We Are Worldwide

Thanks to our networks, we’re uniquely positioned to answer
business-critical questions in established, emerging, and atypical markets.

The Core Team

Meet the strategists, cultural insight specialists and design
analysts at Space Doctors.

Fiona McNae


The star around which Space Doctors orbit, Fiona’s vision of harnessing cultural and semiotic techniques to create positive change for brands and businesses drives everything we do.

A razor-sharp intellect with encyclopaedic industry knowledge and a magnetic enthusiasm that rivals a force of nature, Fiona is the one to ask for a look into the future.

Al Deakin


Al has pioneered the commercial application of semiotics and cultural analysis for almost two decades. He joined Space Doctors in 2005, and today he is especially involved in helping our clients develop their strategic cultural capabilities.

When he isn’t grappling with some of our client’s toughest questions, you’re likely to find him on-stage delivering papers to expert audiences, or picking up awards for his work from the market research community.

Cato Hunt


Cato’s enthusiastic exploration of cultural meaning is infectious, yet she remains calm and focused on each challenge. She champions expanding the Space Doctors network, forming unexpected partnerships and working with clients to advance themselves in areas like sensory branding.

With a love of vintage but always looking forward, she has an instinct for future innovation, which borders on the prescient.

Rosie Picton

Associate Director

It’s impossible to pigeonhole Rosie – academic yet approachable, a shrewd interrogator of concepts who always sees the funny side, and someone who’s not afraid to try chocolate milkshakes with cheese in them.

Rosie has an innate ability to connect, both with people and ideas. If there’s a radical new way to look at something, she’ll find it.

Gareth Lewis

Director - Asia Regional Lead

Gareth is our human Bletchley Park. His ability to deconstruct the largest of ideas into clear and workable parts provides clarity where others see chaos.

Well-mannered and charismatic, his exterior calm belies a hunger for new experiences and a drive to take us, our clients, and semiotics itself into new and unexplored territory.

Helen Wilkinson

Personal Assistant

Embodying the Space Doctors motto to do whatever it takes, Helen quickly established herself as an invaluable part of the team.

Her adaptability isn’t limited to the workplace, as evidenced by her love of outdoor exploration and her experience travelling across four continents. A self-described ‘grafter’, when she isn’t working hard making sure everything runs smoothly in the office, she’s out discovering new parts of Brighton or doing volunteer work.

Steve Seth


Steve is Space Doctors’ semiotic seer. He is our reference for gold standard, mind-opening insight and commands an almost omniscient understanding of the shifting landscape of brands and culture.

He is at his happiest making sense of complexity, a task he deftly accomplishes drawing on his wealth of experience and breadth of talents, whether that be developing an industry-shaping view on cultural change, to making a mean Chipotle sauce.

Mariah Hartman


With positivity and a relentless joie de vivre, Mariah is able to carve a path of insight through complexity, get to the salient details of a project, and transform them into signposts that point to the strategic future.

What’s more, her warmth and excitement mean everyone wants to go with her.

Gemma Jones

Associate Director

Gemma has an extraordinary talent for leading you beyond your comfort zone into the unknown. She says ‘yes’ to any opportunity, whether it’s cooking for a yoga retreat or developing our Cymbol app.

Playfully provocative and unfazed by challenges, her fierce intelligence will make the complicated simple, the struggle a victory, and she’ll do it all with a smile on her face.

Dario Utreras


Dario is a craftsman. Softly spoken, warm and charming he may be, but Dario’s capacity for visual expression is staggering.

His obsession with design and attention to detail means he crafts outputs and ideas into things of beauty. A hand printed booklet? A conversation about the Japanese equivalent of Helvetica? Dario is your (gentle)man.

Malex Salamanques

Associate Director

Armed with keen insight and a determination to find new applications for semiotics, Malex will push your thinking in new directions with quiet force.

Saturated with the study and practice of design, her unparalleled visual intelligence enables her to present complex concepts in radically new yet intuitive ways that will take your breath away.

Emma Pearson

Personal Assistant

Emma’s sensitivity and warmth belies her ability to solve any dilemma – from identifying gaps in the market on digital video platforms, or acting as a PA to the stars from the worlds of pop music and television, to volunteering her time at her local stables where she works with horses as an accredited healer.

Caring for animals and iconoclastic 70s musicians may be her passions, but she’s equally adept at digital production, organising large scale projects or playing the guitar (so long as its Bolan or Bowie!)

Hannah Hoel


Hannah has a powerful descriptive flair when it comes to articulating keenly wrought insight.

She comes from a family of academics, matriarchs, and fashionistas, and it was the French Vogue mobiles circling her baby crib that have had a lasting impact on her ability to evaluate aesthetics in the worlds of art and fashion.

Emily Dawson


Emily’s keen eye for stylish design is matched only by the depth of interest she takes in her work. The energy and confidence she brings to every project is grounded by her organisational skills and nurturing spirit.

Whatever the subject, Emily always has something to contribute whether it’s knowledge of Nordic languages, Salsa dancing or the semiotic history of numismatics.

