I am founding partner and managing director of Interactive Things, a design and technology studio established by Christian Siegrist, Jeremy Stucki, and myself in 2009. Today we lead the studio together with our partners Peter Gassner and Christoph Schmid. Interactive Things works at the intersection of science, technology, and design to help our clients to establish engaging and emotional interactions between them and their audience. The Zurich-based team currently consists of 12 multi-facetted designers and developers with backgrounds in Interaction Design, Information Design, Linguistics, Photography, Typography, Software Engineering and Data Science. Over the past eight years, our team has worked with national and international, private and public sector organizations of all sizes. Previous and current mandates include the Swiss Confederation, the German Cancellor’s Office, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, National Geographic, Al Jazeera, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Swiss National Science Foundation, among others.
Between 2005 and 2008, I have been studying the foundations of interaction design at the BA in Design program of the Zürich University of the Arts, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Product Design with a specialization in Interaction Design. Between 2012 and 2014, I have been studying visual models and interaction patterns in exploratory tools for personal financial information under the supervision of Dr. Prof. Gerhard Buurman and Dr. Prof. Karmen Franinovic at the MA in Design program of the Zürich University of the Arts. I have taught modules or given lectures about interaction design and data visualization at the Zurich University of the Arts, UC Berkeley School of Information, Haute École de Géstion Geneva, Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Università Iuav di Venezia, among others.
Beside my academic and professional work, I continue to engage in the national and international design community at large. Between 2009 and 2016, I published insights from our research and work process in the field of data and information visualization on Datavisualization.ch. The website, and the social media ecosystem surrounding it, has attracted a combined following of over 40’000 people. Between 2011 and 2013, I conducted and published a series of interviews with a selection of today’s most influential thinkers and makers under the title Substratum Series. The list of interviewees include Ben Fry, Casey Reas, Zachary Lieberman, Golan Levin, Jake Barton, Ivan Young, Natalie Jeremijenko, and Ivan Poupyrev, among others.
Since 2010, I am part of the Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, Opendata.ch, and help to facilitate open access to governmental data for everyone. In early 2014 I co-founded the Swiss chapter of Hacks/Hackers Zürich together with Sylke Gruhnwald, then data-driven reporter at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. This meetup group has the aim to bring journalists and technologists together to explore the future of digital journalism. Today, I continue to co-organize the bi-monthly event series together with journalists from Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen.
I serve on the Advisory Boards of the Places & Spaces Exhibition by the Indiana University in Indiana, USA as nominated by exhibition curator Katy Börner (2011–present) and the Smart City Demo Center by CMODA in Beijing, China as nominated by exhibition director Lei Yang (2013–present).
The work created by Interactive Things has been shown at exhibitions including Places & Spaces Exhibition organized by Indiana University in Indiana, USA (2011, 2018), Ville Vivante Exhibition organized by LIFT in Geneva, Switzerland (2012), Beijing Design Week organized by CMODA in Beijing, China (2012), Swiss Positions & Swiss Scales organized by Korea Foundation in Seoul, Korea (2013), Nighttime Dreamreal organized by Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China (2013), Werkschau Grafik in Zürich, Switzerland (2014, 2015, 2016), Big Bang Data, in Barcelona, Spain (2014), and Big Bang Data, in London, United Kingdom (2015), among others.
Our work has been featured in publications including WIRED «Map a city’s mobile calls and you can boost urban planning» (2012), Fast Company «A City Visualizes Its Own Inner Workings, With Infographics Powered By Cellular Data» (2012), The Huffington Post «Education for All and Not Just for Some» (2012), Al Jazeera «”Education First” must put the marginalised at the centre» (2012), The Guardian «Education attainment - disparities by country» (2012), and Page Magazine «Interactive Storytelling» (2014), CNN Money «Forget GDP» (2015), Flowing Data «A Galaxy of Cover Songs» (2016), among others.
I have been asked to contribute articles, essays, and interviews to be published in Weave Magazine (2011), Page Magazine (2013), Swiss Analytics Magazine (2014), “New Challenges For Data Design” by Springer-Verlag (2014), "Design Thinking Das Handbuch" by Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch (2015), "Data Visualization for Success" by Images Publishing Group (2017). The scientific paper «Confluence Diagram» about embedded knowledge visualization, co-authored with Dr. Martin Eppler from the University of St. Gallen, has been accepted for the IEEE VIS 2014 poster session.
Interactive Things’ work has been publicly recognized for excellence in information design by dpa-Infografik: «Swiss Maps», winner category Interactive Infographic, «Keine Zeit für Wut», winner category Interactive Infographic (2013), European Newspaper Award: «Stabile Arbeitslosenquote», winner category Data Journalism, «Keine Zeit für Wut», winner category Online and Crossmedia (2013), Global Editors Network Data Journalism Award: «NZZ Data», winner category Best Team or Newsroom Portfolio (2014), and Grimme Online Award: «Du fliegst nur einmal», winner category Culture and Entertainment (2014).