I am a designer, developing new ways of thinking about and experiencing death and dying in the 21st century.
I lead the end-of-life care projects at the Helix Centre, an innovation design lab inside the Institute for Global Health Innovation led by Lord Ara Darzi at St Mary’s Hospital in London. I co-founded the Helix Centre's first spin-out venture Digital Care Planning, which is developing Amber, an advance care planning platform that empowers people to control their end of life. I am also the founder of the research and design consultancy group Being and Dying.
I am also dedicated to improving mental health. As director of the tech-for-good company Humane Engineering, I co-lead the development of Cove, a flagship mental health app available on the NHS.
My expertise includes communication and product design, and design research around health, death and dying. Designing products and experiences alongside writing and research, I combine design methodologies with different practices in transdisciplinary collaboration with other designers, academics, clinicians and the public. Simply, I work across research, development, and commercial delivery.
Born and raised in Scotland, I studied design at the Glasgow School of Art and have been a practising designer for over 10 years in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. I was an art director at design studio Tellart, studio director at the design research centre Fabrica, and designer for Graphic Thought Facility, John Morgan studio and others.
My work has been featured in the British Medical Journal, The Guardian, Wired, Harvard Business Review, the European Journal of Palliative Care and has received awards from D&AD, Graphis and Core77. Alongside designing products and experiences, I design books. Publishers include Rizzoli Skira, JRP Ringier and Gagosian Gallery. One of my books was nominated for the Most Beautiful Swiss Books award in 2009.
I teach regularly, as visiting lecturer on the Healthcare and Design Msc at Imperial College London. I was visiting professor of Information Design at the Università Iuav di Venezia from 2014–2016. I have held teaching positions at Design Academy Eindhoven and the Glasgow School of Art.
I also write, publish and lecture on health, dying and design. Talks include Radical change: a blueprint for the next 50 years of dying at the Royal Society of Medicine and Designing the human experience at End Well.
I was recently chosen as a New Radical by Nesta and The Observer. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a council member for the Association for the Study of Death and Society, and serve as an advisor for End Well, the annual end-of-life symposium in San Francisco.