A Print Magazine about the People behind Bits and Pixels

Offscreen is an independent magazine about people who use the internet and technology to be creative, solve problems, and build successful businesses. Captured in enduring print, it documents stories of creativity and passion that shape the digital age.

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Hot off the Press: Issue No14

Canadian photographer and app maker Lisa Bettany talks about her ongoing App Store success; Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia looks back at a company that‘s forever changed travel; Professor of Game Design, Robin Hunicke, opens up about the realities of making indie games; and mindfulness advocate Rohan Gunatillake gives practical advice for a healthy, tech-driven lifestyle.

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Interviewees in Issue No14

  • Lisa Bettany
    The photography geek with an app success story.
  • Joe Gebbia
    Airbnb’s co-founder designs for more trust on the internet.
  • Robin Hunicke
    How to create transformational video games, the indie way.
  • Rohan Gunatillake
    Finding ‘mobile mindfulness’ in the age of distraction.

I believe that a lot of people are unconsciously stuck in that creative rut where they feel that their output isn‘t good enough and that they have to compete with whoever they see as their ‘hero’.

As a talented figure skater, Lisa Bettany focused her early life on becoming a professional athlete and winning an Olympic medal. When a critical accident forced her to re-evaluate that dream, Lisa found a new creative outlet online and took solace in blogging and photography. Her passion for digital photography later culminated in a collaboration that produced Camera+. As a more advanced alternative to Apple's default camera app, Camera+ became an instant hit on the App Store and, remarkably, has managed to retain its spot in the top charts ever since. Currently enjoying a slower pace of life in rural Canada, Lisa looks back on a whirlwind of a career with numerous professional and personal highs and lows as she considers her next career move.

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I think it needs to be made clear that this sharing economy thing is about commerce. Perhaps it‘s commerce with the promise of human connection.

For millions of people around the world, Airbnb has forever changed the experience of travel. Lauded as the poster child for the sharing economy, it's easy to overlook the tech company's humble beginnings, which can be traced back to an airbed in the founders' living room and, curiously, a set of politically-themed cereal boxes. Along with luck and good timing, co-founder Joe Gebbia credits the company's design sensibilities with much of its global success. As its creative mastermind, Joe strongly believes in the power of design to overcome our 'stranger-danger bias', laying the foundations for the next phase of the internet – one that's built on trust and authenticity.

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Making games combines the engineer’s tinkering approach with the scientist’s patience and observational skills, and the artist’s nuanced attention to detail. It really is the perfect medium for a Swiss Army knife like me.

Professor. Designer. AI Researcher. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Robin Hunicke impressively wears all of these hats as co-founder and CEO of Funomena, a small, independent game studio based in San Francisco. In an industry dominated by big-budget blockbusters, she balances creative collaboration and innovation with the realities of keeping her business sustainable. The many challenges and gambles involved in creating video games don't seem to faze her. As the waters of game-making oscillate, Robin's ethos remains the same: creating experiences that not only entertain but heal, inspire, and facilitate human connections on and off the screen.

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Attention seems to be today‘s currency. The tragedy is that while the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon understand the value of our attention, we tend not to.

As if finding calmness in our fast-paced, tech-driven lifestyle weren't difficult enough, Rohan Gunatillake believes traditional meditation techniques could do with a more mobile, digital overhaul. The Glasgow-based meditator and author is also the creator of iOS app buddhify and a range of other digital products that promote mindfulness. Rohan doesn't buy into the idea of a 'digital detox' to balance out time spent online. Rather than compartmentalising our lives into the offline and the online, he wants to promote a more holistic and realistic approach to a happy life – helped, not hindered, by technology.

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