About us

We are a multidisciplinary design group that strives to make experiences which are engaging and inspiring for spaces, places and people. Associate members of the team have been planning and developing exhibitions, brand identities and digital products both locally and internationally for over 26 years. For any given brief we call upon a roster of experienced and talented people to offer clients a start-to-finish approach. Here are some of our key associates:

John Raftery

Creative Director

John Raftery is the founder of Makedot. His intuitive understanding of both interpretation and commercial design, coupled with broad experience, ensures that we deliver consistent and inspirational visitor experiences. John has extensive knowledge across all platforms, having worked in the design industry since graduating from Limerick College of Art in 1996. His twenty-year globe-hopping career has seen him work in New York, Boston, Dublin and Cork. He takes an integrated approach, playing solutions out across varied media chosen for maximum suitability for each unique project. He combines his conceptual creative approach with solid practical skills including exhibition design, identities, branding, way-finding, 3D design, editorial design, typeface design and immersive interactive applications.

His holistic overview ensures a consistent vision is discovered, applied and maintained. John enjoys collaborating closely with clients during this process. John art directed exhibitions including Thomas Hardy’s Birthplace, Dorset, UK; Galway and the Great War, Galway Museum; Fort. St. Angelo, Malta; Irish Whiskey Museum, Dublin; GPO Witness History, Dublin; and Journeys of Exploration, Blackrock Castle, Cork.
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Mark Leslie

Interpretive Planning/Content Specialist

Mark Leslie qualified as an architect at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1977. For the past thirty years Mark has led a uniquely multi-skilled group of narrative architects: architects, researchers, writers, interpretive planners, exhibition designers, graphic artists, filmmakers, computer programmers, lighting and hardware specialists to produce immersive narrative spaces and innovative interactive experiences around the world. Mark’s designed many of Ireland’s most popular, and award winning visitor attractions, including:- Atlantic Edge at the Cliffs of Moher; the Glendalough Visitor Centre; the Life and Work of WB Yeats at the National Library; the Guinness Storehouse; Glasnevin Museum; the Jackie Clarke Collection; Irish Whiskey Museum; and GPO Witness History.

Overseas projects include:- the exhibitions in two successive World EXPO Pavilions;- Nagoya, Japan in 2005; and Shanghai China in 2010; and Winston Churchill – The Power of Words in the Morgan Library in New York. Martello also designed the three principal projects associated with Valletta becoming the 2018 European City of Culture. These are Fort St Angelo; the Esplora Interactive Science Centre; and MUZA, Malta’s new national arts museum.
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Rob Reid

Interactive and Immersive Design

Rob works closely with the design team to help identify where interactive media can be appropriately used to enhance and support the interpretive storyline. Rob firmly believes that technology has a place in story telling but strongly prohibits the use of technology for technology’s sake. From an early stage Rob will help define the role of digital media throughout the experience and will have a central role throughout the project overseeing the design, development, programming and testing of all digital solutions to be implemented.

Rob founded Thought Different in 2017 and has over 20 years professional experience in interactive design and software development. He has worked on many award-winning projects throughout the years and has been an integral part of their interactive elements, from concept to installation. Specialising in developing ideas from the initial storyline, he creates easy-to-use interactive exhibits that invite the audience to engage and explore. From simple interactive games for the younger generations to more complex studies; giving physical artefacts additional context with imagery, video and sound, his work has won many Digital Media Awards over his career. On all his projects, he is involved at every stage and can develop the software personally or works with teams to implement his ideas through to installation.

Apart from years of hands on practical experience, Rob is also a registered Apple Developer and works closely with the digital community in Dublin (and world wide) to explore new techniques, programming languages and developments in the ever-changing digital space.

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Aoife Dorney


Aoife has worked in the storytelling industry for the last 20 years: in academia, design and TV. Her first love is research, and especially in unearthing interesting stories in everyday ephemera. Aoife teaches design in Cork Institute of Technology and has worked in the design industry in New York and Ireland. Previous to that Aoife worked in independent television for Hummingbird Productions on a number of documentaries. Aoife believes that there is an interesting story in everything and is excited by what people say about their own everyday lives. She loves piecing these anecdotes together into animated narratives. Aoife is a member of the Crawford College of Art Research Committee and EFACIS (European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies).