the Art of Storytelling

Second Story is an innovation center pioneering new interactive experiences. We push the boundaries of storytelling for brands and institutions across digital channels—web, mobile, and installations—empowering audiences to connect and share.

Who We Are

Who We Are

See our work, meet our people, or get in touch.


Blurring the Lines Between Physical and Digital Worlds

Upcoming Festivals & Conferences

Our team will be very busy over the next month, speaking at conferences and festivals around the world! On April 23rd, Lead Integration Engineer Matt Arnold will present how we’re bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds at FMX 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany. On May 9th in our very own hometown, Creative Director David Waingarten will discuss storytelling with transmedia at the Portland Documentary Summit. Later in the month, David and Senior Experience Designer Traci Sym will head to Barcelona for OFFF where Second Story will be a featured artist. And on May 7th in New York as part of The One Club’s Creative Week, Creative Director Daniel Meyers will moderate a panel discussion about integrating digital interventions into physical space to create responsive environments and infrastructures.

National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis opened its new permanent exhibition to the public on April 5th. Celebrated by media outlets from The New York Times to the NBC Nightly News, the exhibitry engages visitors of all ages with immersive interactives and moving stories of the fight for civil rights in America. We were privileged to design and develop a number of experiences for the museum, collaborating again with exhibit designers Howard+Revis. This project was a true labor of love for our dedicated team, and we’re beaming with pride over the end result.

Creative Coder Meetup

Interactive Developer Philippe Laulheret recently organized a creative coder meet-up at our studio. We relish any and every opportunity to see what our Portland peers are up to, and this evening was particularly inspiring. Thanks to everyone who presented, and check out a collection of photos from the event here. We’re excited for the next one!

2014 Whitney Biennial

Digital Whitney Guide

The 2014 Whitney Biennial opened earlier this month at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, featuring the work of more than 100 eclectic and diverse participants. We had the opportunity to collaborate with the museum and with Microsoft on the digital Whitney Guide, a Windows Phone app created exclusively for the event. We were honored to be involved in this celebrated exhibition, the final Biennial at the museum’s current location.

100 Years of Design

Honoring 100 Years of Design

100 Years of Design is on a roll, named Communication Arts’ WEBpick of the Week on February 14th, the Awwwards Site of the Day on March 9th, the CSS Awards Site of the Day on March 10th, and the Favourite Website Awards Site of the Day on March 24th!

Presentation at PCC

On Friday, March 21st from 6 PM - 9 PM, Creative Director David Waingarten and Lead Integration Engineer Matt Arnold will discuss our approach to creating narrative spaces at a SIGGRAPH event on the PCC Cascade Campus. Click here for details about the evening.

SEGD Studio Tour

We are thrilled to host an event organized by the Portland chapter of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design this Wednesday, March 12th at 6 PM. We will highlight our recent responsive environments work and take visitors on a tour of our studio and lab space. RSVP here!

The Emerging Issues Commons

DSE Content & Digital Signage Awards

The Emerging Issues Commons Pulse and Connections Experience have been on a hot streak! In February, the two projects received a silver DSE Content Award, and, just this week, the Pulse won a Digital Signage Award in the In School or On Campus category, while both interactives were finalists in the same competition’s Education category. We couldn’t be happier about the Emerging Issues Commons continuing to receive so much attention.

PWA Career Day

PWA Career Day

We were delighted to once again be a part of Portland Workforce Alliance‘s Career Day. The organization fosters relationships between local businesses and Portland’s public schools, and we’ve worked with them over the past few years to share with current students a bit about ourselves and our work. Hearing from designers, developers, content strategists, producers, and creative directors, the high-schoolers learned about the diverse professional paths our team members took before ending up at Second Story. We hope we inspired them as much as they inspired us.

The Emerging Issues Commons


Co-founder Julie Beeler and Design Director Chris DeWan are off to Amsterdam to showcase our work and learn about others’ at the Interaction14 conference. On Thursday, February 6th from 10:30 AM - 11 AM, they’ll facilitate a project conversation with conference-goers about The Emerging Issues Commons, a finalist for an Interaction Award in the “Connecting” category.

Inventing Abstraction

SXSW Interactive Awards

Inventing Abstraction, the website we created for The Museum of Modern Art, is a finalist for a 2014 SXSW Interactive Award!

