Michael Felix     @objcts

Profile

Maker, thinker and teacher practicing user experience and interaction design for over decade. Intensely curious. High tolerance for volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity. Able to teach complex theories, skills and methods to students through an experential technique that balances play with purpose. Comfortable working with tools, pixels and code. Champion of user experience over developmental ease.

Skills

  • User Experience & Interaction Design

    Adept in crafting persona-based, scenario-driven interactions founded in discoveries from user-centered research. Skilled in observation, inquiry, and ethnographic research. Capable of rendering complex hierarchies of information into approachable, human-friendly structures. Able to quickly develop and test interactive prototypes and mockups.

  • Industrial Design

    Maintains a solid understanding of form, behavior, and aesthetics. Deeply interested in human/object relationships. Cognizant of the impact of human factors, ergonomics, and usability. Familiar with the dynamic nature of manufacturability, marketing, and engineering associated with the development of consumer products.

  • Teaching

    Trained in leading constructive critiques. Motivates students to learn through playing, making, and accepting failure. Exhibits an ability to quickly improvise and empathize with different viewpoints and worldviews.

  • Making

    Able to transpose sketches and diagrams into functioning objects and systems. Fluent in HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Ruby. Experienced with using Arudino microcontrollers and sensors to create robots, interfaces and dynamic widgets. Knowledgeable fabricator, skilled in 3d-printing and CNC processes.

  • Thinking

    Approaches problem solving iteratively through a process of experimentation, documentation and analysis. Able to decompose complex systems into tangible elements without losing sight of the whole. Acutely aware of feeling and intuition.

Biography

1983 Born in Birmingham, Alabama
1999 First job, computer programming
2001-02 Studied computer science
2003 Worked in a power plant
2004-05 Bachelor of Environmental Design @ Auburn University
2005-07 Master of Industrial Design @ Auburn University
2006 Graduate fellowship, made braille graphics
2007-10 Lead Interaction Designer @ Revelation
2008 Launched EFFALO
2008 Launched /parallelogram/
2010 Launched Velosynth
2010 Artist-in-residence @ monome
2010 Launched MAKERFACTORY
2011 Launched mlrv 2.0
2011 Domeraising project @ Makerbot
2011 Launched DOMEKIT.cc
2012 Adjunct Professor @ James Madison University
2012-14 Director of Design @ Slope.io
2012-14 Professor of Industrial/Interaction Design @ SCAD

Press

2009 Design Indaba "The Bespoke Comeback"
2011 New York Times "3-D Art for All: Ready to Print"
2011 Core77 "Curiosity Club Q+A with Michael Felix of EFFALO"
2014 Gestalten Press "Printing Things"

Selected Works


Slope.io  visit website →

UX and service design for a marketplace analytics startup targeted at Amazon Merchants. Developed branding and visual identity. Conducted user-centered research, testing, and customer support. Implemented designs into code. Administered servers, databases, and backend systems.

mlrv 2.0  visit website →

Sampling instrument for grid-based music controllers (like the monome) that allows a sound file or live recording to be mapped across each row and assigned a triggering behavior. A refactoring of brian crabtree's original mlr, extended in collaboration with Trent Gill.

monome  visit website →

UX for an interface design shop in upstate New York. Mashed together Wordpress, MediaWiki and Vanilla for an improved community experience.

Revelation  visit website →

Guided the user research and iterative design process behind a complete redesign of the company's existing online qualitative research platform. Built and tested interactive prototypes. Formulated a process for integrating design into an agile development workflow. Created a brand identity and visual style through an array of interactive, exhibit, and print-based projects.

tomentosa records  visit website →

UX for an independent distro located in Asheville, North Carolina specializing in hard-to-find tapes, cds, and vinyl recordings. Designed, prototyped, and delivered a commerce experience on top of a Wordpress backend.

DOMEKIT.cc  visit website →

$5400 in crowdsourced captial raised towards the development of open-sourced parametric software tools and self-adjusting connector systems for building geodesic domes. Delivered dome kits to individuals and educational institutions. Managed the production of over 700 individual 3d-printed parts.

MAKERFACTORY  visit website →

A free service for connecting the emerging network of localized fabrication technologies with people who need stuff 3d printed, CNC'ed, or otherwise made. In a Craigslist-style fashion, requests for making services can be posted and replied to for a maximum of three weeks.

Velosynth  visit website →

$1600 in crowdsourced captial raised towards the development of a bicycle-mounted interaction synthesizer that translates motion into sound. Received honorable mention for "Best Small Project" at the 2010 Kickstarter Awards.

Experiments


Datamelody

A tiny solar-powered computer audiates a stream of temperature and light information into a datamelody.

object Object with Max Ogden

The sounds of a 3d printer are captured and paired with live drums. As an object is printed, its form is recontextualized into sound-geometry.

Wiggle with Andrew Kurtz & Ezra Spier

A motion-controlled synthesizer that recontextualizes movement into audio feedback using Velosynth hardware.

Blips with Andrew Kurtz & Ezra Spier

A proof of concept for Velosynth using a hall effect sensor, spoke-attached magnet and synthesizer that makes a blip each for each wheel rotation.

Doorway computer

Proximity-based doorway entry system, iteratively prototyped in three phases using an Arduino microcontroller, RFID reader, and servo.

Accelerometer to sound

An accelerometer modulates a 4093-based oscillator through a 5206 digital potentiometer controlled with an Arduino microcontroller.