Hero Design | Meet the Team
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Meet the Team

Alan Rorie, PhD, Principal Designer


In the not-too distant future, people will expect to influence and interact with design. Design isn’t just something you consume. It’s something you participate in.

About Alan Rorie

Alan Rorie is a designer, fabricator, and artist. Trained as a scientist with a PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford, Alan applies his insights into how the brain makes decisions to create products that trigger unforgettable experiences. A self-taught designer and fabricator, he forges objects with a mix of technologies and materials–like interactive walls, electric guitars, flatpack animation stations, and even the occasional rocketship. Alan has been featured in the science journal Nature, the technology and culture publication Wired, and an array of blogs and web-pages. His scientific work has been published in Science, PLoS and The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. He has been a fellow at The Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception, and a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health and New York University. He also produces art under the name Almost Scientific.

Speaking Engagements:

  • Art, Science and Experimentation: A lecture on art and science, and a live experiment of The Uira Engine (November 16, 2010)
  • The Relationship Between Art and Science, National Cancer Institute Fellows Colloquium (March 17-19, 2010)
  • Dog Park Science Part 2: The Neurobiology of Dog Training, The Exploratorium Science Colloquium (December 2, 2009)
  • Science, Art and Bay Area Culture, Seminar on Scientific Visualization at University of Colorado, Boulder (October 8, 2009)
  • Dog Park Science Part 1: The Evolution of Dogs, The Exploratorium Science Colloquium (April 22, 2009)



  • Integration of sensory and reward information during perceptual decision-making in lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP). A. Rorie, J. Guo, J. McClelland and W.T. Newsome. PLoS ONE 5(2): e9308. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009308
  • Can monkeys choose optimally when faced with noisy stimuli and unequal rewards? S. Feng, P. Holmes, A. Rorie and W.T. Newsome; PLoS Computational Biology, 5(2),2009
  • A general mechanism for decision-making in the human brain? A. Rorie and W.T. Newsome; Trends in Cognitive Science; 2005; Feb;9(2):41-3
  • Modulation of oscillatory neuronal synchronization by selective visual attention. P. Fries, J.H. Reynolds, A. Rorie and R. Desimone; Science; 2001 Feb 23;291(5508):1560-3.


Kelly Parkinson, Principal Communicator

About Kelly Parkinson

Kelly Parkinson leads marketing and communications at Hero Design. She has worked with startups in one form or another since 1999. Her work has launched companies like New Relic and Pantheon, along with generating leads for established brands like HP, Salesforce, and Realtor.com. Reach her at kp[at]hero-design[dot]com.