The Factory of Thought was the brainchild of myself, Dr Léon McCarthy, setup in an effort to fuse research, design and development in the pursuit of excellence in experiential design. I have since been involved in the design and realisation of projects spanning the entertainment, eHealth, eLearning and blockchain sectors. What follows is an overview of how I got to where I am.


My design chops were established with a degree in architecture - a course of study that left me with a structured approach to creativity. Studying architecture gave me the skills to manage the formation and realisation of concepts that respond to design-requirements & contextual constraints. Through a masters in multimedia, I transferred my sensibilities to digital media, with a focus on multimedia production, interaction design and realtime performance systems.

I entered the commercial world as an audio-visual freelancer, producing live events, realtime visuals and outdoor installations. I also designed bespoke software for installations, musicians and multimedia artists. I then founded a multimedia startup to produce motion-graphics and video for web. Alongside my production duties, I developed my business acumen, client-focus and project management.

I took a position as lecturer in digital video at University Limerick. While there I led the recruitment of teaching-assistants and the mentorship of an incubation company. As course-director I successfully oversaw the design and implementation of a new undergraduate syllabus. I also developed a suite of eLearning applets.

As an audio-visual performer, I have an interest in audience engagement and so took a PhD in design at Northumbria University. With a focus on audience-analysis, I established new expertise in user-research, qualitative analysis and the ensuing design of engaging multi-screen experiences. It was necessary to develop software to both analyse qualitative data and to realise second-screen communication platforms, so it was during this PhD that I established my fullstack development expertise.



Management: Team Lead, Recruitment, Change Management, Mentorship, Dissemination

Research: Audience Studies, Qualitative Insight

Design: Experiential Strategy, Interaction & Gamification

Production: Sound, Graphics, Video, Multimedia

Development: Javascript Web-Apps, Python Processes, Java Visualisations



User-Research: Action-Based Research, Grounded Theory, Discovery Research

Service-Design: Lean UX, User-Centered Design, Content-First

Prototyping: Wireframes, Mockups, Schematics, Visualisations

Development: Fullstack Responsive Web-Apps, Data-Mining Scripts, Data-Viz Applets

Multimedia: Media Production, Data-Visualisation

Management: Project Management & Entrepreneurship

Academia: Researcher, Author, Mentor & Lecturer



Research: Dedoose, Insight, Transana, Usertesting

Design: Balsamiq, Sketch, InVision, Zeplin, Max/MSP, TouchOSC

Multimedia: Adobe, Apple, Cinema4d

Frontend: HTML, CSS, Bootstrap Javascript, Ajax, JQuery

Backend: Node (Express), Jade, Ajax, Websockets, OSC, NoSQL

Development: Bash, Git, Applescript, Tcl, Mocha, Chai, Instanbul

Data-Visualisation: Python (NLP), Java (Processing)

Deployment: Heroku, Docker, Engineyard, AWS