We founded Tellart in the year 2000, when software and networked connectivity began a rapid spread into products, buildings and cities. As classically trained designers we chose to embrace digital technology as a new material in our palette. We built a new type of studio where computation (data, sensors, robotics, networks) could exist fluidly alongside traditional materials like wood, metal, glass, textile and ceramics. The name “Tellart” comes from “the art of storytelling.” Our work is about making sense and making meaning through tangible experiences. We regularly partner with specialist sound, flavour and scent designers to create new forms of multisensory communication.

We study technology trends and partner with futurists, scientists and political experts to describe future worlds and identify likely roadmaps for brands and governments. Our interactive prototypes and high-fidelity theatrical scenarios enable people to explore the future implications of decisions they make today.

Our staff consist of designers, architects, filmmakers, and technologists deeply experienced in shaping ideas from concept
to execution.

Matt Cottam

FOUNDER AND CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER

Matt has directed strategy and design projects for clients such as Google, Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE, Expo 2020, California Academy of Science, MIT Museum, Samsung, and Philips. Tellart’s work has won many top awards including Cannes Lions, SXSW Experimental, IxDA, Webby, and Core77. Their work is a part of the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum in New York. Matt is an internationally recognized speaker and professor of design. He is currently Core Faculty at Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design (CIID, Denmark) and previously was an Adjunct Professor at Umeå Institute of Design (UID, Sweden), and a member of the Rhode Island School of Design faculty for ten years (RISD, USA).

Matt holds both Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Industrial Design (BID) degrees from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD, USA), as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design with a concentration in Interaction Design from Umeå University (UID, Sweden). In addition to his design education and practice, Matt is an Advanced Life Support Paramedic and an Ocean Yachtmaster (RYA). Matt is a member of General Society of Mayflower Descendants and the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Nick Scappaticci

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Nick leads Tellart in high-level operational and strategic decisions, while still being involved in details of project development, execution, and troubleshooting. He is responsible for leading a staff of strategists, designers and technologists, and for creating a cohesive cultural environment for Tellart that enables project and career success.

Nick studied Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty at RISD where he teaches interface design and senior studio.

Brian Hinch

Head of Production

Brian is an expert software and systems developer in a myriad of web, mobile, and embedded platforms and languages – for ten years he has operated as Tellart’s lead in technology development and strategy, and his work has enabled the company to pursue capabilities and projects beyond what are typically found in an interaction studio environment. Trained as a graphic designer at the Rhode Island School of Design, Brian combines his design background with his capabilities as a highly expert technologist to design and build technology solutions – internally and for clients – that are meaningful, extensible, and sustainable.

Brian graduated from the Graphic Design department of the Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught or led many courses and workshops at institutions and conferences internationally.

Andrew Haarsager

Head of Strategy

As Tellart’s Head of Strategy, Andrew works with clients to conceive and shape new work– from the development of initial concepts, designs and strategies through to contract and execution.

Andrew’s design and UX methods are grounded in years of experience with the realities of production, combined with a deep understanding of human-centered design and its cultural impact. Before starting Tellart’s office in New York, Andrew spent several years in the Providence headquarters as a producer and interaction designer.

Andrew studied Product Design at Konstfack (Stockholm) and Industrial Design and Digital+Media at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he has also served as a visiting critic.

Paul Skinner

Creative Director

Paul works closely with clients, partners, and Tellart’s own design and engineering teams. From concept development through to delivery, he ensures projects develop creatively through each stage in our design process. His project management abilities are balanced with a passion and talent for creativity in technology; his ability to deeply understand business, brand and project strategies informs his work developing creative concepts, and getting knee-deep in code and electronics.

Paul is based in Amsterdam, working on projects for Tellart globally.

Paul graduated in 2006 with first class honors in MediaLab Arts, which formed part of i-DAT, the University of Plymouth’s lab for creative research, experimentation and innovation across the fields of digital art, science and technology. During this time his main area of inquiry was embodied interaction, and the philosophical teleologies that underpin embodied interaction.

Michael Rogan

Managing Director

With over 15 years in senior level financial and operation positions, Mike possesses an expansive library of business skills and experiences. Having worked in environments both entrepreneurial and corporate, from start-ups to Fortune 500, Mike now balances the qualitative and quantitative to help inform and guide strategy, planning, business innovation, and operations at Tellart.

