Hello and welcome. My name is Jason and I’m a designer, software programmer, interactive artist and entrepreneur. My current focus is health related startups. You’ll often find me at the coal-face.
I have been known to specialise in interactive design, working with a diverse range of clients from Universities and Local Governments, to families and individuals. I’ve created immensely popular interactive installations, featured in public exhibition and in online media publications.
Prior to all of this I worked to design and build new architectural spaces, helping families define and realise their own personal definition of home. My work has been exhibited in Edinburgh, London, Pittsburgh and Sydney including the Edinburgh University Architecture gallery, Tap Gallery, Sydney Customs House as well as the ’09, ’11, ’12 and ’13 editions of the Vivid Sydney festival.
For an (im)partial chronology, see below;
This is the year everything changes (again). In April Sensorium releases BrightHearts for iOS to the world, enjoying modest success in the wearable-focussed health app market. Bruce and I continue to work on several promising projects, with one clear standout project that becomes Dresden Optics. In July I focus the bulk of my attention on Dresden, creating product prototypes, building a world class team and giving shape to the wildest of Bruce’s ideas. This year I turn 30, propose to my future wife & spend 3 months living in Tweed Heads.
In 2013 I launched into freelance design mode, collaborating on very cool projects with some very smart people. All very hush-hush. In addition to new freelance opportunities, I created a few new interesting projects with friends. In February Frank Maguire and I launched Divergent Minds, a weekly podcast focussed on design & user experience. In May Frank, Liam Ryan and myself launched dtf. and Morphic Mirror simultaneously, the former a new artist collective and the latter an interactive artwork created for Vivid Sydney.
In July I formally join Sensorium Health as a co-founder and Director, helping George Khut build his artwork BrightHearts into a stress management app you can fit in your pocket. Development for BrightHearts begins and naturally, we underestimate how long it will take to bring to market. In mid 2013 I also launch Creative Agency, an interview format podcast featuring founders of successful companies, designed to put you in the prime position to hear founders share their stories. What did they learn, how did they build to success, what would they do differently? I publish a solid 15 episodes of the podcast before the airways go quiet. In late 2013 I meet Bruce Jeffreys, co-founder of GoGet, for a Creative Agency interview. He spots something special in me & we begin collaborating almost immediately.
In 2012 I spent 9 months travelling around the world with my partner. Highlights from the trip include an incredible month in Ethiopia (and being cast as Jesus in a gospel music video), swimming with sea lions and sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands and climbing to the top of a ‘sacred’ volcano on Easter Saturday in Guatemala. If you’re thinking about taking time off to travel the world, there’s no time like the present.
In 2011 I became a full-time designer in the Urban Informatics team at Arup, working alongside some very smart and talented people. In late 2011 I led an internal business incubation lab designed to springboard the UI team within the business. This year also saw the creation of a new light-based artwork, Social Firefly, designed for the Vivid Sydney lighting festival. Social Firefly was a massive hit, resonating with festival-goers and lovers of cool robot projects worldwide.
In 2010 I continued working with the UI team at Arup, having a hand in some pretty cool projects. Towards the end of the year I found myself piloting a hand-crafted hang-glider/tent in the Sydney Red Bull Flugtag competition. This involved designing and building a bamboo structure that could transform from a tent into a fully fledged and flight-capable hang-glider, the craft needing to be able to transform in less than 20 seconds. We flew 15m into the Sydney Harbour on a beautiful spring day. No biggie. In the design development stages I also decided to create a mock 2D wind tunnel simulator in c++, to simultaneously help understand the flight dynamics of wind on aerofoils and to learn c++. It was a barely successful wind tunnel sim, but the experience was immensely rewarding and helped me learn how to climb the steep c++ learning curve (paving the way for future software projects).
In that year I was involved in the installation of Volume, a light/sound sculpture created by UVA. I was on hand to help the UVA team assemble their light columns, run and install the extensive cabling as well as generally being the ‘dogs-body’ for the artists. It was a heck of a lot of fun and gave me a real insight into the logistics of large scale public artworks.
Around this time I was asked by Dan Hill to join his Urban Informatics team at Arup. I jumped at the chance to work with Dan, pausing my interactive architecture PhD in search of juicier problems to solve.
In April I was invited to collaborate with Tom Barker, Hank Hauesler and Frank Maguire to create Janus, an interactive light sculpture, created for the inaugural Smart Light Sydney festival. Frank and I worked around the clock to design the software smarts powering the interactive elements of a remarkable yet poorly designed light sculpture. The work was hampered by weather and other factors, but it was my first big scale project collaborating with Frank, so well worth the pain.
In May I collaborated with Joanne Jakovich to create Smart Light Fields, an interactive city-scale artwork, created to highlight the movement of people throughout the festival areas. It was built using processing and relied heavily on Bluetooth (I wouldn’t recommend putting yourself in the capricious hands of the Bluetooth stack), elicited many excited responses from festival-goers and was a whole lot of fun to do.
In 2008 I graduated from the Master of Architecture program at UTS in Sydney. It was certainly the hardest thing I’d ever done, at the time — so, cheers all round.
In April I was asked to join the 2nd Porosity Studio heading to Edinburgh, Scotland. This was lead by the inimitable Richard Goodwin and will remain the first and coolest mind-expanding thing I have had the pleasure to do. I met and collaborated with some amazing people, who remain my good friends to this day.
In 2007 I was mainly preoccupied with the completion of my masters’ thesis in architecture. It was a nightmare, I don’t recommend this form of self torture to anyone.
In the first half of the year I had the good sense to collaborate with two friends (Jessica Marsden-Smedley and Rachael Hemmings) in the creation of a short film titled “Architecture Delirium”. It may even still be archived somewhere online, should you choose to track it down.