Jared Ficklin • Frog

Jared Ficklin is a Senior Principal Design Technologist at frog, where he builds user experiences for clients, playing with interactions including touch and multi-touch, and applying physics to enhance the user experience.

Every March in Austin TX, Jared produces the frog party - a collective social experiment for a few thousand people, with music, an open bar and a guaranteed examination of some facet of technology in social situations. Through the frog party and other events, plus his passion for sound visualization and physical computing, he has developed a number of interactive installations.

A passion for music and making things introduced him to the hobby of sound visualization, which has led him on occasion to play with fire.

Jared is also the Co-Director of the Austin Public Skatepark Action Committee and lived as a cowboy in 1867 for Public Television.

Session: 5000 First Impressions

For a bit more than a bright decade visitors to Austin TX from around the world experienced a hyper social digital experiment known locally as the frog party. At its pinnacle this event held every March as the opening to SXSW Interactive involved 1 acre, 7000 people & 160 linear feet of bar. Attendees were subjected to dozens of interactive installations all designed to twist their minds laterally toward some thought about the current state of technology…

..all in exactly 3 hours.

The perperation was months of crazy ideas and sweat equity with world class talent and an underdog budget.

This is the story behind the party, the formulas it ran on and the small things learned over the years. We will cover things we learned in executing the installations, but also little things like how signage strategy can help press coverage and exactly the distance a tent needs to be from a fence in order to keep fully grown and supposedly responsible man who is probably a Tech Director at some big company from peeing back there.