Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to work as a digital design professional and as an academic researching and teaching digital communications and user experience design.
In industry, I have worked internationally as an awarding-winning designer and creative director for digital start-ups and prestigious companies including Philips, Time-Warner and WPP. Usually working with emerging technologies, my projects has ranged from the development of ground-breaking digital media for David Bowie, Queen and Sade in the 90s, to the first video on demand inflight entertainment systems for Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. It also allowed me broaden experience and perspectives by living and working in the USA and South East Asia, as well helping set up a Digital Communications Agency for U2’s audio and video production company in Dublin – Windmill Lane Pictures.
In academia, I have continued to practice and teach digital, where I am currently an Associate Professor in Interaction Design at Northumbria University. My subject interests lie at the intersection of business, design, education and technology. Therefore, my teaching, researching, writing and consultancy have invariably been various blends of these interests.
In recent consultancy, I have worked with design and tech start-ups to evaluate their working methods and create compelling business propositions. Often in the process, new technology brings with it new creative opportunities for designers and entrepreneurs to exploit, which excites me and leads to new research and writing. In the last five years I have written two well received books for Bloomsbury Publishing: The Principles and Processes of Interactive Design (2014) and Interaction Design from Concept to Completion (2018), which have been translated into Mandarin and Spanish. These books together with other initiatives have also allowed my privileged access and collaboration with national and international creative agencies.
I have taught primarily on our BA (Hons) Interaction Design programme as well as our on our Graphic Design, Industrial Design and MA Design programmes where my modules focus on UX Design, Collaboration and Professional Practice. However, I feel that one of the main foci has been the successful use of a range of teaching and learning methodologies particularly through collaborative or multi-disciplinary work.
In the last five years I have initiated, managed and led teaching on a series of high-profile live projects with Microsoft Research, Orange, Sainsburys, Virgin Money and with international digital agencies such as Digitas, R/GA and Ustwo. These projects have been hugely beneficial to the students, as they have been given the opportunity to work collaboratively not just with each other, but work directly with creatives and technologies from client organisations and with students from other programmes and institutions.
I have also worked three times on an international learning initiative called ‘iPole’ (Integrated Project Oriented Learning Environment) with the Applied University of North West Switzerland and other University partners in Europe, China and South Africa. The initiative permits the development of innovation projects in co-operation with industry partners to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaborative project-oriented working within a multicultural environment.
Externally, I have been an external examiner for a range of Graphic Design, Digital and Animation programmes at Brunel University, Central Saint Martins (UAL), The Dublin Institute of Technology, Edinburgh Napier University and York St. John University. I have also been a panel member on various BA ans MA programme validation events for Hyper Island / Teesside University, Leeds Beckett University and the University of South Wales.
Over the last five years, I have been a principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator (CI) on seven successful enterprise and research council bids and contributed as a design lead on a number of higher value research projects for Innovate UK and the EPSRC.
During this period, I have also help found and been a committee member of the Graphic Design Educators Network (GDEN) with colleagues from other leading UK institutions. Before this initiative there was no educator led subject association for Graphic Design – the most popular of all design subjects. Between 2015 and 2019 we have planned, managed and found funding for ten conferences and symposiums. https://www.graphicdesigneducators.network