Inspired: Dean Johnson – Brandwidth

Ask a bunch of students what interactive design is all about and more often than not, the answer will be ’digital, Web, mobile stuff’. However, bringing it back to basics, it is about creating moments to interact with the world around us, in its digital, human and physical form.

I loved books from the moment my parents started reading to me and, from an early age, my fascination was with the illustration, materials and feel of each volume. This took on a new dimension with pop-up books and Fungus the Bogeyman – Raymond Briggs’ irreverent and slightly unsavoury tale was, without a doubt, my first meaningful ’interactive’ experience.

Today, my inspiration comes from Commander Nova’s Pop-Up Alien Space Station (pictured) by Nick Denchfield and Steve Cox – a paper-engineering masterpiece that has fuelled my determination to keep the dream alive.

I have never believed in simply repurposing engaging printed material for digital platforms. Technology has to somehow add value. For me, it is time to bring back Fungus in his full multi-touch glory and recreate Commander Nova with 3D pop-up sets. It is also time for us designers to be bold and create the level of entertainment and magic that does the new technology justice.

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