One thing that I always notice is that as soon as one brand campaign does something, the competitor brands end up doing the same thing whether it is the concept, the design, or the execution.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I am 30 years old and I live in NYC with my wife JiHyun.

I work as a Senior Creative Developer on the Nike account for R/GA. I also teach the Advanced ActionScript course at the Parsons New School for Design.

Prior to moving to NYC in 2003, I lived in Boston for a while where I worked with the Barbarian Group, Arnold, and a few other shops.

Not only did I have the opportunity to work with a great selection of people, but I also had the opportunity to collaborate on projects for Volkswagen, Nike ACG, Saturn, Hummer, Royal Caribbean, and Verizon.

During this time-period, I was also teaching various courses in Emerson College’s Visual Arts department.

My educational background is in avant-garde and experimental cinema. I have a MA in Visual Arts from Emerson College and a BA from Western Connecticut State University.

Pretty much immersed myself in film theory, semiotics, and the critical analysis of film aesthetics.

I broadened more into interactive work/video installations while I studied for my masters, but was more focused on the video installation aspects.

I was born and raised in a small town in upstate New York.

  What do you do for inspiration?

Good question. I don’t really search for inspiration, but try to let it happen naturally.

I feel that if one searches too hard for inspiration, what are they actually being inspired by? It ends up mimicking too much of the original source, or something that you were already pre-thinking to be inspired by.

This to me is neither inspiration, nor innovation. Instead, I try to constantly surround myself with inspiring, innovative people from various backgrounds and disciplines, so that a collaborative effort can happen.

I also live in NYC, which provides an immense amount of daily inspiration – lots of energy. Everything in the city contains a vibe – the architecture, the people, the sounds, the smells, the neon reflections in the puddles, the late afternoon shadows, the list goes on.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

There are quite a few sites out there today that I really admire. Rather then select 3 single sites, the following sites help to feed my appetite for design, technical information, and great content on a daily basis:


9zaku MobileSuits

A great collection of interactive links primarily coming out of China, Japan, and Korea.



A great collection links that document and explore ‘creative information visualization’.



A good friend of mine, Liquidrice, actually runs this site. This site encapsulates much of the culture represented in the current target audience that I am working with these days. The site helps keep me in the loop during busy times. :)

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Oh…that is a little too early to say, but I will say it is just around the corner.

Q. What software couldn't you live without?


  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

In regards to R/GA, there are quite a few good projects about to be released, but I can not comment on those at the time. Be sure to keep an eye on these throughout 2006.

On the personal side, I have been doing a lot of research on my own with data visualization, mobile, and general Flash > API work/research.

I never really dove too deep into Processing, so I plan to continue these studies with the Flash 8 engine, which will allow me to execute these ideas.

I literally have a folder on my desktop that contains about half a dozen projects that I need to complete for myself this year. My New Years resolution is to try and spend more time on personal projects and get these out the door – fingers-crossed.

  Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

There are quite a few shops out there that are definitely well versed in their areas of discipline. These shops are doing great jobs on projects and killing the competition.

I would have to say for design; I have always been more attracted to print based companies such as Buro Destruct, Neasden Control Centre, and the IDN series for their design features. I am always amazed by the quality of talent represented in these books/magazines.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Based on the campaigns that I have been working as of lately, there is a little more excitement surrounding the designs/executions. We are definitely seeing a significant peak in traffic these days, especially around specific products/athletes that we are promoting.

The Nike Basketball account is somewhat of a unique account, since our directions also revolve around athletes and their weekly games.

If an athlete does well, we aim to promote that in one way or another, and in return our loyal users will check back to see what we have. We try to keep a good relationship with our users and monitor their feedback quite often, thus resulting in a better experience for them.

It is quite an exciting account to work on.

  Who is your target audience?

My current target audience is mostly males between the ages of 14-24. A majority of them are fairly tech savvy, but like to have immediate messaging presented to them.

They know the ins/outs of the web, they role around with a Sidekick in one hand and a PSP in the other. They know both the current trends and are immersed in athletic culture.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I would probably say that the integration of innovative ideas/technology into larger scale campaign sites.

This could be anything from mobile/web concepts that go beyond the typical download ringtones/wallpapers, to websites that can communicate with digital signage/kiosks, to the proper integration of large scale video, etc…

Don’t get me wrong though, there a lot of shops out there that are fore-fronting these areas, but a lot of the larger campaign sites are not taking advantage of these opportunities.

This helps open up the door to new original ideas as opportunities are made possible along with technologic growth.

One thing that I always notice is that as soon as one brand campaign does something, the competitor brands end up doing the same thing whether it is the concept, the design, or the execution.

We just need more variety in this area and one way of doing this is to keep pushing the envelope.

  What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

I still remember what it looked like, but I hope it is not online anymore -- lots of lens flares and plastic wrap filters. :)

  Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

I have not written any books and don’t really plan to in the near future.

I’ve been busy teaching and writing my own lectures/tutorials each semester, trying to keep everything fresh and up-to-date for the students.

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

This past year, Nike Basketball just launched a data visualization of the entire Nike Basketball Family, which contained some pretty intense data to work with in Flash.

The challenge of the project was to map all the connecting data between the athletes, shoes, teams, colleges, hometowns, and games.

It resulted in a fairly robust build, which the other Flash developer, Charles Duncan, and I worked on in the background as we focused on other Nike campaign initiatives.

Along the way, we were faced with quite a few legal challenges due to licensing, so we were continually reprogramming aspects of the shell.

To accomplish this build, we produced a fairly extensive AS2.0 class system that would easily accommodate variations of growth overtime and also handle large amounts of XML and live feeds.

Based off this data, there are approximately 600+ unique assets to manage and load, so if anything this was a great challenge in both file and programming management.

It was a huge team effort on all angles and we have quite a small team. Richard Ting helped spearhead this project as well.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Flash is a tool. Everything goes through evolution, so I believe Flash will continue to evolve and be the tool that helps us put out great work.

At a certain point, this tool could get replaced, depending on the needs of the web, or it could morph into something even much greater.

However, our creativity as a community is always here to stay.

  What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

Good question...I have had this debate with friends many times.

To be honest, some of the best people I know did not go to design school and they are very successful in this industry. Don’t get me wrong, education is extremely important and absolutely needs to be a necessity, but you can not teach talent.

An education in design will help grow talent, but so does dedication and self-discipline towards one’s goals.

It all goes back to how you apply yourself towards something and how bad you want it. You could go to design school, slack off, and then come out and be in worse shape then someone who worked hard in a non-design oriented school.

I have seen this quite a few times. Yes, there are core fundamentals that one could learn in design school, but a lot of those one can learn on their own, through personal research and/or peer teaching.

It is the dedication and time that allows one to grow in the direction that they want to study. A good mentor in the mix doesn’t hurt either.

  How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

A few things…peer teaching, personal research, self-discipline, and always challenge yourself in all that you do.

Stay well versed in all areas of design, programming, concepting, and outside of web media executions to stay ahead of the ball.

Most importantly, never let technology or limitations in technology persuade your creativity.

  What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

Friday night drinks.

  What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

No labels. I mainly look for the quality in a product, something that is worth the investment.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

“When studying a forest, you should not just study one tree as you will not see the forest, but if you spend too much time studying the forest you will miss the finer details of the tree”.

Someone close to me told me this and it pretty much sticks with me.

  It's been a privilege, thanks very much.

Thank you. It’s been a pleasure. :)

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