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“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

– Steve Jobs

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Featured Projects

Acura – Race Your Heart Out

On 30, Dec 2016 | In | By phil

Acura – Race Your Heart Out

Race Your Heart Out was the the 2015 Acura Winter Sales event which was a slot car race broadcast on Periscope. Hearts on Periscope controlled the speed of the cars and they raced. I consulted for Razorfish on this project and created the Arduino interface that controlled the speed of the slot cars.

More info from the project website:
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A+D Museum A+D Museum A+D Museum A+D Museum A+D Museum A+D Museum

On 13, Jan 2012 | In | By phil

A+D Museum

Recently a few of my students from the Media Design Program at Art Center and I created an interactive installation for the 10th anniversary of the Architecture+Design Museum. The A+D is a growing institution in the Los Angeles area, and they were having a party for their board and major donors. Two weeks before the event I got a call from museum supporter Garson Yu owner of yU+co, asking to help out in a volunteer effort to create something to show the history of the museum.
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NETLab Toolkit NETLab Toolkit NETLab Toolkit NETLab Toolkit NETLab Toolkit NETLab Toolkit

On 10, Jan 2012 | In | By phil

NETLab Toolkit

The NETLab Toolkit is a system for integrating tangible interaction and media. Designed for project sketching and production, the toolkit enables novices and experts to integrate hardware, media and interactive behaviors for products, installations, and research.
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Interaction Design & Animism Interaction Design & Animism Interaction Design & Animism Interaction Design & Animism Interaction Design & Animism Interaction Design & Animism

On 10, Jan 2012 | In | By phil

Interaction Design & Animism

In Spring 2011, the New Ecology of Things course in the Media Design Program had the theme of animism, and explored how interaction design can utilize the natural tendency to imagine that inanimate objects and spaces have motivation, intention and/or consciousness.  I encouraged my students to design the project behaviors to indicate animism through kinetic expression. They created working, interactive projects with rich materiality, sensors, motors, and light.
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Acura Oracles Acura Oracles Acura Oracles Acura Oracles Acura Oracles Acura Oracles

On 10, Jan 2011 | In | By phil

Acura Oracles

The Acura Oracle project was initiated by MDP alumni Nikolai Cornell at George P. Johnson for the Acura stand at the international auto shows (including Detroit, Chicago, New York, and LA) for the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 exhibitions. It’s a 4 foot round multitouch table that enables a social experience for a group of people.

I participated as a consultant in the initial creative brainstorming and technical definition.
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USC Rossier School of Education USC Rossier School of Education USC Rossier School of Education

By phil

On 10, Jan 2010 | In | By phil

USC Rossier School of Education

The School Performance Dashboard web project was developed for USC’s Center on Educational Governance provides an easy way for educators and others to explore a range of performance metrics for charter schools in California. Each charter school is rated on 12 indicators assessing financial resources and investment; school quality; student performance; and academic productivity. Users can evaluate individual schools; compare the performance of multiple schools; review the performance of a single school across several years; or download the entire data set.
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The New Ecology of Things Class The New Ecology of Things Class The New Ecology of Things Class The New Ecology of Things Class The New Ecology of Things Class The New Ecology of Things Class

On 10, May 2009 | In | By phil

The New Ecology of Things Class

I just wrapped up my The New Ecology of Things class at Art Center’s Media Design Program. The class addressed the design of ubiquitous, massively networked systems – i.e. emerging ecologies of things. Our topic this term was “anti-homogenous” and we looked at heterogeneous alternatives to the mouse, keyboard, screen for specific work and play activities.
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Object & Screen Speculations

On 13, Jan 2008 | In | By phil

Object & Screen Speculations

Update, September 2017: I recently watched this after many years, because I randomly came across a SlideShare from a workshop that David Sherwin and Aaron Rincover ran back in 2010. The workshop was called “Prototyping Interaction with Video Scenarios,” and it references my video as an example of rough prototyping and interaction (slide 16).