Architecture Design Studio at PSU

Creative Director, Environments Daniel Meyers and Senior Experience Designer Traci Sym will be taking part in an Architecture Design Studio this semester at Portland State University. The studio investigates fundamental design concepts, issues, and processes through the fascinating lens of video games as inspiration for spatial design. Meyers and Sym will lecture today about interaction in a spatial context and the relevance of interdisciplinary design practice.

100 Years of Design

100 Years of Design

Happy 100th birthday to the American Institute of Graphic Arts! As part of their centennial celebration, they’ve launched a new microsite, designed with and developed by Second Story, that explores 100 years of design through artifacts, quotes, and interviews with living masters. Users are invited to add to the conversation by contributing what design means to them. We were privileged to be a part of this project, working once again with an organization that means so much to us and to the design community at large.

Global Crossroads Media Wall

Global Crossroads at Occidental College

Collaborating in recent years with North Carolina State University, the University of Oregon, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the studio has had quite a few opportunities to explore the potential of interactive media in the educational sphere. We’ve recently completed work on the Global Crossroads, an exciting new project for Occidental College that uses technology to foster discourse, encourage collaboration across disciplines, and bring together students around the globe. Find out more about how the two-part system works on our project page.

Creative Agency of the Year

Congratulations to SapientNitro, our parent company, on being named OMMA’s Creative Agency of the Year for 2013!

Sinnemahoning State Park Interactive

Awards Round-Up

2013 ended with a flurry of great news: Inventing Abstraction, Triumph of the Winter Queen, and the Sinnemahoning State Park Interactive all received Merit recognition from the 15th Annual HOW Interactive Design Awards, and Portland’s own Roseys celebrated our work three times over, with an Award of Excellence for the Ecological Urbanism App and Merit awards for the Emerging Issues Commons and A Man’s World, Miami. Here’s hoping our good luck continues into 2014!


100 Years of Design

Since 1914, AIGA has brought “design to the world, and the world to designers.” Creative Director David Waingarten offers a peek behind the curtain at our most recent collaboration with the organization: a microsite in honor of its 100th birthday.

On Light & Lyt

Using Intel’s new Galileo development board, we created Lyt, an interactive ambient light fixture that debuted at Maker Faire Rome 2013. Daniel Meyers, Creative Director, Environments, shares his thoughts on this lab effort, while Interactive Developer Philippe Laulheret provides a technical view of the making process.

Balancing Spectacle with the Everyday

At the core of everything we create is our desire to engage, enchant, and inspire audiences. Senior Experience Designers Traci Sym and Norman Lau consider the best approaches to UX, reflecting on the importance of listening and how to balance spectacle with the everyday.

Recent Posts

Life as a Google Glass Explorer

Passing by the Wave

Mobile Case Study

Finding The Heart of “100 Years of Design”

View All Posts


From New York to Mumbai to Paris, urban landscapes beautifully conveyed through...cardboard? http://t.co/ww9gxg0DxP

Beyond the touchscreen: “Macrofilm” lets users explore content w/ RFID cards, a scroll wheel, & a ribbon-like display http://t.co/QNWSM7z4bE

.@OFFFest is less than a month away! Snag your tickets now to join us + other featured artists @ the festival: http://t.co/3K0hgu5AHU

RT @gastonleg: At a NYC exhibit, @UNMAS used an app to let attendees experience what it could be like to be in an actual minefield. http://t.co/zvCqTEwfXn

Interested to see how Sir David Attenborough & his “Conquest of the Skies” team make use of the Oculus Rift: http://t.co/fmtzQ3AAwX

At the intersection of old and new, where stop motion animation meets 3D printing: http://t.co/IR291u7Cud (h/t @alyssaglass)

This reactive geometric wall responds beautifully to movement nearby: http://t.co/ZNQ5uFxtxF

View Twitter Feed



714 N Fremont St, No 200
Portland, OR 97227
(503) 827-7155


3630 Peachtree Road NE
No 1600
Atlanta, GA 30326
(770) 407-2724

Inquiries & Opportunities

Second Story is always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with partners on projects under development, or contribute our expertise to planning interpretive strategies and defining new ways to implement interactive media. Please contact us to discuss new opportunities for collaboration or to learn more about our capabilities.