Hello, I'm Duncan.
Mostly I have been making strange things.

I like to work with AI, digital habitables, empathetic companions, passive experiences and creative communities. Phew.

I'm a maker, technologist, creative, entrepreneur, digital (art) therapist, designer and so on.

And I'm trying to thread the needle between initiating meaningful work for large audiences, creating art that moves people, and getting paid.

Things I have experienced

2019

London

Joined Analog Folk as Technical Director, Marketing and Innovation, to work on clients including Nando's, Coke, BT and TikTok with a brief to uncover opportunities and grow our engagements. Analog Folk were named Campaign Magazine Global Digital Innovation Agency of the year.

2018

London

Created Maylo as a way to understand the disabilities of AI, rather than admiring its advancements. By training a TensorFlow model with a dataset of environmental audio, I gave Maylo an AI hearing assistant and asked her to sketch what she heard in the room with her. Not surprisingly, the results were telling.

2017

London

Launched a pirate radio station run entirely by robots. The weak AIs browsed the web for interesting stories, mined the HTML semantically to extract the content, and used text-to-speech APIs to create two radio hosts who broadcast a daily schedule of upbeat and serious stories, including a Thought For The Day segment each morning

2017

Kings College, London

Took part in a judging panel for the Kings Cultural Challenge, nominating winners and selecting one student each year to intern at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

2016

Online

Forked the internet to create a version that only worked on Kindle browsers, because no-one had forked the internet but plenty of people were getting tired of the ads, tracking, privacy risks

2016

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Spotted a Tech Lead job advertised at the V&A and threw my hat in the ring without expecting much, got the job and happily spent a few years running tech teams in the worlds "leading museum of art and design".

2016

Derby

Designed a robot songbird that generates its own birdsong and sings throughout the day, preferring sunrise and sunset, and created a physcial bird and cage to house the AI. Ara became the first of my digital companions, and was featured in the AI edition of Creative Review, and appeared as part of an AI exhibtion at the Derby QUAD

2015

Amsterdam

Took Somewhere.com to The Next Web conference and won the startup prize.

2015

London

Took over as the interim CEO of Somewhere.com and moved the business from Berlin to London, placing the startup much closer to our clients, and kick-starting a new SaaS product developed with those customers

2015

London

Recorded an interview for the Challenger Project right in the midst of the no-sleep-all-stress rollercoaster phase of startup life.

2013

Amman, Jordan

Ran digital mentoring sessions as part of the Mediterranean branch of the Media Business School program. Almost all of the students wanted advice on using Facebook to promote their films, and almost all of the films were based on their experiences of the recent Arab Spring. I struggled badly to find the relevance in the digital work when faced with multiple stories of how students coped with loss of their friends, family and children.

2012

Berlin

To wide-spread confusion, I was featured in the Winter edition of the hip Berlin fashion/lifestyle magazine, Schön. It was a cold winter, freezing almost.

2012

Berlin

After pitching a time-travelling/parallel world style careers guidance video game to Channel 4, I expanded on the idea, bringing in key people, ultimately leading to the launch of Somewhere.com

2012

Dublin, Ireland

Arrived with a suitcase of socks, LEDs, magnets and googly eyes to take part in the first ever Dublin Maker Faire. Together with Leila Johnston we created sock puppets, toys, and magical stories for a wild and happy crowd of visitors.

2012

Ronda, Spain

Taught a class of masters film students on the nascent opportunities provided by digital. Spent time with the students and reinforced my learnings around the difficulties finding work as a young person, especially during the widespread European economic recession

2009

San Francisco

PMOG: The Nethernet, was nominated for MMO of the Year by The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, but lost out to the World of Warcraft behemoth

2008

San Francisco

Co-founded an innovative startup alongside Justin Hall and Merci Grace. The Nethernet was a passively multiplayer online game that turned the entire internet into a playful space. Sadly, Farmville came along and people played that instead

199x

London

Running out of options, I signed up for a learn-to-code-by-post course with Computeach. Forgot that I didn't own a computer, but was happily able to complete the course, by post, by using graph paper to learn COBOL, Pascal, C & C++

1991

London

Wrote three novels and signed a book contract with a small publishing house, which was promptly taken over with all new writers contracts suspended