Work & Background

👋 Thanks for stopping by! Read on for a bit about how I work, who I’ve worked with, what I’ve worked on, and my background. If you’re curious about what I’m working on right this moment, check out my Now page. I’m always happy to discuss new opportunities and possibilities. If you’re interested in working or learning together, let me know.

I’m a web developer with over a decade of experience building websites for organizations and individuals in Europe, North America, and Asia. As a web developer, my responsibilities often include designing the information architecture, establishing the tech stack, managing hosting environments, writing documentation, training users, and of course writing, testing, debugging, and deploying code.

Sometimes my work involves collaborating with designers to create a website from start to finish. Other times, I work directly with the client to make enhancements to an existing site, for example to improve the UI or bring the tech stack up-to-date. Regardless of the task, I aim to get the most out of the opportunities offered within the practical constraints and the shifting nature of the web.

The languages I use most often are JavaScript and PHP, and I have dabbled with Python, Ruby, and SQL. The content management systems (CMSs) I usually reach for are Kirby and Craft CMS, though I also work with WordPress when appropriate such as on this site. When time allows, I enjoy experimenting with newer CMS options and frameworks such as Netlify CMS, Gatsby, and Hugo. On the front-end, I’m a big fan of squeezing the absolute most out of CSS and HTML, using semantic elements whenever possible and making use of CSS Grid Layout and Flexbox when appropriate for the browser support requirements. JavaScript is great, but it’s not a panacea for front-end difficulties and should be used with care!

Moving forward, I would like to spend more time working with larger teams to make more meaningful contributions to open source projects and the open web more generally. I would also like to focus more on making the web accessible, particularly with institutions in the cultural sector that often inadvertently neglect this critical element.

Writing / Learning / Teaching

I keep track of the things that I learn by writing everything down. These are a few of my most recent work-relevant posts:

I taught a short series of workshops for the LCC MA GMD program in early 2020, and I have free office hours on Wednesday mornings Pacific time for anyone and everyone that might have a question related to the web. I’ve helped an artist get her search engine appearance sorted out, given tips to a product designer interested in learning more about Eleventy and the Arena API, provided guidance to a code bootcamper who wasn’t sure how to translate their studies in to freelancing, and more. If you’d like to chat sometime, let me know.

Who I’ve worked with

I’ve had the pleasure of working with many individuals and organizations across the world including those listed below. If a name is linked, it is because I was involved in building their website at some point over the past 10 years.

• Architects: Barozzi Veiga, Casper Mueller Kneer Architects, Dannatt Johnson Architects, David Kohn Architects, Manalo & White, Roz Barr Architects, Russell Jones • Galleries, Foundations: Asia Art Archive, David Roberts Art Foundation, Pump House Gallery, Stuart Shave / Modern Art, National Centre for Craft & Design • Publications, Publishers: Corridor8, Dirty Furniture, Modern Design Review, Occasional Papers, Penguin Random House • Designers: Dust, Fraser Muggeridge studio, Gemma Copeland, John Morgan studio, Jules Estèves, Mark El-khatib, Polimekanos, Sara De Bondt studio • Archives, Schools: Architectural Association School of Architecture, Jock Kinneir Library, LCC MA GMD, Leeds Beckett University, Open School East, Open-weather • Artists, Curators, Writers: Elizabeth Peyton, Gabrielle Lockwood-Estrin, Jes Fernie, Marysia Lewandowska, Ria Pacqueé, Sasha Engelmann, Sophie Dyer, Tyler Coburn • Other: CoBox, Feminist Open Source Investigations Group, Host of Leyton, Sessions & Co.

Things I’ve worked on

These are a few of the projects I have been involved in over more recent years and remain relevant to my current work. Please get in touch if you are interested in further work examples.

Open School East website, with Sam Baldwin (2020)

Open School East is a space for artistic and collaborative learning that is free, informal, versatile, and non-exclusive. Sam Baldwin designed the website using the existing identity by Kellenberger–White as a starting point. I developed the website with WordPress, working with their extensive legacy content and integrating custom Gutenberg blocks to suit their requirements.

“Eternal Return” for Elizabeth Peyton, with Jules Estèves (2020)

Elizabeth Peyton is a contemporary artist whose works have been collected and exhibited by the Whitney, the Pompidou, MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery, and more. “Eternal Return” is a presentation of her recent work hosted by the Gladstone gallery. I worked closely with designer Jules Estèves to develop a website that reveals photographs and images of her work in time with the user’s scroll. Full writeup coming soon. Read about it in the New Yorker

gemmacope.land, with Gemma Copeland (2019)

Gemma Copeland is an interdependent digital designer and researcher who started her own practice in late 2019 after several stints at award-winning studios across Europe. As part of this shift in her career, we created a website that functions as an archive, a notebook, and a sandbox. She wanted it to be lightweight and easy for an enthusiastic beginner to tinker with the markup and CSS, so I set her up with a static Eleventy site, minimal JavaScript, and some thorough documentation. She was already a prodigious Arena user, so we decided to use the Arena API to pull in selected channels that give further context for the way she thinks about her work. Read more on her website or check out the repository on GitHub.

