“Over many years I have found Giles to be a perceptive, reliable person, excellent editor, uncompromising practitioner and advocate of interdisciplinary practice and developer of several projects that have been inspirational in fostering ideals of knowledge exchange and social innovation. The reach of his work is wide: it spans art, design, publishing, research, technology and user led participatory processes and he brings to the spanning of disciplines and building of partnerships a commitment to shifting perception between and within communities of practice.”
Bronac Ferran is former Director of Interdisciplinary Arts, Arts Council England and works part time for The Creative Exchange at the RCA as well as being a curator and writer. www.boundaryobject.org
“I have known Giles for at least fifteen years, initially in my former capacity as Interdisciplinary Arts officer at the national office of Arts Council England through the funding of several very successful projects undertaken by Proboscis, the non-profit artist-led creative studio that Giles founded. Those projects also developed new and often technologically-based forms of social engagement. Importantly, these were not technology-driven art works, but works which harnessed and shaped technologies to particular social conditions and demands. An example of this that I have felt particularly close to as a funder, and as an author and publisher, would be the Bookleteer ebook pamphlet format, which has gone through several phases of rigorous development over the past decade or more, and for which artists and other groups working with Giles are still finding novel uses.”
Tony White is a writer, publisher and chair of Resonance FM.
Piece of Paper Press
“Giles is a truly innovative thinker and leader. He has great insight and knowledge and can analyse information rapidly and succinctly. He has a way of seeing through issues and then engaging his audience through an experiential encounter to discover new patterns and thoughts. In other words he can home into the important issues. Giles is a joy to work with and every encounter is a pleasurable, exciting and informative experience. He is a great asset to any team and he will bring to it a wealth of knowledge, skill, experience and connections.”
Dipak Mistry is an Arts & Cultural Broker
“I have known of Giles Lane for fifteen years now. His work caught my interest as he makes brilliant use of artistic interventions and provocations to engage with and draw forth knowledge and creativity in the context of collaboration. One of his great skills is in recognizing the value of different forms of knowledge, and in tailoring his engagements (with a hugely diverse range of collaborators) in order to elaborate upon, make available, and enhance this value for them and for wider publics. Giles is a careful and skilled strategist in the attention and intelligence he brings to understanding and accommodating the interests and needs of others.
Having worked closely with Giles for the last three years on an highly rewarding project in the challenging (both intellectually and practically) context of Papua New Guinea, I vouch for his intelligence, sympathy, his industry, and a unique commitment to the importance of artistic practice as a collaborative enabler of others’ (sometimes incompletely formed) visions of worth and value.”
James Leach, Professor of Anthropology, University of Western Australia & CREDO, France
“We collaborated with Giles and Proboscis on a project that was looking at creative ways of visualising health information. The remit was to take health data, such as that collected by a telehealth system, and present this to a patient and allowed them to connect with the data in a more interesting, engaging way rather than looking at a graph. It was a highly rewarding experience to work with Giles and his team. Giles brought a wealth of design expertise and was able to share his knowledge in an open and non-threatening way, taking on board our ideas and moving us all along nicely, using co-design techniques, towards a unique and intuitive solution. Giles is genuinely passionate about good design and has an ability to realise those designs using diverse and innovative technologies. The resulting solution, a simple rendering of a shell using 3D printing, has been well received in Philips and also shown at design events in Cambridge.
David Walker, Senior Scientist, Philips Research Cambridge
“Giles is a thoughtful and articulate collaborator who has the rare ability to both conceive and carry through original creative processes within a fixed budget and timescale. He is comfortable working with academics and technologists, but also very competent in finding ways to engage with a wide range of publics and stakeholders. He appreciates intellectual adventure, and is not afraid of a challenge. I thoroughly recommend him as a contributor to your projects.”
Alan Blackwell, Professor of Interdisciplinary Design, University of Cambridge
“We have been working with Giles since 2004 on many different projects typically involving groups with a variety of expertise including software, hardware and algorithms from our department and a diverse collection of visual, performance, interactive and sound artists. In all projects, Giles was able to find a way to bring together the different skills reaching across domain cultures, to turn these diverse groups into teams sharing a single vision and focused on the same outcome. He was able to do this in time and within the resources available — the latter is especially impressive as the funds available for these projects were typically significantly less than what one would expect for a technology project.”
George Roussos, Professor of Pervasive Computing, Birkbeck University of London
“We have worked with Giles since 2011 on a range of projects. He has led work for us on projects related to the re-design of public services to facilitate better community support and information sharing. I am always impressed by the energy and the passion with which he engages with communities. The co-design ideas are often deceptively simple but are extremely effective at getting to the heart of complex problems and the impact is long-lasting. The prison visitor centres and community groups are still using the artefacts that he designed for them several years after the projects have been completed.”
Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Professor of Information Security, Royal Holloway University of London.
“Giles devised and facilitated a workshop for VocalEyes staff that enabled us to discuss what we do (and the strengths and weaknesses of the operation), our shared values, and opportunities for innovation and growth. He put everyone at ease and led everyone through the day expertly. His occasional injections of insight helped the process, without seeking to control the discussion or overshadow the participants – for me the perfect facilitator. With two of our group being visually-impaired, Giles rose to the challenge of running a workshop that didn’t rely on visual material; instead cleverly weaving audio description (VocalEyes’ core skill) into the creative activity.”
Matthew Cock, Chief Executive, Vocaleyes
“Giles devised and ran a workshop exploring how students could take existing data sets and begin to develop meaningful manifestations in different forms – material, time based etc. The methods were very supportive at allowing computer science and design students to develop a sensibility for what was previously raw data. Not an easy task but the results were strong and gave all of the students a refreshing, critical perspective on both the generation of data but also its representation. Giles is able to take everybody with him on the journey through the workshops. Inclusive and smart, they provide a strong platform for considering strategies for the transposition of data from the immaterial to the material.”
Chris Speed, Professor of Design Informatics, Edinburgh College of Art
“Giles devised and facilitated a programme of public workshops for the Librarypress project, introducing the idea of “pop up publishing” to library users and getting them started with their own hybrid digital/physical self-publishing projects using bookleteer. The workshops were run over several sessions across three London boroughs (Islington, Hounslow & Harrow) and were followed by a one day Masterclass for library professionals from the seven London boroughs who are Librarypress partners. Project partners still reference the brilliant ideas that Giles brought to the LibraryPress table and the masterclass activities mean that the legacy of Giles’ thinking and creative approach is something that can be drawn upon for future projects.Giles also supported a number of the library services to create their own books with local people using bookleteer, physical copies of which are being distributed via the Periodical subscription service. Giles’ thoughtful and supportive facilitation allowed participants to build upon their raw ideas to create some incredibly compelling and beautiful publications.”
Trevor Horsewood, cultural producer & curator