Behind the Scenes / July 2018

Meet Matt, our Creative Technologist

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE JOINING INTERACTIVE MECHANICS?

I’ve been a freelancer in Philadelphia for the past four years. My background is a mix of design and development so I’ve done all sorts of projects, with varying roles.  I’ve designed and developed websites for museums and national non-profits with Alusiv and Stellarvisions, I’ve rendered architectural plans and designed graphics for Philly-based zoo design firm CLR Design, and developed exhibition interactives for MEP+D students at UArts. Before joining the team, I was contracted by Interactive Mechanics to build interactive games for CHOP, and a recording booth interactive for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT?

I grew up building computers and running cable for the family business, and have always had a technical inclination. As a child, I did all sorts of arts and science camps. My first programming experience was building robots with a LEGO Mindstorms kit. I began college as a mechanical engineering major but switched to graphic design during my sophomore year. The design program was multi-disciplinary and rooted in the fine arts which developed my love for process. I became interested in projects bridging art and technology and eventually took a Processing workshop with Casey Reas in 2010. After graduating I spent a few years doing design work in Louisville, KY and Philadelphia, sometimes working with developers, sometimes with other designers, but always with some technical bend. A few years ago I had the chance to work on a handful of projects for fantastic clients as designer and developer, this was my so-called plunge into development.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO PLACE TO SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY?

Kentucky. When I travel back home, it’s a meditation on place, time and family. I always come back with a little bitter-sweetness, but with a renewed outlook on the city, my work and where I come from. I take lots of photos, so I also get that creative energy looking through those, wherever I am.

WHAT DID YOU LOVE ABOUT THE LAST MUSEUM YOU VISITED?

The last museum I visited was the Science History Institute. I loved the exhibit my fiancée designed (of course), but their permanent exhibition is beautiful as well. It’s amazing how much science history and tech can be exhibited in one room.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN PHILADELPHIA?

This is hard. This summer I’ve grown really fond of the Wissahickon, and have been biking up there pretty regularly. It’s incredible how quickly you can feel lost, just minutes out of the city! I currently live in South Philly (which is awesome) but I do miss living closer to Rittenhouse Square and the Schuylkill. Old City… still feels pretty special, I’ve spent most of my professional life in this neighborhood and it’s started to feel like home.