Researcher, artist, social entrepreneur
Design | Brighton, United Kingdom, GB
Experienced design thinker and practitioner now combining research, art and social entrepreneurship.
Member of online start-up teams at Mirror Group (launch of Mirror, Independent, Sporting Life), AOL Europe in the '90s before co-founding pioneering creative boutique Getfrank in 2000 (launches of Gorillaz.com, Blue, Ofcom). Ten years of Senior agency roles including Head of Innovation at iCrossing (largest international independent marcoms agency prior to sale to Hearst) and most recently Principal/Director of VR studio Make Real.
Innovations include first prospectus online for London South Bank University 1993, first UK government online consultation in 1997 (Freedom of Information White Paper), first UK open-source trade association in 2004 (Zope UK) first blog for Bank of America (collaboration with MIT / Centre for Future Banking) 2007. #Foodsteps for McDonald's, lifting lid on agriculture supply chain through VR in 2016.
Research interest commenced in 2010 with Design Studies MA at Central St. Martins and flowed into Brighton Fuse team, opening out into a focus on Knowledge Exchange between arts, education and commercial (creative/digital and IT) sectors manifest in www.fusebox24.co.uk.
Current interest in blending arts and innovation practice and processes, learning / pedagogy/andragogy, immersive and experiential technologies.
Specialities: Collaborative innovation and leadership; action research; design thinking, immersive and experiential product design.
2005 - Present
Consultant/Strategist / Free Range Ltd
Consultant strategist specialising in supporting and facilitating creative, innovation and digital transformation initiatives for individuals and organisations.
Direct clients have included the International Olympic Committee, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Culture24, Eurostar and the University of Portsmouth/Creative Partnerships.
Many collaborations and projects with other consultancies and agencies including:
- We are Friday (service design)
- Do Something Different (behaviour change)
- Brilliant Noise (digital strategy and innovation)
- Headshift/Dachis Group (social software/social media consultancy)
- Magic Lantern Productions (rich media/interactive/television production)
- Spirit of Creation (service design)
Director, Make Real / Makemedia
Responsible for leadership and growth of Makemedia's immersive digital products business, Make Real. Encompassed vision and strategy, customer relationships and leadership team management. Achievements included launching Make Real as stand alone brand and team, tripling size of team in 18 months; landing significant commercial contracts with L-3, EDF, Procat and McDonald's and making VR accessible to many corporate customers.
Innovation Lead / Digital Catapult Centre Brighton
Inspiring and facilitating collaborative innovation with SME, corporate and university partners.
Researcher-in-Residence at The FuseBox / Research Fellow / Wired Sussex & University of Brighton
As Researcher in Residence at the FuseBox I led the design, facilitated and evaluated a radical new programme of business support for innovators and early stage start-ups at the FuseBox, in Brighton, UK.
The FuseBox has emerged out of The Brighton Fuse, an ongoing Arts and Humanities Research Council funded investigation into the size, impact and challenges facing the creative, digital and IT (CDIT) sector in Brighton and Hove. It was also a collaboration with Brighton and Hove City Council supported by the EU's Recreate, urban regeneration, programme.
The core purpose of my role was to serve as a bridge between the academic learning sector and CDIT sector through arts and humanities led action research. I collaborated with Professor of Digital Economy, Gillian Youngs within the University of Brighton's Faculty of Arts, worked closely with Phil Jones, MD of Wired Sussex and with Artist-Innovator in Practice at the FuseBox, CiCi Blumstein.
This project built on my prior research case studies for the Brighton Fuse research report published in 2013 focusing on 1) the emergence of the FuseBox via investigation into pioneering learning models for innovators and 2) the Brighton/Cherokee Nation digital cultural exchange programme which focused on digital impacts on teaching and learning in secondary/high schools.
Partner, Strategy / Red Design
Providing strategic consulting to Red's prestigious clients including design and facilitation of collaborative workshops around new products and services, brand and visual identities and campaigns.
Digital Consultant / Brilliant Noise
Helping the team at Brilliant Noise deliver
digital consultancy to large organisations.
Client Partner; Head of Innovation; Programme Director - Social Spaces; / iCrossing UK
Contributed to growth of international digital marketing company:
- business and brand strategy and organisational design
- service design
- client partnership
Co-created industry-leading social media practice - working with FTSE 100 and Fortune 50 companies.
- Recruited and led highly successful teams
- Grew significant international revenues
- Co-created and delivered strategic frameworks
- Provided counsel to senior executives
- Led search and social media programmes and platforms
Consultant / Magic Lantern Productions
Owner/Managing Director / Getfrank Ltd
I was co-founder, majority shareholder and managing director of Getfrank, an award-winning creative consultancy specialising in interactivity. Getfranks clients included AOL, BBC, BMG, Channel 4, EMI, FA Premier League, Museum of London, Ofcom, Sony, Strategic Rail Authority and Virgin Music. Getfrank helped its clients win national and international awards including, Interactive Music Awards in 2000, 2001 and 2002 for EMI and Virgin, Prix Italia for Best Culture Website in 2001 for Channel 4s 4Learning.
Getfrank was described by Computer Arts as one of the most dynamic and exciting web agencies in Britain in March 2001, listed as One to Watch in New Media Ages Interactive Top 100 in October 2001 and achieved ISO9001 accreditation for quality management in 2003.
Senior Producer / Victoria Real
I provided strategic and production management on Victoria Reals major account Iceland Foods.
I project managed the development of Iceland's Home Shopping Service for the Sky Open.... interactive television platform. I also provided development and strategy for Iceland's web presence. Iceland went on to win numerous industry awards for its home shopping website developed at Victoria Real, including the prestigious e-commerce award at the 2000 BIMA awards.
Senior Interactive Designer / Epic Group PLC
I produced and project managed an award-winning intranet training solution for The Royal Bank of Scotland. Project Management was carried out to ISO9001 standards. I played a central role liaising with technical and design staff, developing archiving systems for images and also directed a photoshoot involving thirty models.
Senior Project Manager/Project Leader Area51 / AOL Europe
I established a skunkworks team - responsible for developing innovative online properties including You're the Boss, an football management game played by tens of thousands of users, ecommerce applications and significant engineering innovation within the AOL software itself. I provided leadership and learning support across publishing platforms.
Producer / AOL Europe
I was responsible for the management, development and maintenance of the highly successful Travel and Weather channels, managing an Assistant Producer and three volunteers.
This involved the creation of new content areas, which I guided through the full project lifecycle for clients such as Lonely Planet, Thomas Cook Flightbookers and The Good Hotel Guide. In addition, I facilitated the development of thriving online and offline communities such as the Camping and Caravanning forum.
I also produced successful online areas and websites for a number of collaborative initiatives including "Have Your Say" (foi.democracy.org.uk) and Gorillas in The Mist (www.gorillas.org).
Online Sub-Editor / Mirror Group Newspapers
My first commercial role as an interactive designer, developer, producer and online sub-editor of national newspaper titles - The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Mirror, Sunday Mirror, Sporting Life, Daily Record and Sunday Mail and L!VE TV.. Remember the Newsbunny etc? Further work included designing online for UCAS and editing websites for Ladbrokes.