When I'm asked the question "what do you do?", I find that the answer I give depends on who's asking. If its an extended relative, then, "I work with computers and make websites and stuff like that". With fellow developer types, its "oh, a little bit of everything… processing, physical computing, video. Used to be flash, and now it's more JS & HTML". Existential philosophers get something more like "does it even matter?". But if I'm asking myself, I still maintain that I'm a creative problem solver that makes use of the best tools available.
What I enjoy doing most is creating polished products that create experiences. Whether it's digital or physical, the finished piece should be finely crafted, intuitive, and surprising.
For over a decade, I've been creating in the digital realm. After obtaining a BS in Digital Design at Philadelphia University, I spent three years at Firstborn Multimedia. While at Firstborn, I developed from a lowly intern in to an awarded developer, and along the way planted the seeds of the in-house video department. After FB, I moved to SarkissianMason and quickly transitioned into the position of Senior Interactive Developer. And now, nearly 5 years later, I'm setting out as a free agent.
On this site, you'll find some more recent selected works.
| work | December 2011
Call me Ishmael, or something, because this was a giant whale of a project. DEDON asked SarkissianMason for a fun piece for their NYC showroom. After a collaborative brainstorm, some refinement, and some R&D we were on our way to building a full-fledged interactive installation that aimed to replicate grass flowing in the 'wind' generated by people moving along the sidewalk. I already had some experience toying around with physical computing, and recently I had the opportunity to fuss with a Kinect and Processing. So naturally I figured that building an interactive sculpture using that tech was 'totally possible'. The following three weeks saw plenty of Processing and Arduino development, soldering, learning about controlling 30 stepper motors asynchronously, and patience. so much patience. At the end of the day, we have what you see in this video: smiling people. As with any ambitious project, there were some false starts (like discovering that a Kinect is blind when looking at natural sunlight, which resulted in having to make a separate application that detected motion during the daytime using RGB data, along with the IR depth sensing program for the nighttime), and some on site debugging after the install. However the final result was a great piece that people genuinely enjoyed, the client loved, and I was happy with.
| work | December 2011
I whipped up this little guy to give as a Christmas gift. It was something that I've wanted to make ever since I came across an example on YouTube. I used parts from the Maker SHED, but supplied my own enclosure. After some quick cuts, sanding, and paint, it was good to go. I probably should have let the paint dry longer… but Christmas waits for no one.
| work | March 2011
This is a mobile projection that populated the streets of Austin during SXSW 2011. Working with CNN, we created an RSS reader that presented customized content. SXSW patrons were presented with local news about SXSW that updated and informed the passing observer. Built as an AIR application, this piece was put together and deployed in one week using reusables from th Sekati API and an auto-updating Automator script that pulled down the most recent SVN build for automatic remote deployment.
| work | February 2011
Ferragamo sought a social solution for the seasonal launch of their W bag. The W List was SarkissianMason's solution: a vote based contest that was socialized via deep Facebook integration. I worked on the front-end / Facebook integration along side Jason Horwitz and Peter Segerstrom for the backend and voting logic.
| work | July 2010-2012
lovehatelove is a demo of the Shopmate Product that was developed while at SarkissianMason. Shopmate at its core is a p2p video / audio / data chat that enables real-time collaborative shopping. Built on Adobe's Cirrus RTMFP service, initial concepts required no money for bandwidth up front, but could scale to FMS via a quick configuration change if needed. Several iterations of the Shopmate platform were developed, including full Flash applications on one end, and a Hybrid JS/HTML/AJAX version with a real-time whiteboard that allowed for collaborative design of outfits based on products pulled in from the Shopstyle API.
| work | January 2010
This project was the result of being tasked by SM's owner, Patrick Sarkissian, to “make something awesome”. Generally, “awesome” implies a great measure of success and increasingly, success on the web is being measured solely on traffic, click-thru rate, and return on investment. Coming from the perspective of the guys that take pride in crafting interactive experiences, we took this idea to its extreme conclusion and decided to make a site that measured inane statistics around our office and present it in a beautiful flash site. In order to accomplish this we built a wireless mesh of Arduino driven devices that detected various physical metrics, we logged passive network statistics, and created a web interface for people in the office to tally human statistics. All of this data was coordinated on a centralized database that served up a custom developed socket server for our flash application to receive live data. Things like elevator door opens vs. elevator button presses, toilet flushes, overheard corporate jargon, bathroom methane levels, and smoke breaks were all tallied and represented on the site. This all added up to the message of “The Quantification of Creativity”.
| work | January 2010
The Web of Secrets is a great little site I made with Roger Braunstein at SarkissianMason. I used FIVE3D for the main menu, and the Sekati framework for the guts. The site let people anonymously submit shameful secrets into the ether. Users could browse through secrets by use of cross relational database that would highlight words in each secret that existed in other secrets. This created an endless web that kept users on the site. Additionally, an iOS app was developed to supplement the site, so that people could add to the database without needing Flash.
| work | September 2009
This was a fast-turnaround site made along side my good friend and cohort Jason Horwitz at SM. Notable things are the custom-built (pre Flash 10) 3D rotations and smart use of bitmap slicing on larger assets for full page turns. Not to mention that we built this piece start to finish in about four days!
| work | September 2008
“Car in a Box” as we called it was one of the first large scale development projects that I led and developed . Working in conjunction with art director Ness Higson, we produced a beautiful FWA winning website that used Papervision 3D, scrubbable 3D video renders, and plenty of old-school Flashy goodness.
| work | September 2008
This was my first full piece with Papervision 3D in Flash, and at SarkissianMason. The cover gallery was a small potential addition to a larger project that was only a value added component, but the client was so happy with the piece that the module remains on their site today. This was a fun project for me because my tinkering informed and led the design process and almost all of the finished piece is in line with the idea that I had developed.