British Earways website rebuild (2019)

British Earways is a London-based audio project featuring mixes, compositions, live recordings, and other work from contributors around the world. The website was originally designed by Julia. In early 2019, I rebuilt the existing site using Kirby CMS v3. The new version of the site uses modern web technologies including the Web Audio API and CSS Grid Layout. Read more.

Manalo & White website, with Fraser Muggeridge studio (2018)

In 2018, SB-PH was approached by Fraser Muggeridge studio to develop a new website they were designing for architecture studio Manalo & White. I configured Craft CMS and implemented the JavaScript and logic, particularly a randomised feed of project images which would occasionally feature media associated with a particular keyword – “white”, “concrete”, “plants”, etc. – on the homepage “above the fold”.

Modern Art website, with John Morgan studio (2018)

Modern Art is a gallery representing artists internationally with two locations in London. In 2018, John Morgan studio approached SB-PH to develop the website with a focus on nuanced typography and high-quality media. I worked closely with the Modern Art team to configure Craft CMS appropriately for their specific archive requirements and implemented the logic and JavaScript.

Occasional Papers website (2017)

Occasional Papers is an independent publisher of affordable books devoted to the histories of architecture, art, design, film and literature. OP approached SB-PH to design and develop their new e-commerce website in 2016. I developed a WordPress theme with extensive WooCommerce support and wrote the logic to display books proportionately on the front-end.

Jock Kinneir Library website (2017)

Graphic designer Jock Kinneir is perhaps best known for his work with Margaret Calvert on Britain’s motorway signage, an undertaking that would inform a large part of Britain’s graphic identity. The Jock Kinneir Library, an organisation dedicated to sharing Kinneir’s work and teaching, commissioned SB-PH to design and develop a website where they would share interviews, media, transcripts, and other resources of note. I worked with the Library and Sam Baldwin to devise a records system and page builder that is suitable for their breadth of content, configuring Craft CMS and the logic.

Penguin Classics, Pelican, and The Happy Reader e-newsletters (2016)

In 2016, the Random House Group approached SB-PH to design and develop a new e-newsletter template to be used with their enterprise-level software. Their marketing efforts were being restricted by a stale, non-responsive template that was difficult to use. We created a modular system with a UI that allowed them to easily change media, colours, reorder content, and much more. I worked with the software’s templating syntax to develop a template with appropriate Outlook 2010+ compatibility as well as support for more modern technology such as web fonts and responsive layouts. We subsequently worked with them to incorporate new modules, and the following year they commissioned us to extend this template for use with the Pelican imprint and The Happy Reader, a magazine co-produced by Penguin Classics and Fantastic Man.

View a Pelican newsletter
View a Happy Reader newsletter
View a Penguin Classics newsletter

Corridor8 website (2016)

Screenshot of Corridor8 website

Corridor8 is a platform for contemporary art and writing in the north of England. In 2016, Corridor8 moved away from print-focused publishing towards web-first output. They commissioned SB-PH to design and develop their new website, requiring support for their many regional editors and light art direction for major features. I developed their WordPress theme and ran SQL queries grooming thousands of entries within the legacy database to appropriately configure the content for the new fields and style guide.

Background

I grew up in California and completed my undergrad degree at Colby College, a liberal arts school in central Maine. At Colby, I majored in fine art and was introduced to computer programming, amongst other subjects. In 2010, I moved from San Francisco to London to pursue a postgrad in fine art at Central Saint Martins. At the end of this stint some of my work was shortlisted for an award and exhibited in the new-at-the-time Lethaby Gallery. I was fortunate to sell a few pieces. After this experience I was in search of something a little more practical, and for about a year and a half I worked with the world’s first peer-to-peer car sharing startup.

Since the p2p startup folded in 2013, I have been working primarily as a web developer. Between February 2017 and April 2019 I managed Occasional Papers, an independent publisher of excellent books on the histories of architecture, art, design, film and literature. Until early 2019, my web development work was mainly with designer Sam Baldwin under our initials SB-PH. I’m now based back in San Francisco and am enjoying pursuing independent opportunities with institutions, designers, and other collaborators around the world.

My work and hobbies overlap somewhat. When I’m not staring at a screen, I like to cook, draw, read, repair, and sing in groups. These are some of my most recent posts on less work-related topics:

Get in touch if you’d like to work or learn together, have something to share, or want to say hi.