Interview with Fashionbuddha

Known for creating world class animations and interactive experiences – and also for having what is perhaps the largest red sofa any non-hobbit has ever seen – AIGA Portland is proud to include Portland-based skunk works Fashionbuddha in our exhibit Blurred Lines: A Curated Exploration of the Future of Interaction, held October 9-11, 2013 at Refuge PDX.

These elusive magic workers only come out of hiding once or twice a year to share their vision of the future. We asked them what they have in store for us with their exhibit, The Parlor. This is what they had to say:

What are you creating for Blurred Lines and who is the team working on it?
What would a digital tattoo parlor look like, and how can technology enhance the experience of choosing and customizing the perfect tattoo?

Our exhibit stays true to tattoo culture and tradecraft while providing a glimpse of the future. Fashionbuddha has teamed up with artists Yellena James, Evan B. Harris, Gala Bent and Nathan Jurevicius to create a fascinating array of artwork that pushes this powerful medium of self-expression to new heights.

The team working on it is: Robert Lewis (Director), Katie Burns (Exhibition Producer), Kevin Hanny, (Interactive Producer), Eryn Murrie (Animation Producer), Aubrey Francois (Senior Software Engineer), Vance Feldman (Interactive Developer), Josh Kneedler (Interactive Developer), Marisa Rowland (Exhibition Designer), Rory Magnus (Animator), Yellena James (Illustrator), Evan B. Harris (Illustrator), Gala Bent (Illustrator), Nathan Jurevicius (Illustrator).

That’s quite a team! What is the inspiration behind The Parlor?
20% of us are brave enough to already have a tattoo. This is for the other 80%.

And who would play you in an episode of Portlandia?
Christopher Walken, of course.

Does Christopher Walken have tattoos? I wonder….


What type of work does Fashionbuddha typically create?
Our expertise is creating world-class animations and interactive experiences. Whether it’s building multi-touch tables from scratch, or creating a new font using ballet choreography and infrared trackers, we’re always searching the most innovative solutions using the latest technology and awe-inspiring artwork.

A choreographed font? That sounds really cool. The Christopher Walken reference is making more and more sense now. 

Tell us about your creative process?
We’ve learned to treat internal projects projects with the same urgency as client projects. We meet every day and with an agile-like approach to development.

What’s been your favorite part of this project so far?
Everyone in the studio is lending their talents to this project, including some fantastic research, set and experience design, original art and animation, interface design, and some complex programming and hardware requirements.

Why do you think people will be excited about your installation?
Tattoo’s are extremely personal forms of self-expression and often reveal more than a person realizes. Hopefully, they leave with a better idea of who they are.

Speaking of exciting forms of self-expression… metaphorically speaking, would you say your installation is a bike or an electric car?
it’s an electric car riding a bike.

Yeah, that makes sense. One last question: What is good design?
Good design solves a problem in a surprising or inexplicable way.

Thanks Fashionbuddha for all your creativity and hard work. Speaking as one of the “other 80%,” I can’t wait to occupy The Parlor at Blurred Lines next month!

You too can experience Fashionbuddha’s The Parlor October 9-11th at Blurred Lines: A Curated Exploration of the Future of Interaction – where leading design studios in Portland share their experiences of what can (and may) happen when light, sound, images, motion, culture and history combine. Explore a space like you’ve never imagined, grab a drink at the bar and groove on music spun by different DJ’s each night.

Buy your tickets now at:

Published September 16, 2013
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