Previous Conference Speakers 2012

Our 2012 MADE NORTH Conference was held in Liverpool at FACT.

Past speakers have included:


Matthew Clark established United Visual Artists in 2003. UVA are an art and design practice based in London. UVA produce work at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, live performance, moving image and digital installation.

UVA’s team members come from many disciplines including fine art, architecture, communication design, moving image, computer science and engineering. The cross-pollination of diverse skills inspires new fields of exploration, which is core to their ethos.

Pushing the boundaries of research, software and engineering with every project, UVA’s work aims above all to be meaningful and engaging.

UVA’s work has been exhibited at institutions including the V&A, the Royal Academy of Art, the South Bank Centre, the Wellcome Collection, Opera North Leeds, Durham Cathedral and The British Library. Their artworks have also toured internationally to cities including Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Yamaguchi, Taipei, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Barcelona. UVA also have large scale permanent art works in Toronto and Istanbul.

UVA’s designs for live performance have led to commissions at venues such as the Tate Modern turbine hall, Madison Square Garden in New York and Trafalgar Square London. UVA have also collaborated with musicians including Massive Attack, Jay Z, U2, Chemical Brothers and Battles.

In 2007, UVA’s responsive light and sound sculpture Volume won a yellow pencil at the D&AD awards, and featured in the London Design Museum’s ‘Design of the Year’ show in 2008. ‘Speed of Light’ was also featured in the London ‘Design of the Year’ exhibition, showing the best designs of 2010. UVA were awarded a distinction for their kinetic installation Chorus at the 2010 edition of Prix Arts Electronica.



Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is an interaction designer & entrepreneur. Born in Montreal, she grew up in Paris and the Middle East. She completed a B.A. in Industrial Design at the Université de Montréal and a Master’s degree at the Interaction Design at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII).

After working in online strategy & design in Amsterdam she moved to London in 2007 where she co-foundedTinker London, a smart product design studio. Focused on creating connected product experiences that linked the digital to the physical, Tinker was the first distributor of the Arduino platform in the UK, ran more than 50 workshops and offered design and consultancy services to clients around the world. She acted as CEO until the studio closed in December 2010.

Her work has been exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair, London Design Festival, The Victoria & Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

She has been focused on the “internet of things” and its implications in the design of everyday products since 2005. Designswarm is an “internet of things” design studio which she set up in January 2011. She works with clients who want to design the next generation of connected products and uses her expertise to help shape early business ideas around smart products. She also works with larger clients who want to know how this area applies to their business.

She is the co-curator of This Happened London and a collaborator at the design partnership RIG London.

Twitter: @iotwatch



Anthony Dunne is professor and head of the Design Interactions programme at the Royal College of Art in London and a partner in the design practice Dunne & Raby. His work with Fiona Raby uses design as a medium to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers, industry and the public about the social, cultural and ethical implications of existing and emerging technologies.

He is the author of Hertzian Tales and co-author, with Fiona Raby, of Design Noir. Their work has been exhibited at MoMA, the Pompidou Centre, and the Science Museum in London and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, V&A, FrAC and FNAC. He has consulted for Sony, Philips Design, National Panasonic and France Telecom. Anthony was awarded the Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education in 2009.

What if… Beijing International Design Triennial, 2011


Max Fraser is the owner of independent publishing company Spotlight Press, which specialises in publications about contemporary design. Recent titles include LONDON DESIGN GUIDE (2009 & 2011), and DEZEEN BOOK OF IDEAS (2011).

Starting his career as a design author, Fraser’s previous titles include the bestselling book series Design UK (2001, 2003). His publication Designers on Design (co-written with Sir Terence Conran, 2004) highlighted the world’s influential design leaders; he also wrote a monograph, BOEK, on the eminent Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek (2006), as well OFFECCT: Voices – a book about leading Swedish furniture brand OFFECCT (2010).

