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Firsthand Experience Associates

The Firsthand Experience Team

Alongside end users and client teams, firsthand works collaboratively on projects with its network of expert professionals to harness exceptional, project-specific expertise.

The team includes user centred specialists from the worlds of user research, brand planning, marketing strategy and design, and are some of the smartest and most down-to-earth people out there.

We use our network to create bespoke projects teams, depending on client needs - of acedemics, designers, writers, reporters, technologists, researchers and prototypers - so that the results are not only always people-shaped, but world class too.

Matt Marsh Creative Director

Before setting up Firsthand Experience in 2002, Matt headed an IDEO studio in London, was European marketing director, and previous to that, head of design research at IDEO in San Francisco.

Matt has created many award-winning customer centered services, products, software, systems and environments - including iF Hanover, IDEA Gold, Silver and Bronze, ID Magazine Gold and Silver, MDEA Silvers.

He has served as an innovation envoy for the Design Council, is on the institute for Human Factors and Ergonomics Professional Affairs Board, and is visiting professor at London's Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication.

He has recently spoken at TEDx and the UN in Geneva on the benefits of People-Shaped innovation approaches.

Transformation Design

Plot London

Plot make extensive use of a workshop and prototyping approach to explore creative business strategy and new ways of working together.

They are unique in the way they design and facilitate the work, and capture the impacts and outputs. They help clients to understand how their project is situated within an organization, and know how to make things happen.

Industrial

The Division

When it comes to collaborating on physical products, there is only one industrial design company for us. Not only do they make the most beautiful things, but they fundamentally understand that 'it' is all about amazing 3D branding. They can stretch from consumer electronics to ceramics, fashion and cars... and they do a fine job of packaging and graphics too. When it comes to crafting a truly compelling customer experience for all things physical, you can do no beter. So refreshing. Hugely talented, experienced and ego-free, we like to look out for each other. After all we have been collaborating on complex design projects for over ten years and have worked together across three continents...

Business

Ewa Spohn

An alumni of the London Business School, Ewa is one of those rare people who really 'gets' design, business drivers and the idiosyncratic behaviour of customers. We first started working with her at the Design Council where the program she headed up was to develop a stock market index based on companies' use of design. It has consistently out-performed the FTSE ever since! Ewa moved back to Krakow in 2005 where she remains our "number one Eastern European connection" – she knows everybody. In addition to helping us out, she is engaged in a variety of interesting projects from starting an organic cheese making factory to property development...phew!

Prototyping

LuckyBite

Luckybite are one of the most amazing digital prototyping and design agencies anywhere and are connected to the Royal College of Art.

Durrel and Tom have helped us to bring to life some of our most challenging work. They bring pure digital "wow!" to the over-all customer experience. But there is more, they do exhibitions, concepts, and teach too. Amazing people.

Asia

Eugene in Soeul, South Korea

Eugene is a fantastic woman who works for herself as a translator in Soeul. With her ear to the ground she knows what is going on and where – indispensable when it's hard to know your way around an ever-changing city and culture. But more than this, Eugene is an accomplished trend-spotter who really knows her way around the latest technology to hit the streets. She is young, enthusiastic and ambitious – and pretty much epitomizes the 21st Century spirit of South Korea. Definitely one to watch!

Fujiko in Tokyo, Japan

Fuji and firsthand have worked together for over five years. Having grown up in the US and 'done the corporate thing' Fuji is now located in Tokyo where she runs her own 'work-life' business called Project Kobo. Fuji performs simultaneous translation on our Japanese projects and helps us find the most interesting and diverse people to include in our user research. Her crowning moment was finding the “Porsche Monk” – quite literally a monk who owned two $250,000 racing cars. Hallelujah!

Europe

Matt in Berlin, Germany

Originally from San Francisco, Matt has an ear to the ground within the music industry and provides simultaneous German to English translation during our ethnographic and user research phases.

Helena in Milan, Italy

Helena grew up in Milan where she spends half her time when not in Berlin. Sometimes a model, photographer and musician, she is fluent in English, Italian and German which makes her particularly special to us when we really need simultaneous translation and great recruitment during those tricky pan-European projects. She is also amazingly well-connected; never have we been to the front of the queue at so many great restaurants and clubs. Nice.

North America

Greig in New York City, USA

Greig and firsthand go back a long way. Well, 20 years at least, when he was a student at New York's State University. An actor, analyst and cultural correspondent in his own right, Greig is a pretty useful bloke to have around and has frequently helped us find the most interesting and diverse people and places the Big Apple can offer. He also lives across from one of Matt's favourite New York hotels – very handy, given that we often need to be in the world's media capital.

Dan in San Francisco, USA

We go to the Bay Area pretty often. Dan is one of the very best west coast people to help us out from time to time. His astute financial mind will not tolerate phoney-ness or technological hype, which certainly happens out there! His background in publishing, social enterprise and financial management is put to good use as the head of a world class health foundation that we like to hang out with.

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