The Digital Disruptor

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Alternative-Photonics is the creative practice of Mark Wrigley. It aims evangelise science and technology to people of all ages. Products and services are designed to engage, enthuse and help individuals benefit from a better understanding of science in society and business. Our projects demonstrate what can be achieved by enthusiasts and makers. Throughout his career, Mark has been at the forefront of digital change and wants show that disruption is an ongoing process of innovation and something to be embraced.

Activities include:-

  • Organising and attending science and maker events (outreach).
  • Using social media, including crowd funding, to promote science and small business.
  • Developing products for the home scientist and maker.
  • Presenting talks on science, disruptive technology and small business start up.
  • Photographic and video services.


The PiKon Telescope


In 2014, Alternative-Photonics developed a 3D printed telescope with Raspberry Pi camera for Sheffield University’s ‘Festival of the Mind’. Described by the university’s engagement team as “one of the two showcase projects of the festival”, the “Disruptive Technology Telescope” attracted considerable press attention and went on to be successfully crowd funded as “PiKon’, a home construction kit for the citizen scientist and maker.

PiKon web site



We organise and attend maker fairs, science fairs, and promote science and technology at alternative venues such as arts festivals. The accent is on meaningful engagement and we target people of all ages. We have recently introduced a ‘maker’ element, giving the opportunity for visited to make a science related item and take it home. In 2016, Mark Wrigley (founder) was awarded the Nations and Branches Prize by the Institute of Physics for excellence in outreach.

Me Outreach



We deliver talks on science, disruptive technology, innovation, social media, crowd funding and business start up.

Disruptive Technology Telescope – Festival of the Mind

Disruptive Technology – A job for life? – TEDx Sheffield

The Magic of Serendipity – Creative Mornings, Sheffield

Sheffield SOUP – An interview with Mark Wrigley

Future Projects

Apollo 405


In the late 1960s, the founder of Alternative-Photonics recorded the sound track of the Apollo moon landing programme on reel-to-reel audio tape and photographed images from a 405 line, black and white t.v. which was the British standard of the time. Long before commercial video recorders, 8mm movie film was made to record the moments of the moon landings.

This archive of recordings still exist today and to preempt the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, the Apollo 405 project will digitise these recordings and make them available for sharing.

Important elements of the project will be developing a method of digitising 8mm film which is suitable for home use and a comparison between 1960s science reporting and todays media coverage.