About Mike Kuniavsky

I am a consultant, designer, researcher, author, and entrepreneur focused on people's relationship to digital technology. I have been involved in a wide variety of technology design and research projects since 1986, when I wrote my high school senior thesis on the effects of computerization on manufacturing middle managers in Detroit. Since then, I've worked with some of the most innovative and dynamic organizations in the world.

I live in San Francisco with my wife, Elizabeth.

I am currently looking for opportunities to work with executives and design teams to develop new technologies and design strategies.

To contact me, email "blog" c/o this website.

View Mike Kuniavsky's profile on LinkedIn

Career highlights

1994: Vice President of Design for Presence Information Design, a Web development agency. I oversaw the design and production of one of the first ecommerce websites, HotHotHot. Clients included Columbia Pictures, Pacific Bell, Trader Joe's and id Software.

1996: Senior Researcher at Wired Digital, where I started one of the first in-house Web user research labs and designed the user interface of HotBot, a popular early search engine.

2001: I co-founded Adaptive Path, a Web design agency. Clients included National Public Radio, Crayola, Yamaha, Sony.

2003: Wrote my first book, "Observing the User Experience: a practitioner's guide to user research" (order from Amazon). It is widely used as a university textbook on user research methods.

2006: I co-founded ThingM, a design studio that develops, manufactures and sells innovative technology products using embedded information processing. Our primary focus is on making electronics much easier to use in industrial design prototyping, interaction design and art. Our work has been featured at Maker Faire, Wired NextFest, and many publications. I am currently CEO and lead all design efforts.

2010: My next book, "Smart Things: ubiquitous computing user experience design" (preorder from Amazon), will come out in late 2010 on Morgan Kauffman, an imprint of Elsevier, and will focus on the design of devices and services that use embedded information processing.

Download my complete curriculum vitae.


I have worked as a consultant throughout most of my career, either as a leader of a consulting organization, an in-house consulting resource or as an independent consultant. My consulting clients have included Nokia, Whirlpool, QUALCOMM, Corel, Yamaha, and credit.com.


I regularly lecture at conferences and meetings. Here is a reasonably complete list of public presentations I have given in the last five years, along with transcripts. Several organizations have videotaped my presentations and posted them online. Here is a sample:

When bits meet atoms: Making things in a Read-Write World (LIFT+Fing, June 2009)

This presentation discusses how computer-driven methods of manufacturing physical things create a kind of read-write material culture, where people create a dialog by taking objects from the world, modifying their design, and putting the modified products onto the marketplace.

Mike Kuniavsky "Changing Things" (Lift09 France EN) from Lift Conference on Vimeo.

Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design (UX Week, August 2008):

In this video I use no slides to discuss the design of computing devices that also have no screens, and illustrate my point using a series of objects, some digital, some not.

Mike Kuniavsky | UX Week 2008 | Adaptive Path from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

The Coming Age of Magic (O'Reilly's Emerging Technology Conference, March 2007)

In this ETech keynote, I present three linked arguments about the emergence of technology and people's relationship to it:
  • The emergence of ubiquitous computing from market forces acting on, and in concert with, CPU prices
  • The emergence of animist reactions to devices that have behaviors that go beyond action-reaction physics
  • The emergence of magic as a metaphor for the design of ubicomp devices

If you're interested in hiring me as a speaker, please contact me.


Here is a random selection of photos of me from Flickr. Reload this page to see others.





A device studio that lives at the intersections of ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, industrial design and materials science.

The Smart Furniture Manifesto

Giant poster, suitable for framing! (300K PDF)
Full text and explanation

Recent Photos (from Flickr)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design

By me!
ISBN: 0123748992
Published in September 2010
Available from Amazon

Observing the User Experience: a practitioner's guide to user research

By me!
ISBN: 1558609237
Published April 2003
Available from Amazon

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