Hello, I am a designer, creative leader and futurist based in Oakland, California.
I 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. My formative years were spent drawing, watching Spielberg and disassembling discarded products in the garage. My father (a railway draughtsman) taught me about technology and engineering, and my mother (an occupational therapy professor) taught me about empathy and ingenuity. As a young man I was twice named the ‘Young Engineer for Britain’ by the British Engineering Council. In 2001 I was awarded my Masters from the Royal College of Art and in 2018 I became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
I have made my career working in the fields of technology and design for manufacturers such as Dyson, Sony, Nokia and Google, helping to shape new products for emerging needs and users. Through the early part of this career, whilst working as an industrial designer at agencies in London, I discovered an affinity for future concept work, and began developing a suite of tools and approaches to vividly render future scenarios.
I am currently the Head of Design at X (formerly Google X), and a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, pioneering work in the field of Design Fiction. Both roles are focused on creating detailed depictions of the future to aid in present day reflection and decision making.
(As an early cartoonist, and later graffiti writer, I adopted the name ‘fosta’ which has stuck with me through the years. Nick or fosta is fine, whichever you prefer)
X [formerly Google X] (2016-present) Head of Design - Leading a multidisciplinary team of designers and researchers in early stage, technology driven, world changing projects.
Google (2015-2016) Industrial Design Lead - Design strategy, product exploration and creative hardware lead for a new family of products.
Nokia (2009-2015) Creative Lead - Advanced Design - Working with a cross functional team developing new products, concepts and approaches for emerging technologies.
Sony (2005-2008) Senior European Designer - Industrial design vision work across multiple consumer electronic verticals.
SeymourPowell (2001-2004) - Industrial Design and strategy projects for clients including Jaguar, Tefal and Nokia.
Dyson (1998-1999) - Design, research and engineering for emerging products.
Worldz Cultural Master, Los Angeles, 2018
Primer Conference, keynote speaker, Berkeley 2018
PTTOW summit, Los Angeles, 2017 and 2018
Mercedes Benz - MeConvention speaker, Frankfurt Germany, 2017
IDSA awards, Judging Panel member, Detroit 2017
Interaction 15, speaker, San Francisco, 2015
dConstruct, speaker, Brighton UK 2015
It’s Grim up North, presented to IDSA, Silicon Valley, 2014
An Evening of Design and Fiction, speaker, IDEO SF, 2014
Emerge conference, speaker, Arizona State University, 2013
Interesting North, speaker, Sheffield UK, 2010