Born in 1981, Allan is a Yorkshireman and began his formal creative training at Coventry University, graduating in 2004 with a Master's degree in Automotive Design.
He spent the following 9 years working in Turin, Northern Italy initially as a junior designer for FIAT and later for the Chinese brand JAC. His role was to help establish the identity of this relatively new marque, working on a range of production and concept cars crossing-over between South American, European and Asian markets. Holding lead and subsequent senior designer roles, Allan honed his management skills and holistic understanding of the design process, travelling extensively.Most recently Allan worked as design consultant for Volvo Trucks in Gothenburg, Sweden as part of the creative team developing the brand's new range of logistical transporters, due for release in 2020.
Far from the classical 'petrol-head' car designer, Allan's interest in the Auto-Industry has always been driven by a fascination with creation, problem solving and the design process - developing a sketch into one of mankind’s most advanced products. He is a designer who strongly believes that an open mindset and cross-disciplinary approach is an essential element in exploring new territories and being a progressive problem solver.
Allan’s passion for collaboration began during his studies with his thesis 'Sonic-City' 2004 - a car inspired by music. This led him to work with sculptors, fine artists and the dance department of Coventry’s school of Art & Design, seeking to develop methods of audio/visual translation and employ this language into an automotive context. This exploratory cross -disciplinary approach has remained a key ingredient in Allan’s evolution as both a designer & artist, often leading to him seeking inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
Allan was a speaker at Yangon’s 2014 BARCAMP conference on ‘Making the world smile through design’ and most recently at Brno’s 2017 'UNSEEN' design festival, presenting his ideas on ‘Visual Communication’.His interest in visual storytelling began in the year 2000 with the acquisition of his first SLR camera, later embracing the digital format with his first D-SLR in 2006. Allan has since received several international photography decorations, including first places for the IPA International Photography Awards and Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year. The driving force behind much of Allan’s photography and film studies are people, describing it himself as ‘ anthropological art’.
In 2013/15 Allan embarked upon an overland world voyage, which became the foundation for creating lifekollektiv. His objective was simple, to connect with he world. Let's switch this to first person aye:
"At heart I’m a simple Yorkshireman (which I suppose means that I’m friendly, practical, and tight-fisted), yet I’ve always felt a deep drive to explore, create and break rules. As a kid that often got me into trouble, but as ‘grown-up’ I think that I’ve found a useful balance for these qualities. My professional work enabled me to travel and see the world, which ultimately created a domino effect fuelling my inner desire to explore and learn of life from different perspectives. One must be open minded when traversing continents - arriving to a new land with a rigid doctrine of ideas will quickly create conflict for both yourself and others. Instead it has ignited within me a child-like approach, arriving to new lands and meetings with a blank canvas, ready to be painted in the local colours. In 2013 I felt myself on the wave of a change and the need to explore a new chapter of my life. I often think back to my Economics teacher Mr.Knott, who taught me 'The Law of Diminishing Returns' ie. the more of something you have - the less valuable it becomes. I always thought that it's a good analogy for life; that change and new experience stimulates personal development, and that sharing optimises the resource. Letting go of my ‘modern life’. I sold all of my possessions in a fun day at the flea market and hit the road. Much like a turtle with his homeon his back, 18 improvised months and 31,000 km over land and sea later, my shell and I were tested. From travelling 1/3 of the earth's circumference by train, hitching over land/sea from Russia-Korea-Japan, and most of the way back to the UK - the voyage was everything and more than I had anticipated. There were highs, lows, and everything in between, all of which were necessary in re-calibrating my perspective of life. For the first time I truly had chance to connect with myself, let go of simple language and listen to this invisible inner guiding voice. Connecting with earth, and all of the souls which crossed my path, the result was an unshakeable faith in humanity and redefinition of my path as a creator, striving to create positive change.Motivational footnote;
Break rules.Be Industrious.Challenge yourself.Fear not for making mistakes.Make things happen.And have fun.
Yours truly. Allan"Allan currently operates between Berlin, Germany and Lòdz, Poland, exploring new territories on a range of creative projects for Lifekollektiv.
"I have a lot of ideas, and I'm not afraid to use them”.