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Think ‘Differently’ Tank 2.0

September 24, 2018
Mark Lochrie

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Back by popular demand, we’re upgraded, refreshed and ready to think differently.

Following on from the last TDT we have put together a new and exciting plan that we hope responds to the feedback gathered. This time we have varied line up, more speakers and more opportunities to ‘play’.

Joining us to ‘Think Differently’ to tell you all about their insights, experiences and challenges. We have another amazing lineup from academics to industry experts to community interest leaders;

From industry we have Stuart Nolan. Stuart is a performer, consultant, speaker and writer. He is a Research Magician with a background in cell biology, interactive media, experience design, programming, technology development, academic research, and playful & performative facilitation. He works with traditional sleight-of-hand conjuring, psychological illusion, memory feats, performance poetry, sideshow tradition, storytelling, and bespoke technology. A former NESTA Fellow in Applied Magic he is credited with bringing the study of deception out of the lab and into the everyday world by combining traditional disciplines of deception with original research into how we are deceived by language and physical gesture.


Rejoining the team from industry and academia is Dr. Adrian Gradinar. Adrian is an Experience Designer and Researcher, currently employed as a Research Associate within Imagination Lancaster at Lancaster University. His main area of research lies in the intersection of the digital world we experience in our daily lives and the physical world we actually reside in, with a keen eye onto how to design better [more meaningful] experiences taking into account our mixed-reality environments. For the last 5 years, he’s also been running his own business as a technical consultant, delivering different products and solutions to a range of clients.



Lorraine Underwood joins us for the first time as an external educator. Lorraine is passionate about education from the content she delivers to the teachers she works alongside. She is an experienced regional coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Lorraine joins our team as a leader within community groups. She is known for her works with Raspberry Pi and micro:Bit. With a background in computer science and a passion for education she has recently found a new interest in making – what makes Lorraine different is the fact she publishes her fails with making, sharing insights and successes along the way.

Combing back from our academic team here at the University of Central Lancashire is John Mills, based at the Media Innovation Studio. His research interests span journalism, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented paper, mobile journalism, wearables, HCI, drone journalism and innovation theory. In recent years his research has focussed on the Internet of Things, and how news organisations could utilise physical platforms and experiences. This work includes the Google-funded NewsThings project, an IoT content management system and conductive ink and web-connected print, and work around augmented and connected print.

Robin De-Neef and Ruben Dejaegere were once interns at the Media Innovation Studio, since then they have supported TDT and got jobs and we are delighted to bring them back a second time. Robin De Neef, comes to the team as a Applied Computer Science graduate and Media Innovation Studio intern, he’s currently been exploring the use of physical and digital computing with  electronics. This comes from an keen interest since an early age. During his internship at MIS he built a range of devices that aim to nudge people into better habits – thinking about the technology that surrounds us and how they talk to one another, which is great but how does it affect us, by being notified about temperatures in our homes, or DM’s from friends on Twitter? Following the further graduation of his Applied Computer Science, Ruben Dejaegere has a vast experience working across technology platforms to prototype artistic experiences. During his time, he also learnt and created how to prototype with physical objects using the 3D printer. His works will be used in museum exhibitions to encourage music making, creating opportunities to provide access to music for everyone. 

Rejoining John from UCLan is another John. Dr. John Law’s research interests lie around the internationalisation of higher education, working with overseas partners and Ministries of Higher Education to promote collaborative partnerships and research co-operation, with a focus on MENA and East Asia. John continues to work with SHARE, the ‘European Union Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region’ and also speaks regularly on providing access to higher education for refugees and displaced young people. His role at UCLan involves mentoring colleagues to build a more structured and strategic approach to engaging with research and tendering activities.



Dr. Mark Lochrie, Creative Technologist and Researcher working within the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries exploring interactions of objects and people through meaningful experiences using a blend of analogue and digital materials. Mark actively  encourages a ‘thinking differently’ approach to processes within his cross disciplinary works. Mark welcomes participants to enjoy two-days of thinking differently.

See what we got up to last time in the little film we created or a snapshot in the show reel. You can also find the write up of the event report and Mark’s insights (behind the scenes).

Interested in TDT2.0? Sign up here.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect;

Day 1: Inspire / Imagine / Intrigue / Infuse

Day one, sets the tone and the context for the TDT in a structured conference approach, where you will hear from researchers, designers, technologists and industry experts to explore various approaches to  process, methodology, creativity, research and innovation that will insight, inspire, and intrigue,  to transfer new ways of thinking into your own business/practice.  We want you to interact with the team and presenters so we’ll be having presentations, question and answers followed by short exercises- where each presenter will set a task and provide resources and materials to assist in the exercise.    

Day 2: Ideate / Innovate / Interact / Insight

Day two is over to you! We will follow an un-conferenced approach, the structure will be determined from current themes we as a society face. We will dig deeper into the types of talks from the previous day, with a design thinking process, where you will begin to ideate possible solutions to these problems. You will work in teams and mentored by our experts where you will hack ideas and present back to the wider group. We have all types of materials from cardboard to computers to recyclables to Raspberry Pi’s to thinking differently to feeling differently.  You will have the experience to make, create, design and discuss ideas with mentors. This session will provide an opportunity to engage, inspire, interact and up skill.’


It’s all about the process of achieving the goal and the discussions you have along the way! Experience the journey.    

You don't have to share, but we would be happy if you did 😉