Ross Cairns Director, Digital Designer & Creative Programmer, The Workers (Winner of Tate's IK Prize 2014)
The Workers is a digital product design studio that strives to question and subvert current technology to create delightful and surprising experiences.
Ross Cairns studied Interactive Media Design in Dundee and met Italian Tommaso Lanza – a trained industrial designer – at the Royal College of Art in London, where both were undertaking a Design Interactions MA.
The studio has since designed and produced projects across many mediums, from native and web-based applications to physical installations and live events for clients such as Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Visual Editions, Nike, University College London, Sainsbury’s Centre for Visual Arts, The Space, Lisson Gallery and many others.
In the summer of 2014, The Workers produced After Dark at the Tate Britain and were awarded the inaugural IK Prize for excellence in digital creativity. During five consecutive nights, the project saw more than 100 000 people from across the world go online to watch and control four robots taking over London's Tate Britain by night.
Recent projects also include the website where-you-are.com, a digital interpretation of Visual Editions’ storybook, presenting 17 essays and unique interaction concepts combined with real-time visualisations of the readers' activity on the site.
Collaborations with other creative agencies have an important role in The Workers' process. They provide diverse contexts and opportunities that challenge the studio constantly to evolve their use of cutting-edge digital technology to support and push design into new territories, through algorithmic playfulness, interconnected systems, real-time broadcasting, interaction and visual design.