Pigeon architecture

I was walking across the Hungerford Bridge in London recently watching the pigeons roosting on different parts of the structure. I love the way these birds are so adaptable, and fit into the strangest parts of the urban environment. Really, this needs celebrating. Pigeons tend to get a bad rap, with their perching discouraged through the use of various spikey devices and netting. It seems a bit unfair to discourage their  , particularly as we bemoan the loss of more natural habitats.

Anyway, I thought of proposing a London-wide art project in which we built structures and habitats that pigeons might actually enjoy. I knocked together a few sketches to give some idea, although I imagine the final environments might be far more architectural and fantastical.




BTW, I was inspired to post this after looking at this great site showing the winners of a competition to design new habitats for bats. Some really nice work.


Microsoft Surges After Sales, Profit Beat Estimates

Woo Hoo!!

I’ll probably regret being enthused, but what the hell!


“This is a big deal,” said Jane Snorek, a Minneapolis- based analyst at First American Funds, which manages $55 billion in assets, including Microsoft shares. “It will change the sentiment on Microsoft absolutely.”

Net income increased 23 percent to $4.29 billion, or 45 cents a share, beating the 39-cent average of 15 projections in a survey by Bloomberg. Sales advanced 27 percent to $13.8 billion.

“Every division out of their five divisions exceeded expectations,” said Michael Binger, who helps manage $70 billion, including Microsoft shares, at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans in Minneapolis. “Boy, if all companies could do what they just did, it would make my job a whole lot easier.”
Bloomberg.com: U.S.

Madeline counting

It’s been quite a while since we’ve posted a video of Madeline. I think the last time she was just walking. So really quite a while. It’s not that we haven’t been taking video. I just found nearly three Gb of videos sitting on our camera.

Anyway, Madeline is enjoying counting. Really enjoying it. It only takes a “one” to set her off.

Expression around the Clock

On the 4th of October Microsoft held a worldwide, design-focused event  called Expression Around the Clock. Partially it was an opportunity to expose people from the design community to the Expression suite of tools. More importantly it was the beginning of an effort by the company to engage with the creative community much more closely by exposing them to designers at Microsoft, and talking to them about changes in the digital design business that they care about.


The event took place at 10 locations around the world, beginning with Aukland, New Zealand and rolling throughout the day to end at Mexico City. At each event a member of the Microsoft user experience community was asked to give a keynote address on a subject of their choosing. The rest of the day was a mix of presentations by partners, panels and so on. You can see many of the presentations by going to the event web site and clicking on the WebCasts link.

I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at the event in Milan which took place at the Enterprise Hotel. My talk dealt partially with what we do on the Socio-Digital Systems team in Cambridge, and pulled some key technology trends from my Trends blog that I feel will change the way in which digital designers think about their work. My bit starts (in English) about 8 minutes in after an introduction (in Italian) by Riccardo Sponza, Evangelism Manager for Microsoft Italy. There’s also a quick, two question interview with me which was a little odd to do since the questions were asked in Italian and I gave my answers in English. Finally, there’s a 3 minute video that gives you a sense of the atmosphere at the event.


Some other keynotes that I’ve had time to watch include Bill Buxton‘s talk entitled Above And Below the Surface, giving his perspective on the history and future of interaction models with technology, August de los Reyes‘ talk on his PhD topic, entitled SuperEmotion: making Emotions Work For You and Manuel Clement’s talk on using wireframes for rapid prototyping. Also, Steve Ballmer gave the keynote in Zurich on Designing the Next Era of Software.

Thanks to the Italian team for a very well organized event.