Robert Miles Kemp

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architecture started for me and I really

engage my dad was general contractor you

know I grew up on a fire first first of

architectural thing I did with my dad

because my dad built our house when I

was five there’s a little literally had

a hammer in my hand and it’s like making

toys and stuff like that while he was

actually building the house I remember

the entire process and for me I’ve

always kind of inspired me to want to do

that as a career so we worked on my

first house which was when my family

house with my dad was

when I was 9 and dad was working with

one of our neighbors houses and he knew

that was always drawing and planning

things and so he said you know is it

possible for you to do the drawings for

this house and even talk the paper it

was like yeah I get miles to do it even

though he’s not sure he could do it so I

ended up drawing the elevations for this

barn that’s two storey burn I still have

the drawings my dad built the part

exactly – just back to the drawings this

is a really simple thing and he kind of

guiding hand up it was the first time

that I was like wow I think with my

actions I can actually you know do

things for real even at a really young

age and ever since then I’ve always you

know been into architecture and wanting

to get involved and I started working

for my first firm when I was 14 I

started learning on a CAD

I worked in the architecture industry

for about 12 years and I worked with

nine different service over the entire

period so I’ve worked with all kinds of

firms they range from small residential

firms all the way up to work for SOA I

was almost three years and there DC in

the era Commons each each experience was

what’s really interesting in its own

right I kind of structured what have all

kind of career if you will in the same

way that I worked on my educational

career which was I tried to work for

more nuts and bolts architecture firms

when I first started and then as I kind

of progressed through my career if you

will I started working for more

experimental service so the first ones

that I worked for was that kind of you

know pretty traditional architecture

firm with like five people that worked

on very traditional work and then from

there I started working for a

traditional kind of school architecture

firm that was a bigger in size it’s

maybe like 60 or 70

with Brigid marker architects and just

outside of Washington DC when I was an

undergrad so both of those experiences

really got me to understand you know how

architecture was actually built what

does it mean to actually construct an

architecture who does it mean to you

know go out in the field and understand

the architectural process what does it

mean to work with clients directly these

are kind of more nuts and bolts things

and then as the years progressed I

started working for were crazy firms if

you will that’s so evident not

necessarily the craziest when we worked

on really interesting office projects

all across Europe and we tried to push

the envelope as far as possible so when

I was there you know I was using my

background in kind of Bethany

construction and trying to push it even

further than we worked on some cool

things we worked on a project for

bursary Elementary in Connecticut where

we built this entire elementary school

that looks like Swiss cheese almost and

there was trees that were growing inside

of you this cool itself so when kids

were in the library they could walk out

of one of the holes if you will and they

could literally cinder need the trees

and that kind of experience the outdoor

dance while they were at school

it’s part of the architecture experience

found to be most interest in each of

these firms is when I got to work for

firms where the management upper-level

management was was not only really

involved in the projects but they also

gave me insights and of the way that the

business was from you know you really

can’t work in a vacuum we can’t just be

you can’t be content with just being a

project architect and working on you

know only a specific part of content

instead it’s really important to

understand the way that the business

actually works and so in almost all

cases I tried really hard to kind of

show the four level management that I

wanted to understand how the business


I wanted it getting in front of clients

more I wanted to have more time kind of

you know working on putting my ideas on

the table and having discussions with

clients about it and it’s something that

I really tried to do with my own firm

now we were still a small firm but I try

as much as possible to let every

the business actually functions and how

it works you know how cash flow works

what kind of money we need to make what

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kind of revenue revenue we need to make

