February 9th, 2007 by rbanks
If you see it around, please let me know.
It has “Microsoft MVP” written on the side of it and was a gift from my wife. It has huge sentimental and practical value.
Since I moved to Microsoft Research a year ago I’ve found my design focus returning to its roots. I studied Industrial Design as an undergrad before abandoning all things physical to do Interaction Design at the Royal College of Art. I spent 10 years+ working on hardcore software products like Microsoft Office and Windows. Now I’m on a team that focuses on the design of things, of objects in the environment. And it’s a dream getting back to imagining, sketching and building those objects.
We have a laser cutter in our hardware lab. The lab is full of electronic gizmos and gadgets, as well as a good stock of glue and double sided tape. But it’s the laser cutter that is the sweetest gadget of all. I use it to cut up acrylic and balsa wood, mostly. Balsa wood, particularly, is great to work with. It’s lightweight, and chars black along the edges that the laser slices through like butter. But it glues together solidly, letting me quickly create boxes for things.
The swiss army knife has represented this return to hardware-dom for me. Using the blade to chip away at wood. The pliers to push nails in or even pull them out when I screw up. The tiny screwdrivers to dismantle bits of electronics.
So if you see it let me know. It’s just like the one in the picture above, only all the tools probably won’t be open at once.