I am a product designer that's fascinated by the intersection of Design and Technology.

I am the creator of Newsmap and part of the founding team at Flipboard.

I architect software; I design and code. I believe that design and engineering are concurrent processes. They feed off one another. Keeping them close means feedback loops are tightened. And tightening the feedback loop between an idea and execution is key to producing solid, simple products.

I am obsessed with products, services and processes and how to make them more accessible and streamlined to people. I believe well considered applications of technology to bring us closer with the things and people we love.

Born in Argentina, studied design in Japan, and Italy, I am a recent transplant to Silicon Valley.

sketching flipboard

A long story short

March 2010 ~ Present day

Flipboard flipboard.com

Head of Design

I've always admired the beauty of print and the power of great story telling. As a huge fan of magazines; I grew up reading National Geographic, Life, Popular Mechanics and many others.

In a magazine, each page is a small composition of a larger piece, and every bit is trying to pull you in to read the story.

Stories flow from one into the other one, your eye surfs page after page, jumping from headline to sub headline, to photo, to pull quote and into the story. You can easily scan a magazine at a high level to understand the whole, and dive in deep the moment something catches your eye. I just love that, and I think we had forgotten about all that magic on the web. On the web, we've placed so much emphasis on navigation, on allowing you to move everywhere from anywhere. Stories live within monotonous templates, and content gets pushed away, disappearing under the weight of user interface chrome and ineffective advertising. Neither readers or publishers win, and the sense of a large composition is lost, with content vanishing in a sea of noise.

At Flipboard we are laser focused on delivering an immersive experience and allowing you to quickly discover and dive into the best content of everything you really care about.

Background

Building the dream.

In late 2009 the rumor of Apple launching a tablet device made it clear that reading, as we know it, would never be the same. When I met Mike McCue and Evan Doll, we clicked immediately when we realized we all had been toying around similar ideas.

I joined Flipboard, just before the company was founded, and I helped build the brand, product and team from the ground up. Today, as Head of Design at Flipboard I am involved in every aspect of the experience and design of the product. I work along an amazing group of people and I am reminded daily of the power of the sum of all our efforts.

We are a design driven company, but we believe that design, as the ideation process, is not only the responsibility of the design team

— ideation should be encouraged throughout the company. World changing ideas can come up from anywhere, and everyone in the organization needs to be aware on how all the work we do surfaces in the product.

Flipboardʼs mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, view and share content across their social networks. Flipboard was named Apple's iPad App of the year and one of TIME's Top 50 Innovations.

flipboard, design wall

Background

Early Career

From the Argentinian pampas, to Tokyo, to Italy and into the valley of the Sillicons.

I grew up in Argentina, and after a few years into Architecture college, I moved to Tokyo on a Monbusho scholarship where I studied Graphic Design. As soon as I arrived to Japan I became fascinated by the incredible contrast between culture and technology. At school, my studies were completely analog; I studied traditional techniques, classic design and typography, in addition to learning to speak, read and write japanese.

Internet usage in Japan took off a little after than it did in the U.S. However, during the late nineties and early zeroes, internet-capable mobile phone usage exploded; the internet was happening, but it was leapfrogging the desktop and going straight into a much more personal device. I realized that the future of publishing and communication design was going to happen there, so while I'd spend my days at school working with analog tools, I spent all nights in my student dorm learning how to code.

Programming

Programming lead me to discover a completely new world in Design. While modern software provides for faster visualization of an intended result, that will always be confined to the tools that creates it. By learning how to create my own tools I could push the boundaries of what was possible. I could create a set of rules, based on simple parameters and generate design. When I realized that algorithmic design was not confined to static images, but it could also be interactive I became perplexed at the possibilities.

newsmap newsmap newsmap newsmap newsmap

Information
Visualization

As inspiring as the internet is as an instant news delivery platform, it didn't take long for many to become overwhelmed with the amount of information we were consuming on a daily basis. As soon as I realized about this phenomenon, it was clear I'd have to figure out a way to trim things down. After a few attempts at doing information design with digital tools, I noticed how I was following analog patterns; I was still doing all the hard work by hand. Combining coding with design allowed me to create programs that would parse through raw data and generate visualizations that would tell stories that otherwise would have been hidden in numbers. Swapping the static raw data with live feeds was the next natural move, and with it I discovered exactly what I wanted to do.

Newsmap

Newsmap was born from the need to simplify how we consume the news. If you wanted to get an impartial view of the world, you'd have to jump through many news sites and manually compare how different publications from different countries give more or less prominence to specific topics. When Google News launched I was amazed at how they could aggregate so many stories from so many publications from around the world. But above anything, what stroke me, is that they where able to algorithmically cluster different articles that report on the same story. In my eyes, this was an absolute feast. Yet, I wanted more; to get an overview of what was happening in the world I still had to click through many pages. I knew that with a little elbow grease I could turn the data from the aggregator and visualize it in a single screen.

