My name is Lee Probert and I’m passionate about Creative Technology. There are many opinions regarding what makes a great Creative Technologist and for me the role draws comparison with that of an Architect. An Architect is not expected to be an expert in construction, but they need to know enough about the processes at a high level so that they can make confident, informed decisions. This is why, before the role Creative Technologist was defined, I used to call myself an Interactive Media Architect. I still think this title is an accurate definition of what it is I do.

The role of Creative Technologist is something I have naturally fallen into over many years of working in various Digital Production, Marketing and Advertising agencies.

Please download my CV to view my work history. There’s also a bunch of links at the bottom of the page for getting in touch and browsing my social media presence.

There are different types of Creative Technologist. Some are great at coding, others lean towards strategy and planning. This website outlines my definition of Creative Technology so you may understand what defines me as a Creative Technologist.

These are my four pillars of Creative Technology. Click the links to jump to a section or just scroll the page to read through.

I was the kid who was into drawing cartoons in his exercise books; who would spend hours copying thousands of lines of basic out of a magazine to make his computer cry. The kid who drew intricate maps of dungeons and platform games on long rolls of cheap paper; ripped his toys apart to get to the guts to see what he could hack.

Technology cries out to be explored and experimented with. There may not be an initial purpose, but the proof-of-concept is enough to inspire and excite. Great ideas will eventually find a home.

Creativity is fun and freedom; it shouldn’t be restricted. Sometimes the best art is created through careless expression, by tinkering and hacking. The boom moment may come out of a glitch. A happy accident.

Arthur C Clarke once said that any significant advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Magic tricks are built on simple techniques and principles that have evolved over the years. Innovation augments the trick, elevates it to the next level, much like the technology choices we make. Technologies that themselves evolve and can seem magical. Remember the first time you used a touchscreen device or experienced Virtual Reality?

Great magicians perform their tricks creatively and uniquely. Creative Technologists like to use technology so that it elicits a wondrous response from the observer or user. The wow factor is often quoted when describing the requirements of a project. It has to have the wow factor! Just like a magic trick, we want punters to feel exhilarated and surprised by what they’ve just experienced. This takes a lot of creativity.

Creativity needs feeding. I keep myself informed of the latest developments in Web technologies, immersive media, mobile and desktop software. I visit exhibitions and demonstrations of emerging technology. I attend conferences and seminars.

I host a bi-monthly meetup called Furiously Curious that gathers artists and other likeminded people for talks and demonstrations. I curate a bunch of Facebook pages where I share and exchange ideas with others.

I have a great circle of friends and acquaintances who share my passion for Creative Technology. I am also involved with several creative and tech communities online.

How much is it going to cost? How long will it take? These are questions that you get asked a lot as Creative Technologist and being able to give informed and accurate responses is critical.

Feasibility is understanding the processes that make creative ideas a reality. Knowing the difference between a 10 day job and a 10 week nightmare. I help Project Managers and Account handlers deal with the details. I focus over-enthusiastic creative minds.

Is an idea possible? How can it be achieved? Prototyping and hacking are important aspects of my work and I spend a lot of my time experimenting and researching new technology so I know exactly how it works and how to manipulate it.

The Cloud and Compass

The Cloud and Compass are a Real Time Marketing Agency based in London. As their Creative Technologist I helped them with front-end development and digital strategy. The case studies below describe the Liveposter projects we developed that became a realtime platform for OOH activation.

Is this idea appropriate? Is it on-brand? More questions regularly asked of Creative Technologists.

I work very closely with User Experience and Digital Strategy teams pondering questions like these. Sometimes the technology choices and creative ideas are woven into an overall campaign strategy. The results of demographic and statistical research should dictate these choices.

Understanding the business needs of clients, their brand and their customers, helps to strategise and plan the direction that the creative work should take.

Technological Strategy is also important: development standards and limitations; obsolete hardware and unsupported open-source software; these are all essential considerations.