Project Advisors

  • Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

    Alexandra is an interaction designer, product designer & entrepreneur based in London. She has been focusing on consumer-facing internet of things products & services since 2005 and she's the founder of the Good Night Lamp, a family of internet-connected lamps.

    Alexandra runs designswarm, an internet of things design practice & consultancy and works with clients who want to design next generation connected products & help advise early stage smart products businesses. She's a co-founder of Internet of People, an agency for internet-of-things consultants.

    She was co-founder and CEO of Tinker 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 workshops around the world and offered design and consultancy services to clients like BBC, BT, EDF and others.

    Alexandra helps Xively run the London Internet of Things meetup, she's a mentor at Bethnal Green Ventures, and she used to co-curate This Happened London.

    Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, multiple tradeshows like the London Design Festival & Milan Furniture Fair.

    Alex Profile Image
  • Anab Jain

    Anab is Founder and Director of Superflux. Born and educated in India (NID), with an MA in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art, Anab founded Superflux in 2009, leading the Consultancy's client partnerships whilst balancing the Lab's self-initiated conceptual projects. She has lead multidisciplinary design, strategy and foresight projects for businesses, think-tanks and research organisations such as Sony, BBC, Nokia, NHS, Design Council, Forum for the Future, Qatar Foundation and Govt. of UAE. 

    Honoured as a TED Fellow, she is the receipient of several awards, including the Award of Excellence ICSID and Apply Computers, Innovation Award, Chicago International Film Festival and the UNESCO Digital Arts Award. Her experience and knowledge of design, futurescaping, emerging markets, new technologies and innovation has led her to be invited to speak at conferences such as PICNIC, WCIT2010, LIFT, SIGGRAPH, Global Design Forum, EPIC, Design Engaged and FuturEverything.

    Her work has been exhibited at MoMA New York, Apple Computers Inc, Mattel Toys, Tate Modern, Science Gallery Dublin, National Museum of China and the London Design Festival. She is on the Board of MzTek and Broadway Cinema and Media Centre, and is a guest lecturer at the Royal College of ArtVCUQatarArchitectural AssociationGoldsmiths, Dundee Innovative Product Design and CIID. 

    Previously Anab has held senior positions at the Helen Hamlyn CentreMicrosoft Research Cambridge and Nokia Design London. 

    Anab Jain
  • Craig Wightman

    Craig Wightman has over 25 years’ experience in design and, having had previous spells in consultancy and manufacturing industry, has been Design Director at Kinneir Dufort since 1997, one of the longest established innovation and design consultancies in Britain, enjoying an enviable track record of international client success and awards recognition.  Kinneir Dufort helps companies discover, create, develop and realise successful new products and experiences, through an integrated approach to research, innovation, design and product development.

    A highly experienced design consultant, Craig continues to work closely with companies and organisations of all sizes, including global corporations, public service organisations, SMEs, business start-ups, spin-outs and entrepreneurs. Areas of focus include healthcare, consumer goods, packaging, business-to-business and industrial products.

    Craig Wightman
  • Gill Wildman

    Gill was educated as a designer at Manchester Metropolitan University and has an MA with distinction in Design Innovation and Strategy from Brunel University.

    She has been working in the innovation and design area for 15 years, including four years as Design Manager at the Design Council. In 2004 she co-founded her company Plot, and since then has worked with clients including the BBC, Nokia, Channel 4, ESRI, Samsung, RAC, Norwich Union, NHS and many small startups.

    Gill's early work, as a researcher and developer of local public services, used the community development approach, which puts an emphasis on designing relationships. Her role was connecting local networks and agencies to local user needs.

    She has run labs in the US and Europe to explore desired futures at the scale of neighbourhoods and cities. She has spoken at conferences including AIGA Pivot, Media Futures and Doors of Perception. She has been invited to run workshops and talks at Tisch ITP, SVA IXD and Parsons. 

    Her personal and professional research interests include identifying success factors in start-up business incubation, design strategies for new technologies, and exploring the impact and affordances of new pervasive technologies in everyday life.

    Recently she has been in the US, invited by Carnegie Mellon School of Design to be their Nierenberg Chair of Design for 2 years. 

    Her goal is to bring a humanised vision of how these kinds of technologies can be part our lives, and making sure that what we do and create amplifies and enhances our needs and desires.

    Gill Wildman
  • Karen Gaskill

    Karen Gaskill is an independent curator and academic based in London, UK. 

    Curatorially Karen works nationally and internationally with independent venues, commercial gallery spaces, organisations and collectors, across the fields of contemporary art and media practice.

    Karen is currently the curatorial and research lead on a new research and practice-led event for the Crafts Council, where she was also invited to act as Head of Exhibitions from August 2012 to April 2013 (maternity cover).

    She is currently external examiner at Liverpool John Moores University for the Digital Media Design Course International Programme, Malaysia, 2012-2016. Previously she held academic posts at Sheffield Hallam University as a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Photography and Curatorial Studies, at the University of Huddersfield as a Lecturer in Fine Art Media, and has guest lectured at institutions across the UK and USA. Karen has a PhD in Social Curation and disseminates her research regularly through symposia, texts and other publications. 

    Karen was the founder, co-director and curator of Interval from 2005-2009, an arts organisation based in Manchester, UK, that provided a critical forum and exhibition platform for emergent to mid career artists working with technology. 

    Karen Gaskill
  • Kenny Mitchell

    Kenny is an Imagineer, research head of Disney UK and professor of computing with Edinburgh Napier University.

