Julian and (LIFT conference‘s) Nicolas Nova are the co-founders of the Near Future Laboratory where client work focuses on developing emerging and conceptual design-technology for new interactive experiences. Jan Chipchase and Duncan Burns are his colleagues in the studio.
In a long post on his blog, he explains why he made this decision:
“Time for the next chapter. Shortly, Iâ€™ll be officially joining a fantastic little studio within Nokia Design called Design Strategic Projects. Itâ€™s a studio of very clever, insightful and thoughtful designers and researchers. Itâ€™s a playground of big ideas, and plenty of support to work them through. There are some big questions and even bigger opportunities to continue the work Iâ€™ve been doing in the gaps between creative practices, technology and critical analytic thinking.”
In his post, Julian also gives some background on the Studio:
The studio was formerly called Insight and Innovation. The work they did in that guise is pretty much exactly the sort of work I should be involved in. It combines analysis, visual storytelling, probes about new interaction paradigms, and speculative near future inquiries into new interaction rituals. One project that recently bubbled up to the public spotlight is called Remade, a phone made entirely from upcycled and recycled materials. Itâ€™s actually one central theme in a larger network of principled design projects that are incredibly exciting. Whatâ€™s more, weâ€™re going beyond talking the talk â€” appearance models and styling are well and good, but this is a design studio that will be making objects that function, turning their design principles and theory and coupling it tightly to everyday practice. Thereâ€™s been some recent press about the studio and its people if you want some more insight. In the near future, there’ll be more of a public voice to the studio’s work. This was one of my central discussion points when we started late last summer chatting about my joining the studio, and every rung of the ladder up the leadership, across several international borders has indicated that this is indeed part of the mission.”