Nicolas Roope: A respect and passion for clear storytelling

A Global Rich List for ordinary people and the world’s first designer energy-saving light bulb are just some of the work Nicolas Roope does.

Nicolas Roope describes himself as a “multidisciplinary designer, artist, creative person” in an interview at the What Design Can Do Conference in Amsterdam.

He’s the cofounder of Poke, a London-based digital creative company. Roope is also a founding member of Hulger who produced Plumen, the world’s first designer energy-saving light bulb.

Poke is a creative company that lives and breathes technology, that does a lot of social media driven projects, a lot of communications work and “hardcore” service design, ecommerce sites and publishing, among other things. Roope’s projects typically have lots of moving parts and technical complexity.

Roope highlights that his work also has a respect and a passion for the importance of really single-minded, clear stories driving it.

Here he talks about Poke’s Global Rich List, a tool that allows the user to determine where they rank on the world’s global rich list.

Hulger, in turn, works at the crossroads of art, technology and design, Roope says. The company does more artistic projects, like the now-famous phone project. The phone is an amalgamation of a cellphone hands-free kit and an old rotary phone. The phone became a sort of social comment on things “built in obsolescence” and was “a bit of an artistic statement”, Roope says. The public interest in the phone led Roope to create the phone as a design object in different styles.

Then the light idea came along, which is “about switching people on – excuse the pun – to more sustainable lighting technology”. The Plumen is an object that tells its own story, Roope says.

Roope explains the connection between Poke, Hulger and Plumen: “The thing that connects all these businesses is understanding what the network gives you, which is access to the global market place. And this network is not just about buyers, but also about storytelling.”