The majority of developers are not really designers and vice versa. It is more common to find a work team instead of a single do-it-all. We can however come across really talented, creative and enthusiastic people, who are not worried about using this or that software and who at the same time love design and programming.
To have an idea about Fluid.nl we can find the section “about” where an interactive composition of words develops on the movement of the cursor to offer us some suggestions of the world of Remon Tijssen. From music to coordinated images, from videogames to generative computation, from personal projects to commercial work. Remon explores the media with the freshness of a designer and the technical ability of a developer who wants to be satisfied by his own line codes “he changed the shape, he changed it, and he changed it again. From this, I started to catch a glimpse of these numbers.
The beauty of a project is made up of passion, ability, good taste, knowledge and the desire to look into different worlds. Designer or developer? By now for years we can not consider these figures separate. Remon possesses both characteristics with the will to push them towards new experiences.
I asked Remon Tijssen a.k.a. Fluid something about his first match with computation, background and his new challenges for the future.
Luca Marzello: Fluid is really one man band?
Fluid.nl: Yup, more or less. Writing compositions, arranging performances, playing the guitar, singing and signing autographs. It’s the greatest compliment if people address to me as the Fluid team.
Luca Marzello: Please give us a brief bio of yourself…
Fluid.nl: Born in 1974 in the south of the Netherlands where I’m still living and working. Did graphic design and art school (interaction design), founded Fluid.nl in 2000.
Luca Marzello: Tell Digicult your first approach to computation and coding.
Fluid.nl: I must have been around the age of ten that I got an Atari 800XL (comparable to the Commodore 64 at that time). At first I got it from my parents for the games, but pretty soon I discovered a blue screen with a blinking white square which dropped all the characters I entered with the keyboard. There was a little book that came along with the machine with examples of computer code that should generate visuals and even games on my tv screen. I started typing it in and after getting it working and staring at a spiral which was being drawn, I started changing some of the numbers just to see what will happen. The shape changed and changed and changed. By this I actually started to see what those numbers are for. Looking back at it, this was my first digital playful learning activity! As ’till today still the best way to discover new things.
Luca Marzello: Your style look always fresh&”fluid” (sorry). When your passion for videogames started and how you develop a game to make it funny and usable?
Fluid.nl: It’s the creation of videgames that is a passion. I’m not a fanatic game player. I think it’s because there are so many elements coming together. Concept, visual design, animation, gameplay / interactivity, music, soundfx. I love the creation process all of them and even more putting it al together and mould it into a rich integrated application.
Luca Marzello: Your first version of fluid was an amazing and “Fluid”(sorry again) director movie it was 2000…nowadays people still trying to simulate mac dock. did you invented it (i mean in an web/application interface not os)?
Fluid.nl: The growing interface as I liked to call it came out of an experiment I did in Art school. (around ’97). This is the first concrete experiment that came out of my need to change objects on the screen with the mouse pointer. This is also why I started programming again, nobody around me was able to make it. So, you start venturing yourself to realise your ideas.
Luca Marzello: NedPho is a beatiful sound experiment…don’t you think sound in recent interactive project is understimate by developers?
Fluid.nl: Yes absolutely, there are beautiful interactive audio projects out there, but they come in small numbers. The interesting applications are in more in the arts then in interaction/interface design projects
Luca Marzello: Work and Play. They can grow together for a business work?
Fluid.nl: Yes, absolutely. Actually I don’t like to make the distinction. It should be more or less the same. I think what people refer to is the difference between thinking for yourself or thinking for a client. If your ideas and designs are interesting you are asked for that by a client. By this it automatically becomes a combination of your own vision how things should or could be and what you think is the best way to communicate for a specific client goal.
Luca Marzello: One project you didn’t done yet but you’ll kill for…
Fluid.nl: Definatly a project dealing with physical interfaces, motion tracking and large projections to create a highly reactive invironment.
Luca Marzello: Give us 3 names of today digital/interactive scenario thet inspire you and why.
FLuid.nl: Multi-touch devices for the possibility to have a physical interface with the ability to receive and process multiple touches creates very interesting,new tactile and natural ways to interact with digital objects. Processing, programming environment for generative design with a fast growing passionate community. Flypentop, a great example of a very rich product presentation where everythings fits perfectly. And most important, interactivity glues everyting together.
Luca Marzello: Wich is the best suggestion you can give to a designer/developer?
Fluid.nl: Start working for yourself and for and oldie but still very good, read Bruce Mau’s incomplete Manifesto for Growth.
Luca Marzello: Future Projects Next Challenge?
Fluid.nl: Shortly there is a new game, animation and dynamic website coming up which will be broadcasted soon on fluid.nl. A few of my next challenges (i always have too many) are connecting my behavior designs to the physical world, in terms of sending and receiving, conference lecturing and researching the great possibilities of interactive 3d environments.