Nick Foster MA RCA BSc. FRSA
Nick Foster is a designer, creative leader and futurist based in Oakland, California.
He has made his career working at the overlap of technology and design for manufacturers such as Dyson, Sony, Nokia and Google, helping to shape new products for emerging needs and exploring the human impact of emerging technologies. Throughout this career, he has become known for developing academic approaches to design and integrating them into industrial and commercial practice.
Nick is currently the Head of Design at X (formerly known as Google X), where he leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and designers in developing world-changing, technology driven projects. Nick is also a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, where he works in the pioneering field of Design Fiction. These two roles both focus on creating detailed depictions of the future to aid in present day reflection and decision making.
Nick was born in Derby in the UK, a city most notable as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and the home of the jet engine. His father (a railway draughtsman) taught him about technology and engineering, and his mother (an occupational therapy professor) taught him empathy and ingenuity. As a young man he was twice named the ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ by the British Engineering Council, in 2001 he received his Masters from the Royal College of Art and in 2018 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He moved to California in 2012 where he lives with his wife, Jayne.
“X’s design chief Nick Foster is one of the foremost leaders in speculative design”
/ FORTUNE /
Speaking & Consulting Engagements
Emerging Practices Conference, Shanghai, 2019
Worldz, Cultural Master, Los Angeles 2019
FUTURES working group - Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, 2019
Casper, San Francisco, 2019
Worldz, Cultural Master, Los Angeles, 2018
Primer Conference, keynote speaker, Berkeley 2018
PTTOW summit, Los Angeles, 2018
Mercedes Benz - MeConvention, Frankfurt Germany, 2017
PTTOW summit, Los Angeles, 2017
IDSA awards, judging panel, Detroit 2017
Partly Broken Spaces, San Francisco, 2016
Interaction 15, San Francisco, 2015
dConstruct, Brighton UK 2015
‘It’s Grim up North’, IDSA, Silicon Valley, 2014
An Evening of Design & Fiction, San Francisco, 2013
Emerge, Arizona State University, 2013
Interesting North, Sheffield UK, 2010