Capabilities

Turnstone helps clients say and see what they mean. Research, design strategy and visual thinking defines and delivers the right outcomes for individuals, organizations and everyone they reach:

With words that illustrate and pictures that explain, Turnstone improves infra-structure and info-structure, for ordinary and extraordinary people: consumers, customers, citizens. In physical places and digital spaces, Turnstone promotes clear communication, visual literacy and urban legibility.

Research

Gathering quantitative and qualitative information from client and elsewhere about client, audience, market context, competitors, drawing insights, framing opportunities from desk research, fieldwork, in-situ observation, surveys, interviews, focus groups.

Deliverables: Research and interview protocols, findings presentations, data visualization and direct survey/site visit reports.

Design strategy

Defining the brand, identity, narratives for new or improved products and services, articulating brand architecture, system design, market penetration strategies:

Deliverables: Presentations of research insights, cross-media campaign programs, pitch decks (pdfs, video, film, charts, storyboards, playbooks) that set out strategic thinking, design approach and actionable direction.

Creative place-making

Experience design for the built environment, creative place-making, way finding: Setting direction for design interventions in physical places, to improve public spaces and commercial environments.

Deliverables: Presentation decks to represent strategy, initial concept, schematic systems design, design detailing, visual design.

Digital services

Setting design direction for dynamic and interactive on-screen experiences: Crafting information architecture for apps, web sites, electronic services, digital billboards.

Deliverables: Personas, user scenarios, wireframes, presentation decks to represent schematic systems design, to specify on screen experience and guide visual design and development.

 

Writing to illustrate

Communications strategy, messaging, content development for print, online, film, 1’ 2’10’100’ user experiences

Working alongside visual/digital designers to respond to creative brief, drafting and coordinating branded messaging and content across all media touchpoints.

Deliverables: Long-form opinion-forming documents, short-form articles, papers, presentations. Copy for web, print and environmental graphics, frameworks, briefings for copywriters.

Drawing to explain

Visual storytelling: Live drawing, graphic facilitation for ideation in workshops, executive strategy sessions, conferences. Creative direction of complex editorial content, for short films, print, digital.

Deliverables: Drawings sketched during a live event (shared as pdf, on social media),
environmental graphics, short films, illustrated strategy, organizational mapping, visual data.

 

People

Rachel Abrams, Founder

Rachel Abrams established Turnstone in 2006, to apply strategic design to commercial venture and civic enterprise.

In 2015, Rachel was graphic facilitator at the United Nations 70th General Assembly, and for the Municipal Arts Society at The Rockefeller Foundation‘s Bellagio Center in Italy.

She was a 2014 fellow of the Open Society Foundations‘ Inquiry into the Future of Work program and previously, technology fellow of the Design Trust for Public Space. There, she co-edited Roads Forward, reporting on the future of New York’s cab industry to municipal government.

In 2012, she was Special Advisor to PentaCityGroup, designers of the New York Department of Transportation’s official streetmaps. That year, she joined the 2012-14 Board of the New York chapter of the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA NY), where she secured funding for their Design/Relief program after Superstorm Sandy.

Rachel teaches in the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts and between 2009-15, taught in SVA’s Visual NarrativeDesign for Social Innovation and Interaction Design MFA programs. Prior to that, she was an adjunct professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University.

Rachel’s writing on design and business illustrations have appeared in over 25 publications. She regularly gives talks and interviews about Turnstone work, locally and internationally. In 2014, she founded online illustration project, soundpapered.com.

Before Turnstone, Rachel was an interactive content strategist for award-winning interdisciplinary brand consultancy, Imagination (US) Inc, designing exhibits and environments for Samsung, 2010 Winter Olympic sponsors, Bell Canada and others. She has also worked as a user experience strategist for ibm.com at IBM in New York, and in London, for the BBC, The Economist and for the UK Parliament.

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. In the summer of 2017, Rachel became an Associate Principal at Arup, New York, leading the design strategy team there.

Collaborators

Christina Stampfli

Strategist

Christina Stampfli

Strategist

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.

Emery Martin

Technologist

Emery Martin

Technologist

Emery Martin is 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.

Frank LaRocca

Interactive designer

Frank LaRocca

Interactive designer

Frank LaRocca, a New York-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. In 2015, he collaborated with Turnstone Consulting to refresh Turnstone’s own web site, leading its visual design and development.

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.

View Site

Kate Nicholson

Researcher

Kate Nicholson

Researcher

Kate Nicholson is a graduate of the School of Visual Art’s Design for Social Innovation (DSI) MFA 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.

Kofi Aidoo

Designer

Kofi Aidoo

Designer

Ghanaian-American, Kofi Aidoo is a 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 London’s Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, he has worked as an industrial designer and physical computing innovator in the UK, Belgium and in the U.S.

In collaboration with Turnstone for dilysasante in 2010, he detailed design, tinkered with Arduino, led hardware and software implementation for two hugely popular projects for New York dance party, I Love Vinyl. By day, he is an independent user experience designer and researcher.

Tim Szetela

Animator

Tim Szetela

Animator

Tim Szetela is a Brooklyn-based designer, animator, technologist, and mapmaker. He has produced diverse digital content and experiences and consulted on technology and design for various  companies and organizations, including NBC Universal, the ASPCA, and the City of New York. He is experienced in a wide range of software and hardware platforms and tools and teaches courses and workshops in media production, design, and code. As an animator and art director, he has collaborated with Turnstone, producing for sister project, Soundpapered.

View Site

Yvonne Jukes

Filmmaker

Yvonne Jukes

Filmmaker

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, her clients include Spotify, Unicef, NYC&Co, and others. She has previously worked for Bumble & Bumble, Estée Lauder and previously worked as an intern for Roman Coppola Studios and MTV Networks.

View Site

Clients