Max’s role as an editor naturally extends into his work as a curator of contemporary design exhibitions. His most recent was the successful touring exhibition Lab Craft for the Crafts Council, exploring the use of digital technologies in contemporary craft practice.

Furthermore, Max advises and nurtures new designers, showcasing their talent at exhibitions in London, Milan, Tokyo and New York. He contributes articles and commentary to numerous magazines and newspapers and lectures internationally. He has advised on judging panels for a number of prestigious design awards.

As a consultant for private companies and government bodies, he is an authority on contemporary design and offers insight into the current ethos and direction of design.



A balance of designer and design manager, a strategic thinker with an eye for detail. After studying Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent, Sam worked at Benchmark in Berkshire.  Keen to develop his point of view and deal with the business, organisational and strategic uses of all fields of design he moved to London to study for an MA in Design Management at the University of the Arts.  He continued his studies in creative entrepreneurship at London Business School alongside work delivering high end domestic projects for Roundhouse and product development with designers including Anthony Dickens.

Over the last 2 years as Studio Manager at Jason Bruges Studio, Sam has put this range of experience to good use guiding, supporting and managing the multi-disciplinary team of designers in the delivery of all of the studio’s innovative projects.  His inquisitive nature helps him to keep in touch with fresh thinking and new practices in design and many related fields.

Jason Bruges Studio was formed in April 2002, they design and build interactive installations across 4 key sectors. These sectors include architecture, art, experiential marketing and lighting design consultancy.  The multi-disciplinary team now includes creative architects, lighting designers, electrical engineers, programmers, industrial designers and mechanical engineers.

The studio is currently working on projects including a distraction piece for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children on their route to surgery, an interactive artwork in a shopping mall in China, a public artwork for a new development in Toronto, Canada, 4 Olympic Games artworks in London, and a playground for a childrens’ hospice in Kuwait.



Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Herb Kim has lived in the UK since 1997. He lives in Liverpool and works in Gateshead. He is perhaps best known as the Founder & Host of the Thinking Digital Conference, a highly successful annual international event which occurs every May at the Sage Gateshead Music Centre celebrating some of the world’s most creative and accomplished thinkers and innovators.

Herb is also the Founder & CEO of Codeworks – a not for profit company which helps to develop and promote the digital & creative industries of North East England. In addition to Thinking Digital, Codeworks produces the GameHorizon Conference, the DIBI Web Conference, the CultureCode Initiative as well as running Codeworks Connect & GameHorizon – two regional digital company networks.

In 2011, Wired Magazine recognized Herb’s work by including him in the Wired Magazine 100 – Wired Magazine’s annual list of the top 100 UK ‘digital power brokers’. In 2010, he was named as one of the MediaGuardian Top 100 – the Guardian Newspaper’s annual list of the 100 most influential figures across the UK media industries. He was also named the ‘Communicator of the Year’ in 2010 by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – North East.

Herb has also been an active member of the TED Conference community since 2006. Since 2009, he has helped produced 15 TEDx events in Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Teesside and as far as Doha, Qatar. He is producing TEDxManchester in early 2012 and TEDxBBCNorth and TEDxDunLaoghaire later in 2012.

Herbert earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in New Jersey.



Born in Sheffield in 1966. Corin Mellor trained as a product designer at Kingston and worked for the London architects YRM before joining his father, David Mellor. He is now Creative Director of David Mellor Design.

Corin Mellor has carried out a number of special design commissions. His public seating can be seen at the Lowry Gallery in Salford Quays, the Millennium Galleries and Winter Garden, Sheffield. He has recently worked on new projects for Sheffield Cathedral and Chatsworth House.

At David Mellor Design Corin is responsible for special product development within the company. In 2007 he introduced new ranges of kitchen knives, table glass and woodware. Corin designed the interior of the new David Mellor Design Museum and Café at Hathersage.

He is married to the photographer Helen Mellor and divides his time between the factory and design office in Derbyshire and the London shop, David Mellor Sloane Square.



