#1 The Go-getter


I am a really big believer that we are who we meet. Work at Snook moves so fast I rarely have the time to properly document all the conversations I have and the people I meet ( and I know I’m not the only one who has this frustration! ).

A big part of my new role in designing and delivering Hyper Island’s new MA is building relationships with industry from service design, interaction design, user experience design and everything in between. I want to share these conversations with you.

I’ve been inspired by Ella Saltmarshe’s approach to this ever since she showed me her Introductors site. For now, I’ve borrowed her questions but I’d love to hear what you readers ( industry and students alike ) would ask experts from industry.

And of course, who should I be talking to? Globally – the whole wide world! The magic sauce of Hyper Island’s model is that their courses are delivered by industry. I’ve taught at the Stockholm school for 3 years and this has led to us hiring Hyper grads and building new relationships. For industry, this is great chance to work closely with a really talented group of students and find your next super star as well as experience the Hyper Island methodology. I’m creating a wish list… who should be on it?

For now, I’d like you to meet Graeme McGowan. Graeme is the co-founder of creative design agency JamHot. Snook worked with JamHot on our Future Cities work and I first met Graeme at the Brave New Now Dinner ( an initiative that came out of Nightriders )…

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1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

It more of a re-learning of a lesson, and something that I want to remember this time! That small steps can lead to big things. If you want to do something it’s better to take action and do even one small thing rather than just talk about it. We took this advice and ended up speaking at one of Europe’s largest design festivals and it’s re-energised us in terms of dreaming about what we can achieve in the future if we put our minds (and effort) to it.

2. What’s your burning question of the moment?

I want to know if the skills, experience and profile that we have built up within Scotland over the last 7 years are transferable to other parts of the world and whether we can transform ourselves into a boutique global creative studio – based in Glasgow but able to work on projects for clients across the world.

3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

I was really inspired by New York designer Jessica Walsh’s 40 days of dating project. She turned a great idea for a self initiated project into an amazing success story – with press coverage across the world and selling the film rights too. A lesson in the exceptional execution of an idea, and also in the importance of self promotion if you want to raise your profile and attract great projects.

4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?

If you are lucky enough to be in a course you are already ahead of the game. Use this opportunity to propel yourselves, your companies, your friends and families to things you have only dreamed of. Never let anyone tell you something can’t be done. Also, having amazing ideas is important, but executing them expertly is even more so. Keep trying, keep pushing and always be enthusiastic – you’ll stand out a mile.