Group Director, Johannesburg
Marcel is the Group Director for Fjord Johannesburg, and has been an active participant in design and innovation, brand communications and digital marketing for over 20 years. His love for digital started straight out of college in 1998, and he’s never looked back. Initial adventures found him diving into creative code, where imagination collided with the world of trigonometry. A glorious time of play and experimentation eventually led to building a RnD team in 2008 for the largest digital agency in South Africa at the time, Aqua Online.
Moving from the world of designing with code to an extended run as Creative Director was rewarded in 2010 with a Gold Loerie in the Integrated campaign category for MTN, the largest cellular network in Africa. Ironically, in the same year, a watershed moment at SXSW2010 served as catalyst for a re-evaluation of the digital agency construct, venturing into new forms of brand communications and content through the vehicle of his own creation – Molasses Media.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, and running a small consultancy, Marcel relished in the challenges and various facets of advising organisations on their brands and services, and creating new experiences. At this time, curiosity about the design of complex service ecosystems, and the role of design within business started getting the better of him. Service Design was waiting just around the corner…
So it happened then, towards the end of 2013, that Marcel had the fortunate encounter with a then fledgling Fjord presence in South Africa at a major financial institution. Initiated and lead by Fjord London, it proved to be a moment that would set him out on a course towards becoming a Service Design Lead on the project, and the Fjord representative in South Africa.
Over the next 5 years Marcel set out to build the design and innovation capability for Accenture Interactive. Garnering 2 Gold Loeries in the Service Design category in 2017 and 2018, and with ample momentum, a dream was realized when Fjord Johannesburg studio launched in the market in September 2018, with a team of 27 talented designers – a proud and special moment.
Of late, his focus has been primarily in fields of design strategy and related methodologies, and the fostering of design lead innovation and leadership within large organisations. He’s interested in the role of language and culture in finding new and bespoke ways in approaching design and innovation for Africa, and believes passionately in the role of design in unlocking abundance for the continent.
In his spare time he maintains a reasonable level of sanity by playing and listening to music. He also has the privilege of partaking in the adventures of rearing teenage twins.