Sean O’Connor

Partner and Studio Lead

Sean O’Connor is a Partner at Smart Design, heading up the London studio. An advocate of designing a better world, Sean’s twenty-year career spans the intersection of business and brand with design and technology. Over the last decade at Smart he has been a leading voice in the industry guiding organizations of all sizes to grow their in-house design capability, as well as bring to market dozens of integrated product and service experience programs that generate tangible impact to real world challenges.

Sean is responsible for overseeing Smart’s European business, working with our client partners to realize the power of design and champion it throughout their organizations. Executives often lean on Sean’s particular expertise in leveraging design to create exceptional customer experiences across a brand’s many touch points. Combining a unique mix of innovation, design, brand strategy and commercial perspectives, Sean’s manager ensures that the projects his teams deliver are activated purposefully across his clients’ businesses.  

A global thinker that has worked in New York, San Francisco, London and Barcelona, Sean previously worked as a group account director at HAVAS WORLDWIDE in addition to other boutique brand and digital firms. He’s consulted across a variety of industries including finance, healthcare, media, and transportation for brands such as Clorox, Ford, Groupe SEB, HP, Johnson & Johnson, UCB, Nestlé, Microsoft, P&G, Telefonica, and Unilever.

Sean frequently contributes to publications such as BRANDWEEK and Fast Company, writing on the intersection of design and healthcare innovation, and marketing. He guest lectures on panels globally to share his expertise on engaging customers in new dialogues through innovation, and the emotional connections that good design creates.  

Sean studied communications and design at the University of North Texas and conducted graduate level media studies at The New School in New York.