Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

CreativeMonings/London Interviews: Jonty Sharples


Jonty describes himself as a country-living gastrophile with a penchant for all things egg.

Our CreativeMornings/London April speaker also revels in understanding the murky area between designers’ confidence and arrogance.

Currently UX Design Director at Albion and previously with Tobias & Tobias, Jonty has over 12 years experience in branding, user experience design, and look & feel across all digital channels.

Having chaired panels at SXSW and appeared for our mates at LDNIA, we’re super excited to be welcoming him to the CreativeMornings/London family.

Our usual interview is -you guessed it- beyond the jump.

Jonty Sharples will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday April 27th -sponsored by Forward and Sense Worldwide– at the Forward at Floor 2, Centro 4, 20 Mandela St, Camden, NW1 0DU. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

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CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Alice Taylor of MakieLab

Not Alice Taylor, but one of her dolls

Alice Taylor founded Makielab, a new toys and games company based in Shoreditch, London, in February 2011. Within their magic lab, they’re making a new kind of future-smashing toy: customisable, 3D-printed, locally made, and game-enabled.

This latest adventure came after nearly four years commissioning games, apps and web TV shows for Channel 4 Education.

Previous to Channel 4 Alice was VP Digital for BBC Worldwide (LA), and previous to that, the brains behind another start up producing Java entertainment software – avatars, forums, chat apps.

Alice is an avid gamer, an innovator and an admirer of the indie spirit, most apparent in indie games and web development. Alice blogs at Wonderlandblog, and her personal tweets are at @wonderlandblog.

Our usual interview is beyond the jump.

Alice Taylor will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday March 23rd -sponsored by The Sanderson Hotel and Sense Worldwide– at the Billiard Room at The Sanderson Hotel at 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

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CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Kenny Schachter

Kenny Schachter; art dealer, design critic, car lover, collector and commissioner of culture. His various professional and personal activities give him a unique perspective on design, art and, of course, design as art.

First coming to our attention during a panel discussion on the future of the automotive designer (Kenny thinks the increasing impracticality of cars will see them elevated to objects of cultural desire), there’s little doubt that Kenny’ll provide a provocative perspective on the practical, cultural and economic value of design.

Our usual interview is beyond the jump.

Kenny Schachter will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday February 24th -sponsored by Forward and Sense Worldwide– at Floor 2, Centro 4, 20 Mandela St, Camden, NW1 0DU. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

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Why Tina started CreativeMornings (and why I brought them to London)


Recently CreativeMornings founder Tina Roth-Eisenberg a.k.a SwissMiss went to see a talk at the Atlanta chapter.

While she was there she was interviewed by Ron Dawson of Dare Dreamer magazine for the video above.

It’s such a neat encapsulation of what attracted me to CreativeMornings and why I was so desperate to bring it to London way back in 2010.

Hat tip to Tina and Ron

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: David Barrie

After a CreativeMornings Christmas/New Year break, it gives me enormous pleasure to introduce our first speaker for 2012, David Barrie.

In an era where we’re exhorted to be more active in our communities but struggle -perhaps through lack of practice, perhaps due to a lack of suitable infrastructure- David’s been building the platforms and imparting the knowledge to bring communities back together.

His passionate drive for participative urban regeneration has seen projects launched all over the country, successfully harnessing the latent creativity and capability of citizens to bring about positive change.

With a continued focus on how the creative sector can make a positive contribution to broader society, something that Chris Bangle riffed on at CreativeMornings/London August, David’s sure to make another great contribution to the dialogue.

Read our usual interview with David below and make sure to set your alarms for 11:00 am on Monday, January 23 to secure your tickets.

David Barrie will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday January 27th at Buro Happold at at 71 Newman St, W1T 3AH. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.


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CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Beeker Northam


This month, we’re over the moon to be presenting Beeker Northam, co-founder and head of strategy at Dentsu London.

Currently turning out some amazing work for Greentomatocars, Uniqlo and Nintendo, she’s also had a hand in the geek-love launch of Google Chrome, the mind-blowingly cool Penki iPad light painting app and the Canon Pixma sound sculptures.

In all of her work there’s something delightfully mad scientist going on. Which is fitting, really.

Read on for the usual interview and make sure you get in quick for tickets on Monday November 28th, it’s gonna be a great one.

Beeker Northam will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday December 2nd at the amazing Kettner’s at 29 Romily St, Soho, W1D 5HP. The even is co-sponsored by Sense Worldwide. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings/London Eventbrite page.


