In his day job, Jared Ficklin makes user interfaces at frog design. As a hobby, he explores what music looks like ... in light, in shapes, in fire.

Why you should listen

Jared Ficklin is a Senior Principal Design Technologist at frog, where he builds user experiences for clients, playing with interactions including touch and multi-touch, and applying physics to enhance the user experience. A passion for music and making things introduced him to the hobby of sound visualization, which has led him on occasion to play with fire. (As Flash on the Beach puts it, "Jared Ficklin’s sonic experiments stood out for their individuality, drama and casual disregard for health and safety.") Every March in Austin, Texas, Ficklin organizes the frog party, a collective social experiment for a few thousand people attending SXSW Interactive. It's a form of playful R&D for social technology. And he has spent 10 years helping fund, design and  build quality free public skateparks for Austin as part of the Austin Public Skatepark Action Committee. 

What others say

“I am intrigued by the idea of eliminating time and allowing listeners to take in an entire song as a single visual impression. The result reveals an unseen beauty.” — Jared Ficklin

Jared Ficklin’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Jared Ficklin


Playing with fire: Q&A with sound visualist Jared Ficklin

July 13, 2012

Imagine flames that dance to the sounds jazz guitar. Or downloading a song simply because you like the way it looks. Or seeing Stephen Hawking’s Cambridge lectures in the stars. In a mind-expanding talk given at TED2012, design technologist Jared Ficklin demonstrated all three of these ways to literally see sound, as well as several […]

Continue reading

Everything goes better with fire: Jared Ficklin at TED2012

March 2, 2012

Photo: Ryan Lash Jared Ficklin‘s passions are music, technology, and making things. And he brings them together to visualize sound — with fire. Real fire on stage. He’s built a Ruben Tube, a long copper pipe with a hundred holes on it, attached to a tank of propane. He turns on a tune at 550 Hertz, […]

Continue reading