with R&D funding from french
public investment bank
Team so far :
Camila Carvajal-Fondello, 32, Architect & General Manager.
Spanish (native), English (pro)
Grew up around her architect parents’ construction sites in Quito/Ecuador, graduated young at UBA/Buenos Aires and soon worked on interdisciplinary urban and landscape design projects in socially and ecologically sensitive environments (Amazon – Pacayacu; Delta-Guayaquil; Ilalo watershed-Quito, 7 years total). Was also teaching Architectural and Social Design at UBA/Buenos Aires while taking on various commercial/industrial projects (4 years).
Setting up a desparately needed BIM office within the city government’s agency for urban improvement in Buenos Aires’ slums, she created her first strategic role out of thin air in 2019, eventually launching a team of 6, implementing the whole digitalization methodology and training 50 architects with a transformative impact on this 200+ staff administration. She went on to lead a transdisciplinary housing and public space improvement project in the same vulnerable neighborhood, her team of 15 architects working along as many social workers.
Her move back to privileged environments with Cocoon Cruisers (since end of 2021) meant contrasts, a well-off 30-something cruising couple’s sabbatical budget reaching 20 times the cost of living of a Villa 31 family. Yet Ecuador’s floating shanty towns had long been part of her childhood family sailing memories, and her recent liveaboard immersions (Med winter along the islands, Carribean cat delivery, 1600 miles of ice cruising in Greenland and Labrador) confirmed the great many parallels between rich and poor high-density living environments, between habitats with rather precarious access to urban resources & networks, around gender dynamics where women often shoulder a disproportionate amount of the additional difficulties, and also around migrant identity. Designing with empathy and honesty, designing for functionality and empowerment, pushing boundaries while leaving room for user uptake and improvement, facing the complexities that most run away from, she stands firmly for the core values of our development.
David Mülhaupt, 46, CTO.
French & german (native), english (pro), spanish (fluent).
27 years of technical projects and guerilla-style entrepreneurship in four industries in France, Germany and Argentina:
- Sound engineer/producer, already running project teams for audiobook music around year 2000, the shift to computer-based workflows in the late 90’s turning out a great opportunity for agressive competitive positioning and an intro to High-Performance Computing.
- IT services in corporate environments (Uniklinik Mainz, GE Medical Systems, M6 TV..)
- Photovoltaics (family business grown from a rather political project to a few million €/year installed plus own investments in generators).
- Founder of Cocoon Cruisers, fulltime on the project since 2013 including the initial concept of the platform, a few years of CFD development on our own clusters, funding quests, hiring postDocs & designers,… .
Internet and the hundreds of man-years of knowledge embedded in software remain my favourite access to new subjects. Tinkering with technical stuff early on thanks to my scientific entourage has been key to taking on such a variety of fields as an autodidact. Also did a late MBA (Kedge Marseille). Been involved with renewable energies lobbying.
Thirty seasons of lazy cruise sailing and a few years of life on the water, dozens of friends introduced to cruising.
Angeles Suarez Anzorena, 30, Architect
Spanish (native), english (pro).
Evelyn Alvarado, 26, Tech Trainee
Spanish (native), english (pro).
Was into the last exams of her history studies at UBA/Buenos Aires when she helped out among friends to launch the argentine part of the project. First surprise was her oxfordish english despite never having left the country, then it turned out she had already handled the payroll of a 10 people company at age 19, and soon she figured there might be a weird and new kind of relief in catching up with a bit of natural sciences and coding after all the social sciences ponderation. Now 2 years into the collaboration, some of us feel a bit old as we watch her digging into parametric CAD, CFD meshing and all kinds of ad-hoc tech challenges.
Guillaume Kemlin, 42, Composites Techniques R&D engineer, and our anchor into the french high-tech sailing scene.
French (native), english (pro), spanish (intermediate).
Started out as an aero engineer (ISAE Supaero/ Toulouse), he acted as composites engineer and R&D coordinator for french composites pioneer Multiplast before going freelance in 2021. He is currently working with the IMOCA race team Charal, among others. His involvement with Cocoon dates back to a few months in Buenos Aires in 2019, where he followed seminars at Quilmes naval architecture university, and he had a major role in relaunching the R&D project in 2021 in Britanny. The collaboration is set to intensify as we near construction.
thanks to the mighty CIR jeunes docteurs support from french government:
(this part of the R&D programme is now closed as we shift from feasibilities to experimental development):
Sarah Vigan-Amouri, 36, structure and vibrations PHD.
Arabic & french (native), english (pro).
Former civil engineer (6 years), teached at IUT Montpellier (4 years), was on the university’s board as the doctoral students representative. Sold an invention involving tensegrity structures to a technology transfer organisation. Young mother and former national Karate champion in Algeria. As a Cocoon researcher during the first launch in 2017-2018, and back aboard fulltime early 2021- end 2022, she has been checking the feasibilities around the boat’s structure, dealing with conformity matters and setting up simulations/optimization. Has also been involved with Cocoon’s difficult institutional and banking discussions in Martinique.
Jimena Ponce de León, 38, user researcher, anthropology PHD @ EHESS/Paris, helped with the recruitment of the team before joining Cocoon herself in 2022. Also a lecturer in digital anthropology at IDES/Buenos Aires, she has also worked as a researcher at argentine agency CONICET, and as a visiting research fellow at Brown University/Rhode Island. Besides her main career launched at UBA/Buenos Aires, she holds two other masters in local economic development (UAM Madrid) and Music & Social Sciences (EHESS/Paris).