Outside of his diverse financial background, Mike is a two time recipient of the Stevie Award for Sales Operations Professional of the year, having won a Bronze and Silver for improvement in data analytics in sales.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science from the Wharton School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Mike continues to hone his skills in Data Analytics and Business taking advantage of Coursera and tutoring college students in Accounting & Finance.

Christian Ervin

Design Director

As Design Director at Tellart, Christian offers design and technology leadership to cultural institutions, governments, and product manufacturers in an age when the internet is everywhere and everything is a computer.

Christian is responsible for maintaining the highest quality of design output across the company — through project mentorship and by establishing best practices for our design teams, who are often operating in the uncharted territory of emerging technologies.

Holds an MDes in Technology from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BArch from Rice University School of Architecture. His master’s thesis at Harvard GSD — ”Embodied Interaction: Didactic Interfaces for the Digitally Mediated Body” — explored the history and theory of human-computer interaction through several custom-built physical-digital interfaces.

Completed coursework at the Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the MIT Media Lab.

Previously co-taught classes at Harvard SEAS and GSD and led research teams developing consumer applications for materials science research in the GSD’s Adaptive Living Environments research group.

Mikhail Mansion

Technology Director

Mikhail pushes the boundaries of technology and design through the exploration and application of cutting-edge software, hardware and fabrication methods. His broad range of capabilities span from web-based applications for desktop and mobile devices, to firmware for tangible media objects, to sensing algorithms for public installations. He collaborates with clients and internal team members to create system architectures and engineering plans; prototype embedded hardware, electronics and mechanical solutions; and perform on-site installations and fabrication work. Mikhail also leads efforts around quality assurance, code standards and other technology best practices.

Mikhail holds an M.F.A. in Digital + Media from Rhode Island School of Design, a B.F.A. in Electronic Media Art and Technology and a Certificate in Teaching and Learning from Brown University, along with several other certificates in media production, electronics and aircraft weapons systems. He is an active member of the Association of Computing Machinery and veteran of the US Air Force.

Kuan-Ju Wu

Lead Technologist

As a Lead Technologist at Tellart, Kuan-Ju leads many of Tellart's projects from a technical standpoint, and is engaged in research and development to create new ubiquitous interfaces. His focus is on creation of intuitive human computer interactions and discovering the affordances of tangible objects. With his prototyping specialities in physical computing and digital fabrication, Kuan-Ju is involved with many of Tellart’s client and internal prototyping projects.

Kuan-Ju has a BS in Electronic Engineering from National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, and received his graduate degree, M.A. in Tangible Interaction Design, from the Carnegie Mellon University Computational Design Lab.

Zaza Zuilhof

Lead Designer

As a Lead Designer at Tellart, Zaza combines her passion for design, technology and culture to create beautiful experiences that span digital and physical environments. Zaza prototypes designs early and often; her process centers on the influence of making on thinking, and vice versa. Zaza leads projects with clients and internal team members on concept development, user insight and testing, and paper and electronic prototyping methods, as well as on-site installations and fabrication.

Zaza holds a Master’s Degree in Interaction Design from the Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design. A native of the Netherlands, Zaza also studied Industrial Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven.

Maia Garau

Lead Strategist

Maia Garau is a design strategist, researcher and educator. She has a background in user research and information design and enjoys transforming complexity into clarity, translating insights into new and improved experiences. She specializes in designing and facilitating fast-paced and highly visual discovery workshops that help business leaders align, make sense of complex information and tell focused, engaging stories to achieve their desired results. At Tellart she works closely with designers from multiple disciplines to define user needs and craft a dynamic yet rigorous approach to ideation and concept development.

Maia has a BA in comparative literature from Brown University (honors, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), an MSc in virtual environments from the Bartlett School of Architecture (Distinction) and a PhD in computer science from University College London (Finalist, 2004 British Computer Society/Conference of Professors and Heads of Computing Distinguished Dissertation Awards).

Ries Straver

Senior Producer

Ries is a Senior Producer and video maker. Having managed some of Tellart's largest and most ambitious projects to date, Ries is a motivational powerhouse. In addition, over the last 15 years Ries has written, produced and directed dozens of independent and commissioned films. This deep knowledge and experience in producing video lends itself naturally to Tellart's multi-sensory projects, where audio visual production is critical.

Ries holds a bachelor degree from the Design Academy, Eindhoven. His graduation project, which ended up in the San Francisco MoMA, reflected on something he’s always been fascinated by: The relationship between man and technology.