Kourosh Newman-Zand

Project Director

Kourosh is an inquiring analyst. Deploying global experience teaching, working for tech start-ups and in freelance semiotics, Kourosh crafts differentiating insights into coherent narratives with his uniquely focused and systematic approach to mapping out global culture.

Pavla Pasekova

Corporate Projects Manager

Pavla is the embodiment of gifted multitasking, able to keep us not just on top of our projects, but ahead of them and beckoning them forward.

A keen linguist and observer of culture, her propensity for interdisciplinary accomplishment extends beyond the office to her Czech translations of contemporary English fiction, her arts & crafts ventures, her passion for growing heritage veg varieties and her love of the world’s various cuisines.

Holly Gibbs

Assistant Accountant

Where to begin? Film-maker, urban dancer, self-taught seamstress, and the brawn behind an entire building in The Gambia, home to nothing less than a milling machine - Holly is multi-talented and up for anything.

But it’s her attention to detail, knack for numbers and all-round make-it-happen attitude that makes Holly a vital force as part of the finance team. As one of the latest to join Space Doctors, we’re thrilled to have her on board.

Matt Oliver

Project Manager

Deeply observant, inquisitive, and as interested in Marcus Aurelius as he is in Drive, Matt draws from disparate fields to take his work in unexpected directions.

He has an insatiable desire to learn more and an artist’s appreciation for creative expression that he applies in the search for an original solution to every project.

Fliss Macaulay

HR Manager

As Space Doctors’ emotional radar, Fliss is the epitome of ‘people person’. She has the light touch that holds everything up, and an uncanny ability to produce exactly what you want before you even know you want it.

It is her talent of truly connecting with her colleagues and the work environment that make her our resident cat herder.

Eddy Dessaso


Eddy is the product of his passions: a dynamic collision between technology and form.

It’s often a challenge keeping up with this seasoned adventurer as he cuts through the stationary traffic of mainstream design with a sense of purpose and discovery to arrive at the most fascinating and forward thinking expressions.

Grace Flavin

Project Executive

Grace lives in the present. Constantly switched-on and always observing, nothing gets past her. She is able to zero in on the most critical elements of a concept, and isn’t afraid to jettison stale ideas that are standing in the way of a project’s focus.

From Mad Men to Max Factor, Grace is a real pop culture enthusiast.

Rebecca Collins

Project Manager

Becks has the eclectic interests of an artist and the organisational rigour of a headmistress.

She channels her background in immersive events and her fascination with everything from 1960s sci-fi to post-digital theory into the world of semiotics with insightful and intriguing results.

A virtuoso in transforming the experimental into the actionable, Becks is always in search of the new, disruptive and peculiar.


The Office Dog

Current positions


Full time
Posted: 12/04/17


Full time



£ competitive salary and benefits

Job details

Location:         London (with regular visits to Brighton office)
Position:          Full time
Reporting to:   CEO

Space Doctors is a Brand Strategy consultancy specialising in cultural insight and semiotics.

Our vision is to Create Meaningful Futures for our global clients, and we act as trusted advisors - helping them liberate marketing thinking and drive growth.

We do this through helping clients to stay alert to changing culture, creating future ready strategies and recommendations that resonate.

We are now at the point of growth where we are seeking a Brand Strategy Director to help evolve and further lead Space Doctors strategic thinking and brand point of view across the business.

Your Profile :

You’ll be at a point in your career where you want to make your mark and shape a growing business.

The importance of culture in branding and strategy is a consuming passion for you. You feel it in your bones! Your passion could have come from working in advertising, global design strategy, global business unit of a client organisation. You may be trying to drive a move towards embracing culture and cultural insight in your organisation already.  You have an ability to pull out the meaningful strategies from insight – to get to the parts that are magic.

You will be familiar with leading global or regional client accounts and come with good business development connections. You have a proven ability to win business and develop client accounts through meaningful relationship building.

You will be able to show an appreciation of insight and rigour - knowing the importance of substance and thinking. You will be familiar with working with a portfolio of insight techniques, understanding hybridities and being able to structure research programmes.

We want you to provoke us, to make us think, to excite us through conversation, to tell us something new. You need the integrity of a strong personal point of view, backing it up with examples.

You can demonstrate how you have created positive change in an organisation or for a brand - the proof that you can make the jump.

You have experience of people development – you enjoy mentoring and developing team members, bringing in fresh talent as we grow and developing current people through the organisation.

You are a passionate and highly articulate individual who can represent the business at the highest level. You are happy to speak at external conferences and client presentations.

Skills and Experience:

  • You’ll have 10-15 years experience in brand strategy, ideally in both client and agency organisations
  • You’ll have played a senior role in an organisation
  • You’ll have experience working globally, ideally having lived or travelled extensively abroad
  • You’ll have an understanding of the sensitivities necessary for locally inflected as well as globally relevant brand strategy
  • You’ve been a brilliant trusted advisor at senior level, influencing C-suite
  • You’re commercially savvy and profit focused. You know how to read and influence a P&L

If this is exciting and looks like the next move for you, please get in touch before 26th May by emailing apply@space-doctors.com


Full time
Posted: 04/04/17


Full time



Based on experience

Job details

Space Doctors is an award-winning global communications consultancy specialising in semiotics-led approaches to brand strategy and innovation.

