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User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Jean-Christophe Naour

User Preferences: Tech Q&A With Jean-Christophe Naour

Each week we chat about the tools of the trade with one outstanding creative to find out exactly how they do what they do. The questions are always the same, the answers, not so much. This week: Jean-Christophe Naour.

The Creators Project: Who are you and what do you do?
Jean-Christophe Naour:
I’m Jean-Christophe Naour, a French Senior Interaction Designer currently working at Innoiz Interactive in Seoul, South-Korea. Over the past four years I’ve been developing interaction concepts, interfaces, programs, and motion design for mobile phones, mp3 players, television, GPS, installations, etc. I’ve worked for clients such as Samsung, LG Electronics, and Audi. My scope is continually expanding in an effort to ultimately go beyond the screen. Curiosity and enthusiasm for new media encourages me everyday to push boundaries and discover new possibilities.

What hardware do you use?
iMac, MacBook Pro, PS3eye Camera, Arduino and various sensors, Microsoft Kinect, iPhone, Akai MPD24.

What software do you use?
Actually I use a lot of Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, 3ds Max, Processing. This is like my basic setup to develop most of my projects. But I also experiment and mess around with Cinema 4D, openFrameworks, Cinder, vvvv, Unity, and more. Basically I don’t really try to focus on specific tools. If something I do is not good or fast enough, for example, I don’t hesitate to try something new. I also definitively try to merge different outputs and techniques together. Through this process I’m looking into glitches and unexpected artifacts that can be exploited and pushed into a new context.

The Kinect Graffiti Tool, a work in progress

If money were no object, how would you change your current setup?
The best and the most expensive monitors, ultra-fast computers, a bunch of beam projectors, lenses, HD cameras, LED screen, touch screens—that would be really great! High-quality [tools], minimal hardware issues—it’s too good to be true.

What fantasy piece of technology would you like to see invented?
Definitively teleportation aka quantum teleportation. Honestly, who’s never dreamed about it! Being able to be anywhere instantly. If we look at sci-fi, teleportation is either a bad idea (The Fly) or very cool (Star Trek). Let’s wait and see!

Is there a piece of technology that changed your life or inspired you?
Without any surprise it is the computer. When I was 7 years old I got my hands on a Macintosh. At that time I was just playing games on my father’s machine (Prince of Persia in B&W!). Having more understanding of numbers, maths, and logic I started to play a bit with QBASIC on my first PC (486DX/33), and did my first hack with a school computer. Once I got my hands on more powerful machines, then I started messing about with 3D worlds in POV-Ray, experimenting with music in FastTracker, and discovering 2D bitmaps, 3D modelling, and the internet. I’ve been fascinated since that time and am still discovering everyday.

What’s your favorite relic piece of technology from your childhood?
I think Lego is the best toy I’ve ever had. It was simply a fantastic way to build and create things. From handguns to motorized walking robots—and the joy of starting over.