In February of 2010, a few weeks after Steve Jobs was on stage introducing the iPad for the first time, we were called in to Apple headquarters to present our vision for Inkling to Jobs himself. At that time, Inkling had been in business for about four months, time spent exploring how we can translate and improve the user experience of introductory college textbooks on a new tablet-style device.
Inkling was a team of about eight people at the time. We debated implementing something to run in the simulator to show Steve live, but we weren’t ready. Instead, we came armed with a document, which came to be known internally as the “SteveBook.” This book laid out our vision for the Inkling app and platform. It included ideas for how digital learning content can be made more modular, into “cards” that can be reshuffled depending on whether a student is reading a chapter for the first time or studying and reviewing the material later.
While the v1.0 of the Inkling iPad app that launched six months later was different in some aspects, the initial vision was intact, and the SteveBook still served as an important reference point for several years of the app’s evolution.
This one-minute long typographic animation was developed for the Centers for IBM e-business Innovation. The video asks prospective IBM clients to rethink their assumptions about their e-business strategies through a series of questions.
Jens Gelhaar created a custom horizontal-bar typeface based on Paul Rand’s iconic IBM logotype. The concept for the motion piece involved recombining and reimagining the architectural bars of this face in different typographic landscapes.
I created these animations using custom OpenGL software, capturing from the screen, then sending the sequences to an editor to color, light, and compose the final piece.
Money Plus is an interactive installation created in 2003 that looks for money on the Internet, by querying the Google search engine in real time. This piece revisualizes and recontextualizes a simple web search into a dynamic, dimensional typographic space. Viewers can ask for money + another term, for example, ‘money and the meaning of life.’ These new searches appear instantaneously in the reimagined ‘web space’ of the piece.
Money Plus received an honorable mention prize for Net Art in the 2004 Prix Ars Electronica.
In this interactive, animated map of European countries, the height of the country can be changed dynamically according to one of five data sets: GDP, tourism dollars, European identity, number of Starbucks locations, and cell phone usage.
I worked on a team with Elise Co and Paul Yarin to develop the Samsung Cyber Brand Showcase and Cyberconduits. The concept of the project was to link the physical and online experiences of exploring Samsung products at the Time Warner Center in New York City and online at an interactive portal. As a team, we designed and produced the hardware and software from scratch in four months for the grand opening of the Samsung Experience in the fall of 2004.
Developed in consultation with Imagination Inc. and John Maeda
This large touchscreen kiosk for the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School serves as a useful resource for the PennVet community. Visitors can access up-to-date announcements, events, and other information from a centrally-located graphic touch display. Developed the screen designs, animations, and Flash application programming.
In this interactive exhibit developed for the Honda Pavilion at the 2008 LA Auto Show, visitors could watch a safety test crash of the 2008 Accord. By scrubbing through the video of the crash with a crank wheel, they could review information about the vehicle’s safety features. My responsibilities included art direction, graphic design, and animation.
Created with Small Design Firm and George P. Johnson Company.
This self-initiated project involved the creation of a new phonetic alphabet for the English language that stemmed from the idea of sound symbolism.
About Sound Symbolism
Modern-day linguists believe that there is no inherent relationship between a word and what it signifies. “Dog” could mean cat, for instance, or vice versa. Poets and marketing experts alike think otherwise—the sounds that words make can evoke images and elicit an emotional impact for a listener.
A cognitive psychology experiment first conducted in 1929 by Köhler gives evidence to the claim that phoneme sounds are not arbitrary, that the basic components of speech might themselves carry some kernel of meaning. When asked to match two images like these to the invented words maluma and takete, over 95% of respondents matched maluma with the image on the right and takete with the one on the left. The experiment suggests that a cross-sensory mapping, a kind of synesthesia, may take place when we use language.
This project, called Takeluma, is a phonetic writing system for representing the sounds of English. In this system, when phonemes are spoken, they leave their mark on a continuous line of sound. Takeluma is an attempt to give shape to the sounds of speech and the hidden meanings they convey.
These experiments in computational typography were based on my coursework from a class John Maeda taught at the MIT Media Laboratory in the fall of 1997. Type me, Type me not received a gold award from the 1998 ID Magazine Interactive Media Design Review. The original project was a Java Applet, and I ported it to P5.js in 2016.