.

I think everyone should go to architecture school. Well, maybe not everyone. But at least people that want to do web design.

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I’ve been a digital creative director for a long time, about 14 years. I have a degree in architecture. It started gathering dust when I graduated.

Around that time, I started a small new media boutique. It was called Circumstance. We did mostly CD-ROM entertainment and first generation websites. We sold that company during the late 90s. That was the thing to do back then.

Then I worked at the company that bought us, Rare Medium, for a while. There were some fun moments at Rare but was mostly a lesson in what not to do if you enjoy the creative process.

When Rare had run its course, I started over. Working with the same partners as before, I started Odopod. The intention was to have a small company that could think big and deliver on it. We really love having all the perks of a small company but also getting to work on long-term fun gigs for brands like Nike Skateboarding and Playstation.

What do you do for inspiration?

I usually go to William Stout books here in San Francisco. I get lost in the stacks, and end up spending too much on a pile of books I can barely carry home.

Q. Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Most of the sites I love aren’t about great design.

• Fail Blog - www.failblog.org - It’s a guilty pleasure to see spectacular failures.

• Drudge Report -www.drudgereport.com - I’m a news junkie and this is the straight dope.

• Grain Edit - www.grainedit.com - I love to look at this blog. You’ll see why.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

I’m super proud of Odopod. It’s a great place to show up every day and a fine group of people. I’m pretty lucky.

What software could you not live without?

A web browser. After that, none.

What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We’re working on some great stuff for Playstation and Zune and Nike. Can’t share a lot on those.

We have another super cool project everyone should know about. It’s for a fascinating new company called Better Place. They sell complete electric car infrastructure systems to governments. The first two are Israel and Denmark. Their goal is to end our dependence on oil. Check it out.

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

On the web, I love the concepts and craft at Big Spaceship and North Kingdom. IDEO is phenomenal for all matter of other stuff.

What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

There are a few answers to this question. For marketing experiences and campaigns, we tend to generate a bunch of traffic from buzz.

On the other hand, sometimes when we redesign a big complex site the traffic can temporarily drop because we’ve made the experience more efficient and clear. I think that ultimately translates into more traffic and better relationships with the audience in the long run.

Who is your target audience?

Most of our work is for young people.

What area of web design lacks the most?

I think the biggest gap in the current landscape is with sites that are conceptually inventive and super high production value but that are also super easy to comprehend and navigate.

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

My first company, Circumstance, had a really strange site at first. That was in 1994. It was a black site with a row of doors. There were no labels or anything. Each door had a surprise or some info. It was completely opaque and confusing, but back then, pretty cool.

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

Probably not.

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

I can’t even remember. These days I work with people smarter than me to make stuff.

Do you think Flash is here to stay?

Yep.

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

I think everyone should go to architecture school. Well, maybe not everyone. But at least people that want to do web design.

They should go to architecture school and study Flash on the side. I say that because I think that a lot of design schools (not all) lack rigor and discipline. That can make people soft in the head. Doing great creative work means being pretty focused and intense.

When your company was just getting started, what did you find was most effective for getting new clients?

Doing great work is the only way to get clients that you want.

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

That’s a question for others some other Odopod peeps.

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

A round of drinks at an Odopod happy hour.

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

Jeans and Nike SBs are my uniform.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Long live The FWA!

It has been a privilege, thanks very much.

That’s not a question. (Editor's note. I just put an "A" in front of your response, technically making it an answer! ;))


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