CHRIS JOHNSON

CREATIVE FREELANCER

[email protected]

SELECTED PROJECTS

A unique curated micro blog, showcasing releases on Spotify. Built with a custom PHP based CMS that’s tightly integrated with Spotify’s API.
TAPEFEAR
A large interactive robot that playfully follows the observer around the exhibition space. Exhibited at major arts festivals across the UK.
CUBE
An unofficial alternative for watching iPlayer on the Wii, designed for use with the embedded Opera browser.
WIIPLAYER

TAPEFEAR

2011 - 2015

Design
Development
Web
Mobile

A unique curated micro blog, showcasing releases on Spotify. Built with a custom PHP based CMS that’s tightly integrated with Spotify’s API.

TapeFear is a project aimed at helping users discover hidden gems on Spotify. It was built at a time when Spotify had no discovery tools and music releases by smaller and more experimental artists were often buried and left unloved in their library.

As well as showcasing albums, a unique feature to site is the ability to generate an auto-playing randomised custom playlist featuring tracks from the handpicked TapeFear library.

TECHNOLOGY

TapeFear runs on custom database driven CMS built from the ground up utilising the CodeIgniter PHP framework, including support for secure authentication and multiple user accounts. Tight integration with the Spotify API allows for new content to be quickly and intuitively added and automatically populated with relevant data and artwork.

MOBILE

The mobile interface for the site allows the user to intuitively infinite scroll through the TapeFear library and directly launch an album in the Spotify app.

FUTURE PLANS

Work is already underway for a 2017 relaunch, modernising the frontend with a mobile first responsive design, as well as continuing to further update the backend with more features.

TECHNOLOGIES

PHP
CodeIgniter
HTML
CSS
JQuery
JavaScript
JSON
SQL
Spotify API
Last.FM API
Google Analytics

SOFTWARE

JetBrains PHPStorm
GIT
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator

CUBE

2005

Design
Development
Electronics

A large interactive robot that playfully follows the observer around the exhibition space. Exhibited at major arts festivals across the UK.

This shy robot interacts with its environment on a cognitive level changing mood and behaviour accordingly.

Cube was designed and developed in 2005, by myself and three other individuals (John Murdoch, Glen Lashley and Simon Feasey) with the help of Bill Bigge from the University of Sussex Autonomous Systems Lab.

The idea behind Cube was to take the typical user-to-art interaction scenario and turn it on its head, so the art would be interacting with you. On approach Cube would appear to be a stationary large black box sitting quietly in the gallery space, as you draw closer Cube will make a cognitive decision on whether it 'likes' or 'dislikes' you based on your appearance. Once its mind is made up, it will either try its best to move away or follow you around the space.

TECHNOLOGY

At the core of Cube was a small custom micro controller connecting a laptop to wheel motors and a range of sensors, feeding the computer with a constant stream information about the Cube's surroundings. The software side was handled exclusively in Adobe Director/Lingo, issuing motor commands and analysing the sensor and webcam data.

As Cube traversed the gallery space it took images of the world around it as it interacted with animate (and inanimate) objects. At the time these images were displayed publicly on a custom flash driven website.

PROTOTYPING

Photos taken during the early prototyping and build phase at the University of Sussex Autonomous Systems Lab.

FUTURE PLANS

Since this project was first devised and created there have been many leaps in technology, particularly in the micro computer industry. I’m hoping to recreate this project in the near future utilising a Raspberry Pi and taking advantage of the technological leaps in the years since.

EXHIBITED

conTemporary Gallery

Brighton, 2005

FutureSonic Festival

Manchester, 2005

Optronica

London, 2005

Big Blip

Brighton, 2005

TECHNOLOGIES

Lingo
Flash
HTML
CSS
JavaScript

SOFTWARE

Adobe Director
Adobe Flash
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator

WIIPLAYER

2008 - 2009

Design
Development
Wii

An unofficial alternative for watching iPlayer on the Wii, designed for use with the embedded Opera browser.

WiiPlayer was designed as a better alternative way to browse and view BBC iPlayer content on the Wii. Written in PHP and designed utilising HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, specifically optimised for the Wii Opera browser and designed with both 4:3 and 16:9 screens in mind.

When the BBC originally added Wii browser support to their iPlayer service navigation and usability were severely hindered by the restrictive viewing resolution and text rendering of the Wii browser. I created WiiPlayer to solve these problems, and the project was subsequently featured on the BBC website.

Used regularly by a large number of people WiiPlayer was maintained and kept updated until late 2009 when the BBC brought in an official native iPlayer client for the Wii and I retired the project.

USER FRIENDLY

The user interface was designed around the limitations of the Wii's output resolution and browser capabilities, while taking advantage of the Wii's unique controller.

PRESS

BBC

2008

Joystiq

2008

The Mirror

2009

TECHNOLOGIES

PHP
HTML
CSS
JavaScript
JQuery
XML

SOFTWARE

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Notepad++