Our Speakers

Break’s speakers will leave you feeling challenged and invigorated. They’ll inspire you to question your understanding of what design might be if we move beyond the silos of specialism and, instead, embrace the wider continuum of design. We’re delighted to be bringing together eight world class speakers to question ‘the edges of design’.

Conference Speakers

Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards is the former Head of Content Design at the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS). GDS’s design for GOV.UK won the Design Museum’s 2013 Design of the Year Award and a highly coveted Black Pencil in the Writing for Design category at the D&AD Awards. A highly respected content designer, Richards’ thoughts on content as design are challenging our understanding of the role content plays as a core part of design.

Nik Roope

Nik Roope

Nik Roope is Founder and Executive Creative Director of Poke, an award-winning digital agency. Roope’s work has won multiple awards. Roope’s Plumen light bulbs - beautifully designed low energy light bulbs – won a highly sought after D&AD Black Pencil in addition to winning the Design Museum’s 2011 Design of the Year Award. Roope’s work is held in the MOMA permanent collection, The Cooper-Hewitt collection and the V&A collection.

Hamish Muir

Hamish Muir

Hamish Muir is one of the world’s most highly respected graphic designers. A founding partner of award-winning design consultancy 8vo, whose work for Manchester’s Factory Records, and numerous other internationally respected brands, is celebrated worldwide. 8vo’s typography journal Octavo (1986-1992), remains, without question, one of the world’s most respected typography publications. In 2010, together with Paul McNeil, Muir co-founded MuirMcNeil, a project based collaborative whose activities are focused on exploring parametric design systems.

Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin is the former Creative Director of MOO.com, one of the world’s most innovative digital companies. A highly respected photographer, with a considerable following on Instagram, Rubin has consulted with The Impossible Project, a grass roots initiative to develop instant film for Polaroid cameras (founded when Polaroid ceased producing instant film for Polaroid cameras in 2008).

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh

Jane ni Dhulchaointigh developed Sugru - derived from the Irish word ‘súgradh’ for ‘play’ – whilst studying at the Royal College of Art. As ni Dhulchaointigh puts it, “The future needs fixing.” This spirit of sustainability has seen ni Dhulchaointigh speak at numerous respected conferences including WIRED and 99U. Her single-minded spirit is inspirational and her thoughts on failure and fixing are hugely necessary.

Alex Klein

Alex Klein

Alex Klein launched a Kickstarter in 2013, hoping to hit a $100,000 goal to realise his vision for Kano, a computer which you make yourself. By the time his crowdfunding appeal had finished, he’d hit $1.5 Million ($1,522,160 to be precise). Kano is re-imagining computing for young and old alike, it’s an incredible project that rethinks computers – and their users – for the 21st century.

Adrian Shaughnessy

Adrian Shaughnessy

Adrian Shaughnessy is an internationally respected design critic. In addition to his writing for some of the world’s leading design journals - Eye, Creative Review, Design Observer… – he is the co-founder of Unit Editions a publisher of high-quality, affordable books on graphic design and visual culture, which has, in its short existence, deservedly captured a sizable share of the design publishing market.

Peter Smart

Peter Smart

Peter Smart is a designer, speaker and writer who works with global organisations to drive innovation through user-centred design. Smart has a reputation for pushing boundaries and doing creative things with the web, from travelling 2517 miles to solve 50 Problems in 50 Days using design, to co-creating ViziCities: visualising real-world cities in realtime using big data and the power of the web.

Fringe Speakers

Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay Stocks is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit. A designer, speaker and author, he is the publisher of 8 Faces, and now, Lagom, a lifestyle magazine that celebrates innovation and creativity. In his spare time – when, that is, he has some – he is an electronic musician.

Verne Ho

Verne Ho

Verne Ho is Director of Design at Shopify. Formerly Co-Founder and Creative Director at Jet Cooper (a product-focused company acquired by Shopify in 2013), Verne writes about design culture at Medium. Ho's writing on design, including 'A Framework for Building a Design Practice' are required reading for anyone interested in building a design-centred culture.

Ryan Rumsey

Ryan Rumsey

Ryan Rumsey is a veteran User Experience Design leader with an interest in systems, platforms, and humans focused on the Enterprise. An advocate of both human centered design and design driven innovation, Rumsey is currently directing User Experience Design at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, where he focused on the future of health science nutrition.

Christopher Murphy

Christopher Murphy

Christopher Murphy is a writer, designer and educator, described by Creative Review as, “A William Morris for the digital age.” A Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design at the Belfast School of Art, he is also the organiser of Break. Informing his role as an educator, Murphy is a practicing designer whose work spans a variety of media, both analogue and digital.