What I do

Reite TEK notebook fieldwork 2015. Photos by James Leach

Giles & Porer Nombo, Reite, Papua New Guinea 2015.
Photo: James Leach

I am an artist and designer – storymaker.
My work is inspired by and reflects how people create and share knowledge, stories and experiences: making the ephemeral and invisible tangible; giving shape and form to abstract knowledge and unfathomable experiences.

I aim to enable agency by stimulating new perceptions of the world we live in, our relationships to it and, to each other.
My projects enable participation and transformation: from developing innovative communications tools, to new ways of working, and documenting experiences that inspire policy, social and cultural change.

In 1994 I founded, and continue to direct, the non-profit creative studio Proboscis; in 2019 I co-founded the transdisciplinary research group, Manifest Data Lab, with Professor Tom Corby at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.

My work has been shown at places such as:
Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Science Museum London; Kunsthalle Vienna; Manchester Science & Industry Museum; The Building Centre, London; Victoria & Albert Museum London; Cafe-Gallery Southwark Park, London; ArchiLab, Lyons; South London Gallery; FACT Liverpool; LUX Centre London; Digital Hub Dublin; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney;
and featured in conference and festivals such as:
Sonar, Barcelona; London Design Festival; CHI Atlanta, Paris & Montreal; Futuresonic, Manchester; Cheltenham Festival of Science; Dislocate, Yokohama; Enter Festival, Cambridge; World Environmental Education Congress, Montreal; Mosaic3DX, Cambridge; Brief Encounters Film Festival, Bristol; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck; Singapore International Film Festival; Hamburg International Film Festival;

As a consultant I specialise in strategy and engagement. My solutions involve devising bespoke tools and methods, as well as customising and adapting the processes and tools I have developed over more than twenty-five years’ practice.

My methods are both holistic and people centred: based around collaboration, co-creation and co-design. I start by listening to participants, then help people analyse the issues and co-discover problems by distinguishing symptoms from causes. We then collaboratively devise and deploy strategies – owned by the participants – to develop solutions, manage projects and deliver outcomes. All the while considering how problems are situated within wider environments and ecologies.

I help people tap into their own innate creative abilities to imagine beyond the horizon; accessing inner resources and ideas that logic and rational thinking won’t reach on their own. In this way we achieve uncommon insights which enhance confidence and capacity to tackle issues and problems directly, encouraging people to use their own vision and initiative to embrace change and face new challenges.

See my previous client list and testimonials to see the range of grassroots communities, academic, industry, civil society and public sector partners I have worked with.

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