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CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Chris Hatherill of super/collider



When I was a kid, the sciences straight-up fascinated me. Early high-school experiments looking at boiling points, the insides of rodents and the creation of artificial flavours and scents meant that science classes were a thrice weekly doorway to enchantment. 

Then it all got a bit complicated. Science was broken down into chemistry, biology and physics and exploration came with too many rules. As my brain coallesced into something more creative-right than linear-left, I found myself left behind.


Then earlier this year I was introduced to the work of super/collider. Here was a collective of scientists, journalists and artists working to rekindle the wonder I felt so many years ago. Taking the best of word, image and object to make the sciences accessible again, they hope to pry us away from the horrors of mass media and get us re-engaged with the whys, hows and whats of the world around us.


Given the above, I’m beyond excited to have Chris Hatherill of super/collider as our guest at CreativeMornings/London on November 4th, hosted by Buro HappoldHappold Consulting and Sense Worldwide.


Take a minute to get to know Chris with our regular interview below and check out super/collider’s luscious site here.


Chris Hatherill will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday November 4th at Buro Happold at 71 Newman St, W1T 3AH. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

CreativeMornings London Interviews: Chris Bangle of Chris Bangle Associates


This month sees CreativeMornings London presented by one of the greats of automotive design.

Chris Bangle didn’t just radically alter the way we automotive designers think about package, proportion and surface (the aesthetic and structural skin of the car) and how consumers respond to it. He also masterfully wielded the transformative power of creative thinking in the business context.

In so doing, he helped irrevocably alter the course, aesthetically and strategically, of what was probably the car industry’s most conservative manufacturer, BMW Group.

Upon leaving BMW in 2009 he became the go-to consultant for companies, both automotive and otherwise, wanting to “do a BMW” and set up Chris Bangle Associates to service them. Operating out of an enchanting hill-top estate in the Piemonte region of Italy, he’s currently a creative brains trust for Korean technology giant Samsung. He also continues to push the thinking around future mobility and automotive design with MIT, Scuola Politecnica di Design and the Singaporean Design Council.

Having previously enjoyed Chris holding forth, both over the breakfast table and in front of a theatre of 500, attendees of CreativeMornings London in September are in for a real treat. In the mean time, we’ve presented him with our usual questions to get him (and you) warmed up. You can also read a review of his keynote at Umea University here and see his TED talk here.


Chris Bangle will be appearing at CreativeMornings London on Tuesday September 6th at Buro Happold. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?

In the kitchen, when my wife is not around!  

Is it about what you know or who you know?

Start with WHY you know something, progress thru HOW and WHAT you know. “Who”s pop up now and then at all levels like many enablers.   Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings London Interviews: Sandy Suffield, Creative Director and author of Things&People


I first came across Sandy – not pictured above – during some expert interviews Sense Worldwide conducted for a financial services client. Somebody had tipped us off to the fact that she was writing a blog about the value of the ephemera that we surround ourselves with. After seeing the delightful Things&People with it’s impeccable presentation of people’s stories about their stuff, we just had to get in touch.

Sandy had a lasting impact on our project and I was intrigued to know more about this creative who lists Pentagram, Time Out, Apple and Nokia on her C.V. Over coffee in the Sense Worldwide loft, we spent a couple of hours discussing the ups and downs of a career in Cupertino, the richness of the mundane, stitching paper bags and her upcoming projects. I knew that if CreativeMornings came to London, I’d have to have Sandy on board.

And here we are.

Sandy will be taking over the amazing space at Forward in Camden on August 5th for our second CreativeMornings London. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have her speaking. You can sign up for the event from August 1st at 11:00 here.

But enough from me, it’s time to hand over to Sandy for our CreativeMornings London interview.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
My work room but generally hatching ideas and refining them happens anywhere.

Is it about what you know or who you know?
Both. If you only know people there’s no disguising a lack of ability.

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CreativeMornings London Visits: Gelupo

Attention to detail. An insane focus on quality. A passion for authenticity. Gelupo has it all and it’s why we’re so happy to have them as one of our breakfast sponsors for CreativeMornings London. That and the promise of gelato brioche burgers.

Ben and I had the tough job of testing out their wares the other morning and I grabbed some shots of their perfectly formed little store on Archer St in Soho. Swing by next time you’re in the West End. The mint chocolate (made with real mint leaves… insane!) and raspberry come highly recommended.

About DownSideUp Design

I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Westpac. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I help teams host an event called Rising Minds in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney.

DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.

Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!

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© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.