WARC Grand Prix and 8 D&AD pencils


Theo+Theo partner James Theophane’s parting work with Flinders University and Saatchi & Saatchi wins WARC innovation Grand Prix Landcruiser Emergency Network.

This follows an excellent week in which the work picked up 8 D&AD pencils, a bronze at the Advertising Club of New York’s 2017 International ANDY Awards and an additional Special Award for Product and Service Innovation with WARC.

Hugo Pinto, Innovation Services Leader EMEA, IBM Interactive Experience and a WARC Innovation Awards judge, described why the work stood out: “Toyota is leveraging an asset here, creating a crowdsourced emergency network, where every Toyota LandCruiser owner can sign up to do their fair share.

“This shows people that they can have a much bigger impact because they own a specific vehicle. It blurs the boundaries between personal and professional. This will be the next stage of the sharing economy.”

Special shout out to: Paul Gardner-Stephen and his team at Flinders University School of Computer Sc, Engineering & Mathematics. Saatchi & Saatchi creative teams Wassim Kanaan, Guy Hobbs, Pierre-Antoine Gilles – without who’s ingenuity, creativity and insight the project would not exist. The persistence of Sam Jones, Anna Warren, Mike Spirkovski and Gary Clark. The craft of Tod Duke-Yonge. The cinematography of Eddie Bell and the 8 crew. And a special thanks to Marg & Doug Sprigg and co. of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, and the friendly citizens of the Flinders Ranges, SA.

Toyota Landcruiser Emergency Network wins 3 pencils at D&AD Impact Awards


Hooray my work for Saatchi & Toyota, Landcruiser Emergency Network, has just picked up three graphite pencils at the inaugural D&AD Impact Awards.

D&AD Impact is a new award from D&AD and Advertising Week celebrating transformative, creative ideas that have had real impact and, ultimately, contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all.

This follows a great run at Cannes and Spikes where the project picked up gold and the Innovation awards.

See the work.

D&AD Impact – Communication & Interaction: Graphite Pencil
D&AD Impact – Community: Graphite Pencil
D&AD Impact – Humanitarian Aid: Graphite Pencil
Spikes Asia – Innovation: Gold
Spikes Asia – Mobile: Silver

The project has also picked up:

Cannes Innovation Lions: Gold
Cannes Lions – Promo & Activations: Gold
Cannes Lions – Promo & Activations: Silver
Cannes Lions Finalist x 9
Clio Awards Shortlist – Engagement/Experiential
Clio Awards Shortlist – Product Design
Best Ads – Best Interactive

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Client: Toyota
Partner: Finders University

Toyota Landcruiser Emergency Network takes two Gold and a Silver at Cannes

My work for Saatchi & Saatchi and Flinders University has won the much coveted Gold Creative Innovation Lion in Cannes for the Toyota LandCruiser Emergency Network.cannes-lion-awardThe LandCruiser Emergency Network is a pioneering new technology that can deliver emergency communications to outback Australia via Toyota LandCruisers.

Over 65% of the entire Australian continent still receives no mobile signal, an area of mostly harsh Outback bigger than the entire European Union. Frequent dangers such as fire, flood, stranding, dangerous wildlife, and extreme weather are made far more hazardous by an almost complete lack of digital communications. At the same time, Australia is the world’s biggest market for LandCruisers. Due to their legendary toughness, durability and ability to go just about anywhere, LandCruisers are the only vehicle you’ll see in many rural and remote places. There are over half a million of them in a country of just 24m people.

The LandCruiser Emergency Network (L.E.N.) and device.The result was a simple, inexpensive, signal-providing device engineered to use a combination of Wi-Fi, UHF and Delay-Tolerant-Networking (DTN) technology to turn vehicles into communications hotspots each with up to 25km range.During emergencies, anyone within range can use the network to log a call or geo-tagged message straight from their ordinary mobile phone. Data is then securely passed between LandCruisers, on a store-and-forward basis, until it reaches a network base-station and first responders can be alerted.

The work has also been awarded a Gold Lion and Silver Lion in the Promo and Activation category it has also been featured in featured in WiredEngadgetTechCrunchPSFK and The Verge.

