I’m a big fan of non-traditional career paths. Every experience builds a box of skills that make you stronger and more prepared for the next. As evident below, my windy path has led to a variety of unique experiences. It’s an adventure that keeps me feeling engaged, inspired and constantly learning. And now, as I turn my radar toward the future, I’m psyched for what might be next.
The Inclusive Camera
When it comes to cameras and computer vision algorithms, people with darker skin often don’t show up in photos, videos or live-streams with as much expression, detail or features as those with lighter skin. This feels wrong. Inspired by this tweet, I assembled a small team to investigate solutions. Our goal was to create a camera that captures the details and expressions of all people equally and recognize the need to expand the conversation around inclusion in tech. We started by better understanding the user and technical challenges and then looked at the history of cameras and bias that exists in code. This approach helped us develop exciting prototypes that we believe, with additional time and resources, could have a tremendous impact.
In 2016, Microsoft recruited me to help build an entirely new product, Remix 3D. It felt similar to my startup days yet inside one of the largest tech companies in the world. I often relate my time on Remix as going to grad school for product design, software development and agile frameworks. Being the creative lead, it was my job to attract fantastic people and inspire them to do the best work of their careers. And together, we did just that - building the largest 3D content library in the world. In the first quarter of 2017, we launched Remix 3D and by Q4 it became the leading star in Microsoft’s global holiday campaign. Today, Remix 3D has grown to hundreds of millions of users and integrated into PowerPoint, Paint 3D, Mixed Reality Viewer and Windows 10.
Mobile 3D Capture
Mobile 3D Capture allows anyone with a smartphone camera to quickly and easily create 3D models from the physical world. My role as Principal Creative Director and Studio Manager was to lead UI/UX, user research, strategy, cross-team partnerships, computer vision and engineering teams developing monocular SLAM and 3D reconstruction running real-time on mobile hardware. This was, by far, the most complex and challenging project I had ever worked on. (Reach out for full case study)
Ever wanted to remove something or someone from a photo? Perhaps an ex-boyfriend or that seagull who just photo-bombed your perfect selfie? Well, with 3D Photos, you can do just that. This was a concept video my pal Zach and I put together to show the many advantages of taking photos with depth.
A big part of any Creative Director’s role is storytelling. It’s an effective skill that matures with time and experience. In this concept, I wanted to introduce complex 3D scanning and reconstruction in a way that felt simple and impactful. My inspiration was Microsoft’s genius marketing of the mouse by including solitaire on every PC operating system (to inherently teach drag-n-drop). For us, integrating our tech with 55 million Xbox users felt like a great way to introduce new ways of taking selfies (and thus, avatars).
Emoji Match is a traveling GIF booth that uses facial recognition to match your emotions with a suite of Samsung Emojis. Users enter the booth, mimic the on-screen emojis, and receive an animated GIF of their emoji faces ready for sharing on social media. Debuting at Austin City Limits, the booth generated awareness for Samsung’s exclusive set of emojis and has since traveled to small and large-scale events.
Delta Gateway to Madison Square Garden
Client: Delta Air Lines, MSG
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to build a product in a place that’s near and dear to your heart. As a kid my dad often took my brother and I to MSG for hockey games. Before that, his dad, a cab driver in NYC for over 35 years, took him. There’s something truly special about MSG - the location, history, energy. Hockey was big in our family so this project was not only important, it was personal. The Delta Gateway to MSG is a permanent installation inside the newly renovated lobby of Madison Square Garden. This gorgeous 4k interactive display features a customizable CMS pulling in real-time sports and travel feeds, providing fans with event highlights, seat maps, scores, transit info and flight times to popular destinations. It was an absolute honor collaborating with executives from The Knicks, Rangers, Delta and MSG. Seeing fans enjoy the experience felt great, but I’d be lying if taking my Dad on opening night didn’t make my heart melt.
FEEL was a multi-channel, large-scale campaign developed for the entire portfolio of Unilever brands. The campaign included strategy and planning, content development, experiential, PR, and digital components all focused on developing an emotional connection with Unilever’s core audience. This was an exciting piece of business to win and execute as it introduced me to Unilever’s impressive commitment toward sustainability.
