Biography

Brad Johnson uses a variety of media to explore and interpret our natural heritage through the lens of the landscape. Brad’s work often blends photographic traditions with collage, painting, and sculpture, investigating the blending and blurring of worlds—the material and digital, the natural and cultural, the imagined and observed, the ravaged and reborn. 

Brad was a painter and digital artist in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His paintings, pictures and digital artwork were exhibited in galleries and online, and by 1995 he was receiving commissions from cultural and commercial clients for multimedia and web projects. In 1997 Brad Johnson and Julie Beeler co-founded Second Story, an interactive media studio that focuses on evolving the art of storytelling through interpretive media and responsive environments for cultural and commercial clients. As the studio’s executive creative director, Brad lead the creative teams in the design and development of over 300 award-winning projects served through almost every digital medium—disc-based multimedia, Web sites, mobile applications, site-specific installations and digital environments—for many of the world’s most respected brands, museums, and cultural institutions.

Since his departure from Second Story in 2015 Brad has focused on projects and public commissions that explore new ways of representing our natural environment in urban contexts.

 

Born

1964    Harrisburg, PA

 

Education

1986    BA magna cum laude, Philosophy, Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA

 

Professional Experience

1997 - 2014    Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director, Second Story, Portland, OR

1994 - 1997    Founder and Designer, Brad Johnson Presents, Berkeley, CA

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016    Pinus Ponderosa: Studies for a Requiem, PDX Window Project, PDX Contemporary, Portland, OR

2009    Fifteen Years On the Line, Reynolds Gallery, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA

1993     Introductions, Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

1992     Thick and Thin, Okeanos, Berkeley, CA

1989     Overpaintings, Alligator, San Francisco, CA


Selected Group Exhibitions

2015    Sum of Its Parts, Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art, Portland, OR

1998     Dig It: Digital Art in Technological Times, Limn Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1998    x, y, z, The Remedi Project (online)

1996     Can You Digit?, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY

1993     SF Art Dealers Association Introductions, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

1992     Sacrifices of Abraham, Bade Museum, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA

1991     Juried Annual, Pro Arts, Oakland, CA

 

Selected Commissions

2016    Untitled, Large-scale mixed-media installation, YARD Building, Portland, OR; Key Development (Hood River, OR)

2012     Oregon Forestscape, Large-scale mixed-media installation, Yeon Building, Portland, OR; Jonathan Rose Companies (New York, NY) 

 

Selected Lectures & Presentations

2013

“Pause & Effect: Things We Learned Getting Lost” A Better World By Design Conference, Brown University/RISD, Providence, RI, September 27, 2013

 

2011

Second Story, Oregon College of Art & Craft, November 21, 2011

 

2007

“Shaping Visitor Experiences with Interactive Media,” Technology’s Influence on the Interpretive Experience; The Longwood Graduate Program Symposium, Kennett Square, PA, March 9, 2007

“The Theban Mapping Project and the Uses of 3D Reconstructions Online,” Representing the Past: Archaeology through Image & Text, The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, Brown University, March 17, 2007

 

2006

“Design for Wonder,” AIGA Portland, November 8, 2006

 

2005

“Interactive Storytelling,” Tyler School of Art, Temple University, April 1, 2005

“Place-Based Storytelling Tools: A New Look at Monticello,” Museums and the Web Conference, Vancouver, BC, April 2005

“Web Designs for Interactive Learning Project,” Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, June 16, 2005

“Vision 2020... Capturing the Audience of Tomorrow,” Asian American Journalists Association, The Aspen Institute in Aspen, CO October 19, 2005

 

2004

“Beyond Online Collections: Putting Objects to Work,” Museums and the Web Conference, Arlington, VA, April 1, 2004

Multimedia Bootcamp, School of Journalism and Mass Communication University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC, June 2004

 

2003

“Disintermediation and the Museum Web Experience: Database or Documentary? Which Way Should We Go?,” Museums and the Web Conference, Charlotte, NC, March 20, 2003

 

2002

“What Can Good Web Design Do for Humanities Projects:  Reflections and Case Studies,” Washington, DC Area Technology and Humanities Forum (Center for History & New Media at George mason University and the Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship at Georgetown University), October 2, 2002

 

2000

“Second Story,” Portland Creative Conference, June 2000

 

1998

The Seattle Show, Seattle AIGA, Seattle, WA

 

Selected Awards

2013

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards, Honorable Mention (Rich Media)

Communication Arts Interactive Annual (2)

Web Visionary Awards, Winner (HTML)

W3 Awards (2), Silver (Mobile Apps), Silver (Websites)

Core 77 Design Award (Interaction)

Creativity International Awards (4), Platinum, Gold, Honorable Mention

HOW Best Work Awards (5)

