My name is Benjamin Ku and I’m a user experience designer and coder currently residing in Vancouver, Canada. My focus lies in delivering interesting, pertinent and well crafted experiences under any given scenario or project scope, be it through user-centric strategic planning and research or through front-end prototyping.

On the side I also design, develop and build interactive art installations (often with collaborators) which run the gamut from digital-based experiences to kinetic sculptures. I’m always keeping an eye out for interesting projects and design opportunities, so if you want to get in touch feel free to drop me a line.

User Experience Designer
Idea Rebel | May 2012 - Present

Worked on projects for numerous clients ranging from responsive web experiences, digital interactive kiosks, mobile applications and back-end systems.

Facilitated user research sessions, collaborated in strategic ideation and brainstorming huddles, lead client meetings and reviews, and designed and developed a full range of client facing user experience deliverables. These include and are not limited to site-maps, personas, wireframes, site-audits and research analysis documents. Also occasionally worked on copywriting and development.

User Experience Design Intern
CP+B | February 2011 - April 2011

Conducted research on current trends to inform the strategic direction on projects for clients such as American Express and Domino’s Pizza.

Created sitemaps, wireframes, physical installation layouts, and user flows for a variety of projects that ranged from a comprehensive financial info-hub to the in-store customer flow for an upcoming travel based advertising campaign.

Web and Graphic Designer
Exan Group | April 2009 - August 2009

Designed numerous pieces of print-based marketing materials for the company’s various product platforms. Also worked on designing mock ups for their new e-Learning platform and subsequently developing this marketing website in HTML/CSS/PHP.

Marketing and Communications Assistant
SFU | April 2008 - August 2008

Designed and printed various marketing materials for upcoming events and promotions within the Work Integrated Learning department of SFU. Also designed a number of new web properties for Career Services which would be used by the student body.

A few brands I worked with

Awards & Exhibits

Exhibits
Re:Collections Interactive Installation Logo
Re:Collections
PNE Container Art - 2012

Re:Collections was an installation designed to celebrate the Port of Vancouver. Exhibited at the Pacific National Exhibition as part of the Container Art exhibit, the installation took up the interior of a shipping container and consisted of a number of suspended jars with fish sculpted from wood and upcycled technological components, which are representational of the items found at the port on a daily basis. Proximity sensors hooked up to an arduino board would detect the user’s distance from the individual jars, which would trigger LEDs in the jars to light up.

Astr0labe Exhibit Logo
Astr0labe
Twigs Paper Foam Exhibit - 2011

The Twigs Paper Foam Exhibit had participants receive a pre-arranged package of twigs, newsprint paper, and black foam and create an art piece from these materials. Taking the newsprint, I layered them with glue to form thicker, harder sheets, which were then laser cut to create a low-fi representation of an astrolabe. The traditional longitude and latitude plates were replaced with a laser cut image of google-maps, melding old school with new school technology.

Phonobyte Interactive Installation Logo
Phonobyte
Humour Show - 2012

Phonobyte was displayed at the Humour Show at the Urban Art Gallery in 2012 as part of an exhibit meant to showcase a number of art pieces that expressed humour through a variety of means. This exhibit was built to represent the humour from machine misinterpretations. You can find out more about Phonobyte here.

Connecting the Dots - 2011

Phonobyte was also exhibited during Vancouver Culture days as part of the Connecting the Dots exhibit, which sought to celebrate Vancouver’s diverse artistic character amongst the varied cultural backgrounds and forms of artistic expression found throughout the city.

Sublime Lighting Installation Logo
Searching for the Sublime
IxDA - Savannah - 2011

The Sublime Lighting Installation was chosen to be part of the Art Gallery at the Interaction 2010 Conference in Savannah, Georgia. Designed as an enclosed physical installation, the participant would move through a dark space filled with strands of plastic strung from ceiling to floor, and activate a central panel to light up LEDs embedded in the strands. These lights would reflect through parallel mirrors to create an infinity effect, transitioning from a claustrophobic space to a huge expanse.

SFU Installation Design Showcase - 2008

The Sublime Lighting installation was also showcased as part of the Simon Fraser University installation design showcase, where current and prospective students and the public could interact with the exhibit first hand.

Timeframes Interactive Installation Logo
Timeframes
Capstone Showcase - 2010

Timeframes was an interactive installation created to represent the passage of time on physical objects. It consisted of a series of doorways with increasing levels of dilapidation. Where there were gaps in the frames we shone focused beams of light to which changed color based on the user’s movements through the installation (using proximity sensors). It was exhibited as part of the SFU Capstone Showcase, which was a display of all the senior level design student’s final projects.

My 15 is your 10 After Interactive Installation Logo
My 15 is your 10 After
Fabrication and Design Showcase - 2010

My 15 is your 10 After is a kinetic sculpture based interactive installation which was displayed during the Fabrication and Design showcase at SFU. The installation itself took the form of a sundial with many rotating components meant to facilitate the concept of special relativity and time dilation. You can find out more about the project here.

Contact

If you’ve got any cool projects or design related opportunities please feel free to send them over to contact@mrbenku.com. I’d love to hear from you. Or take a gander at a few of my social channels below if you’re just curious about my connections or like food pics.