Founder / Creative / Strategist
Phil has been creating and fostering community since he was a lad, its in his blood, whether it was the Pirate Club he started in primary school (2 Chapters); the vinyl obsessives he brought together in secondary school; the parties he threw in sixth form, college and beyond; the holistic campaigns he wrote and ran for the Drop The Debt; the cult cinema screenings he organised, before they were a thing; the campaigns for record labels; the talks, workshops, gigs, music and performances that were part of the Pin-up Bowling events, or the pop-up version he took on the road; the Manchester summer and winter bars he co-designed and ran; the brand activations he art directed; or the placemaking strategies and activities at Spinningfields, Old Granada Studios and Leeds Dock.
He trained in Marketing and Communications, Graphic Design and Design For Communications and as such is obsessed with messaging, identity, fine details and typography.
Phil's extensive network allows This Must Be The Place to expand and contract to suit each brief.
“During his time working for me at Leeds Dock, Phil's ability to create and define the digital vision was instrumental in us achieving our desired goals. His work on the brand, marketing and supporting events programme resulted in Leeds Dock becoming the centre for digital enterprise and culture in Leeds."
Tim Gee, Director, Allied London
“As a Development Director with Allied London I was impressed with the Placemaking strategies that Phil conceived and delivered at Leeds Dock and proposed for the Old Granada Studios Manchester developments. His understanding of what builds a brand and his in-depth knowledge of culture, married with his ability to understand an audience, makes his work exciting and effective. His enthusiasm for his area of expertise and ability to flex his approach in response to rapidly changing situations makes him a great guy to work with and to have on your team."
Greg Attwood, Director, Turner & Townsend (Ex-Allied London)
“For the first time since our launch, in 2012, we found in Phil a partner who understood digital art and its potential to engage large communities right across the spectrum.
This included an unprecedented, citywide programme of outreach to families and children, artists, art lovers, students, curators and people who might enjoy seeing interactive art in a public space.
At every step of the way, we found Phil Dawson professional and sympathetic to the needs of our artists, our tech crew and the Lumen Prize’ objectives – from his passionate curation of work from our rosta to the way he found ways to connect the work of our artists to marketing opportunities.
He had a natural understanding of and passion for how artists approach the blend of art + technology. By researching and understanding the pieces in our collection and their messages he was able to curate a selection of 8 works that related to the vision and direction of Leeds Dock, the Leeds Digital Festival and Allied London, that at the same time were hugely engaging for a public audience and desirable for the media."
Carla Rapoport, Director & Founder, The Lumen Prize