A Bridge Between Creativity and Technology: Jono Hunt, Wunderman Thompson UK

por India Fizer , AdForum

Wunderman Thompson UK
Publicidade/serviço completo/integração
London, Reino Unido
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Jonothan Hunt
Creative Technologist Wunderman Thompson
 

Communication is key in the role of a Creative Technologist. We spoke with Jono Hunt, Senior Creative Technologist at Wunderman Thompson UK, about emerging technologies, having an intuition about how tech works and being able to communicate these often complex topics to a wide audience.

 

What does the role of a creative technologist entail?

It varies depending on where you work.

Fundamentally, Creative Technologists act as a bridge between creativity and technology. Being a Creative Technologist is about having an intuition about how tech works, the ability to hop into, experiment, and build with a wide variety of digital and physical technologies.

As a Senior Creative Technologist at Wunderman Thompson, my role is to inspire both our people and our clients with new opportunities presented by emerging technologies, contributing to and building with them, and then making them part of our everyday business. It’s a non-linear process that includes everything from talks, to workshops and education, as well as the coding & development side, all of which I love.

 

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

I’d say it’s primarily about having a passion for, and being fascinated by, emerging tech.

You need to have the ability to communicate often complex topics to almost anyone. Sometimes we have clients, developers, strategists, experience designers – you name them – all in the same room, and everyone needs to feel confident about their part and what’s going on in the project.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s feelings and viewpoints are valid. The ability to see your work objectively from everyone else’s standpoints is fundamental. Too often we hear people apologising for struggling to use or understand technology, when usually it’s the creator of the technology that should’ve done better.

 

Where do creative solutions intersect with functional design?

Idealistically the two are not separate. The most functionally successful designs have come about through creativity.

I see everyone in our agency as creative. Sure the ‘creatives’ bring ideas to life, but every stage of a successful project requires a creative approach. Sometimes we see the functionality of a platform as separate from its ‘creative wrapper’ when actually that might be a sign that a platform hasn’t embraced its identity fully.

 

What’s the most challenging aspect of the creative technologist role?

The challenge is becoming a Creative Technologist in the first place.

It’s a challenge to learn and build the confidence to do this, and I’m a straight, young, white man. Statistically, someone without any one of those attributes wouldn’t be as privileged as I am — I don’t have to face the societal exclusion and bias that almost anyone else faces in tech.

That’s why I’m hiring to expand our creative tech team - not by background or with specific skill requirements – I’m after people with a passion for technology and learning.

 

How do you see the role expanding with the introduction of the metaverse?

Creative Technologists have been the go-to as people become excited by virtual worlds, from Extended Reality (Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality), to Blockchain, Web3 and associated technologies.

We’re some distance from the one-big-set-of-interoperable-standards vision of the metaverse. A lot of the conversation now is about the technologies that play a part in our transition towards less centralised and more immersive platforms; one example being virtual worlds for socialising in, doing work, or playing games. As someone who has been building virtual worlds and games for a while, it’s exciting that there’s demand for these spaces as the barriers to entry lessen.

More than most other builds, the task of creating immersive experiences (whether they be Augmented Reality games or a virtual trade show world) requires more new technologies and skillsets. I’m talking new game engines and development libraries like those that facilitate streaming of virtual worlds in the cloud, so we can get incredible-looking experiences on all our devices. Specialised strategists, virtual world architects, experience designers and world builders, all with the ability to create beautiful spaces given the limitations of the devices we all use, developers who specialise in making interaction possible in new ways, creator economy specialists, and of course Creative Technologists, who are doing much of the above and co-ordinating development as we build out those capabilities.

 

Are there any passion projects you’ve worked on that you’d like to share?

I create VR games, develop lenses and effects for Insta, TikTok and Snapchat in my spare time. You can play with the latest effects I’ve made on my Instagram account: @Jonothankh

 

How can people reach out to you?

If you have any questions, I’m always up for a chat. Most socials @Jonothankh