I have been Creative Director at Avantgarde UK since 2010, leading an eclectic and multi-skilled studio across a growing portfolio of top national and global clients. Across a wide-range of sectors, including automotive, technology, health and alcohol, I and my team have been successfully delivering diverse, innovative and exciting brand experiences.
I trained as an architect, and gradually focused more on narrative-based temporary architecture and staging, leading organically to museum exhibition design, where I worked on galleries and experiences for several iconic institutions including the Science Museum, Royal Academy and National Maritime Museum. This interest in creating interactive and experiential environments led to my designing two of the pavilions within the UK Millennium Dome. In 2001, I set up the creative and design consultancy, Pitch. As Creative Consultant I advised on strategy and successfully led a multitude of diverse projects to completion: exhibitions, themed environments, interactive installations, live events and ultimately immersive brand marketing campaigns. I collaborated with various top London-based communications and brand agencies and a highlight was the award winning Swisscom Pavilion at the Swiss Expo.
I have always been fascinated in creating strong narratives and stories that define the visitor journey. A simple hook, leading to an involving, immersive and memorable experience. This focus on the visitor and user experience has enabled the setting up of a strong digital creative component to the Avantgarde studio, which has been focused on virtual experiences, interactive digital content and projects with algorithms and machine learning at their heart. All these creative aspects have been combined in the competition win to deliver the UK Pavilion at the Dubai Expo in 2021. Initially selecting and bringing together the amazing team who came up with the design concept, I have been leading a team of experts in the creative production of the Es Devlin designed pavilion and digital experience around it.
In summary I am a passionate advocate of storytelling through all mediums and channels, and an enthusiastic collaborator with diverse creative voices, enabling strong concepts to be implemented and delivered seamlessly.
Steve Austen-Brown has been a Contributor since 25th November 2015.