I mean in the same way I think you

should spend as much time designing your

business model as you should be

designing your architectural context

because the to run hand in hand and in a

way you know it’s you’re almost like

building a lifestyle of our business

model for people’s lives and so I feel

like these things are very intrinsically


I’m a little background on their office

facade so we’ve been working on building

this new proprietary kind of product

solution if you will for our office so

for us personally you know with our

business model and our own agenda what

we wanted to do is make it possible for

general public people who are just

surfing the web the general public who

are walking around outside in the real

world to be able to experience and learn

about our office and also kind of

understand the rudimentary level what

interaction design could be in physical

space so we’ve been working on this

proprietary product it’s actually a

great next to me we’re working on

developing this and a two-story

interactive facade system so we use it

right now every night the entire system

automatically turns itself on and then

we built the scheduling system that

plays different media at different times

throughout the night and so over the

past year and a half we’ve been playing

all kinds of content ranging from our

own kind of brand messaging to you know

different kind of movies to a lot of

interactive features so one of the

features that’s working right now has

been pretty fun and a lot of good

feedback on this you have a middle of

any user has the ability to leave

messages on our screen for each other

and just kind of talk with our brand

directly so you can write that very

and any one of your messages and you

could we have a moderation engine that

scrubs all the kind of bad words and

stuff about all of that but it’s a it’s

a way for people to be able to start

talking with our brand so people can

walk by like oh I love this video that I

saw you know maybe I want to start

talking about the about a new project

taking leave a message like that however

they can even almost publicly advertise

themselves so a lot of people come by

and they’re like wow you know check out

my website and I do amazing anything to

do amazing web designer to amazing

crocheting or you know whenever they

leave lots of messages for the general

los angeles community but whether a

facade system that’s really like my

testing tool it’s a product it’s a

product that musicans definitely see in

the future of retail stores but for us

it’s a way for us to test our ideas and

at a one-to-one scale so yes we have

kind of Twitter functionality but we’ve

also experimented with using gesture to

control the entire facade we’ve built

the whole bottom part before us and a

custom type screen so people could come

up and actually flip through different

videos or our office we’re just

constantly experimenting with this kind

of new retail product you have to sell a


so our interactive facade solution is

this product that we want to sell at

different retail environments and we

think that what it’s going to enable

it’s a new way for brands and retail to

actually connect with their audience

many different levels so for us we feel

like this retail facade is a great way

to be able to kind of take all of your

web content and bring that content

directly to physical space so you can

imagine at night you could take all of

your real world web content and all your

videos imaging images all your peer

reviews all that kind of stuff and

actually put it on the side on your

facade so just imagine the possibilities

if you were to like walk up to t-mobile

for example or some telecom at night

you’d be able to actually access your

account via that are thinner facade and

you can pay your bills to the actual

window another solution would be like

imagine if they’re walking out on

Robertson Boulevard and you’re walking

by Chanel or WSC or any of these

companies out there and they were to

actually take images of their clothes

and actually project them on to you in

real time so it’s a way for you to

almost see how the clothes would look on

your body before you even go into the

store it’s a entirely new way to be able

to kind of engage your audience as

they’re kind of casually walking by or

as a destination for them to come

kind of off hours you can imagine that

this technology can even transcend

facades and transcend this kind of

exterior building medium and come into

the store as well so in the same way of

taking like web content and making it

accessible at night to have people

outside we just imagine particulars

technologies and put it inside of like

an interactive table and a wine bar for

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example you could make it so that people

