About Me

About me

Dr. Melisa Achoko Allela is an Interactive Media designer and Lecturer at the Technical University  of Kenya. She also dabbles as an illustrator, animator, researcher and eLearning specialist. Her creative and research work explores the convergence of experimental animation and emerging technologies in storytelling. Her current focus is on how such technologies can be used to digitize works of African orature, and thus contribute to safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. 

She is the co-founder of LESO Stories, an interactive media studio that interrogates how new and emerging technologies can be used to retell stories that richly exude African aesthetics and ways of telling. 

She is a winner of the Digital Lab Africa 2020 (Immersive Realities category); recipient of the 2019 HEVA Cultural heritage seed fund and a 2018 Mawazo PhD Fellow. She looks forward to the tipping point moment for women in tech and their increased participation in the fields of Animation and Interactive Media production.

Teaching Philosphy

I have always believed that learning in the disciplines that feed into the creative and cultural industries, requires a solid understanding of formal systems that underpin a specific creative practice. Secondly, it requires the ability to innovate or break the established rules as stated in the quote often attributed to Pablo Picasso, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”. For this reason, for courses in the Interactive Media Programme that I teach, which includes units in 2D animation, 4D Design and 3D design, I often place emphasis on first understanding the principles, ways of working, processes and conventional techniques or pipelines prior to embarking on more explorative or experimental approaches that yields novel outcomes…

Talks

Fak’ugesi Festival 2021
Presentation on my participation in the upcoming WIT/Google Arts and Culture AI Art in Africa Artists Residency

Games for Change G4C Panel Information (Inclusion and Diversity)

Freiburger Film Forum in Kenya 16 May, 2021
Talk

Fak’ugesi Festival 2021
Speaker at the panel discussion on Storytelling Methodologies (Art, Craft & Theories)

Moran Storylab (BlackRhino VR) 2021
Talk on New Media and Heritage

NOMA! – Regional Perspectives on VR

NODE20 • Second Nature – Panel: World(re)building
Speaker at the NODE forum for digital arts 2020 edition.

Fak’ugesi Festival 2020
Speaker at the panel discussion on Digitising immersive African stories.

Fak’ugesi Festival 2020
Speaker at the panel discussion on Digital Identity.