About

mission

Local Projects is a media design firm for museums and public spaces. While innovation drives much of today’s design, we’re interested in creating projects that endure.

We’re reinventing public space through media, creating meaning and connections in places as diverse as Memorials, Times Square, and art installations.  We focus on engaging audiences through emotion and technology, developing new ways for people to interact with art, cities and one another.  We gather stories through collaborative storytelling projects, and between Storycorps, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Change By Us, we have brought forth over 100,000 individuals’ stories and memories, sharing them with the world and touching millions of lives.

Local Projects has won top prize for every major design award including the National Design Award for Interaction Design, Fast Company Masters of Design, Webby Gold, Muse Gold and AIGA Gold. They were #2 on Fast Company’s 2011 list for most innovative design studios and were named to the 2012 Public Interest 100, for people working in the Public Interest, alongside Bill Clinton and the Knight Foundation.

Expand Bios

biographies

Jake Barton, Principal

Jake Barton is principal and founder of Local Projects, which is creating the media design for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the Frank Gehry designed Eisenhower Presidential Memorial. Local Projects is a 2013 National Design Award winner for Interaction Design, and was named second of the top ten most innovative design firms by Fast Company Magazine for its redefinition of emotional storytelling. Jake is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content. Clients include SFMOMA, StoryCorps, GE, Johnson & Johnson, BMW Guggenheim Lab, Cleveland Museum of Art, Seaworld, Microsoft, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Paley Center for Media and the Sugar Hill Museum of Children’s Art and Storytelling.

Tiya Gordon, Studio Director

Tiya is responsible for managing all aspects of our leading New York based design studio in overall creative production including day-to-day operations, finances, client relationships & contracts; Providing all leadership and direction necessary to ensure company organization, financial solvency and operating efficiency. Prior to joining Local Projects, Tiya worked as a Media Producer for the American Museum of Natural History where she designed and executed media installations for the museum’s permanent halls as well as international traveling exhibitions. Her work has received awards and recognition from The New York Academy of Sciences, The Cannes Film Festival, AIGA, Core77, The American Association of Museums, ResFest, MIT, CINE and I.D. among others. She graduated from Parsons the New School for Design where she currently teaches in the Communication Design and Technology Program.

A’yen Tran, Engagement Director

A’yen Tran is the Engagement Director for Local Projects. Her most recent work includes producing the 9/11 Memorial Names Arrangement Algorithm and Make History, a website to crowdsource the world’s images of 9/11 for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Recently she has managed Change by Us, a new multi-city social platform for civic engagement and its predecessor, Give a Minute. Before joining Local Projects, she produced large-scale interactive art and media projects for non-profits and artists. She directed logistics and external relations for artist Swoon’s nautical art projects with Deitch Projects, and served as Online Director for non-profit organization Seeds of Peace. She has presented and installed work at PS1, MASSMoCA, Conflux, Flux Factory and collaborated with Swoon in 2009 to float sculptural boats to the Venice Biennale. A’yen holds a B.A. from Columbia University.

Meryem Kettani, Managing Director

Currently the Managing Director at Local Projects, she is responsible for the complete planning, management and high-level operations of the studio where she oversees finances, resources and new business for the company.  Prior to joining Local Projects, she worked for the interactive agency AREA 17, in both the Paris and New York offices as the Operations and HR Manager. She also contributed to various AREA 17 products, as the Community Manager for Slash.Paris.com and as an author for the Krrb.com biweekly newsletter. Additionally, Meryem has developed a strong capacity for leadership, planning and managing large-scale Education and International Migrations projects through her international experience at the UNESCO and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco and graduated from the prestigious Sciences Po Bordeaux in France with a Masters in International Cooperation and Development.

Keeli Shaw, Interactive Project Director

Keeli Shaw, Interactive Project Director, has produced interactive projects ranging in scale from mobile applications to 40′ interactive multi-touch walls. At Local Projects, she has overseen the design and development of projects including the BMW/Guggenheim Lab, the Stone Barns iOS application and the recently launched Gallery One suite of interactive media for the Cleveland Museum of Art.   Keeli comes to Local Projects from the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where as Production Manager for the Collections Information & Access Department she managed the production of all interactive media for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.  She is pursuing a Masters at NYU / Steinhardt School of Eduction in non-profit arts management and earned her B.A. in political science and art history from UC Berkeley.

Ethan Holda, Director of Technology

Ethan Holda is a developer and application architect who began creating interactive television applications for NBC in 1997 and has since executed boutique web, enterprise human resources management systems and development and integration platform development for a variety of industries. Additionally he has done freelance work for Fuse TV, ABC, the International Economic Development Council as well as for not-for-profit organizations such as Friends Shelter and the Museum of the City of New York.

