The Retroscope

See The Past Like You Wouldn't Believe



WebPublic Speaking
The Retroscope
The Retroscope

The Project

The Retroscope was an experimental web application for viewing historical photographs. The project was a precursor to Retronaut , by the archivist Wolfgang Wild.

I knew him as Chris. I had a fairly popular blog at the time and I think Chris found me through that. We both share an obsession with history and time and we'd talk for hours about it. I was quite excited by his ideas for The Retroscope and keen to help.

What I worked on

When we first met I worked on user interface prototypes for a web application. We'd meet every so often in Covent Garden, to go through iterations of the user interface.

Later I prepared slides and 3D work for a presentation at TED Global 2010 in Oxford.

What I learned

Positivity is infectious. Chris has an enthusiastic energy that made this collaborative fun.

Disagreement can be healthy. We went back and forth on the UI a lot and often disagreed, but always in service of a better user experience.

Not all rewards are monetary. Chris was trying to raise some VC money at the time. When we first met he didn't have any and I didn't ask. I worked on this because it was going to be fun. The TED Talk came later. Chris took me to lunch afterwards. He thanked me for my work and presented me with his physical copy of the TED commandments. I'll never forget it. That was classy.