When I made the video I was thinking about how to use tangible objects as a way to interact with screens. But what struck me watching it in 2017 is how relevant this kind of interaction is for AR and VR.
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On 10, Jan 2008 | In | By phil

Acura Oracles

The Acura Oracle project was initiated by MDP alumni Nikolai Cornell at George P. Johnson for the Acura stand at the international auto shows (including Detroit, Chicago, New York, and LA) for the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 exhibitions. It’s a 4 foot round multitouch table that enables a social experience for a group of people.

I participated as a consultant in the initial creative brainstorming and technical definition.
Read more…

The New Ecology of Things The New Ecology of Things The New Ecology of Things

On 10, Jan 2008 | In | By phil

The New Ecology of Things

The New Ecology of Things is a research initiative to explore emerging forms of interactive communication brought about by pervasive networks, low cost sensors, and computational capabilities in every object and space. The project began as a studio class hosted by Graduate Media Design, and has evolved into a conceptual model, a forum for discussion, and ongoing series of projects and courses, technological inventions, new issues for pedagogy, and a publication.

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Huntington Library Huntington Library Huntington Library Huntington Library Huntington Library Huntington Library

On 10, Jan 2008 | In | By phil

Huntington Library

This project created two touch screen learning stations installed in the renovated Huntington House on the grounds of the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. Working with an education specialist at the Huntington, we developed projects around exhibits on Silver and Porcelain, targeted at 8-12 year-olds. These touch projects focused on the history and craft of the objects displayed, and involved children in interactive activities such as selecting the kiln temperature to fire the porcelain, or putting their stamp on a silver vase.
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Productive Interaction Experiments Productive Interaction Experiments Productive Interaction Experiments Productive Interaction Experiments Productive Interaction Experiments

On 13, Jan 2007 | In | By phil

Productive Interaction Experiments

I continue working on a series of design sketches that explore the ideas expressed in my essay, Productive Interaction. The main idea is that Interaction Designers should create interactive systems that allow users to create their own meaning space rather than designing scripted experiences. These experimental sketches are sometimes very rough, and other times more refined. They help me as I pursue new ways of interacting, driven by my writing as well as feeding new writing in an ongoing cycle of thinking and making.
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Infiniti Interactive Mirror Infiniti Interactive Mirror Infiniti Interactive Mirror Infiniti Interactive Mirror Infiniti Interactive Mirror Infiniti Interactive Mirror

On 10, Jan 2006 | In | By phil

Infiniti Interactive Mirror

An installation for Infiniti at the International Auto Shows, the Infiniti Interactive Mirror is a 3 screen interface that uses mirrored glass and rear projection to create a seamless large screen touch interface. George P. Johnson created the project with Nikolai Cornell as creative director (MDP alum, based on his thesis project). Nikolai worked with The Designory, MindFlood, and my company Commotion.
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Corporate Delicti Corporate Delicti Corporate Delicti Corporate Delicti Corporate Delicti Corporate Delicti

On 10, Jan 2004 | In | By phil

Corporate Delicti

Corporate Delicti was a group exhibition at Nucleus Gallery around the topic of disillusionment with corporate life. Collaborating with student Colin Owen, we built a system of interactive objects from an office – a copier, file cabinet, and fax machine. Painted gray, each object was made interactive by removing the guts and putting sensors and speakers inside.
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Physical Music Physical Music

On 12, Jan 2003 | In | By phil

Physical Music

Physical Music is a series of projects that explore new kinds of tangible interaction through the idea of enabling non-musicians to play with music. Starting in the late 1990’s, these projects have been a way for me to move from screen interaction design to physical interaction design, as well as learn how to prototype interactive objects and spaces.