Sundar Raman, Director of Creative Engineering

Sundar thinks himself a minor contemporary avatar of Sisyphus: rolling imperfect technology up the incline of artistic demand, simultaneously sanding away the burrs of ungainly code. Sundar’s background spans alternative energy, community radio, permaculture, Internet telephony, open-source advocacy, and most recently social gaming.

Adam Kosberg, Director of Media Production + Content

Adam Kosberg directed research and development as the Associate Producer on the Errol Morris documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, winner of the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 2006 he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked extensively on documentary and feature film projects for director Jeffrey Blitz, including Lucky which was an Official Selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Previous to joining Local Projects, Adam produced several of the permanent exhibition films for the new Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Adam holds a B.A. in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University.

Kristen Svorka, Senior Interactive Project Manager

Kristen is a Senior Interactive Project Manager, most often on work having to do with media in physical space. She is currently working on projects for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum with Diller Scofidio + Renfo, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and in the past has collaborated with Bjarke Ingles Group on an interactive installation sited in Times Square.  Kristen’s primary area of interest revolves around the incorporation of digital technologies into the built environment to produce spaces that are interactive and adaptable to the user. Her work has been showcased at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and the Museum of Art and Design in New York City. Kristen holds a Masters of Interior Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design.

Angela Chen, Director of Interaction Design

Prior to freelancing in digital media and interaction design, Angela worked as an architectural designer in New York City where she strove to create meaningful spaces in urban cities. Angela now incorporates her background in physical design to create experiences that are interactive and conversant in nature. In addition to her design work, Angela has won several scholarships to study and practice both in the United States as well as in Europe. Angela holds a M.P.S. from the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch, and a B.A. in Architecture from Wellesley College.

Erika Tarte, Art Director

Erika Tarte is a designer and self-described history nerd with experience in interaction design and frontend development. Prior to joining Local Projects, Erika worked as a web designer for the US Government and several Silicon Valley-based technology companies, and as a freelance graphic designer in New York City. Erika received her B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley and her M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, where her research concentrated on the intersection of new media and historical narrative. She currently serves as critic at RISD in the department of Graphic Design, and teaches coursework in web and interactive design.

Susan Allen, Senior Project Manager / Team Leader

As Interactive Project Manager for Local Projects, Susan oversees the generation of innovative interactive experiences for physical and digital environments. Susan hails from London in the UK, where, previous to joining Local Projects, she managed online and mobile projects for sectors across the spectrum, from business intelligence specialists to social enterprises and charities, to some of London’s leading arts and educational institutions including Shakespeare’s Globe and Whitechapel Gallery.  In addition to this, she produced for theatre and developed interactive installations with the artist collective The Apricot Room, performing at Hackney Wicked art festival in 2010 and more recently exhibiting at Shambala festival in 2012 and 2013.   Susan holds a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from University of the Arts, London and a B.A. (Hons) in History of Art from University of York.

Jill Fidler, Operations Manager

At Local Projects Jill manages the studio and leads staff support for the company. Previously she managed the internet TV studio, MixTV, which she helped found in Berkeley, CA.  Prior to that she coordinated the post-production and distribution for the Amnesty International award-winning film, China Blue, and ran a company that created energy efficient devices, Energy Controls.  Jill holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University, where she studied cinema.

Philipp Rockel, Lead Research and Development Technologist

Eric Mika, Senior Creative Technologist

Eric Mika makes art for machines. His projects examine the possibilities, motivations, and interactions of virtual space in digital and physical form. He has developed interactive installations for a range of clients and contexts, including Eyebeam, Wired, and artist Anthony McCall. Eric’s work has been exhibited at Palais Kabelwerk in Vienna, the Anthology Film Archives, the Vimeo Festival, and the Hyde Park Art Center. He has presented at Dorkbot, Art && Code, and the O’Reilly Strata conference. In Chicago, he was a co-founder of Plural Design and graduated with a BS from Northwestern, double majoring in Journalism and Animate Arts. He holds an MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Matt Lohmann, Creative Technologist

Matt Lohmann is a designer and developer. Beginning studies in Architecture at the University of Arizona, he switched to earn a BFA in Visual Communications and Minor in Media Arts. After spending time in Richmond, Virginia and Bath, England he settled in Boston working for PUMA’s internal creative agency. Since then he has worked at Almighty, Syrup and B-Reel working with clients ranging from Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen to Chuck Close and Canon Cameras.

Donna Meredith, Project Manager

Donna Meredith is a Project Manager, with a background in exhibition design and community media. Prior to joining Local Projects, she developed award-winning exhibitions with Ralph Appelbaum Associates for institutions in the U.S., China, Singapore and the U.K. She has also managed design projects for Nature Publishing Group and The Battery Conservancy, and served as guest curator at The Center For Architecture in New York. Additionally, Donna has created community media platforms and design concepts that explore ways to bridge the digital divide. This work has been recognized by Metropolis Magazine, The Village Voice, TimeOutNY, Good, WNYC Culture Desk, Britain’s BBC Radio and Japan’s NHK TV. Donna holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from Miami University, where she focused in cultural anthropology and media studies.

Kimberly Gim, Senior Graphic Designer

Kimberly Gim is a graphic designer interested in how relationships are formed between individuals and communities. She actively seeks to use design to build better social interactions. Prior to joining Local Projects, Kimberly worked as a designer at Imperative and MICA’s Center for Design Practice. Additionally, she is a past participant of “Project M Blitz.” She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design with a minor in Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Nicole Pivirotto, Graphic Designer

Nicole is a designer and maker. Prior to joining Local Projects she had the pleasure of working at Code and Theory, Milton Glaser Inc., Victoria’s Secret, and W. W. Norton & Company, among others. Nicole holds her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Montserrat College of Art, and her M.F.A. in Design from the School of Visual Arts. She is currently a 2012/2013 Public Access Design Fellow with the Center for Urban Pedagogy.

Vidya Santosh, Graphic Designer

Vidya enjoys interpreting and crafting valuable messages. She comes to Local Projects with experience in exhibit design at the American Museum of Natural History and in experiential marketing. Prior to living in New York City, Vidya earned a B.F.A. in Communication Design from Washington University in St. Louis, where she also helped establish The Burning Kumquat organic farm. She is an artist and designer, but hungrily studies disciplines as diverse as dance, language, philosophy, and Ayurveda.

David J. Carofano, Strategist

David is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City with an M.P.S. in Branding. David earned his B.A. in Business/Marketing at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He is inspired by Local Projects’ work, and passionate about the role of branding and storytelling in media. Previously he worked in the music industry and is an accomplished singer/songwriter.

John Ryan, Senior Interaction Designer / Technologist

John Ryan is a hybrid designer/technologist with a passion for exploratory work at the intersection of art, design, and technology. He has worked with organizations such UNICEF, Universal Music, Frog Design, Habitat for Humanity, and Fáilte Ireland. John’s work has been exhibited in both Ireland and the U.S., as well as presented to numerous industry groups, including Nokia, Microsoft, Oblong Industries, and the Silicon Beach Festival. He holds a B.Sc. in Multimedia from Dublin City University and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Art Center College of Design, California.

Andreas Borg, Creative Technologist

Andreas Borg is a creative technologist with a focus on audio-visual installations. Recent work at Local Projects includes data visualisations for the 9/11 Memorial Museum and iOS applications for NYSCI and the Civil Debate Wall. Prior to joining Local Projects, Andreas was lead interactive designer/developer for the experience centre in the cultural district Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, which features the new Guggenheim and the Louvre Abu Dhabi museums. Between 2000 and 2008 Andreas ran an award-winning Flash design agency in London creating a range of online work including regular interactive content for the Natural History Museum. Andreas holds a B.Sc. in philosophy from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Marijana Wotton, Producer

Marijana Wotton is an award-winning producer who has worked on four continents on assignment for A&E, ABC, National Geographic and Magnum Films. Marijana has collaborated with academy award-winning directors to document some of the most important events of the past decade including the war in Iraq and human trafficking in Mexico and Pakistan. Her work has been broadcast worldwide, presented at numerous film festivals, including Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Hot Docs, and is currently part of the traveling museum exhibition “War/Photography” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Marijana studied Journalism at New York University.

Kristin Lovejoy, Project Coordinator

Multi-platform producer Kristin Lovejoy has a rich interdisciplinary background.  Building on her content focus for PBS broadcast as a documentary and interactive producer, she created award-winning culture and art specials. Recently she was commissioned by Madison Square Art to produce media for sculptor Jaume Plensa’s Echo, and Orly Genger’s ‘Red, Yellow and Blue’, the client’s first mobile app.  For Batwin+Robin Productions, she contributed to team creation of an immersive experience for the Rotunda at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, as well as digital backdrops for Broadway shows.

