Trained as an architect, Usman is founder and creative director of Umbrellium, a London-based design & build studio dedicated to transforming urban environments.
His work embraces many disciplines, including design, architecture, the internet of things, urban community infrastructure, and large-scale public art/performance. He has created spectacular participatory events and large-scale installations for cities around the world, opening the Singapore Biennale, the Dubai World Cup and Toronto’s Nuit Blanche, and his work has been exhibited internationally. He also heads up strategy and investment for Starling Technologies, Umbrellium's third spin-out, dedicated to pedestrian safety, and Thingful.net, Umbrellium's second spin-out, a search engine for the Internet of Things.
In 2008 he launched the IoT data and community platform Pachube.com, acquired by LogMeIn in 2011. He taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, including the Interactive Architecture Workshop (until 2005) and, with Adam Greenfield, RC12 Urban Design cluster, “Participatory systems for networked urban environments”. He received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize.