Meet the Near Now Studio

A critical community for arts, design and innovation; creating technology for the everyday.

Last year, we became one of three national partners, alongside Makerversity’s MV Works and Madlab’s Arts+Tech Accelerator, piloting ways to support innovation across arts and technology in a scheme jointly sponsored by Arts Council England and Innovate UK.

We set out on a mission to bring together a T-shaped group of pioneers working across Visual Arts, Design, Software, Writing and Publishing, Engineering, Policy, Strategy, Storytelling and Research.

We opened the call, and worked with an incredible panel of mentors and advisors - including Anab Jain from Superflux, Beatrice Pembroke from British Council Creative Economy, Sarah Drummond from Snook and Derek MacAuley from Horizon - to narrow down a shortlist.

Today we are excited to introduce the 10 practitioners selected to join Near Now and become part of our growing community, which includes the Near Now Fellows - designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, artist Erica Scourti, and Sarah Gold founder of IF.

Over the coming year we’ll be working with Studio members to research and develop new projects enabled by technology that create meaning and value for people’s everyday lives.

The Studio will also be running monthly practical and creative workshops from our home at Broadway in Nottingham, covering everything from internet infrastucture, finding product/market fit to guided meditation.

Read on to hear more about the Studio members and what they are working on.

Follow Inside Near Now for stories and insights from the studio, our Fellows and the people we meet along the way.

Amy Martin

@amyrozelmartin

Amy is an independent producer developing future artists and audiences utilising the skills, expertise and talents of a digital generation. She has collaborated on creative projects with BBC, 4Talent, Fierce Festival, Breakin’ Convention, Microsoft, RSC, IdeasTap and Arts Council England. Amy now works with Impact Hub Birmingham and Birmingham Open Media, where she is a research fellow, exploring innovation in childcare.

Working on re-imagining childcare for the 21st century, through new approaches built on trust, flexibility and shared resources.

Bhavani Esapathi

@bhaesa

Bhavani Esapathi is a digital innovation consultant within the cultural sector and the founder of Invisible Labs which transforms the way disability is viewed by bringing invisible disability to mainstream media. She is an RSA Fellow and Huffington Post Blogger interested in ways technology can help solve global issues by creating social impact initiatives.

Developing Invisible Labs, a platform celebrating the lives of people challenged by chronic conditions by bringing new insights to research through storytelling and data with the goal of improving public understanding and treatment options.

Candice Jacobs

@candice_jacobs

Candice Jacobs is an artist whose work focuses on identity and the collective experience between work and leisure; and how repetition can be a means of power, pleasure, control and escape. Drawing on aesthetics from mass media and consumerism, her output spans moving image, sculpture, product, graphic and spatial design. Recent and upcoming shows include Unproductive Freedom (Vitrine); Solo show with Cactus Gallery (Mexico Art Fair); Follow (FACT); Thunder Doooooooooooooo me & Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf (56th Venice Biennale); Sleeping Upright and Accidentally on Purpose.

Creating a self portrait for the network age by bringing together an international network of women influencers to explore how we compose our identity through the identity of others.

Carina Namih

@carinanamih

Carina Namih works with emerging technologies to build social products. She cofounded HelixNano, an early-stage company at the intersection of software, genetics and synthetic biology. Her previous company, awarded for social innovation by the White House, enables circular integration of the electronics supply chain. She studied moral and political philosophy at Oxford, is an RSA fellow, a 2013 alumna of the Singularity University and an advisor to the upcoming Science Art Gallery London.

Researching the ways that data about our health and bodies is being collected, analysed and used. How might we outweigh the risks of compromised privacy against the potential benefits to medical research and healthcare services?

Dan Williams

@iamdanw

Dan Williams is a creative technologist and software developer exploring technology as it interacts with society and culture, approached through cross-disciplinary collaboration and hands-on experimentation. Previously he has participated in Rhizome’s inaugural London Seven on Seven at the Barbican, been a Creative Technologist at Watershed and Pervasive Media Studio, and spoken at conferences internationally including Lift, O’Reilly Solid and Future Everything.

Co-founding Buckley Williams, a multidisciplinary studio exploring technology through research and prototyping; supported through the Near Now Studio.

Jess Rose

@jessrosepictures

Jess is an illustrator and designer that likes to seek inspiration in the strangest of things. Painting fruit blue may surprise you pleasantly, paint scratched off a wall could become a reindeer, multi-coloured lichen can brighten a barbecue. She loves to reflect on the mundane absurdities of everyday life and challenge common perceptions through her work, usually in a colourful manner. Jess works as a designer, print specialist and book seller at Libreria, a bookshop from Second Home.

Working on a series of illustrated bedtime stories exploring near future technologies, how they work and how we might live with them.

Marta Monge

@emmecomemarta

Born in Torino, Italy, Marta is an interdisciplinary designer with Industrial Design training and a socially focused design practice, now based in London. She has worked with clients including VISA, Intel, Microsoft and London Design Festival. Marta uses approaches from ethnography and storytelling alongside industrial design to create prototypes, interfaces and fictional products as situations for debate around complex issues.

Critically researching the technology community’s response to the European migrant crisis and considering how best to create solutions made with, rather than on behalf of people experiencing migration and beyond the immediacy of the crisis.

Matt Woodham

@mattwoodham

Matt is a creative technologist based in Nottingham, working as a designer/developer and creating music videos, promos and visuals. He graduated in 2015 from University of Nottingham having studied Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. His clients include One Thoresby Street, Creative Quarter, New Midland Group, Wigflex and Dewy Sinatra.

Working on a platform addressing the future challenges of work that aims to make finding collaborators more fair and meaningful.

Naomi Turner

@naomi_turner

Naomi is a design historian having worked in parliament and for a political think-tank, focusing on increasing the profile of design and manufacturing to policymakers. Previous to this role, she supported a front-bench opposition MP and has worked for a number of museums to curate small exhibitions and undertake research. She is a member of Fig. 9, a collective research and consultancy group interested in experimental history of design.

Creating a company that helps people make informed future decisions, by drawing on learnings from the past, through expertise in strategy, design history and policy.

Nat Buckley

@thatnatbuckley

Nat is a multidisciplinary designer, primarily working on the intersection of technology, arts and design. Nat has taught beginners how to code at Goldsmiths University, UCA Epsom and London College of Communication. Since graduating from Goldsmiths, they have worked in small companies and as a freelancer, working on speculative design projects, products and websites for clients such as the Guardian, the BBC, Storythings, and Artangel.

Co-founding Buckley Williams, a multidisciplinary studio exploring technology through research and prototyping; supported through the Near Now Studio.

Follow Inside Near Now, for the inside track.

Join our community of pioneers

We are always looking for partners, collaborators and inspiring mentors to join our community of pioneers.

If one of the studio projects sparks your thinking or you’re interested to learn more, drop us an email on nearnow@broadway.org.uk, tweet us @nearnow or leave us a comment below, we would love to hear from you.