Andrea Ngan, Junior Interaction Designer

Andrea is a multi-disciplinary community organizer, educator, and media producer. Working at the cross-section of art, architecture, design, urban pedagogy, and filmmaking, she is interested in building opportunities for meaningful exchange between individuals and communities. Her work has led her to collaborate with non-profit art and culture organizations throughout San Diego, the American Samoa, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn. She holds a B.A. from the University of California San Diego.

Edna Pei-Yu Lee, Production Artist

Edna is a graduate student at Pratt Institute pursuing a Masters of Science in Communications Design with an emphasis in Digital Design. She also holds a B.A. in International Business. Prior to joining Local Projects, she interned this summer at Apple Inc. in Cupertino.

Paul Hoppe, Art Director

Paul Hoppe is a designer working at the intersection of emerging technology, conceptual thinking, and visual storytelling. He is specifically interested in exploring the future of design for spaces and experiences. Before joining Local Projects he completed a Graphic Design internship at Moving Brands in San Francisco and a Media Design internship at ART+COM in Berlin, Germany. He holds a BA from Azusa Pacific University where he double majored in Graphic Design and Studio Art and a BFA with distinction from Art Center College of Design where he majored in Graphic Design.

Oriol Ferrer Mesià, Creative Technologist

As a Creative Technologist, Oriol focuses on mixing disciplines such as computer programming, computer graphics, video, photography, sound design, physical design and visual arts in general to create new realtime experiences. After graduating college, Oriol received a scholarship to join Fabrica, Benetton’s research center on communication, and joined its Interactive Department. He would later run Fabrica’s Interactive department. His works have been exhibited at international venues such as the Centre Pompidou, Moca Shanghai or the Victoria & Albert Museum. He holds two Bachelor’s Degrees; one on Multimedia Engineering, and another one on Computer Science, both from La Salle University.

Zannah Marsh, Content Developer

Zannah Marsh is a researcher, writer, and designer with ten years of experience developing concepts and content for interactive experiences in physical and virtual spaces. She’s worked with organizations such as the Boston Museum of Science, Microsoft Research, Area/Code Games, and EsproAcoustiguide. Zannah has taught multimedia design at NYU, Bennington College, The New School and in the CUNY system. She received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and an MPS from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, and has completed residencies at ITP/NYU, the Berwick Research Institute, and the Sequential Artists Workshop.

Alex Marse, Creative Technologist

As a Creative Technologist, Ales works primarily on backend development and machine learning. In additional to working at Local Projects, he is a software developer and musician. In school he focused on designing a citizen science application for crowdsourcing birdsong recordings. He holds a MA in Music Technology from NYU Steinhardt.

Nathan Adkisson, Senior Strategist

As senior strategist at Local Projects, Nathan ensures all work achieves business goals while remaining innovative, relevant and compelling to users. Before Local Projects, Nathan was a senior strategist at Big Spaceship, where his projects included Crayola, Chobani, Belvedere, Google, Samsung, Sonos, Purina, AOL, Fiji water, and the Ken Burns iPad app.  A former reporter, Nathan’s writing has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, Money magazine, and McSweeney’s. He holds a BS in Journalism from Northwestern University.

Danny Well, Junior Graphic Designer

Danny is a multidisciplinary designer fascinated by the narrative potential of merging digital and physical spaces. Before joining Local Projects he was a design intern at Friends of the Web, where he helped create online and mobile products for clients including House Industries and the U.S. Green Building Council. He holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Karen Vanderbilt, Graphic Designer

Karen is a graphic designer, reader, writer, and thinker. Before Local Projects, she worked at Studio Kudos designing print and web products for a variety of nonprofit and small-business clients. She also interned at Pure + Applied and Metropolis Magazine, and has contributed writing for AIGA/NY. Karen holds a B.A. from Williams College, where she studied psychology and art history. She completed an MFA in Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012.

Carolyn Hampe, Junior Graphic Designer

Carolyn Hampe is a designer interested in how content and design can work together with technology, environments, video, and language to create a meaningful experience and leave a positive impact. Before Local Projects, she was a design intern at Venables Bell & Partners and Sherwood Gallery, both in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Mike Tully, Graphic Designer

Mike Tully is a graphic designer interested in how design in physical spaces facilitates interaction between people and places. Prior to working at Local Projects, Mike worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Paperwhite Studio, Pagan & Sharp, and Partners & Spade. He is a past participant of the Typography Summer School program held in London. Additionally, he has participated in group art and design exhibitions at the Swiss Institute in New York City, and in Basel, Switzerland. He holds a B.F.A. from Parsons The New School for Design where he studied Communication Design and Technology.

awards

Expand Awards

National Design Award Winner

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt

Winner, Interaction Design

Local Projects, 2013

Read about 2013 Awards

Justified: AIGA Design Competition

Effective Design

Project: Gallery One, Cleveland Museum of Art

Local Projects , 2013

Read about award here

D&AD Awards

Project: Gallery One, Cleveland Museum of Art

Yellow Pencil Award Winner, Digital Design

Local Projects, 2013

Read about award here.

