About Me

Me, by a lake, in Canada.

If you are looking for a bio and headshots for a workshop, event or publication, you can find them here.

The Short Version

I currently live with my wife and daughter in Germany. I am Group Director for Client Evolution at the global design and innovation consultancy, Fjord. I co-wrote the book Service Design: From Insight to Implementation for Rosenfeld Media with Ben Reason and Lavrans Løvlie.

Previous to Fjord I was a Researcher and Lecturer in Service Design in the Design & Art school of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland.

You can check out my portfolio, download my CV or view my list of publications.

Tell Me More…

Alright then, here is the official long bio:

Interaction & Experience Design

In 1994 I co-founded of award-winning new-media studio antirom in London and have worked with clients such as the BBC, the ABC, Tomato, The Science Museum and Levi’s (for which we won a D&AD Silver Pencil). Antirom was born out of an arts background (initially funded by The Arts Council of Great Britain) and the self-titled CD-ROM is recognised as one of the classics in the short history of multimedia. Antirom closed its doors in 1999, but the website lives on as a memento.

I worked as a senior producer/experience designer (it wasn’t called that in those days) at Razorfish in London before visiting Australia in 1999 to travel, lecture and get a tan. Charmed by the lifestyle I stayed in Sydney and started the interactive department of visual effects company, Animal Logic (of The Matrix, Moulin Rouge and Happy Feet fame).

In 2006 I moved back to Germany where I worked as an independent interaction/user-experience designer and service design researcher. I had another stint in Sydney as APAC Regional Design Director of Fjord and am now back in Germany and am Group Director for Client Evolution at Fjord.

Writing and Academia

I left Animal Logic in 2001 and became a Senior Lecturer in Interactive Media at UNSW’s College of Fine Arts and was Head of the School of Media Arts as well as working as a freelance designer and writer.

I used to write a column called Foreign Policy for Desktop and occasionally write for other magazines such as IdN, Creative Review and Computer Arts. I was the founder and Editor of The Designer’s Review of Books, which is on permanent hiatus. I now write a newsletter called Doctor’s Note, some of which appears on this blog. Including my academic papers, have written over 160 articles and chapters in total. If you are interested, let me know and I can send you some samples – eventually I hope to post all of my writing here.

I won a Research Grant at UNSW to research the language of interactivity and this led to me completing my PhD at UTS with the title Developing a language of interactivity through the theory of play. So, officially I’m Dr. Polaine or Andy Polaine, PhD if you prefer.

I was a Guest Professor of Gestaltung medialer Umgebungen (which roughly translates as “design for mediated environments”) at the Bauhaus University, Weimar for six months and I still teach several courses for COFA Online from here in Germany. I am now a Research Fellow and Lecturer in Service Design in the Design & Art school of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland, predominantly on the Masters of Design, but I also teach some Bachelors workshops in Design and Design Management International.

My first involvement with online learning and teaching was with The Omnium Research Group exploring creative collaboration online and trying to use this for more ethical and productive means. That was all the way back in 1998 and I have been involved in researching and publishing in this area ever since. A recent project was Creative Waves 2007 – Visualising Issues in Pharmacy, which aimed to help raise awareness of critical health issues in Winam, Kenya and will feature in an upcoming book on collaborative technologies.

My research interests include: play, interactivity & interaction design, experience and service design, creative processes & collaboration, online teaching & learning and emerging cultural technologies.

You can download a PDF list of my publications here or view the HTML version.

Speaking, Performing, Judging

Through all of this I have been lucky enough to have lectured, spoken and performed in various countries around the world and have been a member of several awards juries including the Art Directors Club in New York. I’m also a Fellow of the RSA.

Other Online Connections

You might also want to view my Linked In Profile, which contains similar information, but connecting to a wider network is always good.

If you are the Twittering kind, you can follow me on Twitter.

Almost everywhere else you will find me as “apolaine”.