I am a strategic designer and creative leader, who has spent over 20 years at the intersection of design, culture, technology and futures practice.
I have collaborated on strategic commissions that represent deep engagements with diverse clients – from leading universities to forward-thinking non-profits, to civic and cultural institutions, to innovative organisations, where I blend strategic design and futures thinking to navigate complex challenges. Utilising strategic foresight and futures methodologies, I facilitate transformative processes that integrate creative thinking with robust research, leading to practical and tangible outcomes.
My project portfolio includes the concept development of Manchester as the ‘Original Modern’ city in collaboration with creative director Peter Saville for Manchester City Council, experimenting with design fiction in partnership with Save the Children and the Transition Network, alongside Catalyst and Huddlecraft, to explore emergent technologies in the digital economy, defining strategic business models for the Medici Quartet in collaboration with NESTA, articulating a mission-led strategy with Open Data Services (ODS), imagining speculative futures with Gehl Architects, and developing a strategic foresight blueprint with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in partnership with the UN.
As a Visiting Fellow in Design at Loughborough Business School, I lecture across programmes including the University’s MBA programme. I also design and lead the module ‘Innovation and Futures Thinking’ at the University of Sheffield as part of the Creative and Cultural Industries MSc, and I contribute to the ‘Leadership and Innovation’ MSc programme at Atlantic Technology University, a dedicated programme for civil servants from across Ireland.
My early career began in the arts at the iconic record label Factory Records, known for artists such as Joy Division, New Order, and the Durutti Column, under the mentorship of the late Anthony H. Wilson.
When the music industry faced turbulent times due to digital disruption in the early 2000s, I moved my creative focus to design. Subsequently, I led the interdisciplinary design practice four23 as CEO. For more than a decade, I steered the startup into an internationally recognised creative studio with client partners that spanned global corporations, charities, academic institutions, civic/public organisations and international artists and performers. Under my creative leadership, I led multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, strategists, designers, technologists and producers to deliver global projects including the re-framing of U2’s ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ tour visual narrative, immersive storytelling projects for the Fight For Peace foundation in Rio De Janeiro, and large-scale interactive public design exhibitions with London Design Festival.
I live with my partner, designer Harriet Paterson, and our daughter in Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District.