Charlie Ledbetter

Senior Producer

Charlie is a project manager and designer who works closely with our clients to ensure that project design objectives are met through clear deliverables and process. He is especially dedicated to aligning design decisions with project technology needs, and employs rigorous troubleshooting and iteration of design concepts to ensure seamless integration and implementation.

Charlie’s early interest in physics and universal design principles led him to major in Painting at RISD, where he explored design fundamentals and also developed an interest in fabrication and production of artistic objects.

Jack Lenk

Senior Producer

As a producer at Tellart, Jack consults with clients and coordinates design, development, and fabrication teams to define and deliver interactive projects. He also contributes to Tellart’s video-based documentation and communication initiatives.

Jack is passionate about communication design and media production. He is an award winning photographer and seasoned film editor with a wide range of experience, from toy storytelling at Hasbro to climate conference reporting at the United Nations.

Jack graduated from the Industrial Design department at Rhode Island School of Design, where he also pursued studies in Graphic Design and Photography. Jack has taught workshops at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism (Harvard) and continuing education classes at RISD, focused on media production and product management.

James Smalls

Senior Designer

At Tellart, James is tasked with developing unique interface approaches to web, mobile and physical interaction applications. He leverages his training in Graphic Design and communication sensibilities to create compelling layouts and visual interfaces across all media, and provides sketches and renderings to support Tellart’s concept generation and prototyping efforts with clients.

James graduated from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, majoring in Communication Design with further studies in Animation and Illustration.

Laila Aukee

Senior Designer

As a strategist at Tellart, Laila works to understand and communicate complex systems through diagramming, mapping, and other documentation tools. She works across a wide variety of client and internal projects in order to better frame project challenges and solutions. With strong analytic and conceptual skills, Laila is also involved with new concept development brainstorms, early project research, interface layouts and inventories, and interpretation of system and software architectures.

Laila graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied Industrial Design and took courses at Brown and MIT. As a student at RISD, Laila embraced the idea of design with a focus on end user usability, and particularly enjoyed applying that philosophy to the design of intangible interactions for new technologies.

Emily Leighton

Senior Designer

As a designer, Emily works to conceptualize and develop design for interactive experiences, with a special focus on three-dimensional design for exhibits. She applies her education and evaluation background to both concept development and implementation phases of design projects. Drawing from her interior architecture training, Emily works closely with clients to interpret ideas and iterate physical forms for interactive experiences, and has a particular passion for educational spaces and accessible experiences for diverse users.

Emily received her Masters of Design in Adaptive Reuse from the Interior Architecture department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her thesis work resulted in the design and build-out of an interactive pop-up art museum in Central Falls, RI.

Fernando Diaz Smith

Technologist

As a technologist at Tellart, Fernando works with hardware to construct and actualize clients’ visions. Fernando prototypes solutions and effectively implements adjustments and improvements along the way. On Tellart’s Research and Development team, he draws upon his design training as well as skills honed in his previous work at Maryann Thompson Architects, Decor Craft, Inc., and as the Art Director for Providence’s TEDx 2012 events. His work has been featured in international publications such as Contagious magazine, and in 2011 was featured as part of an installation at Japan Society.

Fernando is a graduate of the Industrial Design program at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Sabrina Verhage

Technologist

Sabrina designs and develops immersive interactive environments that synthesize architecture with media technology. As a media artist Sabrina has created and exhibited several interactive installations and generative art works. She is particularly interested in integrations of digital technologies into our physical world. Highly fascinated by the influence of modern technology on human behavior, she strives to create engaging experiences that enable social interaction and change.

Sabrina is co-founder of Creative Coding Amsterdam, a monthly meetup for creative coding enthusiasts. She is actively engaged in the creative coding community and frequently visits and volunteers at media art and technology events throughout Europe.

Sabrina earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Delft University of Technology, after which she spent a year in Los Angeles pursuing MediaSCAPES at Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). After this introduction to emerging relationships within technology, media and architecture, she moved her focus from architecture towards interactive environments, and she achieved her Master’s Degree in Media Technology at Leiden University, combining creativity and technology with scientific research.

Haiden Goggin

Designer

As a designer at Tellart, Haiden helps bring the visions of the team and our clients to life. He helps to guide visual design through each step of visual production, from sketching initial concepts to photorealistic renders of the final product. Haiden’s visual storytelling methods are used to analyze, inform and shape the current state of each project, and are vital to the successful communication of Tellart’s designs. His ability to rapidly iterate design concepts enables quick decision making and feedback between Tellart and our clients.

