With over seven years of experience
in the multimedia industry, Kim has developed a myriad of
successful applications and systems for such companies as
Warner Bros., Microsoft, and the NFL. Kim has run the gamut
of software development in alternative technologies through
her efforts with physical computing, embedded systems, and
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in a small Minnesotan town. I moved
to New York for college and lived there for eight years.
I still consider NYC my home; at least it's where my heart
You received a degree in computer science, right?
Yes, I received my Bachelors degree from New York University
in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. While there
I was fortunate enough to participate in an internship at
Bell Laboratories where I spent the summer in awe of, and
learning from, the famous researchers there.
NYU also sparked my interest in hardware development and
firmware. I collaborated on a project that involved both
CS students and fine arts students. We created what we called
"immersive environments." These were physical spaces that
could be programmed to react and respond to actions by the
inhabitants. It was a very successful project.
When you were in NYC what lead you into interactivity?
In 1993, after a short stint in the corporate world, I decided
I needed something more challenging and innovative. I found
out about a company called Interfilm that was making the
first (and heretofore, only) interactive films for the big
screen. I joined their team becoming the second of only
two software developers. We created a custom hardware and
software system for playing the films. It was installed
in 100 theatres nationwide.
After Interfilm dissolved in 1994 I moved on to R/GA, the
forerunner for CGI and interactive at that time in Manhattan.
While there I worked on the first online multiplayer game
show called NetWits. It was written entirely in C++ and
wasn't designed for the web; instead, it was created as
a standalone piece of software that used the Internet for
Why did you decide to leave NYC?
Short answer, Giuliani was in office. Long answer, my current
business partner and I were both freelancing at the time
and thought Portland, Oregon would be a great place to start
a boutique interactive shop of our own.
Was it hard to start a company in a city you'd never
even been to?
It was difficult initially to acquire clients. Portland
is sort of a small city and a lot of work tends to be secured
via word of mouth or references. Fortunately, we had a few
great clients in NYC who wanted to work with us regardless
of where we were located. We were retained by the Museum
of the Moving Image in Queens to continue development on
video and animation kiosks for their traveling exhibit.
We also continued to work with Controlled Entropy and Planet
Theory in NYC, creating numerous wireless, handheld, kiosk,
and firmware applications.
While working with our existing clients we were able to
get our name into the Portland multimedia and web community
and began doing work for Second Story and other design shops
What are you currently working on?
We've just started a few projects dealing with heavy data
and information manipulation in Flash MX. We're exploring
new ways of visualizing information as well as experimenting
with user interface ideas.
I've also contributed to the recently released Flash
MX ActionScript Bible. My chapter covers the new drawing
API from the basics to actually using it in practical ways.
Recently I was a panelist at WebVisions
2002, a conference dealing with the future of online
technologies. I've also been given the honor of being the
curator of the gallery right here at FlashGoddess.com.
What do you see happening to this industry?
Wireless will, of course, continue its tremendous growth.
I think we'll also begin to see a lot more online/offline
integration, meaning, online services that are complemented
by short-range wireless communication. An example of this
might be the act of planning a trip on mass transit online
via your PDA (perhaps on your wireless network) and then
using the same PDA to communicate with your transit station
terminal en route via Bluetooth (or a similar technology)
to check for scheduling or rerouting updates. Basically,
more seamless and effortless communication.
Where does Flash fit into your company?
We're a functionality design studio, which means we take
an idea from the concept stage, through information design,
technical design, and through development, testing, and
launch. We're basically problem solvers for people who have
ideas about things like kiosks, handheld apps, web sites,
games, and so on. We're completely technology-agnostic.
We base our technical design on the needs and requirements
of the projects, and since we're proficient in numerous
languages and environments (including Java, C++, ASP, PHP,
ActionScript, etc.), we're able to remain very flexible
Having said that, Flash has been a great client-side as
well as standalone technology for implementing innovative
and challenging applications quickly. We've worked with
Flash for over five years on a wide range of applications
and have participated on the last two beta programs. We
usually use Flash in tandem with a backend solution to achieve
rich and deep applications.
Is it true that you once started a personal sticker
and poster campaign against sexism?
Yes, it began with a parody of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit
issue that I started in Manhattan. It was very popular and
I continued it for three years.
I also launched an eight-month parody of Playboy magazine
entitled Prayboy. I grabbed the cover image each month from
their web site and modified it to create an image of women
who were in control and powerful instead of being posed
for the sexual pleasure of the observer.
Both of these campaigns can be seen at www.lifehack.org.
What advice do you have for people just getting started
Explore every angle then find your niche. Most people try
to run the gamut of Flash design and development. Figure
out what you like to do most and master it.
Thank you Kim, very inspiring! We wish you continued