could learn about the entire inventory

in the store they can pull out peer

reviews that are available on the

website and in store they can also find

out in real time when everyone in the

bar is drinking so it’s like a new way

for people to communicate with each

other and explore the why


without challenges and getting clients

and I think that the same channel to

supply every type of company the first

thing that I would say is that we didn’t

know what the right answer was when we

first started and so as last year as you

progressed over the last year and a half

and having this of opening this office

we’ve been working on their message

we’ve been changing our message we’ve

been taking our message to new clients

and trying it out and seeing if it’s

going to work and I think one thing

you’ll definitely notice is that over

time the message will become not only

much better but much more concise I mean

I highly recommend storyboarding out

your entire brand message of how you

want to represent yourself and then

whatever you could cut it in half

simplify it I mean it’s all about

breaking it down into the most simplest

wigs and I would say kind of the short

answer of it is the companies that they

think that are the most successful if

you look on their website you’ll see

that you can summarize their entire

design philosophy or their entire

business model by one two or three words

you know some companies out there

represent themselves as you know

technology in space or technology and

creative or user experience design and

space you know this it’s all about kind

of picking the very specific message

that you want to have made for us one of

the difficulties that we’ve had is that

we’ve worked on all different types of

media ranging from traditional media to

and concept cars to digital signage for

big brands

and video games you name it we’ve worked

on them but the thing is that when we

start telling our clients that we’re

capable of working with all those

different things they get really

confused and they’re like whoa

how are you a specialist if you’ve

worked with so many different things

then I would say well you know new media

is this the future of media it’s

building media that is cross-platform

it’s about tying all these things

together and they’re still like I don’t

get and then and so I I think it’s

really important that you try to

simplify your message as much as

possible and make it so that you know

you can really relate to them when

they’re level

so with one of the things that we’ve

found that works pretty well is that

we’ve tried to simplify our message into

one kind of slogan or one kind of steam

which is exciting

connect and engage and rather than

talking about our company as the

technology company yeah we build a lot

of Technology but it’s really about how

we engage users it’s always been about

how we engage users and so instead of

saying you know we’re capable of doing

all these things it’s really like you

know what can we do for you how can we

you know target your audience how can we

excite them and get them really

interested in you know our product or

our experience how can we connect with

them how can we create new ways to kind

of personalize the experience and make

sure that all the content and the

experience appeals directly to them and

then the last is engaged so how can we

actually get audience feedback

how can we agree to dialogue with them

how can we use technology in space as a

wiener as a kind of catalyst for people

to become more and more engaged with

their actual brains so when you start

talking about that and that way you

really do differentiate yourselves from

other companies that are just like you

know technology design integrating

interaction in the space it’s way more


I’ve always been really interested in

transformable spaces because always one

of the great new ways for people to be

constantly engaged with architecture

around and to create scenarios for

people to be able to communicate and

talk with each other even more so when I

was first growing up you know I worked

with my dad on their house when I was

five years old and I noticed that you

know we were building this big hassle

does it strategically designed to work

for our family and head so it was great

when we first built it you know we it

worked really well for him but I always

had this you know family that never

changed and then you knew that the house

wasn’t going to work as well in the

future so for example you know I have

this kind of family system

we had five people and parents and

divorce they got remarried then I had

more brothers and sisters and suddenly

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the house didn’t really work and so I

was always like why can’t we have build

structures that can literally transform

what we can you know be able to actually

custom tailor them to our family

scenarios and situations in real time so

I went for many years on this problem

from a physical perspective I worked on

kind of building transforming mortgage I

worked on building a loft in New York or

all the walls or building sailboats and

we could move them around and kind of

hook them into each other and build

these different kind of

but I found that when you did that what

actually was happening is that people

weren’t really manipulating them in the

way that I thought that they would

instead they’re kind of adapting to the

actual spaces themselves and so what I

was interested in is kind of pushing

this even further and so about five

years ago I started getting into

robotics and user interface design as a

means to be able to build transformable

architecture you know kill me put

sensors and computers and other types of

kind of spark hardware inside of these

systems so that you can actually create

a real dialogue with the people inside

of spaces it’s much easier than

information around and change the

behavior patterns of people in space

than it is to actually literally move

all the walls and kind of change the

architecture around them if you will so

you know now I wonder you’re kind of new

modern solution the chance

our space is constantly evolving and

we’ve seen over the past year that

actually we switched up the space many

different time times depending on the

different projects that were working on

so right now you’re seeing kind of our

iteration projects and then we have that

all set up so that we do are going to

workshops and brainstorming sessions

here resemble formal conference room in

the back but we find that it’s way more

engaging to have the more in the middle

of the space so we have big working

sessions here and there twice a week we

have a big brainstorming sessions on our

projects and you know we really use a 20

or feed of whiteboard space so we work

on brainstorming sessions

bring all the chairs over we’ll have

this big kind of sessions or everybody’s

participating together

this is kind of more or less about user

experience and Savage

so we’ve integrated it back to more of

our production area where we actually do

a lot of our fabrication itself

fabrication so if you just come back

with me so one of the things that we do

a lot up here is we do a lot of wonder

when the scale prototype we don’t have a

whole wood shop which we did but we

don’t we still we have this kind of more

or less clean environment so we do a lot

of our testing here


and a lot of times we’ll talk about the

actual screens so yes information and

interface is super important we’ll go

back and I’ve actually designed those

things later on but when we’re actually

trying things out we build prototypes of

the action screens these are Microsoft

Surface tables the new to point up

tables and so what we worked out in this

what does it mean that they use these

tables in this configuration versus

turning them in a different

configuration what does it mean you know

how much these will people actually have

in the interfaces what does it mean when

somebody’s right next to you and how

much base you really need for the user

experience the experience itself we need

to test a lot of things have one-to-one

scale so we do love that deserve edge of

our screens

the project kind of testing them out and

we’re sending a two-year requirement and

stuff like that and then once we kind of

move beyond the knees kind of clean

prototypes if you will we do even more

one-to-one scale prototyping on our

facility so right now it’s the daytime

in the whole facade system is turned off

but we have this huge screen which

literally is our entire facade which is

15 feet 18 feet wide we built this whole

interface where we can take all of our

designs and actually run them through

our system can show them in full size so

for example if we’re working on a new

retail side or a new interactive exhibit

or even

a car prototype we can take those things

one-to-one actually project them up onto

the screen and then use them you know

walk them out and they can deal in the

real sense of the word and actually try

them so a lot of times we’ll have five

or six staff members up there and we’ll

all be kind of working

a project the same time going to try

what does it feel that when we’re all

interacting with this thing at the same

time it’s very intense