Cannes Lions Gold – Innovation
Cannes Lions Gold – Promo & Activations
Cannes Lions Silver– Promo & Activations
Cannes Lions Finalist x 9
Best Ads – Best interactive

Toyota LandCruiser Emergency Network

My latest work via Saatchi & Saatchi. As featured in Wired, Engadget, TechCrunch, PSFK and The Verge.

Nearly a year and I half ago I walked in to my then ECD’s office and said “what if you could connect all the LandCruisers in Australia to create a gigantic, roving emergency communication network. Not just the new ones, but all of them!”. Well, after a year and a half of toil it feels great for Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi to finally announce The LandCruiser Emergency Network – an ongoing project to bring emergency communications to the Outback:

Toyota LandCruiser Emergency Network – Transforming Toyota LandCruisers into a pop-up, emergency mobile phone network powered by everyday Australian drivers.

Extreme terrain, killer predators, isolation from services and rapid onset of extreme weather make the Australian Outback one of the most inhospitable environments on earth. One of the biggest challenges faced by rural communities, and visitors, is a lack of access to mobile phone networks.

With over 5 million square kilometres, or 65% of the land receiving no mobile signal, the Australian Outback is one of the world’s most dangerous mobile phone black-spots.

In times of emergency this can be incredibly dangerous.

LEN industrial design. Inspired by the ancient relay batons

To quote the wonderfully eloquent editor of adland.tv: “People who drive Toyota LandCruisers are a special kind of helpful adventurers. There’s literally ‘LandCruiser gangs’ that drives out to remote places to drag Jeep’s out of situations too difficult for them to handle. Not even kidding”.

It’s estimated Toyota have over 500,000 LandCruiser vehicles in operation, making them the country’s most popular 4×4 and outnumber cell-phone installations in Australia 30 to 1. While rural Australians find themselves far from cell towers, they’re never usually far from a Toyota LandCruiser driver. The project seeks to take advantage of this scale by installing a small, inexpensive, signal-providing devices that turn LandCruisers into communication hotspots.

Simple plug and play installation

Together these create a store-and-forward network of emergency signals that anyone can use with just an ordinary mobile phone.

In times of emergency such as fire or flood, a mobilised and fully rolled out network like LEN can also create a coverage within an emergency zone. This enables the community in need to organise their disaster response, as well as communicate with the outside world.

Developed with Dr Paul Gardner-Stephen, Senior Lecturer at Flinders University School of Computer Sc, Engineering & Mathematics, and specialist in disaster and attack resilient technology, the plug-and-play devices are built upon the fundamentals of Delay-tolerant networking currently being explored by space agencies such as NASA for interplanetary communications and deep-space internet protocols and can be fitted to both old and new vehicles. The device’s design takes its industrial design from the relay-system baton design used to carry vital messaging across vast distances by the Ancient Greek, Roman and Chinese civilisations.

project-engineerThe LandCruiser Emergency Network launched in August 2015, with a successful, ongoing community pilot in 50,000 km2 of remote Outback South Australia.

Adland says: “It’s a brilliant idea that turns the LandCruisers out there into moving Wifi hotspots, enabling people out of reach from cellular networks to piggyback on their wifi-signal in order to send out an emergency signal/call. This is an idea that is actually changing the world – starting with the outback, of course”.

Saatchi & Saatchi global describes the idea as a “‎world changing‬ idea”.

Special shout out to the wonderful team I had the pleasure of going on this journey with: Paul Gardner-Stephen and his team at Flinders University School of Computer Sc, Engineering & Mathematics. Saatchi & Saatchi creative teams Wassim Kanaan, Guy HobbsPierre-Antoine Gilles – without who’s ingenuity, creativity and insight the project would not exist. The persistence of Sam Jones, Anna Warren, Mike Spirkovski and Gary Clark. The craft of Tod Duke-Yonge. The cinematography of Eddie Bell and the 8 crew. And a special thanks to Marg & Doug Sprigg and co. of the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, and the friendly citizens of the Flinders Ranges, SA.

Role: Group Innovation & Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Note: After delivering this project I left Saatchi’s to set up my own agency (Theo+Theo) with my lovely wife, award-winning design director Clare Theophane, but I will follow the project closely and hope it achieves the global potential I had always envisioned from the beginning.

