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Kristian Bankov

Kristian Bankov (b. 1970) is professor in semiotics, sociology of consumption and brand communication at New Bulgarian University. He is the head of the Southeast European Center for Semiotic Studies and director of the Sociosemiotic laboratory there. KB is the main organizer of the annual Early Fall School in Semiotics (EFSS) which takes place in Bulgaria, mostly in Sozopol, each September since 1995. He likes beer and football. For more information see Facebook.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Marina Simakova

A qualitative researcher and semiotician, Marina is interested in contemporary Russian culture’s myths and metaphors, She is completing a PhD on the ethical dimension of the language & semiotics of otherness. Inspired by Plato's dialogues and Beckett's plays, Marina dreams of transforming the focus group into a new genre of sociological theatre. By getting rid of the one-way mirror she aims to kill three birds with one stone, achieving the goals of aesthetic pleasure, consumer knowledge and transparency.

Moscow, Russia

Nick Asbury

Nick is a writer for branding and design, and one half of creative partnership Asbury & Asbury. Personal projects include Corpoetics, a collection of poems made by rearranging corporate copy; Pentone, the written equivalent of Pantone colour-matching system; and Mr Blog, a blog documenting all the ‘Mr’ shops on UK high streets. Nick was also one of the writers in the original Significant Objects project, conceived by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. Nick has a particular interest in brand names, slogans, language and poetry and writes for the design press, including Creative Review. http://www.asburyandasbury.com http://www.twitter.com/asburyandasbury

Manchester, UK