    He has a 16 year track record of delivering technology into world beating video games, such as the acclaimed Split Second, Spielberg's Boom Blox (BAFTA winner), the Harry Potter franchise and most recently contributing to Disney's Infinity toy and video game mashup ( He is developing technologies to further blend the real and digital worlds for augmented reality, including installations, such as Project Skye and video games with 3D printed objects.

    He is a work package leader on EU FP7 Future Internet - Content project (, with a consortium of 18 companies, including BBC, Technicolor, Orange, collaborating on new media technologies on the future internet. His focus on the Pervasive Games Platform which combines augmented reality technologies and 3D internet with internet of things capabilities, including a package of Reality Mixer techniques covering seamless integration of audio, visual and physical digital content with the real-world.

    He serves on the business mentor panel and board of Edinburgh University School of Design Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University knowledge exchange forum, as posters chair for ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games, on the EPSRC strategic advisory network and a member of the recent EPSRC's UK Digital Economy Review.

    Kenny Mitchell
  • Kenton O'Hara

    Kenton O'Hara is Senior Researcher in the Socio Digital Systems Group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge where he is interested in social and behavioural practices of tangible and embodied interaction with pervasive technology. He has looked at a wide range of technologies applications in public settings, including crowd based games with large displays, location based experiences, mediascape authoring, cross media alternate reality games, interactive tabletops and collaborative jukeboxes.

    Kenton has authored over 60 publications and two books on public displays and collaborative music consumption. He has previously worked at at CSIRO in Australia as Director of the HxI Initiative, HP Labs, Rank Xerox EuroPARC and the Appliance Studio. He has worked on numerous award winning projects including the BBC's BAFTA and Royal Television Society award winning "Coast" location based experience.

    Kenton O'Hara
  • Kim Plowright, Freelance Product/Project Manager

    Kim has been working on projects where the internet, games and 'old' media fight like excitable kittens in a sack since before the last dot com crash. Most recently, she's produced/project managed Pepys Road for Storythings/Faber&Faber and Dreams of Your Life for Hide&Seek/Film4, a Bafta-nominated cross-platform... story... game-y... thing about dying alone involving bespoke software, a brilliant writer, a 3-day time-lapse photographic location shoot, and a (real) cat up a scaffolding tower. She has also worked on the cross-platform elements for the first series of Misfits for E4, Superme, Routesgame and a treasure hunt for the band Muse. She suspects she's one of the few people in the world who has converted a 20 year old corrupted Amiga word processing file in to an ebook (by hand). She is happy to think of herself as the doozer to the creative lead's fraggle, helping to fill out the architectural detail in creative storytelling ideas to make them buildable in code.

  • Mark Leaver

    In his 20+ years experience across the media industries two key themes have categorised Mark’s career, whether working on a dot com start up or for a national broadcaster: the combination of content and emerging digital technologies; and the connection of creative business to international markets.

    As an independent consultant and producer Mark is now pursuing new opportunities which explore the evolution of the media landscape in a digital age, and the potential offered to the UK creative industries across a globalised economy.

    In addition to work with the Pervasive Media Studio, Mark’s other clients include UK Trade & Investment for whom he works as a specialist adviser on the creative and digital media industries, assisting and advising international businesses to make investments and grow their presence in the UK marketplace.

  • Nicole Yershon

    Nicole Yershon is Director of Innovative Solutions, Ogilvy. She began her career in advertising 25 years ago at Simons Palmer and GGT, two of London's most renowned creative agencies. In 2000, she joined Ogilvy London where she now works as the Director of Innovative Solutions.

    In her first four years at Ogilvy she overhauled the agency's broadcast and video capabilities, taking them from analogue to digital, with the creation of RedWorks Broadcast. Consolidated in 2007 into the Ogilvy Digital Innovation Lab (part of a worldwide network), the agency's innovation activities have seen Nicole build partnerships between industries and across media channels to fuel unprecedented creative campaigns, and educate, both within the agency and beyond, speaking at global conferences and building clients Labs of their own.

  • Peter Tullin

    Peter is a cultural entrepreneur and founder of Culture Label - an ecommerce website aggregating the best products from over 250 leading international culture brands including Tate, V&A, Royal Academy, Saatchi Gallery, Whitechapel and the British Museum as well as artists such as Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. The website also features a unique art marketplace allowing you to buy limited edition and original works using an interest free loan through an innovative partnership with Arts Council England.

    His background includes brokering sponsorship deals worth several million pounds between some of the biggest cultural organisations and companies in the UK as a Director of a leading national arts agency. He is co-author of the book Intelligent Naivety, a handbook for would-be cultural entrepreneurs and most recently REMIX published by The Guardian. He also made the Top 50 of the Courvoisier Future 500 and is a Clore Fellow.

    Peter Tullin
  • Rory Hamilton

    Rory is Design Director at CIID Consulting in Copenhagen. He has over 12 years experience in Service Design, specialising in user insight and innovation. His experience has included working in academia, digital and service design agencies and in-house at a big client.

    Prior to joining CIID Rory worked as a senior service designer and user insights lead at London digital innovation company Made by Many. There his clients included Skype, TED, Swisscom and Universal music. These projects involved engaging with users around the world from all walks of life. He has also had a long term relationship with live|work where he was head of user insight. He spent over two years at Orange (France Telecom) introducing user centred design to the organisation and, has been teaching interaction design at the Royal College of Art for many years.

    After teaching on the CIID school service design module for several years, Rory decided to join CIID consultancy full time and leave London (his home for 23 years) to move to Denmark.

    Much of Rory’s work involves a hands-on approach, engaging with a cross section of users and stakeholders in workshops and interviews, encouraging them to express their ideas and experience in sketching and experience prototyping activities.