I’m Jake. I’m an Interactive Design intern at redpepper and I’ve been doing interactive stuff here for around two months. What exactly is an interactive designer, and what kind of stuff have I been doing? To explain that, let’s look at a quick timeline of my life:

Day-by-day timeline of my life

Day 1: Born

Day ~1095: First burrito

Day 8437: First day at redpepper

Day 8510: This blog post

Although some key information may have been omitted from the timeline above, these dates are the only pertinent ones to this post.

You might be asking yourself: “Jake, why are the only important dates ones that involve redpepper and your first burrito? And how does that explain what you do as an Interactive Design intern?” Well that’s something we’re going to get through together, because it was the first analogy that came to mind and sometimes it’s better to roll with your gut reaction than to overthink a situation. Although my first burrito probably had some red peppers inside of it, the metaphor can be expanded beyond simple face value. Also the human mind is pretty bad at remembering events as they happened, so take the recollection of my first burrito with a grain of salt.

Did you know the origin of the term interactive designer began with a burrito?

Wait, it didn’t?

Well do you think it’s coincidental that Apple, a company fostered on innovation and creativity, decided to release a burrito as an emoji in an iOS update? It’s not. Because burritos and creativity go hand in hand.

Juxtaposing my first time in burritoland with redpepper, my eyes were opened to a new world that I didn’t know existed beforehand. Just like learning how to make a burrito with ingredients I already knew about, redpepper has taught me how to do something new with my existing skillset. I knew about advertising and marketing, but to be involved in a particular department that works on experimental creation to further push the boundaries of how you can express ideas to get media leverage? Now that’s something I couldn’t have dreamed of.

(mostly because my dreams look like this)

And what more is making a burrito than experimental creation? Let me answer that for you, it’s nothing more, it’s exactly that. You take a tortilla and with your existing tools (chicken, lettuce, tomatillos, pico de gallo etc.) and you craft it however you want to. Each time you can use the very same array of ingredients and manage to come up with something new. Regardless if it’s just different amounts of the same things, it’s still a new iteration. And here at redpepper, I have been fortunate enough to expand that theory with actual tools. Working alongside the in-house botanist/astronomer/mad-scientist/overall genius Matt Reed, I’ve been using hardware, software, physical objects, cameras, and sheer brainpower/imagination in order to create.

While working with Matt I’ve gotten to see and help build some pretty neat things, like an 8-bit arcade check-in system, affecting real life with augmented reality, and a bot that answers any question you ask it.

In summation, the utter thrill I’ve received on a day to day basis whilst being in redpepper is unlike any experience in my life. Other than my first burrito, of course: 

giphy (1).gif

Disclaimer: Not actually me. Never fortunate enough to land the child actor gig.


What are my key take-aways from redpepper?

  1. I can help create amazing things with the right toolset and the right people.

  2. Experimenting with things is the only way to explore new venues through traditional tools.

  3. Working with incredibly creative people on a day to day basis is the lifestyle I crave.


What are my key take-aways from burritos?

  1. They are delicious.

  2. It’s a lot easier to make a life metaphor with them than previously imagined (see above post).

  3. I want one.


TL;DR I’m Jake. I’m an interactive design intern at redpepper. I help make stuff.


Jake Zuke, Interactive Design Intern, Baldwinsville NY