Rachel Abrams established Turnstone in 2006. London-born and -raised, Rachel has worked in New York since 2001, first for IBM on user experience strategy for ibm.com, then as an interactive content strategist for Imagination (US), the award-winning, independent, interdisciplinary branding consultancy.
Rachel teaches in the Interaction Design and Design for Social Innovation MFA programs at the School of Visual Arts, and served on the Board of the New York chapter of the American Institute for Graphic Arts (2012-14), where she initiated their Design/Relief program after Hurricane Sandy. A fellow of the Open Society Foundation’s 2014 Future of Work Inquiry, she has also been a Fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space, an adjunct professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and Special Advisor to PentaCity Group, designers of New York’s official streetmaps. To date, over 25 publications have featured Rachel’s business illustrations and writing on design. She regularly gives talks about Turnstone work, locally and internationally.
In ’90s London, Rachel was a current affairs researcher for the BBC, The Economist and in the UK Parliament. Inspired by the then-emergent Web, design school taught her to tell tales about the near future more effectively and more beautifully. Turnstone started life sharing a studio with enterprise partners, Constellation. Multidisciplinary designers, technologists and strategists, the group included The Map Office, Potion Design and others, able and available to support each others’ work on larger, complex projects. Rachel has an undergraduate degree in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in interaction design from the UK’s Royal College of Art.
Turnstone collaborates with:
Yvonne Jukes, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design film, animation, and video department, with strengths in documentary film-making, and a soft spot for finding humor and wit in any given situation. An invaluable collaborator on Turnstone’s Future of Work animation for the Open Society Foundations, she is a highly skilled editor (and a frequent shooter) with 5+ years experience cutting short-form videos for the web. Adaptive and detail-oriented, her work includes narrative and instructional content, fashion and documentary. Attentive and dedicated to strengthening her team and brand vision, she has previously worked for Bumble & Bumble, Estée Lauder and previously worked as an intern for Roman Coppola Studios and MTV Networks.
Kate Nicholson is an MFA candidate in the School of Visual Art’s Design for Social Innovation (DSI) program. A student of Turnstone’s Rachel Abrams in her first semester at DSI, she joined Turnstone as an intern to lead research for Turnstone’s Future of Work animation for the Open Society Foundations. Previously the production manager and culinary coordinator for the 2013 conference, The Feast, her MFA thesis will focus on women’s contribution to urban farming initiatives in New York.
Frank LaRocca, a NYC-based designer who specializes in user interface design for the web, mobile applications and interactive installations. Collaborating with Turnstone, he has co-designed ATM interfaces for an international bank, and helped reimagine the digital experience in New York City cabs for the Taxi of Tomorrow project.
His other clients have included Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, MIT Senseable City Lab, UCLA School of Architecture and Savannah College of Art and Design. Frank’s work has received multiple awards, including AIGA’s 50/50 design award, and has been featured in Fast Company, Gizmodo and Dezeen. Frank graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Graphic Design and Multimedia.
Emery Martin, an artist, educator, and technologist who creates work that interrogates our relationships with technology and how we use it everyday. Emery’s unique perspective and skill set – those of an academic, animator, filmmaker, programmer, sound artist, and technologist – are deployed to best effect when a client or project demands a multifaceted perspective and an ability to implement.
While at Turnstone, he served as a researcher for the Taxi of Tomorrow initiative. He has since gone on to co-found the Los Angeles-based creative coding and media design company, Electronic Countermeasures LLC. They currently specialize in animation, applications, interactive systems, and hardware solutions for large venue, live performance, interactive installations, network aware systems, and mobile devices. Emery also currently teaches as adjunct faculty for the Program in Experimental Animation at CalArts and the Media Technology program at Woodbury University.
Christina Stampfli has been developing a diversity of specialized skills in architecture, marketing, strategy, consulting, innovation, and entrepreneurship and has brought those to start-ups as well as to seasoned companies in Zurich, London, San Francisco, and New York. Her concepts have been featured on the Design Management Institute website and in the book “The Smart Entrepreneur” (2011).
While working with Turnstone, she served as a strategic consultant and researcher on the New York City Lower Hudson Valley Clean Cities rebranding project (now Empire Clean Cities). Presently, she is a Senior Specialist in Business Operations at Vigilant by Deloitte, a leader in cyber security. Christina holds a BA in Architecture from UC Berkeley and a merited MBA with a focus in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Design Strategy from the Imperial College Business School in London.
Kofi Aidoo is a self-described trans-continental designer whose work lives at the crossroads of culture and technology. Born in Ghana, raised there and in the United States, and educated at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art in London, he has worked as an industrial designer and physical computing innovator in the UK, Belgium and in the U.S. For projects with Turnstone’s alter ego, dilysasante, he detailed design, tinkered with Arduino, led hardware and software implementation, and was officially in charge of studio background music. By daylight, he is an independent user experience designer and researcher.