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I was trained to be an Anthropologist (PhD) and a theatrical Lighting Designer. During my professional career, I have vacillated between those two fields working as a Lighting Designer, Researcher, Technical Director, Arts Producer, Managing Director, Instructor of Contemporary Civilizations and of Anarchist Anthropology, Curator, Performer, Development Director, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and Creative Sector Strategist.
Over the years, I have conducted ethnographic research as well as stakeholder and market research. I have overseen strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, and brand development. And, I have collaborated with artists, real estate developers, engineers, architects, community leaders, and planners to design and produce experiences for web, mobile, streets, parks, piers, storefronts, and stages.
As an Experience Designer, I help people, companies, and communities address systemic challenges, spark their imaginations, and fuel their appetite for transformational change.
Conduct rigorous quantitative and qualitative research relevant to the issues at hand.
Match the research methodology to the questions being asked.
When initial research reveals important but unforeseen questions, do additional research.
Think across disciplines to discover, juxtapose, and repurpose good ideas.
Consider economic, environmental, and social sustainability drivers.
Identify “safe” options as well as potentially radical high risk / high reward options.
Create bespoke actionable strategies, tailored to business and user needs, capacities, and aspirations.
Design ethically — for today and for the future.
Build understanding and trust with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.
Gather regular feedback from internal and external stakeholders to stay on track.
Use resources (time, people, money) efficiently and effectively.
Think and work hyper-locally while learning and sharing globally.
I worked and lived in New York City’s Lower Manhattan and East Village/Lower East Side neighborhoods during the decades of 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy. Those events — their impact on the people and built environment, as well as how residents, city leaders, and business executives responded — has definitely shaped my thinking about the importance of community adaptability, government leadership, and corporate initiative.
I believe that if we design the technologies of smart cities, sustainable development, and social & cultural innovation with the goals of fostering creativity and inclusivity, then the communities we are designing for will be better able to cooperate, innovate, and transform. No matter where we live, we need that collective, adaptive capacity in order to develop resilient futures.
I also have an affection for flying things – air, sea, or land – F1 cars, LMP1 cars, sailboats, racing yachts, airplanes, skydiving, squirrel suits… Mostly, I like watching these flying things and marveling at the speed and ingenuity of human engineering (biochemical and technological). It may be why, when I decided to get a dog, rescuing a greyhound (the flying speed demon of the canine world) was the obvious choice.