Edel-10 is an annual publication highlighting side-hustles of employees working at Edelman NYC. With a staff of 900, I wanted to bring people closer while highlighting the amazing culture that's often overlooked at large companies. We interviewed 10 people across multiple disciplines in an effort to showcase new perspectives into the lives of co-workers. The publication was placed on every employee's desk and included by HR in every new hire onboarding.
VR Chill Zone
The VR Chill Zone is an immersive installation featuring art, code and imagination. Innovation should never live in a silo so we created the VR Chill Zone to inspire Edelman employees in discovering new ways VR technology can be used to tell stories or solve human problems.
If Cannes is the International Festival of Creativity, then Top Five is the punk rock festival of creative inspiration. You see, I’ve long known the best moments at conferences tend to happen off stage so I tapped my DIY roots and created my own event. The goal was to invite people to our flat and ask them to share a rapid-fire presentation on the top five things inspiring them. I made business-card invites and asked colleagues to hand out to interesting people they met in and around the festival. An email on the card notified my team in NY who turned our participant’s links into beautiful slides. On the day of the event, our fridge turned into a rose dispenser and our living room into a mini-stage. Inspiring presentations were delivered by members of Fast Company, Droga5, Edelman, Conde Nast, Facebook and a local waiter. It was easily the most memorable (non)event of the festival.
Good people bring out the good in people. It’s hard to overstate how important talent magnets are for building great teams. Hiring people who draw top talent in to work with them is a super power. And this is my super power. I absolutely love building teams of good people and inspiring them to do the best work of their careers. Clear eyes, full hearts...
For every team I manage I like to create an office newsstand. It’s a great way to stay connected or get introduced to various sub-cultures and communities. Plus, it’s a gentle reminder that print is far from dead.
As the title sponsor of UEFA Champions League, Heineken was looking to provide access to soccer fans in unexpected and exciting new ways. Our answer was SoccerfyMe, a magic bookmarklet that replaces images on any website with highlights, scores and live feeds of your favorite UCL matches. Users add a simple button to the browser that allows them to toggle between the original site and its new SoccerfyMe version. Experiential extensions included SoccerfyMe interactive screens showing up on billboards, subway ads and old phone booths.
The Yard Innovation Lab
The Yard was an innovation lab I created for Edelman’s diverse portfolio of clients and their emerging business needs. From AI, haptics, IoT, and mixed realities, I built The Yard with a clear strategic plan, making things. From prototypes and speaker series to hands-on demos and workshops, The Yard doubled as an opportunity to educate employees on technology-driven solutions that would inspire powerful ideas.
Where is the Snack Cart?
At Edelman, great afternoons are marked by the sound of a single bell. People drop everything. Conversations stop. Meeting doors fly open and everyone dashes to gather around the legendary Snack Cart. The only down side to the snack cart is missing the snack cart. So I did something about it. Whereisthesnackcart.com makes sure you get your afternoon recharge without fail. Using creative coding and beacons placed on every floor, our responsive website enabled employees to track the snack cart’s every move and even receive notifications when it was near your desk.
Samsung had just opened a new flagship HQ in New York City and wanted to make a big splash. Knowing their new digs was situated in a high-foot-traffic location we wanted to offer them something that had never been done before. In leveraging their US Open sponsorship we built a diorama of their new office and created a prototype showing tennis highlights projected on their roof using holograms. It was a great exercise in the value of merging creativity, code and rapid prototyping.
Marketing + Branding + PR
It was the winter of 1999, while listening to The Beach Boys, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” that I founded Holiday Matinee, a creative agency named after the tradition of taking my grandmother to a movie every xmas. What started in my bedroom doing PR for musicians Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, Sigur Ros, The Album Leaf, Cat Power and Bright Eyes grew into a team of passionate creatives hired to help market and consult with brands such as Apple, Ford, Zappos, W Hotel TOMS and Xbox. We hosted events, launched a co-working space, designed mobile apps and created our own lifestyle brand. Nearly two decades later, Holiday Matinee remains a blog for creative inspiration.