Doug Sprigg, Project LEN volunteer Simple installation LEN in action

Agency Credits
  • Client: Toyota
  • Brand: Toyota LandCruiser
  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Australia
  • Executive Creative Director: Mike Spirkovski
  • Group Creative Director: James Théophane
  • Senior Creative: V. Wassim Kanaan
  • Creative Team: Guy Hobbs / Pierre-Antoine Gilles
  • Integrated Executive Producer: Anna Warren
  • Producer: Michael Demosthenous
  • Head of Design: Tod Duke-Yonge
  • Senior Digital Designer: Jake Bruce
  • Group Business Director: Ben Court
  • Senior Business Director: Sam Jones

Stop the Spies – An Interactive Privacy Installation by James Theophane

Stop the Spies
Art & About, Sydney. 19 SEPT – 12 OCT 2014 2014
in collaboration with Luca Lonescu & Celina Stang (aka Neon Nomads)
Live Streaming / LED Fabric
Made possible by Holler Sydney, Nylon and stopthespies.org

This year the organisers of Art & About, Sydney invited artists from around the globe to pitch ideas exploring the “endangered – the ‘at risk’, the threatened, the exposed and the risky from all perspectives“.

I chose to take this as an opportunity to raise awareness of the eroding privacy of our digital lives. This was especially topical as Australia was putting a motion through the senate to retain 2 years of every citizen’s metadata.

To bring this to life I worked with Neon Nomads and Holler Sydney to create giant all-seeing eyes, envisioned as stark symbols of the government’s threat to online privacy.

We installed these in Hyde Park, the heart of Sydney’s CBD and the centre of the Art & About. Each ‘eye’ was linked to a ‘spy-station’ situated away from, but within line of sight of it’s linked giant eye.


Each station had a voyeuristic-looking scope attached, and the surround-environment was designed to ensure the passer-by understood peeping in to the scope live-streamed their eye to the giant conical LED installation.

However the stations served a greater purpose.


Looking through the scope not only live-streamed the viewer’s eye to the installation, but using a two-way mirror system we were able to present the user with information about the proposed changes to online surveillance legislation, and urge them to visit stopthespies.org. and take a stand.


On 3 October 2014 the bill was passed by the Senate allowing the government to spy on it’s citizens, but not without a clear warning; we’re watching you, watching us.





“Girl with a Pearl Earring” Made Entirely with Masking Tape


Funahara Nasa loves masking tape. The Japanese student who lists her hobbies as “collecting masking tape, accessories making and napping”, probably didn’t get much time for the latter when she made this fantastic reproduction.

Funahara says she made it out of necessity whilst studying at Musashino Art University. Her graphic design class was briefed to create a magazine and she didn’t have a decent cover shot, so she set about raiding her collection of over 450 reels of tape to make the above, and subsequently many more.

via Excite.

Funarhara’s infamous collection: nasa-funahara-masking-tape-8

Insanely Detailed, Hand-Drawn Cross-Section of Kowloon Walled City


Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.44.41 pm

In 1993 Kowloon Walled City, once thought to be the most densely populated place on earth, was demolished.  The high-rise ghetto known as the “brothel of the East”,  was a labyrinth of dark corridors, interconnected dwellings and informal housing.

Prior to demolition a team of inspectors, engineers, and cultural anthropologist Hiroaki Kani, spent a considerable time surveying the city documenting every nook and cranny.

In 1997 Iwanami Shoten and Kowloon City Exploration Team published their findings in  “大図解九龍城 大型本“. It’s pièce de résistance being an amazing  cross-section panorama of the ultra-high-density space.

Explore the sketch in 4716 x 1754 detail.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.42.12 pm Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.42.01 pm Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.42.20 pm

via deconcrete.

Inaugural Prix Net Art Winner: JODI

Congratulations to JODI for winning the inaugural Prix Net Art, an International Award for Net Art.

Explore some of their selected works curtesy of (Prix Art):



A screen of garbled green text looks like a broken website, until the viewer checks the HTML code through the browser’s ‘View Source’ function and realizes that the page is generated from a text drawing of a nuclear missile.

Geo Goo (2008)

A software-driven artwork built on Google Maps that uses “dropped pins” and other features for creating user-generated maps to create a frenetic animation.


asdfg.jodi.org (1998)

An experimental website, using randomly generated ASCII art and Javascript.


For more visit Prix Net Art. PNA is co-organized by Center for Art and Technology (CCIA), Rhizome and TASML | Tsinghua University Art and Science Media Lab.