Moving Forward & Setting New Goals

In a few days, Nov. 1st, will mark the 1 year anniversary of my move from Portland, OR to San Francisco. It has been an exciting year getting set up in the city, moving from the shared flat in the Mission that I found on Craigslist to watching my girlfriend finish grad school and join me to help setup our home in the Lower Haight.

Now that we’re somewhat stabilized and are starting to grow a small group of good friends, I feel like I can take a moment to reflect and revisit some of the reasons why I moved to SF in the first place.

For those of you who know me, you know about my background in Film and my experiences in Portland working with the crew of blueprintfilms. Having gone to school for English Lit. and then for Film, I was never privy to a formal education in low-level computing, a subject I have always had a real curiosity in since hacking programs on my Commodore 64 back when I was a kid. Suffice to say everything I know about Flash and web application development I learned from reading books and of course from various sources online.

So I have been programming Flash for about 7 years now during which time I have taught myself maybe half a dozen other scripting languages that are all commensurate with a career in Interactive Design. While writing Flash programs has always been a blast, I can’t continue to ignore my growing interest and passion to explore the rapidly expanding space of physical computing. The space that languages like processing and toolkits like openframeworks are really starting to allow access to.

Years ago when I was in Film school and just getting started with Flash, I remember being inspired by the work of Craig Swann and Eric Natzke and being blown away by what those guys were doing back in the day. Now I’m seeing a new generation of talented designers emerge that are creating interactive physical experiences that go way beyond the boundaries of what I believe the desktop and mobile platforms can inherently provide.

This is not to suggest that Flash does not continue to hold vast potential for what it is, nor am I abandoning it as I still believe it will continue to dominate as a fantastically expressive technology to create rich desktop experiences. Given its ubiquity and the solid R&D that Adobe continues to dedicate to the platform, I wholeheartedly believe that Flash is here to stay. I merely state that I believe a tremendous amount of untapped potential exists in the aforementioned technologies which I, for some time now, have been very excited to explore.

So with all that having been said, after 7 months and three award winning projects with the good people of Ordinary Kids, I have decided to step out of my full-time role at OK and venture back out on my own to pursue new opportunities to collaborate with others interested in exploring this space.

If you share my feelings and want to collaborate please reach out. If you live here in the SF Bay area, let’s go grab a beer. I’m siked to finally start developing with these technologies and look forward to publishing my findings and explorations here on this blog.

Cheers and thanks for reading.
Stephen