A Body in Motion
A more or less self-taught designer, Bradley G. Munkowitz (his nom de digital) started out in interactive, first making a name for himself with leading-edge and award-winning Adobe Flash Professional sites. Some of his early work, often flying under the GMUNK.COM banner, include cult favorites like Mandingo Immortal and Munksterbate, and G-MUNK was a well-known, edgy, and much-loved site in the early days of the Flash community.
Bradley parlayed that early Flash success — along with a little luck and a gift for networking — into a job with Vir2l Studios in London, a time he remembers as one of the highlights of his career, learning alongside his design heroes while building a foundation of graphic design knowledge. Leaving Vir2l in the wake of the first dot-com crash, Bradley continued on his path, with stops along the way at Prologue, working with Kyle Cooper, and at Digital Domain, working alongside Joseph Kosinski and Eric Barba on movies such as TRON: Legacy and Oblivion. He’s worked with some of the best motion and design minds all over the world, and has created an amazing and diverse body of work.
Like many technology-oriented designers, Bradley loves trying new things and dabbles in many mediums, including op-art; lights and map projections; and robotics. He’s interested in variety, in not repeating himself, in trying new things, finding new challenges. “I don’t really ever want to have a style,” he says. “I want to be able to do a bunch of different stuff. That is much more rewarding to me, to be diverse and to try different things, and to be known as an experimental designer.”
But while variety is one of the earmarks of his career, it’s still possible to find a through line in Bradley’s work. Starting in interactive is one thing that differentiates him from other designers, and you can see traces of that origin in much of his work, from the interactive holograms of TRON: Legacy to the UIs and graphic work of Oblivion, through his recent work with Autofuss and Bot and Dolly, including the groundbreaking Box, a piece that weds Bot and Dolly’s amazing robotics technology with human movement and design.
Cutting-edge technology is another constant in Bradley’s creative work. His most recent project — a music video for Tycho and Scott Hansen — uses full-spectrum RED cameras, a Microsoft Kinect, and live-action storytelling. It lets him head off in new creative directions, including directing and narrative storytelling.
In the end, it’s the work that matters, and Bradley has a track record of being one of the most consistently interesting and beautiful designers around. The end results are stunning, but the journey — and having fun along the way — is also important. These days Bradley wants to move further toward directorial work, and he’s a fan of agile teams and making great work with a small group of talented people. “To me, it’s all about the people, and how they work together. It’s all about the vibe.”
June 18, 2014
Video Dan Cowles