The path to Sillicon Valley

October 2007 ~ March 2010

Adobe adobe.com

Experience Designer

In October 2007 I moved to San Francisco and joined the Adobe Experience Design team. My focus was working between the horizon and near future, exploring new technologies, creating new experiences, and delivering externally visible projects that demonstrated Adobe's technologies and leadership. One of these projects was Adobe's vision of the future of the interconected living room, which was presented during the Keynote of the 2008 Adobe Max conference in San Francisco. Another one, an interactive visualization of the entire Tree of Life, was officially presented during the 2007 TED Conference in Monterrey, CA

April 2004 ~ October 2007

B2 betwo.com

Cofounder,
Creative Director

In early 2004 I published one of my dearest projects: Newsmap. This launched me into the world of product design and information visualization. With a few friends in Tokyo, I founded an interaction design agency called B2, where I took the role of Creative Director. We worked on several projects that explored novel ways to visualize information on the web. Some of our clients included Etsy, Wieden + Kennedy, Adobe, Macromedia, Microsoft, AOL, and Dentsu.

October 2003 ~ April 2004

Dentsu dentsu.jp

Art Director

Living in Tokyo, in an environment where public spaces are plastered in advertising, I always felt inspired to explore the boundaries of Outdoor Media. I witnessed how cell phones in Japan where becoming way more sofisticated and ubiquitous than anywhere else in the planet. I also couldn't help notice all those massive screens outside Hachiko crossing in Shibuya. My dream was to get people to collectively participate in games in those screens, and although I could't convince higher management to explore too much in that area, I always like to think that I somehow inspired my good friend Dan Albritton to go that route. At Dentsu, I spent my days sketching, prototyping and working along the most talented group of Art Directors in Tokyo.

April 2003 ~ October 2003

Bascule bascule.jp

Web Developer

During late 2002, technologies that enabled realtime online collaboration became easilly accessible within regular web browsers. Bascule was at that time the company in Japan that had done the most extensive experimentation around that area, and I knew I had to go learn from them. Together we designed and built Ottiki, a social network game that preceeded Farmville by almost a decade. Ottiki was later adapted to run within Mixi, and although it was not an entirely successfull endeavour, we learned a lot from our building experience.

July 2002 ~ April 2003

Razorfish Tokyo

Web Developer

As a junior Web Developer, I joined Razorfish where I designed and coded a series of projects for Nissan and Sony Entertainment. Here I had the opportunity to deep dive into HTML, Javascript and was exposed for the first time to a very large content management system – which at first was very intimidating, but eventually I learned my way around designing and building with it. My stay at Razorfish was very short, as I realized that there was much more that I wanted to do besides designing and building websites.

March 2001 ~ July 2002

DentsuFuse

Graphic Designer

After graduating as a Graphic Designer from the Tokyo Designer Gakuin College, I was recruited by then newly established DentsuFuse. Here I met the most incredibly talented group of people that will shape the way I look at designing for the web forever after. First starting as a graphic designer and slowly transitioning into a web engineer, I helped design and develop an interactive visualization of Dentsu's 100 years of advertising. This project was accessible both online and as a physical installation at the Dentsu Advertising Museum in Tokyo between 2001 and 2004.

Studies

Dropped out 2004

Interaction Design

Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Italy

In 2001 I was lucky enough to meet the first batch of students of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea during their field trip to Tokyo. Since then I had always dreamed of going there. Towards the end 2004 I was admitted to their Interaction Design Masters Course and although I dropped out towards the end of their first year to go back to making things, I still regard the time I spent in school the most formative of my career.

Graduated 2001

Graphic Design

Tokyo Designer Gakuin, Tokyo

Long story short; after a few years of Architecture and Graphic Design school in Argentina, I decided that I wanted to study abroad. Just by chance, I ended up at the Japanese Embassy in Buenos Aires looking for a scholarship. A few months later, I found myself in Tokyo. I went through a full year of intensive Japanese Language studies followed by Graphic Design school. Yes, all courses, learning material and my reports had to be done in Japanese. During the day I learned mostly traditional Japanese, analog design. At night, I was obsessed about learning web technologies, as I knew that by the time I graduated, the web was going to be the next frontier in reading, publishing and entertainment.

copics in action

Briefly

What I do

  • Product Design
  • Creative Direction
  • Data Visualization
  • Prototyping
  • Photography

How I do it

  • Lots of pens, markers and paper
  • Any bitmap and graphics editor
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript
  • The right programming language
  • Lightroom

Recognition

Awards and Exhibitions

My work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the O.K. Center for Contemporary Art in Linz, Austria; the 12th International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Arts in Barcelona, Spain; the 11th International Festival of Computer Arts in Maribor, Slovenia; and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

Patents