Muse Awards

American Association of Museums

Projects: Gallery One (Gold), Sculpture Lens (Gold), ArtLens (Bronze), Studio Play (Honorable Mention), Welcome Home (Honorable Mention)

Local Projects, 2013

Communicator Awards

Project: NYBG in Bloom

Mobile Apps, Award of Distinction

Local Projects, 2013

Read about the award here.

Core77 Awards

Core77 Awards
Project: 9/11 Names Arrangement Software & 9/11 Memorial Guide, Professional Notable Award in Interaction
Local Projects, 2012
Read more about the award here

Muse Awards

Muse Awards
Project: Urbanology, Winner in Games and Augmented Reality
Local Projects, 2012
Read more about the award here

Webby Awards

Webby Awards
Project: 9/11 Memorial Guide, Category Winner in Guides/Ratings/Reviews
Local Projects, 2012
Read more about the award here

Communicator Awards

Communicator Awards
Projects: Stone Barns iPhone App, Change By Us NYC, 9/11 Memorial Guide, Civil Debate Wall
Local Projects, 2012
Read more about the award here

IXDA Interaction Awards

IXDA Interaction Awards
Projects: Explore 9/11 / We Remember
Local Projects, 2012
Read more about the award here

Core 77 Design Awards

Projects: Dreams of Freedom & Contemporary Issues Forum, Interiors/ Exhibtion category
Local Projects, 2011
Read more about the award here.

Muse Awards

American Association of Museums
Projects: Explore 9/11, Contemporary Issues Forum, Dreams of Freedom
Local Projects, 2011
Read more about the award here

AIGA 365 Design Effectiveness Awards

Projects: Contemporary Issues Forum, Digital category, Dreams of Freedom, Cross media category, & Give A Minute, Digital category
Local Projects, 2011
Read more about the awards here.

Communicator Awards

Projects: Dreams of Freedom & Innovation and Expansion, Interactive Excellence category
Local Projects, 2011
Read more about the award here

AICP Next Awards

Project: Explore 9/11, Apps category
Local Projects, 2011
Read more about the award here

32nd Annual Telly Awards

Project: Dreams of Freedom
Local Projects, 2011
Read about the award here

HOW Interactive Design Awards

Make History
Merit Award, Miscellaneous Category
Local Projects, 2010
2011 Selections

Read about the award

Interiors Merit Award Winners

Architect: WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Local Projects
Project: NYC Information Center
Location: New York, NY

Read more about the award here

National Design Award Nomination

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt
Finalist, Interaction Design
Local Projects, 2010
Read about the award

SEGD Design Awards

The Official NYC Information Center
Honor Award, Dynamic Environments
Local Projects, 2010
Read about the award

The Webby Awards

Make History
Official Honoree, Cultural Institutions
Local Projects, 2010
2010 Selections

HOW

The Official NYC Information Center
Outstanding Achievement, Interactive Design
Local Projects, 2010
2010 Selections

I.D. Magazine

The Official NYC Information Center
Design Distinction, Interactive
Local Projects, 2009
2009 Selections

Communications Arts

The Official NYC Information Center
Information Design, Interactive Annual 15
Local Projects, 2009
2009 Selections

Chicago Athenaeum: Good Design

The Greatest Fairy Tale
Good Design Award, Public Environment
Local Projects, 2006
2006 Selections

Clio Awards

jetBlue StoryBooth
Bronze Clio, Interactive
Local Projects, 2006

One Show Interactive

jetBlue StoryBooth
Bronze Pencil, Interactive Review
Local Projects, 2006
2006 Selections

I.D. Magazine

jetBlue StoryBooth
Honorable Mention, Interactive
Local Projects, 2006
2006 Selections

365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions 28

Freedom’s Journal, Web site
2006 Selection, Information Design
Local Projects, 2006
2006 Selections

365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions 28

Miner’s Story Project
2006 Selection, Experience Design
Local Projects, 2006
2006 Selections

National Design Award Nomination

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt
Finalist, Communications
Local Projects, 2006
Read about 2005 Awards