Innovation in Media Arts, Oregon Governor’s Office of Film and Television

 

2012

HOW Interactive Design Awards (2), Outstanding Achievement (Kiosks), Merit (App Design)

AIGA Justified Competition, Winner

NAI Media Awards, National Association of Interpretation, Interactive Design Award

PWI Web Fest Awards, OFFF International Festival of Digital & Web Arts, Winner (General Achievement Award)

Muse Awards, American Association of Museums (2), GOLD (Mobile Applications), BRONZE (Multimedia Installations)

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards (Mobile)

IxDA Interaction Awards, Winner (Engaging)

 

2011

AIGA | 365 | Design Effectiveness 2011, Award Recipient (2)

23rd Annual Excellence in Exhibition Competition, American Association of Museums (Special Achievement in Clarity of Message)

The 15th Annual Webby Awards, Official Honoree (Art)

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards (Exhibition)

HOW, Interactive Design Awards (3), Best Of Show, Merit (2)

 

2010

Themed Entertainment Association Annual Thea Award, Outstanding Achievement

I.D., Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention

How, Interactive Design Awards (3), Outstanding, Kiosks), Merit (2) (Consumer Web Sites, Kiosks)

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual, Experimental (2)

 

2009

Themed Entertainment Association Thea Awards (Museum)

I.D., Annual Design Review (2), Design Distinction, Honorable Mention (Interactive)

AIGA Annual Design Competition (Informing)

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual (Information Design)

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (4), Gold (Interactive Kiosks), Bronze (2) (Online Presence, Interactive Kiosks), Honorable Mention (Interactive Kiosks)

HOW, Interactive Design Awards (4), Best Of Show, Outstanding, Merit (2) (Kiosks, Consumer Web Sites)

 

2008

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual, Information Design (2)

Time Magazine, 50 Best Websites

AIGA Annual Design Competition, Experience Design

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards, Honourable Mention

I.D., Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention, Interactive

 

2007

HOW, Interactive Design Awards (2), Outstanding, Merit

SEGD Design Awards, Honor Award

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (4), Silver (Interpretive Interactive Installations), Bronze (Interactive Kiosks), Honorable Mention (2), (Online Presence, Interpretive Interactive Installations)

I.D., Annual Design Review, Design Distinction

 

2006

Webby Awards, Winner (Cultural Institutions)

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (2), Bronze (Science), Honorable Mention (Art)

I.D., Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention (Interactive)

HOW, Interactive Design Annual (2), Outstanding (Consumer Website), Merit

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards, Honourable Mention

SXSW Web Site Competition, Winner (Art)

Print Magazine, Digital Design Annual, Winner (3)

 

2005

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual (4), (Information (3), Self-promotion)

Webby Awards, People’s Voice Winner (Science)

STEP 100 Design Annual

One Show Interactive, Silver (Non-Profit Web Sites)

HOW, Interactive Design Annual (3), Outstanding (Consumer Web Sites), Outstanding (Kiosks), Merit

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (2), Bronze, Honorable Mention (History and Culture)

I.D., Annual Design Review, Design Distinction (Interactive Media)

Print, Digital Design Annual (2), Winner (Education), Winner (Cultural)

 

2004

National Design Award, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution), Finalist/Honoree (Communications)

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (4), Silver (History And Culture), Silver (Science), Bronze (Art), Honorable Mention (Collection Database/Reference Resource)

 

2003

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (5), Gold (History and Culture), Gold (Collections Database/Reference Resource), Silver (Art), Bronze (History And Culture), Honorable Mention (History And Culture)

ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award, Honored Laureate

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual, Info Design, 2003

SXSW Web Site Competition, Winner (Online Education Resource)

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards(3), Best Online Exhibition, Best Museum Research Site, Best Overall Museum Web Site

Art Directors Awards (2), Gold Medal (Web Application), Distinctive Merit (Reference/Education)

Sundance Online Film Festival, New Forms (2)

One Show Interactive (2), Merit (Non-Profit Web Sites), Bronze (Non-Profit Web Sites)

I.D., Interactive Media Design Review, Silver

 

2002

American Association of Museums Muse Awards (3), Gold (Collections Database/Reference Resource), Gold (History), Honorable Mention (Art)

Museums and the Web, Best of the Web Awards, Best Online Exhibition

Art Directors Awards (2), Gold, Merit Award

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual (2)

Print, Digital Design Annual

I.D., Interactive Media Design Review, Silver

One Show Interactive, Bronze Pencil

HOW, Interactive Design Annual, Merit Award (3)

 

2001

One Show Interactive (2), Bronze Pencil, Merit Award

SXSW Web Site Competition, Winner (Broadband)