Luke trained in Industrial Design at The Central St Martins School of Art in London, (BA Hons 1991) before completing a Masters Degree MA (RCA) in Furniture Design
at the Royal College of Art in 1993.  He then worked as Senior Designer with Ross Lovegrove in London and on a variety of furniture & product design projects of his own before joining Tom to found PearsonLloyd. Luke taught for a number of years at Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne in Switzerland and ran a Platform on the Design Products course at the Royal College of Art for 6 years. Luke Pearson was recently awarded with the distinction of Royal Designer for Industry.

Founded in 1999 by Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd, PearsonLloyd is a multi-disciplinary consultancy for product, furniture, interiors, design research and strategy. PearsonLloyd’s work aims to bridge a series of fundamental cultural and technical gaps: between industrial design and the conception of furniture, between consultancy and the atelier, and between mass production and craft. Embracing everything from aircraft interiors and city spaces to hospital environments and the constantly evolving modern workplace, the studio’s work reflects ongoing research into the relationship between people and the complex built environments they inhabit. This involves the studio in broad and apparently disparate areas of activity, yet certain challenges are common to the various projects undertaken by the team. Accordingly, the studio’s work is not only a visual response to the DNA of a client’s brand, but a reflection of this process of research and understanding.



Eva Rucki co-founded Troika with Conny Freyer and Sebastien Noel. Troika are widely known for their experimental practise, sculptures, installations and projects that provoke and employ a cross-disciplinary approach and intersect between sculpture, architecture, and contemporary installation.

Often merging technology with their artistic practice as a point of departure but also to actify the installations, Troika’s work explores the intersection of scientific thought, observation and human experience in a rational and rationalized world, and describes how logic and reason live in the presence of the metaphysical and surreal.

Since establishing the studio in 2003 Troika’s work has been exhibited, amongst others, at the Victoria & Albert Museum London, The Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Britain and MoMA New York. In 2010 Troika were selected to create three art installations for the UK Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai. Troika’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Israel Museum Jerusalem, British Council, The Art Institute of Chicago, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum Of Modern Art New York.

Troika has authored two books to date: Digital by Design, Thames and Hudson, 2008; Moscow Style, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2005, and, in 2009, won the D&AD Yellow Pencil for their digital sculpture ‘Cloud’ in London Heathrow Terminal 5 and their kinetic installation ‘Palindrome’ for the V&A in 2011.



Samuel Wilkinson set up his industrial studio at the end of 2007 and a year later he completed his largest work, L’arbre de Flonville in Lausanne, Switzerland. Samuel’s recent designs of the Plumen 001 light bulb (a collaboration with Hulger) and the hand blown glass lamps ‘Vessel Series’ for Decode London have won international acclaim. Plumen 001 collected the grand prize from the London Design Museum of ‘2011 Design of the Year’ and the highly coveted ‘Black pencil’ from D&AD.

The studio’s work diversifies across various disciplines from consumer products to public realm. Samuel Wilkinson’s commitment and enthusiasm to designing interesting objects and spaces is apparent in his work, always looking to add a fresh dynamic approach in either form or function.



Gareth Williams is a curator and writer about design, with 18 years experience as a curator of furniture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His research interests range from exploring the construction of mass-markets for design and charting the technological advances in the design-led industries, to examining the representation of new design practices in museums. Now based at the Royal College of Art, Gareth’s latest book ‘21 Twentyone, 21 designers for twenty-first century Britain’ will be published by the V&A in April 2012.

In 2010, with Professor Tord Boontje, Gareth set up the RCA’s Design Products Collection as a bridge for graduates and faculty of the Design Products programme to make their original and innovative design proposals commercially available.
The first collection, ‘First Hand’, comprised of products intended for serial production and not made in limited editions. They demonstrate the diversity of conceptual approaches and technologies adopted at the RCA. Together with these products, Gareth will speak about other recent RCA projects that indicate the direction for traditional skills and new technology in the future.


Download Design Products Collection Catalogue

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