SEGD Through the Eyes of a Founder

Back in 2008, as OpenEye was completing work on the Smithsonian digital wayfinding project, I had been approached by an organization called SEGD asking to feature the project in their quarterly magazine. It was an honor to be asked but at the same time I felt awkward as I didn’t exactly know who they were or what they stood for. It was that chance opportunity which helped expose me to the SEGD community and put OpenEye on a path to wanting to become more involved.

There were far too many years in which I stayed within our “digital” community, not necessarily ignoring other organizations but becoming too complacent in the industry. Yet at the same time, there was always this curiosity of wanting to learn more about how environments are built and the art behind creating these amazing physical experiences. For the next several years I was on a journey of discovery, learning what I could by attending various SEGD events and even being invited to speak at a “dynamic environments’ workshop. Needless to say that experience was enlightening.

As has always been the case since starting OpenEye, I had to “experiment” with the way I Introduce myself. In ten words or less, creatively describing OpenEye as not just a company “putting screens on the wall” has always been daunting. Getting involved with the SEGD community was a challenge to me, not because I wasn’t confident in what I do, but because I had a tremendous amount of respect towards each member, thus making me ask whether or not I am at their level of creativity. I come from a different background, and as I looked around there was no one from the “digital” sandbox I was comfortable playing in. I felt I needed to re-examine what I do and how that skill-set could blend into the community; a quest for creative acceptance.

It has been amazing to see how my relationship with the SEGD community has evolved. There have been so many great friendships made and countless memories created. SEGD is a community that I have tremendous respect for and one that has helped me improve as not only a digital designer but as the leader of an agency that strives for creative innovation.

Back in 2008, I never would have thought that I would have the opportunity to join the Board of Directors, nor did I expect to be honored with the election to Vice President. The community means a lot to me and to each member of OpenEye who feeds off its energy. We are here to help grow the community and continue to share our experiences. It is important for SEGD to grow and continue to expose young designers to what impact digital can have on the evolution of physical experience.

Cheers to a phenomenal 2016 with this great group!