spencer pope

Design + Develop

I design and develop interactive applications for web and mobile platforms.

I think foremost that knowledge of code enables effective design. While this point should not by any means preclude innovation, understanding the capabilities of a platform is essential to creating things meant to function on that platform. Moreover, writing code gives me immense demiurgic excitement as I am able to give form to my ideas, real functioning mechanisms emerging almost magically from a formerly blank document. In all truthfullness, I have a hard time understanding tech designers who do not code. Which is not to say I fail to appreciate or respect their work, just that I am glad to not be them. To me that would feel a bit like sketching the preliminary shapes onto a canvas, but being incapable of applying the subsequent paint. Obviously, the sketch beneath the paint can be hugely important, yet still no one has ever referred to themselves as a "sketcher."

Web as a Medium

Above all I am an artist.

The web is my medium. But to dispel pretension with pretention, I tend to accept Nietzche's sentiment that, "The world is a work of art that gives birth to itself." So I concede that everything is art in a sort of Zen buddhist way. For instance, when I failed to express sufficient exhaltation at being shown a friend's (bad) painting, she chided sweetly, "Where is your art?" To this I replied, "Bitch, you're looking at it," indicating myself with a flourishing gesture. By now you should start to be getting a working notion about just what type of person I am.

Throughout my memory I have existed as a creative. However, I became fascinated with technology after a friend introduced me to the audio production software, ableton live. Through the use of this program I came to first realize the great capacity of computers for effecting complex, nuanced and emotive artworks. I have since come to understand writing computer code as the most direct tool to accomplish these ends.

I want to set contexts and influence behaviors.

I write

Javascript

I ride pretty hard for javascript, almost as hard as Quasimodo rides for Esmeralda. Its a mind-bogglingly versatile language. I've used javascript to create animations ranging from simple fade-ins to complex 3-D renderings. I've used it to build electronic synthesizers, generating tones from raw wave forms, and to sequence patterns of drum hits. I've used javascript to make API calls and organize the returned JSON results. I've used javascript to get gps location data. I've used javascript to build native applications for iOS and android. I've used javascript on the client-side. I've used javascript on the server-side. I've used javascript on both the client-side and the server-side at once. If I did something, theres a damn good chance I used javascript to do it.

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Vanilla

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jQuery

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Angular

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React

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Node

PHP

I'll be upfront, I detest php. That said I will admit that it has a place, however, that place is thankfully only rarely in my stack. I took a few courses on the topic of php web development during college. Since then I have used it in a handfull of client sites usually in the context of developing something like a custom wordpress theme.

Ruby

I have dabbled in development with both Ruby on Rails and Ruby Sinatra. While I found it to be an enjoyable language, all experience I have has been confined to the context of personal projects. I'm sure that someday I'll find an appropriate application for it, though.

Swift

I have only recently begun writing swift, coming to native development from a strictly web background. Ever since my first iPhone several years ago I have been transfixed by the power and utility of mobile devices. I began considering the platform not only by designing my websites for mobile experience, but also by using Cordova to wrap and package my familiar javascript as a native application. However, after a couple of years using this technique, I started to feel like I was abbutting the limits of the platform. While a great deal is possible using javascript, in order to achieve the seamless look and feel I desired I realized I had to go native. I was slightly unnerved at first as this was a wholly different world to me, however, since I've started working with swift I've found it actually to be a refreshing change from the hacked together idiosyncrasies that dominate programming on the web. I am excited to continue experimenting with this new language.

html

I've been writing html probably 6 or 7 years now, so long that that I barely even notice its there. While html5 is pretty great and has some fantastic components there are so many far more advanced alternatives usually (sure the html5 audio element is powerful, but then the web audio api goes and lets you program audio from raw wave forms if you want). html in my thinking is a sort of invisible frame or glue holding together the web application.

css

I tend to be a very visually oriented person so of course I kind of love css. In fact, css was the first aspect of a webpage I was able to really manipulate and now with new properties like flexbox and animation the future for css is bright. Click my I like ice cream" button to see a cool css animation example.

I made

Designed and developed custom website for Enemy to Fashion's consulting services.

Designed and developed custom shopify theme for clothing brand, Enemy to Fashion.

An arcade style shooter poking fun at the fashion industry. View on the iTunes App Store or view the marketing/support website.

A Hacker News reader for hackers! The retro interface is redolent of the popular image of a 90's hacker. The app was built using react native. View on the iTunes App Store.

A fun, minimalist musical iOS interface for sample based music composition. Built using html, CSS, javascript, and Apache Cordova. "Tap a square with two fingers to record a sound. Tap with one finger to playback the sound from the beginning. Swipe to the left to play from one second in. Swipe upwards to play from two seconds in. Swipe to the right to play from three seconds in. Swipe downwards to play from four seconds in." View on the iTunes App Store.

A postcard for the Chernobyl disaster site. Made by editing images in photoshop then printing onto vellum and overlaying the results.

Opening credits for a hypothetical film. All acting/dancing, direction, cinematography, etc. by me.

A retro, javascript-built game which was used to create the live visuals at Cruise Control, Overboard II - a New Year's Eve concert at Neighborhood Theatre in the NoDa section of Charlotte. The various band/DJ names and sponsor logos, as well as different backgrounds are mapped to computer keyboard keys for control. The visuals were run in a browser and projected onto the backdrop of the stage. View live demo.

A redesign of the Library for All catalog display. The goal was to create an app to serve as a playful, engaging gateway to reading for young children who have not had access to books. The app utilizes angular.js databinding and filtering. View complete documentation and explanation on github.

Create and schedule a wide array of sounds using this browser based drum machine built with the Web Audio API. Go ahead and click play!

At 6s and 7s. Typographic quote interpretation about the longest engagement - 67 years.

"Hollywood Ending," a font inspired by found typography. Applications in branding; fashion, music, etc.

A psychadelic animation made using the software, cinema 4d.

A flash animation about a hungry, unknown monster lurking in the closet.

I'm Social

I like ice cream

I play music