About us

We are a co-operative that helps people make small changes that shift big things. Our foundations are in design, research, and design justice.

There are four of us at fractals co-op—Leah, Oliver, Kieran, and Hazel. We're all worker-owners with equal decision-making power. We work from Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

Leah Lockhart

Leah is a design researcher and facilitator offering peer support and human-focused user research to organisations who want to make meaningful change. Alongside group facilitation, Leah offers 1:1 support, mentoring and guidance for practitioners who want to turn theory into practice, acting as a learning partner. Their practice is based on the principles of equitable participation, power-sharing and accountability, with foundations in design justice.

Dr Oliver Bates

Oliver is a researcher, data juggler, and a designer. He’s been using a mixture of research, data and design with commercial, charity and public organisations to design technology and systems for sustainable futures and a better future of work. He likes working closely with stakeholders, bringing tools to the table that encourage fun and critical thinking about futures, designing games that help articulate complexity of systems, and mentoring people through change. Oliver co-developed the Meal Deal game about gig economy courier work.

Dr Kieran Cutting

Kieran is a facilitator, designer, and researcher. They have supported third-sector organisations to understand and make systems change, reconnect with each other after conflict, and understand the impact their services have made. Their PhD focused on using design-led methods to imagine and build new futures after austerity within children’s social care. Kieran also publishes zines about the future with EXIT Press, writes poetry, and would probably prefer to be playing a tabletop role-playing game right now. 

Dr Hazel Dixon

Hazel is a researcher, games designer and overall troublemaker. Having completed a PhD in co-designing sex and relationship education programmes with sexual health stakeholders around the city, their work looks at how design can be explored in playful, embodied and deeply collaborative ways. They are an experienced User Researcher and facilitator, having worked on a range of user centred design projects for the public sector. They are also a games designer, having worked on escape room projects such as Lily of Lumley and co-convening BOX: Northern Larp Festival. Their RPG work (Eating Oranges In the Shower) has been featured in Polygon’s Best RPGs we played in 2023.

About us
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