From our offices in Hove, London and Singapore, we conduct semiotic and cultural analyses, map cultural and category evolutions and use these to build new strategic and activation opportunities for brands and organisations worldwide. Our three core skill sets are brand strategy, semiotic & cultural insight and creative expression.

Our international clients include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung, General Mills, Tesco and advertising, design and trends agencies.

We are seeking a Project Assistant to support our growing team of semioticians and creatives in our London office. 

If you are a self-starting, energetic and organised person who’s looking for a new challenge – read on!

Our Project Assistants help the teams to deliver projects – from arranging client connections, sourcing stimulus, liaising with clients, external suppliers and the team members themselves, and generally ensuring everything runs smoothly along the course of a project.  Our growth means that we are now recruiting a new PA to support our London team.  As the team PA, the role is to support the Director of Innovation and the rest of the team across a wide variety of projects, collaborations and external events.

We’re seeking someone who excels at being the person at the heart of the office and team - who can turn their hand to anything to help deliver amazing work, and ensure the office itself runs like clockwork – keeping an eye on supplies, liaising with the front of house team and our Office Manager at our Hove HQ.

Strong organisational and communication skills are imperative, together with experience of working in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment.   You’ll be comfortable with managing day to day technology and used to working on Apple Macs and Outlook.

Importantly, you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to work constructively as part of a team, especially able to juggle and prioritise as timelines and deadlines change.

We offer a competitive salary, together with an excellent benefits package, which includes private health insurance, a generous pension scheme, life insurance, training opportunities and a very lively company social calendar.

How To Apply

Please send your cv, with a covering letter letting us know why you’re the person we need, to apply@space-doctors.com.


London Bridge, SE1, UK (with occasional travel as required to our Hove office)

Application closing date

28th April 2017


Full time
Posted: 28/02/17


Full time



Based on experience

Job details

Space Doctors is an award-winning global communications consultancy specialising in semiotics-led approaches to brand strategy and innovation. 

We conduct semiotic and cultural analyses, map cultural and category evolutions and use these to build new strategic and activation opportunities for brands and organisations worldwide. Our three core skill sets are brand strategy, semiotic & cultural insight and design.

Our international clients include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung, General Mills, Givaudan and advertising, design and trends agencies.

We are seeking extraordinary thinkers to expand our team of commercial semioticians, brand experts and cultural analysts. 

If you know your Feuerbach from your Fekkai, read on.

Desirable skills:

  • You’ll have an excellent academic record, with a 2:1 degree or above in a relevant discipline. A working knowledge of cultural analysis is crucial, and you should be familiar with the principles of semiotics.

  • You’ll need to demonstrate a keen interest in popular culture and brand communication.

  • Combined creative and analytical abilities are imperative. As you will be working as a consultant, strong written and verbal communication skills are also a must.

  • Finally, you will need to demonstrate your ability to work in a fast-paced international environment, and work constructively as part of a team.

How to apply -

Send a brief covering letter and copy of your CV to apply@space-doctors.com. Include up to 600 words on a relevant contemporary brand of your choosing. We want to know a) why it’s interesting to you, b) which emergent cultural cues you think the brand is tapping into, c) what this brand’s communication suggests about the future evolution of the category or culture in which it operates.

Hove, UK (with occasional travel as required to our London office)

Application closing date
28th April 2017

Our Expert Networks

Our proprietary, worldwide network of academics, thought-leaders,
cultural experts and semioticians.

Our Expert Network includes some of the world’s leading semioticians, academics, thinkers and design strategists.

While our in-house teams are familiar with many of the world’s regions, we also know the value of experts on the ground. Our associates overseas keep our knowledge fresh and dig out local nuances which make all the difference to our clients. We have worked with most of them over years; they know our methodology intimately and work with us as a seamless partnership.

Thanks to them, we can take you anywhere in the world.

The global reach of our network gives us access to the world’s farthest-flung regions. It enables us to offer you fully grounded cultural insight, getting deep into the texture and detail of how people see their world. Our global experts are there to open up these symbolic gateways to their cultures and regions: they help make authentic global conversations possible.

Our Cymbol Eyes

Our bespoke community of cultural edge-finders and category experts.

Our Cymbol community are at the forefront of culture.

They live and breathe their cultural passions, analysing them from the inside. Amongst them, you’ll find fashion bloggers, artists, film-makers, entrepreneurs and more. They’re a diverse bunch, but united by their utter love for what they do. They know their area of culture like the back of their hand as they’re immersed in it each day. They’re also shaping change themselves, creating the stories and ideas that will seem obvious tomorrow.

Cymbol members offer a unique perspective.

They don’t take an overview, sitting back and analysing like an academic. Instead they pick up insights immersively and intuitively, gathering them in context and responding emotionally. This gives us a raw, real-time sense of what matters – Cymbol is a direct line to the people shaping our cultural futures.



Space Doctors is the place for extraordinary thinkers who want to make a positive difference to the worlds of marketing and business.