Haiden received his Bachelors Degree in Industrial Design at Wentworth Institute of Technology. During his time at Wentworth, Haiden focused on the virtual and 3D aspects of design, using his keen eye to visualize his projects in the most realistic and achievable light. Haiden is the Co-Founder of BNDT (Boston’s Nature Design Team), a non-profit group of students devoted to cleaning up the parks of Boston, while upcycling useful waste for repurposed design.

April Cuneo

Producer

As a Producer at Tellart, April is the primary point of contact between clients and project teams, and works closely with both to ensure that project objectives are met through clear deliverables and process.

April joined Tellart with years of experience in the production of live action, visual effects, animation, design and technology projects. Her background in film, commercials, brand development and future technology is instrumental to the persuasive storytelling and precise execution of Tellart's work.

April lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

April received her B.A. in the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley.

Rafe Copeland

Senior Designer

Rafe Copeland is an interdisciplinary designer, technologist and researcher. With experience in the conceptualisation, design, and production of books, exhibitions and archiving platforms (both online and offline), he works across all stages of Tellart’s projects and strives to weld them into a single synergistic process.

Rafe holds a Bachelor of Design from the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, graduating top of his year and receiving the national prize for best design graduation project in 2010.

Luca Zander

Designer

As a designer at Tellart, Luca works across multiple creative disciplines including spatial, industrial and graphic design, moving image design and video production. He creates renderings and physical prototypes to support concept generation and has a passion for the 3D and virtual aspects of capturing design ideas. A creative technologist by training, Luca has broad experience developing interactive applications. He was born and raised in Germany and currently lives in Amsterdam.

Luca received his Bachelor’s degree in Creative Technology from the University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands. His minor in Industrial Design focused on the interaction between humans and their physical world.

Yael Agmon

Strategist

As a Strategist at Tellart, Yael uses her background as an architect, urban designer and researcher to develop and visualize concepts at the outset of projects. She works closely with Tellart's Strategy and Design Direction teams to create interpretive plans, to imagine and design spatial and interactive concepts, and to use visualization for effective storytelling during the project development process.

Yael has received several prestigious awards and acknowledgements for her design work and academic achievements, and is currently teaching at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union in New York City. Yael was born and raised in Jerusalem and lives in New York.

Yael received a B.Arch (summa cum laude) from the Technion in Israel as part of the multidisciplinary Technion Program for Excellence, and graduated with an M.Arch II from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 2014.

Donna Feeley

Administrator

Donna brings over 25 years of experience in business management to Tellart. Having worked with small start-up companies, as well as larger established organizations, she provides dynamic insight into project tracking, grant acquisition and management, and administrative support. Her work at Tellart involves administrative support on a project and general level, research into and advisement regarding grants and government programs, and general book-keeping.

John Poisson

Senior Strategist

John is a designer, strategist and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years experience in retail, social media, and entertainment. Today he develops retail experiences and innovation strategies for leading brands around the world, and is launching a new retail brand called Maison6. He was previously Founder & CEO of Wantful, a luxury online gift retailer. In 2004, John founded Tiny Pictures, whose Radar photo sharing service was a pioneer in mobile social media. The company was acquired in 2009 by Shutterfly. At Shutterfly he served as VP of Mobile and Social Media. He also led mobile design and R&D at Sony in Tokyo, and founded two of Canada’s largest visual effects studios.

John studied cinematography at Boston University, where he later served as Adjunct Professor.

Kara Dziobek

Strategist

As a Design Strategist at Tellart, Kara collaborates with clients and team members on concept development, user testing and insight generation, prototyping, and storytelling. Kara’s background has focused on applying human-centered design to complex challenges within healthcare, education and urban environment sectors. She specializes in bridging the understanding between diverse groups of people, facilitating the co-creation of engaging stories. Kara has worked with clients including The Gates Foundation, MASS Design, Children’s Health in Dallas, and University of Rhode Island.

Kara has a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. While at RISD, her architecture thesis focused on designing for individuals’ transition from homelessness into permanent housing. The project began her exploration into the role that design can play in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations.

Jesus Galvez

Senior Technologist

As a Senior Technologist at Tellart, Jesus works to balance technical functionality and constraints with the human need for interaction and connection. He has a hand in articulating varying levels of the consumer experience. Jesus comes from having explored the deep possible connections between machines and humans, including the use of technology in psychological fields. Jesus is a member of the Ocean State Maker Mill organization and founder of the Pre-Engineering Program at the Providence Career & Technical Academy High School.

