAS), while in 2013 he was crew commander of the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars mission simulation in Hawaii. For this project, he and a crew of six astronauts lived for four months in a dome, all in the name of studying the effects of longterm isolation among a small crew.
In 2009 he launched SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design), a platform for research on the architectures and ethics of space colonization. In 2014, he launched Seeker, a project calling for the public to co-create starship sculptures that evolve over time; this subject is also the focus of a new PhD at Delft University of Technology, for which he's developing "paradigm-shifting concepts for evolvable starships."
In 2012 he was a Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellow at Parsons in New York. He holds positions at LUCA School of Visual Arts in Ghent, Belgium, and Die Angewandte in Vienna, Austria.