Managing the creative interface between Design Strategy, Brand Futures and Technology

vHM Design Futures was started by Clive van Heerden and Jack Mama in London in 2011, after working together in different corporate positions for over 20 years.Their collaboration combines Clive’s social-science and interaction design experience with Jack’s product and user experience design backgrounds - a partnership that started at the Royal College of Art in the early 1990’s and developed through technology research labs in the UK and the US and culminated in the establishment of design research groups, vision activities and new product incubators in The UK, Netherlands and Sweden

Clive and Jack’s work has consistently brought very diverse skills together in new innovation processes. In the late 1990’s they took designers and other creative skills into Philips Research labs in the Redhill, London and New York and created a specialist studio in London to develop the skills, materials and technologies for a host of Wearable Electronic business propositions in the areas of electronic apparel, conductive textiles, physical gaming, medical monitoring and entertainment.

Working at the intersection of corporate groups developing long term technology and product strategy they developed new methods for integrating scientific, technical, design and artistic skills into vision projects and worked with strategy consultants to develop new product roadmaps.

They are best known for setting up and managing the Design Probe programme at Philips Design. The probe initiative was a long range research initiative commissioned by Stefano Marzano aimed at identifying systemic shifts and anticipating changes in future lifestyles. Design Probe Projects included Electronic Tattoo, Emotional Sensing Apparel, Off-the-Grid Sustainable Habitat 2020, Microbial home, Livable cities and the Food Probes covering Diagnostic Kitchen, Food Creation and Home Farming. The most recent Food Probe project is Multi-sensorial Gastronomy, developed in collaboration with Spanish Michelin star chef Juan-Mari Arzak.

Through this unique corporate experience they have consistently developed product strategy over three, five and 10 year horizons and specialised in methods to extract insights from probable future lifestyle scenarios.


Jack and Clive have been actively involved with many universities and creative institutions. They have collaborated with University consortia in Europe and in the US including the Royal College of Art, Media Lab (MIT), CSM London, NYU, the TUe and a host of fashion and textile schools in the UK and the Netherlands. They remain formally involved with various design schools in Europe including Clive’s roles as head of the Product Design Masters program at IED Madrid and external examiner, for Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art.

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