My name is Ruben Kenig. My interest in the potential of computers as tools was ignited in 1986 when I encountered a Macintosh Plus in the electronic music studio of Manhattan School of Music. It was impossibly powerful, even sporting a massive 20MB hard drive connected to its SCSI bus. What was not to love?
The most important lesson I learned from that experience was that computers were tools. They could allow you to do things that were almost impossible without them, often to a much higher standard and much quicker. I think that still holds true today even if they make us better at procrastinating too.
The connection between music and computing, particularly on the web, is more than coincidental for me. Both practices deal with creating and interpreting large and complex sets of information, and both have aesthetic concerns at their heart or at least should. There are certainly parallels between computer code and musical scores, both forming a framework for interpretation and presentation to an audience sometimes with a capacity for interaction.
After working in music and sound design for theatre I began a more formal exploration of webdesign in 2000 creating a website for Danceworks a London dance, exercise and martial arts school (not their current site though). I quickly learned the importance of understanding the aims and needs of my clients. It is important to have a powerful armoury of tools to design and to code but both the creation of a website and the site itself are about communication. The form of the message is important but the content is the key.
I have recently started working as a project manager in addition to design and copywriting. I love this work as when integrated into a project there is great scope to get more from a team and deliver a much better site/product. I acquired many of the core skills of this role while working in theatre and later film post-production, organisation, planning, cost control and team management were all part of this experience.
I am enjoying seeing how my past experiences are providing a framework for my current work. I used to see my life as a linear progression but there are more folds, twists and connections becoming apparent with each passing day.
All the best,