Hugo grew up in a small, remote hotel on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He has run his own consultancy since 2015, helping clients of all shapes and sizes, across several sectors, identify and articulate what they do and why it matters today.
Hugo's first book was published by Pan Macmillan for The School of Life in 2016 called "How to Live in the City". In 2018 and 2019, he curated the Object section of Miart, the Milan Contemporary Art Fair. In 2019, he was the curator of the inaugural Harewood Biennial, "Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters", at Harewood House in Yorkshire. In 2022 he curated the second Harewood Biennial, "Radical Acts".
Hugo graduated with first class honours in History from Trinity College, Cambridge. He worked at Wallpaper* and Monocle magazines where, as design editor, he oversaw all architecture and design content in the magazine, newspapers, books and on film. He was one of the launch hosts for Monocle's radio station M24, hosting live current affairs shows alongside the weekly design show Section D. He was then brand director at Ilse Crawford’s design studio, responsible for consultancy, strategy and communications. He led strategy and consultancy projects across a range of sectors including hospitality, transport, consumer goods, retail and product design.
Hugo lives in Edinburgh with frequent escapes back to Skye where a chunk of his heart will always be. He is driven by the potential of design to challenge how we live and offer ways in which we might live better. He is interested in almost everything and is borderline obsessed with food – reading about it, cooking and eating it (but very rarely instagramming it).
Hugo can help in a number of ways. What links his work is a set of values, common sense principles and a process that involves asking questions, listening, thinking and then talking. It’s like creative therapy, using emotional intelligence and skills at the intersection of journalism, strategy and brand development. He works collaboratively, quickly and diligently.
Specifically, he has done and can do the following:
- Develop a clear tone of voice for a client and ensure it is felt appropriately, consistently, across all communication.
- Interrogate and write briefs for clients that do justice to the task at hand by challenging, engaging and inspiring those who receive them.
- Audit hospitality, retail, travel, transport and office experiences, delivering insight into what can work better, how it can work better and why it’s important.
- Edit, commission and write books, booklets, articles, leaflets and anything in between.
- Devise and commission original content for digital and physical platforms, exhibitions and events.
- Refresh brand identities including websites.
- Benchmark tours for learnings across a number of industries.
- Workshop, lecture and host panel discussions on a broad range of subjects in the creative industries.
- Connect people, be they individuals, studios, companies and/or press.
Airbnb, San Francisco
Dubai Design Week, Dubai
The Goldsmiths' Company, London
Harewood House, Yorkshire
IDEO, San Francisco
Ikea Food, Malmo
Ilse Crawford, London
Instagram, San Francisco
Michael Anastassiades, London
Quartz, New York
The New Craftsmen, London
Rapt Studio, San Francisco
Samara, San Francisco
The Surfrider, Los Angeles
Studio Frith, London
The School of Life, London
The Surf Club, Miami
Vitra, Weil am Rhein
For more information about his work and to discuss any opportunities please email Hugo directly.