Friday Five: Alexis Hope talks about sexual health, bacteria in design + more

By Kelly Beall

Dr. Alexis Hope thrives when free to create playful experiences that help people find joy, self-compassion, and connection with others. Her practice centers on designing spaces for artistic freedom, exploration, and community support. As an experimental designer who works across disciplines, she believes that anything can be the material for creativity. Currently, Alexis is a co-founder and Chief Product Officer of, a company helping people to reach their personal, professional, and creative goals in community with others.

“My practice often involves teaching and learning, mentoring, and taking creative risks. I’m here to have fun and bring others along for the ride,” Alexis shared. “This approach turns out to be a great match for co-founding a startup, which is what I’m up to now! Our members [at focused] include a lot of creative workers, freelancers, and fellow entrepreneurs whose struggles I can really relate to. We help people feel motivated and inspired, and provide lightweight structure and support to help them make progress on their work, and feel good doing it.”

Prior to co-founding focused, Alexis spent a decade at MIT, where she received her PhD at the MIT Media Lab in 2021, working with the Lifelong Kindergarten research group. As a designer, Alexis has worked across a variety of domains – ranging from cameras for deep-sea exploration, creative learning technologies for children, artistic tools for zero-gravity environments in orbit, hackathons to improve breast pumps (…what?!), low-cost ultrasound machines for providing prenatal care in areas with limited resources, and more. She’s currently a 2023 United States Artists Fellow representing the field of Art & Design.

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