Thanks to presenter Claudia Hammond and producer Fiona Hill from BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind show for a really great edit of a conversation we had in Cambridge last Wednesday about our Technology Heirlooms work. It was broadcast last night on Radio 4, is repeated again today at 4:30pm, and thanks to the speed of the Internets is already available to stream and as a podcast.
It’s a 10 minute segment about 9 minutes into the show in which Abi and I talk about the objects we’ve designed, as well as some of the issues of overload and longevity for digital artefacts that might be inherited from us when we pass away.
If you’re interested in the topic here are some bits to read:
Some Technology Heirlooms – Descriptions and images of the three technology heirlooms we’ve built so far, including the Timecard device discussed in the show.
Technology Heirlooms videos – This blog post doesn’t yet have a video of the Timecard device discussed in the show, but does have content I’ve created for two other objects, the Backup Box and the Digital Slide Viewer.
I’d forgotten about this video from last year’s Innovation Day event at Microsoft Research in Cambridge (so this was from about April 2009). It shows the V1 of Timecard, which was a non-working proof of concept that came before the working version I described recently. The comments about the goals behind the project still apply, even if the object itself has changed quite a bit.
I was lucky enough to do a talk at the recent Interaction 10 conference in Savannah. An amazingly inspiring event, spread over a number of really eclectic locations (a theatre, a pharmacy, a blacksmiths and a restaurant). Compared to the inaugural conference in 2008, which was also in Savannah, the distribution of locations really encouraged mixing, as well as giving a much better sense of the city.
At some point I’ll go through my notes and write something up, but for now I thought I’d post the video of my bit.
PSFK posted the video of the talk I gave recently at their Good Ideas Salon in London. It’s about 30 minutes long and covers some of our thoughts in Cambridge around how people get sentimental about objects, particularly heirlooms, and how that might apply to digital and technological objects in the future.
During the editing they seem to have replaced the Photosynth that I originally used (of a Guitar workshop) with the one from Obama’s inauguration, which changes the context a little (since I was really talking about capturing sentimental spaces).
Now they’re doing a run-off between the “winner” of the first round, the one about saving stories through services (which was actually less an idea than an observation) and three other ideas that came from other speakers and panel sessions.
Feel free to vote if you want. My wife did (I can’t bring myself to – feels like cheating). After she voted she got the tally and it looks like “my idea” (which is not in any way an original one) is in the lead
“New Ideas” provides for a broad topic area, and the speakers and panels matched that. The day begun with Mark Earl’s opening presentation on “Why Good Ideas Matter” – testing old ideas, exploring the future, just making your company more interesting and so on. There were panels on good ideas “From London”, “In Design”, “In Mobile”, “and Youth”, and “through Collaboration”. I particularly enjoyed Eva Rucki’s talk. Troika’s work, which she described, is inspired.
I’m not quite sure how my talk, titles “Good Ideas over Time” fit in. It may have been too specific, and sounded like the crazed ramblings of a guy describing some personal history. Still, I enjoyed it and got some positive feedback. Thanks particularly to Kevin McCullagh for the mention in his post on Core77. An overview of what I presented is in my earlier post.
I’ll be doing a 30 minute talk at the PSFK Good Ideas Salon in London on the 30th of London. It will be an overview of some of the work and ideas we’ve generated as part of our Technology Heirlooms project, looking at what it means to design digital artifacts with longer time spans in mind, and taking heredity of objects into account.
This is a follow on of the talk that Dave Kirk did at the Mundane Workshop a few weeks ago, presenting the ideas outlined in our paper, On the Design of Technology Heirlooms. I’ll be focusing a bit more on the design side of the project than Dave did (since he’s a sociologist and I’m a designer).
Full schedule is here, and I think it’s £300 to go for the day. My bio on the site, with a short Q&A is here. With a theme of Good Ideas, how could it not be good? There’s a great set of talks and panels that cover the gamut of new media/mobile/product/lifestyle/trends issues and ideas. Should be a blast, especially with participants from the BBC, Poke, Penguin and the Guardian.
The video of the presentation of Storymaker, Storyteller by the students from Dundee is finally up. This is the project they did for the Microsoft Research Student Design expo. Their product is a device that records the content and audio commentary from photographic slides, and allows their easy playback on a remote projector. It’s intended to connect a grandparent, who has a large slide collection, with his grandson, who is remote and more technology literate.
The video is only 13 minute long (in WMV format) and well worth a look.
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.
For those that are interested, Microsoft is hosting a one day, worldwide event focused on user experience design, called Expression around the Clock. It’s less of a technology pitch then some of the Expression events have deliberately been in the past, and more of a chance for some open discussion of different design issues (sprinkled with a small amount of Expression stuff).
The events are happening in Mexico City, San Paulo, Toronto, Zurich, Milan, Cairo, Moscow, Bangalore, Seoul and Aukland. So all over the place. It’s good to see something like this going on that is less US-centric. Steve Balmer will be keynoting the Zurich event, but the rest of the locations will have talks from real Microsoft designers, like Bill Buxton, Manuel Clement and, oddly, me. I’m lucky enough to be doing the one in Milan.
My talk will focus on the changing nature of devices in the home, with examples from the work we’re doing in Cambridge and interesting things I see on my Trends blog. Hope to see you there.