I.D., Interactive Media Design Review (2), Silver, Bronze (Web Site)

HOW, Interactive Design Review (4), Outstanding Achievement (3), Merit Award

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual (2)

 

2000

One Show Interactive, Merit Award

 

1999

HOW, Digital Design Annual

Print, Digital Design and Illustration Annual

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual

Codie Awards, Best New Education Online

ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award, Honored Laureate

 

1998

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual

HOW, Top Ten (2)

Art Directors Awards, 77th Annual, Merit Award

 

1997

Art Directors Awards, Silver

HOW, Digital Design Annual (2)

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual

 

1996

HOW, Self-Promotion Annual, Outstanding Achievement Award

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual

C|Net, Best of the Web (3)

New Media, Invision Award (2), Best Overall Design Online, Best Online

 

1995

Communication Arts, Interactive Design Annual

I.D., Annual Design Review, Honorable Mention

 

Selected Bibliography

2013

“Ideas, Prototypes and Experiences: Emotional Attachment to the Product,” The Fundamentals of Interactive Design, Michael Salmond & Gavin Ambrose, April 2013

“Museum of Fine Arts Offers a New Way to Experience Work,” Boston Globe, March 2013

Brand Spaces: Branded Architecture and the Future of Retail Design, Sven Ehmann & Sofia Borges, January 2013

“Interactive Design and Motion Graphics”, Graphic Design Solutions: Fifth Edition, Robin Landa, January 2013

 

2012

“This iPad App Builds Better, More Sustainable Cities,” GOOD, November 2012

“Sustainable Urban Design, Digitally Defined,” Metropolis, November 2012

“Content is King,” Interactive Design: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of User-Centered Design, Andy Pratt & Jason Nunes, October 2012

“Inside the Design: Second Story’s Relaunch,” HOW: Interactive Design, for secondstory.com redesign, April 2012

 

2011

“Coke hides its secret formula in plain sight in World of Coca-Cola move,” Atlanta Business News, Leon Stafford, December 2011

 

2010

“High-tech Exhibits Shine at Walt Disney Museum,” CNet, Daniel Terdiman, October 22, 2010

“’Age of Mammals’ at the Natural History Museum,” Los Angeles Times, Suzanne Muchnic, July 4, 2010

 “The Best Tour Guide May Be in Your Purse,” The New York Times, Keith Schneider, March 18, 2010

 

2009

“The Electric Storytellers,” ''Oregon Quarterly', Mindy Moreland, December 2009

“Inside Walt Disney's World,” The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landi, October 13, 2009

“Exploring the Man Behind the Animation,” The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, September 30, 2009

“New Museum Showcases New Mexico’s Colorful History,” The Associated Press, Deborah Baker, May 14, 2009

“15 Years of Interactive Media,” Communication Arts, May 2009

“The Great Library Jefferson Began, and How It Grew,” The New York Times, Charles McGrath, January 15, 2009

 

2008

“Grammy Museum Takes a Broad, Hands-On Approach,” Los Angeles Times Music Blog, Todd Martens, December 2, 2008

“The Woodstock Museum: Because You Weren’t There,” The Village Voice, Elena Oumano, June 3, 2008

“New Museum Guides Visitors Through Gettysburg,” Associated Press, Martha Raffaele, April 23, 2008

“Reinforcing History,” Philadelphia Enquirer, Amy Worden, April 13, 2008

“We Hold These Truths to Be User-Accessible and in Hypertext,” The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, April 12, 2008

“Library of Congress Exhibit Shows Future of Digital Archives,” Ars Technica, John Stokes, April 11, 2008

“Two New Shows Cast Light and Darkness on Early Cultures in the Americas,” The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, March 5, 2008

 

2007

“Exploring the Early Americas’: A Sense of Continent’s Direction,” Washington Post, Cathryn Keller, December 26, 2007

“Portland’s Second Story Lets Museum-Goers Step into the Picture,” The Oregonian, Richard Read, July 6, 2007

 

2006

“The Xbox Generation Visits the Museum,” The New York Times, Keith Schneider, September 12, 2006

“Solving Puzzles with Body Parts as the Pieces,” New York Times, Amanda Schaffer, February 28, 2006

Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design, Jenifer Tidwell, 2006 (O’Reilly)

 

2005

 “Diverse Spaces Sweeten, Sour Third Angle Music,” The Oregonian, David Stabler, May 4, 2005

“A Virtual Visit to Monticello,” The Christian Science Monitor, Jim Regan, April 26, 2005

 “Designed in Portland,” Portland Monthly, Camela Raymond, April 2005

 

2004

“At the Archives, Real National Treasures,” The Washington Post, Janice L. Kaplan, December 3, 2004

