Follow us
To enhance the unquantifiable aspects of life: empathy, wellbeing, delight, with meaningful design and invention.
Cancer Research UK
Design Council
Design Museum
Gareth Pugh
Innovate UK
Leo Pharma
St Mungo's
The Feelies
Ultimate Ears
University of Oxford
Special Projects
We are a design and invention consultancy founded by creative director and industrial designer Clara Gaggero Westaway and experience designer and magician Adrian Westaway.

Our mission is to enhance the unquantifiable aspects of life: empathy, wellbeing, delight, with meaningful design and invention. To achieve this we leverage human insight, technology and the thought process of magicians.

Our work is conceptually rigorous and blurs the boundaries between industrial, experience and interaction design to create products and environments that bring value for our clients and add meaning to the lives of the people we design for.
Clara Gaggero Westaway
Co-founder & Creative Director
Clara is an intrepid designer, inventor and creative director committed to enriching the lives of people through hopeful product innovation.

Whether this means helping the elderly to engage with technology, reimagining the playground, or devising systems that help us focus on the present, Clara’s concepts bring empathy, optimism and clarity to where society needs it.

The daughter of a mechanical engineer and a fashion boutique owner, she studied industrial design in Italy before setting up her own fashion label in Berlin, only to get back into design engineering a few years later, this time in London. Consequently, her design method is defined by an unparalleled ability to integrate seemingly disparate realms and elements: art and engineering, purpose and aestheticism, the physical and the digital.

When she’s not the colourful and multifaceted co-founder and creative director of Special Projects, Clara is a spirited design-thinking speaker and visiting senior lecturer at the Royal College of Art and at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and a faculty member of Oxford University Said Business School OSLP.
Adrian Westaway
Co-founder & Director of Technology and Magic
Adrian is an inventor, engineer and experience designer on a mission to make the human-technology interaction meaningful and delightful.

As co-founder of Special Projects he harnesses technology, inclusive research and magic thinking to devise design propositions that feel familiar yet wondrous.

A self-taught magician since the age of 11 and full member of the Magic Circle, he relentlessly pursues his conviction that “designers should use magic thinking and try to introduce surprise, delight and fuzzy feeling in the things they create.”

After becoming the first ever James Dyson Fellow in 2007, and a Fellow of the Royal Commission of 1851, in 2010, for his work on interactive lighting systems, Adrian built a playground in Peru, had whisky with Derren Brown as a student in Bristol, and tried to make his teachers disappear.

His contagious passion for magic and engineering made him a beloved tutor and lecturer in Design & Innovation at Queen Mary University and the Royal College of Art, in London and a visiting faculty member at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. There he teaches ‘Magic and Design’, a nomadic workshop where students are introduced to methods of using design and technology to create enchanted products and experiences.
Alexa Münch
When she’s not in the studio working on user research and product development, Alexa can be found flying an airplane, playing volleyball or working on a prototype for a smart tent in her bedroom.

A glider pilot since age 16, Alexa would have followed in the footsteps of her aviator dad, hadn’t it been for her burning interest in art and engineering. Moving to London from Germany to pursue her passions, she gained degrees in Design and Innovation from Queen Mary University and Goldsmith College, London. She is now an emerging inventor and product designer whose ideas are shaped by an unabashed sense of adventure.
Laura Hollis-Ryan
Client Services & Marketing Lead
With a background in project management, production and marketing, Laura is our super-organised Client Services and Marketing Lead. Her early career saw her producing films for a silversmith, running campaigns for an International think tank and creating content for a cereal brand, as well as managing a national grant fund for the Arts Council.

Before joining Special Projects Laura worked on a variety of projects for social good including the launch of a charity promoting employment for people with convictions, a campaign for environmentally aware eating and an eco kids brand.

When she’s not at Special Projects creating projects with new clients she can be found negotiating with her two small children in Peckham where she lives with her husband and extensive fridge magnet collection.
Catalina Larkins
Visual Communication Designer
Born in Johannesburg, South-Africa, but having family in Argentina, Belgium and Germany, adventure-seeker Catalina travelled the world while growing up, becoming fluent in several languages and developing deep-rooted wanderlust.

As a result of her many interactions with various cultures, one of Catalina's superpowers is being very good with people.

Her empathy and hopeful outlook make her a perfect fit for Special Projects where she is creating delightful visual design that covers the entire physical-digital experience, from packaging and print through to apps and websites. Design aside, Catalina can be found illustrating, running, or exploring her new hometown, London.
Matteo Bandi
Product Designer
Figuring out your true calling fresh out of secondary school is no easy job and polymath-in-the-making Matteo, knows that for a fact. Unable to decide on one career path, he instead went for all and after finishing his A-levels took admission tests for every course he was interested in: medicine, vet school, psychology, architecture, agricultural studies and design. Luckily for us, destiny played its part and he chose design, something he's now grateful for.

Joining Special Projects and being able to design for other people feels almost like a privilege, he thinks. Going out and talking to people, being allowed into their world, are the parts of the process that he enjoys most.

When he's not at the studio helping shape the next invention, Matteo can be found playing the piano or the ukulele or experimenting with video, a medium he's fascinated by.
Catalina Bolozan
Catalina Bolozan
A psychologist by training, Catalina has a knack for deconstructing human experiences into stories – a skill that rubbed off on her from her nan, herself a keen storyteller and beekeeper.

Her inquisitive nature, coupled with a mild obsession for glam-rock prompted her to leave her native Romania and move to London in her mid 20s. Career highlights from her first years there include: performing at Tate Modern, becoming fluent in Argentinian Spanish, and profiling Brian Ferry for a culture magazine.

At Special Projects she uses storytelling to reveal deep insights about our processes and people, building compelling narratives that facilitate the transfer of knowledge between us and our clients and collaborators.
Selected Print Press
Creative Review February 2017: The Age Issue
Project featured: NEW OLD Exchange
Réinventer Lego
Project featured: Bit Planner
The Art of Calendar Design
Project featured: Bit Planner
Flat World Navigation: Collaboration and Networking in the Global Digital Economy
Interview with Clara Gaggero Westaway
Design Diversity Exhibition Catalogue
Project featured: Out of the Box
Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity
Project featured: Out of the Box
Download Press Images
Please use the links below to download press images for each project. To use online for non-commercial purposes please credit fully and email a notice to the address below. For print, video and commercial purposes please contact us by email.
Adrian Press Portraits
Clara Press Portraits
All Projects
Clara & Adrian Press Portraits
Studio Press Portraits