It is fortuitous that the playground of his imagination came ‘of age’ in step with the pioneering days of Adventure Play – and a career was born.
Early on family-friendly pub chains were identified as prime users of the Soft Adventure Play product and it was Ian who designed the first brewery Adventure Play brand, Brewers Fayre's Jungle Bungle. He went on to develop multiple family brands for all of the main players in the UK brewery/family restaurant market.
Later the ‘play’ leisure market matured with activities beyond soft play, aimed at older participants interested in sophisticated and strategic fun mock battles. Laser Tag arrived in the early 90s, and Ian was busy designing themed sites from London to Cape Town, Thailand to Japan, Manchester to Leigh.
Friendship with Nick Brunt, a founder of Laser Quest, brought about Smart Entertainment and development of the Smart Booking System which remains the benchmark booking system for Adventure Play and Laser Tag facilities.
Now, in partnership with Norman Wallis, he’s saving the best till last.
Ian admits he’s hooked on creating truly immersive environments; bespoke-designed ‘other worlds’ that kick-start the imagination and deliver a totally believable experience.
He’s designed family entertainment centres, theme parks, rides, visitor attractions, night clubs and shops.
Every day is a workout for a phenomenally fertile imagination. And when he’s not designing the fields of fun for the future, he’s playing in his band or writing children’s books.