“At Museums, Computers Get Creative,” New York Times, Katie Hafner, December 2, 2004

“Second Story Reaches the Next Level,” The Oregonian, Randy Gragg, October 24, 2004

“Visiting the Virtual Museum,” Communication Arts, Sam McMillan, March 2004

 

2003

“Ride Along with Lewis and Clark,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, Rob Hubbard, November 24, 2003

“Inside a Chinese House in Salem, Mass.,” The Christian Science Monitor, Jim Regan, January 2, 2003

 

2002

“Valley of Kings Online,” The Art Newspaper, August 26, 2002

“Online Diary: Dig This,” The New York Times, Pamela LiCalzi O’Connell, August 22, 2002

“Exhibits: Tombs With a View,” Science Magazine, August 2002

“Kings Unearthed,” Guardian Unlimited, August 2002

“Visit Egypt Without Leaving Your Home,” El Mundo, August 2002

Simple Web Sites: Organizing Content-Rich Web Sites into Simple Structures, Stefan Mumaw, 2002 (Rockport)

HTML & Web Artistry: More than Code, Natalie Zee, 2002 (IDM)

 

2001

 “The MoMA Opens an Exhibit of Art Only Visible on the Internet,” CiberPais, R. Bosco / S. Caldana, November 29, 2001

“Pieces of Croatia’s Holocaust Now Online,” The Washington Post, Jacqueline Trescott, November 14, 2001

“Desperate for Youth Appeal,” Guardian, Vanessa Thorpe and Ed Helmore, November 11, 2001

“Squeezed by a Renovation, the Modern Finds Space Online,” The New York Times, Matthew Mirapaul, November 8, 2001

"Mick Jagger and Virgin Records Go Online to Court Younger Fans,” Wall Street Journal, Anna Wilde Mathews, November 6, 2001

“Second Story: Telling Tales,” Graphis, Ken Coupland, September 2001

“The Big Reveal: Theatrical Typography,” Eye, Jessica Helfand, July 2001

 “The Date That Lives In Infamy and Online,” The New York Times, Shelly Freierman, May 17, 2001

 “Mummies and More in Antiquities Roadshow,” The New York Times, Michael Pollak, January 4, 2001

Principles of Web Design, Dave Farkas, 2001 (Longman)

Web Design Index, 2001 (Pepin Press)

The Last Mile: Broadband and the Next Internet Revolution, Jason Wolf and Natalie Zee, 2001 (McGraw-Hill)

 

2000

 “Technology Brings Alive the History of Rock ’n’ Roll," The New York Times, Michel Marriott, June 22, 2000

 “Second Story’s Goal To ‘Make the Show’ Expands,” Oregon Business Journal, Dan McMillan, April 14, 2000

Sonic Graphic Seeing Sound, Matt Woolman, 2000 (Rizzoli)

Webworks: Navigation, Ken Coupland, 2000 (Rockport)

 

1999

 “Second Story Interactive Design: Doing Justice to a Genius,” Adobe, September 1999

“Portland Web Design Start-Up Crafts Success Story,” The Oregonian, Jackie Love, May 31, 1999

“As Second Story’s Go, This One is Worth Repeating,” Oregon Business Journal, Dan McMillan, May 3, 1999

 

1998

Digital Designer, Stephen Heller and Daniel Drennan, 1998 (Watson Guptill)

“A Wider Window on The Web,” Critique, Ken Coupland, April 1998

“Second Story,” Communication Arts, Sam McMillan, January 1998

Graphis Web Design Now, Ken Coupland, 1998 (Graphis)

 

1997

 “Brad Johnson Presents,” Web Studio—Japan, Atsuko Nozawa, July 1997

“Computer Artist: Brad Johnson,” Computer Artist, J. Scott Hamlin, April 1997

 “Secrets of the Webmaster MVPs,” The Net, John Papageorge, March 1997

Interface WOW, Sue Merritt, 1997 (Peachpit Press)

Interface Design with Photoshop, J. Scott Hamlin, 1997 (New Riders Press)

Secrets of Successful Websites, David Siegel, 1997 (Hayden Books)

Photoshop Web Techniques, J. Scott Hamlin, 1997 (New Riders Press)

 

1996

 “Brad Johnson’s Excellent Web Adventure,” HOW, Ken Coupland, August 1996

Internet Homep@ge Design, Seiki Okuda, 1996 (Kinotype Press)

Multimedia Graphics: The Best in Global Hyperdesign, Melissa Dallal, 1996 (Chronicle Books)

Designer’s Guide to the Internet, 1996 (Hayden Books)

 

1995

“Antarctic Antics,” Hotwired, December 1995

“Homesteading the Net,” Graphis, Ken Coupland, November 1995