MadLab The Team

The Team

Rachael Turner, Director

Rachael is the closest thing MadLab has to a CEO. One of the original founders back in 2009 she took  a break from the UK to work as a Producer at Al Jazeera in Qatar before returning in 2011. Since her return, she has been instrumental in MadLab’s continuing development – helping MadLab to become a Community Interest Company, launching a range of new initiatives in education, outreach and research, as well as putting together an ongoing programme of refurbishment.

Rachael’s background is television production and journalism. At Al Jazeera English she produced the station’s weekly business and economics programme, Counting the Cost, and made programmes about the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Mavi Marmara and the last week of Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt, Egypt Burning: Fall of Mubarak, which was shortlisted for Best Documentary at the Monte Carlo TV Awards. She also series-produced the critically-acclaimed short film series, Frames.

Before this, Rachael was a Producer and Director at the BBC where she worked on current affairs documentaries, such as Force Fed (This World, BBC2) and for Panorama. She also worked to re-open cases into alleged child abuse (Stolen Babies, BBC1) and uncovered unethical dog breeding practices that led to Crufts being taken off network television.

In 2012, Rachael gave a talk to the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate about perceptions of amateur biotechnology (DIYbio) in the media in San Francisco.

Contact Rachael at

Asa Calow, Director

Asa is a creative technologist, civic hacker, DIY biologist, lapsed mathematician and one of MadLab’s founders. A MadLab hacker-in-residence, Asa is responsible for new project development – looking for interesting emergent technologies which have the potential to be misappropriated and re-applied in a community innovation context. He is a part of MadLab’s professional development team, running regular creative technology workshops and assisting in the technical aspects of project delivery.

Asa found himself accidentally in the technology industry at the tail end of last century. Since then he has worked for a range of NGOs, award-winning creative agencies and startups – delivering projects for a range of public and private clients including UK Gov, KPMG, AstraZeneca and Manchester Art Gallery amongst others.

When not making e.coli glow in the dark or sending balloons into space, Asa can be found tinkering with embedded electronics and getting to grips with Modernist Cuisine. He makes an excellent Manhattan.

Contact Asa at