Jesus has a Masters of Science degree in Industrial and System Engineering from the University of Rhode Island. He received his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad de Zaragoza with a focus in Industrial Design.

JJ Maxwell

Communications Manager

As the Communications & Media Manager for Tellart, JJ directs Tellart’s media and press relationships, oversees international project launches, and guides internal communications with the entire Tellart team. JJ comes to Tellart with over a decade of communications experience focused on the fashion, art, and design industries. Before joining Tellart, JJ worked with a number of established and emerging clients including Conde Nast International, Viacom Networks, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Raleigh Denim Workshop, and Museum of Modern Art.

JJ has a Masters of Science degree in Media Management from The New School with an emphasis in Digital & Emerging Media. He received a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School at Arizona State University. Along with his core degrees, JJ has participating in numerous international education programs in countries including Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia.

Luca Bottoni

Designer

As a designer at Tellart, Luca uses a human-centered approach to tackle every challenge he is presented. Being a T-shaped designer and restless problem solver, he engages in different disciplines and is especially passionate about user-centered research. While his background is in Industrial Design, his current focus has been Design Thinking and the development of innovative approaches to product and service design that lead to meaningful experiences.

Luca holds a Masters of Science in Product Service System Design. As a part of the MEDes program, he began his studies at the University of Rome, continued his second and third year at Milan’s Polytechnic and finished his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design at the Glasgow School of Art. For his Master’s degree, Luca started at Konstfack college of Arts and Design in Stockholm, spent time researching Design Thinking in Education at Stanford’s d.school for his thesis, and concluded at his home school, Milan’s Polytechnic.

 

Katie Schon

Strategy Consultant

A long time Tellarter, Katie has been responsible for imagining innovative solutions and strategies for many of Tellart's projects, including work with Google, UTC, Humana, Samsung, and more. Her experience in shaping project goals, crafting new processes, and guiding early project strategy continues to support Tellart's business development, marketing, and strategy functions.

Katie graduated from the Industrial Design Department at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). While at RISD, Katie spent a year in the European Honors Program in Rome, Italy, where she interned as a market researcher.

Dan Lockwood

Business Consultant

Dan started his career in the networking industry, working for Xerox, Cascade Communications, Ascend Communications and Juniper Networks, and mastering the technical aspects of Frame Relay, ATM, IP, and MPLS. As a principal network consultant, he helped service provider and enterprise clients design, build and manage their networks. Dan eventually moved into management, where he founded Juniper Network’s Professional Services organization. As Director of Professional Services for Juniper, Dan created a full-service portfolio and was responsible for pricing, client engagement, delivery and partnerships.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Princeton University. He is on the board of The Cutting Ball, a small, experimental theater in San Francisco. Dan is also a trustee and the treasurer of Live Oak, an independent K-8 school.

Randy Snow

Fabrication Consultant

As Tellart’s Fabrication Consultant, Randy uses his lifetime of experience with structural engineering and design to bring our clients’ visions to life. Randy works directly with Tellart’s producers and engineers from projects’ earliest concept phases to their completion and beyond. Randy is instrumental in formulating the plans for each project’s execution, whether that requires artisan-grade woodworking and carpentry; high-voltage electrical systems; plumbing and fluid engineering; or metal-, stone-, or glass working; or oversight of Tellart’s many specialized subcontractors.

Krzysztof Lenk

Design Consultant

Krzysztof has served as Tellart’s principal creative consultant since 2000. Since 1982 has been professor of graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design, specializing in information design and typography. Between 1990 and 2000, Krzysztof was Creative Director at Dynamic Diagrams, a consulting company specializing in information and interface design for print and electronic media. The firm’s clients included Netscape, Harvard University, IBM, Microsoft, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Merrill Lynch, McGraw-Hill, Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, American Medical Association, and Siemens Nixdorf.

Krzysztof received an M.F.A. in graphic design from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (Poland). With Paul Kahn, he published Mapping Web Sites (2001), which has since been translated into five languages.

With many of our projects we augment our in-house staff by assembling and directing international all-star teams of specialised experts, drawing on our fifteen years of networking through research projects, industry practice, teaching, and giving talks at conferences.

Interested in collaborating with us? Send us a note: projects@tellart.com