Makerversity: Business support at Somerset House

Summit: ldn14

Length: 09:16

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This talk is presented by

Joseph Smith - Co-Founder Makerversity, Designer, Artist

Driven by making things and making things happen, Joseph's work is largely focused around product, interaction and service design - working for himself, leading studios and inside large organisations. Joseph's practice is focused on combining his interests in broad economic, social and political ideas with very practical projects and proposals. These take a variety of forms from new businesses, services and products in the real world, to more speculative provocations.

Joseph is the Co-Founder and Director of Makerversity, a making and learning company based at Somerset House, London. Having taken over 25,000 sq foot of disused and dilapidated space, it is now a burgeoning creative community of 150 members, a prototyping and making facility, and a place for young people to learn cutting edge design and production skills. The project brings making back to the centre of the City, puts emphasis on prototypes over plans and challenges the dominant models for the ways spaces are used and the way higher education is delivered.

Before starting Makerversity, Joseph was a senior designer at the leading digital design studio Ustwo™ developing digital products and services for some of the world biggest brands. Joseph worked on developing large and complex software applications, as well as working closely with clients on new product and strategy development and implementing new processes.

Joseph was the lead designer at FutureGov. During this time he worked both inside local government on service design and improvement projects as well as developing the ventures side of the business - building their own products, services and social businesses including Casserole and Patchwork.

During this time he also worked with Enabled- By - Design to design, develop and fund the UK’s first physical hack events - ‘Enabled By Design-athon’. The project tried to unpick how advances in material development, new technologies and processes could have an impact on various accessibility issues, as well as expand Enabled By Design’s business strategy and reach. Joseph worked with IDEO, Sugru and the Technology Strategy Board to develop the content, brand and research. The project has subsequently gone global with projects being run in the US and Australia.

Joseph has also worked for Thinkpublic, the award winning social design company where he designed and delivered new services for local and central government and particple. Before going into design Joseph was the third employee of the worlds first online foreign exchange company, that used internet technologies to undercut the banking sector, where he worked in a senior role until the company was bought out.

Joseph has been lucky enough to be invited to speak at a number of events, conferences and institutions around the world including TedX, SXSW, Designers Breakfasts, DMI, Design Council, DOTT, The University of Zurich and the V and A. He also enjoys working with students and has been a visiting tutor/ lecturer at Ravensbourne, Central St Martins, Kingston University and the University of Zurich.

Joseph graduated with a first in Product and Interaction design from Ravensbourne, and have a masters in Digital Media and Cultural Form from Goldsmiths, London.