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Interval Research (1997) Interval Research (1997) Interval Research (1997) Interval Research (1997) Interval Research (1997) Interval Research (1997)

On 10, Jan 1997 | In | By phil

Interval Research (1997)

I consulted for Paul Allen’s Interval Research Corp. in 1997 and 1998, working for early Apple innovator Joy Mountford, in her group focused on inventing new consumer electronics devices. In particular, we were interested in creating systems for casual music making by non-musicians. As part of this, we designed and built several working prototypes, including the MusicBox project that is written up in Bill Moggridge’s book Designing Interactions.
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ArtCommotion.com (1996) ArtCommotion.com (1996) ArtCommotion.com (1996) ArtCommotion.com (1996)

On 13, Jan 1996 | In | By phil

ArtCommotion.com (1996)

ArtCommotion.com, The Los Angeles Contemporary Arts Magazine was a very early web-based magazine developed by my company.

ArtCommotion is a web magazine and resource exposing contemporary visual and literary art. It focuses on the Los Angeles area and features commissioned art, interviews, weekly news columns, reviews, and classifieds. ArtCommotion is committed to expanding the audience for contemporary art.

For Issue 2, we collaborated with Yoko Ono to create a faux exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art as a 25th anniversary follow-up to her The Museum of Modern FArt another fake exhibition at New York’s MOMA. The exhibition was presented on the website moca.org as if it were officially sanctioned (it was not). We acquired and controlled moca.org first and later gave it to the real MOCA.

Launch Magazine (1994) Launch Magazine (1994) Launch Magazine (1994) Launch Magazine (1994) Launch Magazine (1994) Launch Magazine (1994)

On 10, Jan 1994 | In | By phil

Launch Magazine (1994)

Launch Magazine was one of the first ever interactive publications, first released in 1994. My company was hired by Launch (later Yahoo! Music) to design and develop the magazine, as well as a production pathway so they could release a magazine every month. The magazine featured new music, interviews of bands, interactive advertising sold by its position in the “real estate” of the screens.
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U2 ZooTV (1993) U2 ZooTV (1993) U2 ZooTV (1993) U2 ZooTV (1993) U2 ZooTV (1993) U2 ZooTV (1993)

On 10, Jan 1993 | In | By phil

U2 ZooTV (1993)

For the U2 ZooTV tour in 1993, I and my MusicWorks team at Philips Media (Brett Spivey, Randy Picolet, Mike Diehr) created two interactive projects for the band to use onstage. It’s fun to think about what it was like to make interactive media back then. Keep in mind, this was the year NCSA released the first real web browser called Mosaic, before Photoshop had layers, and when a 650 meg (not gig!) SCSI hard drive was $2500 and the size of a breadbox.
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CD-i Ready Hybrid Music CDs (1991-1993) CD-i Ready Hybrid Music CDs (1991-1993)

By phil

On 15, Jan 1992 | In | By phil

CD-i Ready Hybrid Music CDs (1991-1993)

I led the MusicWorks group at Philips Interactive Media, where I was a Senior Producer developing titles for the Compact Disc Interactive (CD-i) set-top box multimedia platform. As part of our interest in making music titles, we collaborated with the Compact Disc standards group at Philips (the inventors of the CD along with Sony) to invent the first “hybrid” CD format, which included multimedia content on a standard music CD. This format was called CD-i Ready, because the biographies, discographies, videos, games, etc. were in the CD-i format.

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Recording Engineer – Germs, Dils, etc. (1979) Recording Engineer – Germs, Dils, etc. (1979) Recording Engineer – Germs, Dils, etc. (1979)

By phil

On 10, Jan 1975 | In | By phil

Recording Engineer – Germs, Dils, etc. (1979)

On the westside of Los Angeles around 1973, I built a recording studio in my parents garage. It was outfitted with a Dokorder 4 track machine and a Tascam 12×4 mixing console. Initially I was just recording my high school friends (e.g. The Big River Band), but then started getting other paying gigs. These ranged from a 14 piece orchestra recording a film soundtrack, progressive jazz (including brothers Alex and Nels Cline), and some of the earliest LA punk bands.

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