“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Interaction 10 | Savannah?

I’m giving myself a present tonight and maybe you’ll join me. Like many closely involved in this conference, I’ve been workin’ really hard. Lots of overtime hours of personal time. Lots of fights with the significant other over workin’ lots of overtime hours. But I remain energized because I have the inside scoop. What’s that scoop. OMG! this is going to be amazing!

So what is my present to myself and what does it have to do with my blog? Well, I’m taking a break from it and I’m going to spend my time perusing the schedule of speakers at the conference. I’m suing this moment to tell y’all what I’m lookin’ forward to so much that keeps me energized. Oh! and shhhh! I have a secret … not a lot of spots left … I’m not supposed to say anything yet, but we are very close to selling out.

So let’s start lookin’ at the content …

The Pre conference stuff

Yea, I can’t go to any of these because I’ll be actively working as a judge for the Student Competition (have you seen the amazing finalists?) I can tell you though who I would go see and why.

My top choice for the morning session on Thurs is hands down Tangible Interface Prototyping with Massimo Banzi and Tom Igoe. For anyone with even the slightest itch to move into thinking about physical interactions and how to prototype them, you should go. It’s hard to taste this type of prototyping with doing a bit of investment, so this is really an amazing opportunity. Did I mention that Massimo was one of the people who invented the Arduino platform?

But if I was a hard core web & software design guy, I would then choose either Brainstorming and Design Principles by Dan Saffer or Mental Models by Indi Young. I think many people really feel that brainstorming is easier than it really is and Mental Models are such an important tool for understanding how to begin to synthesize solutions that truly fit the human contexts we are designing them for.

In the afternoon, I think we are going to be privy to a rare treat. We are all used to our “methodologies”. You know the famous ones like Contextual Inquiry and Goal-Directed Design. Well, after a lot of searching through many of these, the one these guys have created is by far the most exciting as it is the only one that considers the emotional context with the rational or cognitive. So hands down, no exception in the afternoon, I would go to Predictable Magic: Designing Emotional Interactions and Business Results. The methodology was created by FIDSA Ravi Sawhney who started his career working in Xerox PARC on some of the earliest Pen-touch interfaces ever.


I’m always looking forward to seeing Nathan Shedroff, our opening keynote. Whether he is talking about Experience Design, Sustainability, Sci-Fi, or the topic he is bringing to us Service Design, he has a tremendous level of insight that always leaves me fulfilled.

I have 2 other pieces I’m looking forward to on Friday. The first, Who’s Going to Teach the Next Generation? with two educators I’ve gotten to know through my recent work with the student competition, Martin & Jeremy from Australia. Even if you have no intention of being an educator, you will be effected by how the next generation will be educated.

The other one I’m looking forward to is David Grays talk, Knowledge Games: A Grammar for Creativity and Innovation. Why? Because I’ve been wanting to meet this twitter buddy of mine like forever, and he is one of the smartest most insightful designers I know. Oh! and I’m a huge fan of his work at his company Xplane. Having had conversations with him about Knowledge Games, I really am looking forward to something more tangible and synthesized for he and I and everyone else to talk about.

Ok, so this isn’t content, but I am looking forward to it. The Friday night opening reception is going to be amazing. I have personally been the hand crafter of this party and for those who were at the parties at Interaction 08, they know that I am pretty good at this. This party features a game room, Blues band, Georgia Oyster Roast, Coffee Bar, local beer, and catered by one of the best restaurants I have ever been to, Cha Bella all at the fabulous Morris Center at the Trustees Garden.


I didn’t know I was supposed to look forward to this speaker until one of my new co-workers told me he is THE guru on designing for social change and sustainability. Enzio Manzini will be speaking on just that: Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability as the morning keynote.

There are so many people coming to this conference who I have wanted to meet for years now. Shelly Evenson a former professor of Interaction/Service Design at CMU and now working at Microsoft. As Service Design (her topic) here is on my brain due to our new program in my department. I’m excited to hear her talk. (I’ll have to wait for the video though.)

But I have a dilemma as even more true to my heart is the work of Timo Arnall out of Norway. I was so upset I didn’t meet up with him when I was in Oslo last summer and his work in Near Field Communications is practically the tome on the topic. So I do think I must go to his talk: Designing for the Web in the World.

Later in the afternoon, one of my favorite conversationalists, Chris Fahey, will be giving a talk. I’m sure it will lead to much discussion and be quite inspirational: The Human Interface (or: Why Products are People, Too).

The day closes with a session that every is invited to, where the Finalists of the Student Competition, give a presentation of the work they did on Thursday as part of Stage 2 of the competition. Once more, you’ll get to vote for your favorite presentation after they are all over. Thank you Dell, for giving such great support to this first Interaction Design Student Competition by IxDA.

But after that we get to hear from the curator of the MOMA’s Architecture & Design collection, Paola Antonelli. I’m sure it will be just a great talk: Talk To Me.

Did I say “the day closes” … Oh! no, I was so wrong. After dinner in a great restaurant (don’t be shy, ask me for my favorities if you see me), get on a bus and head to my home away from home, the Gulfstream Center for Design where the Industrial Design and Furniture Design departments with and house programs in Service, Sustainability, Interaction, and Design Management. See our facilities and join Microsoft as we create an international adventure through food and get your energy pumping with some great DJed Dance Music. Did I mention the free alcohol? Just sayin’ …


I must admit that Sunday feels so relaxing to me when I look at the schedule. We even start late (w/ breakfast served) so we can recover from the night before. I don’t feel compelled to make choices at all. Lots of very good stuff indeed from storytelling to physical prototyping, to bodystorming and more. But it all closes with Dan Hill and his thoughts on the new urban landscape: The Soft City.

So? …

Let me know if you’re coming and let the world know what YOU are looking forward to and if you aren’t coming why the heck not? This is going to be the best Interaction conference IxDA has every put together yet.

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