The work I do is always about storytelling. The aim is to listen, interpret and express the ambitions of the people I work with or write about.
“David, thank you for articulating so clearly what I am trying to do. I often think words in the right hands are worth a thousand pictures.” — John Pawson, architect
Creative direction, strategy and consulting
Editorial production in print, audio and digital
Selected clients & writing
The Peabody Group / London Craft Week / G . F Smith / One O One architects / Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Grosvenor Estate / Icon / The London Society / Tsz Shan Monastery / Ask Us For Ideas (AUFI) / Right Angle Studio / Monocle / L’Uomo Vogue / Vogue Italia / The Gourmand / Kinfolk, The Eye / PIN-UP / &c...
Where We Stand— Where We Stand is a design challenge that asked 15 leading design agencies, designers and design partnerships to help reimagine public spaces to fit the new socially-distanced demands we must place on them, as we grapple with a global pandemic. Participation agencies included: Accept & Proceed, Character, DesignStudio, dn&co., Foreign Policy, HUSH, Lovers, Manual, Mother, Nonymous, Rice, Sthuthi Ramesh x Samar Maakaroun, Wiedemann Lampe, Wkshps x Studio Pandan, and collective of alumni from the World’s Greatest Internship. In partnership with ASK US FOR IDEAS.
Podcast: Private View(s)— Private View(s) is a nine-episode podcast, getting inside some of the world's most exciting creative studios, and made possible by ASK US FOR IDEAS. The focus is squarely on the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of these studios, and not the final outcome of their work. It delves into the bigger questions, such as: what good branding can and can’t do, or why agencies first ask to tackle business models before they design aynthing at all. The podcast was recorded in London and New York City, and features Made Thought, Koto, RoAndCo, Collins, Base, Character, Gretel, AllofUs, and DesignStudio.
Book: “Inspiration/Provocation”— I edited a book for essays and interviews on the built environment for leading architecture, property and design PR company, ING – their first ever editorial publication. Contributors included musician and artist Brian Eno, legendary Berlin club owner Dimitri Hegemann, MoMA architecture and design curator Paola Antonelli, Lord Heseltine, FT sports columnist Simon Kuper, Cairo-based curator and writer Mohamed Elshahed, University of the Underground cofounder Dr Nelly Ben Hayoun and others. (Importantly, the book included no ING clients.) Graphic design was done by Lowrie.
Retail and placemaking: Thamesmead regeneration— For London’s oldest and most respected housing association, Peabody, I led the development of meanwhile use strategy for a 1.5-acre site at Thamesmead – Peabody’s largest regeneration project to date – as part of a team from placemaking agency, Mark London. The strategy focused on sustainable and socially-driven approaches to architecture and public space design, and a mix of operators dominated by social and community enterprises. It pulled together local aspirations and global benchmarks in urban development.
Magazine: Icon— Brought on as editor of Icon in 2015, I directed a relaunch of the magazine for its 150th issue, transforming Icon from a trade publication to one that reached a wider audience of design enthusiasts. As a result of my work, sales increased by 20 percent.
Book: Tsz Shan Monastery— Opened in 2015, just outside of Hong Kong, the Tsz Shan Monastery was built by the Li Ka Shing Foundation, with a mission to offer key lessons from Buddhist teachings to those struggling with the pressures and anxieties of urban life. I oversaw the editorial direction of a book to communicate Tsz Shan’s philosophy, and honour its inauguration.
Magazine: Monocle— While at Monocle, I oversaw the launch of its 24-hour radio station, Monocle 24, managing a team that grew to over 30 people. I also produced Monocle 24’s weekly radio show on cities, The Urbanist. For the magazine, I contributed a number of stories, and co-edited supplements on Helsinki, Florence, Thailand and Ontario, and a chapter on cities for the Monocle Guide to Better Living.
Talks & moderating
The Sarabande Foundation / The Pilgrm hotel / UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture / UN-HABITAT / Arper / 100% Design / Icon House of Culture / Appear Here / LG / London Design Festival / Dubai Design Week / vPPR Architects with U+I / Surface Design Show / Club Zetter / Architect@Work / Clerkenwell Design Week / G . F Smith
Get in touch.