May 2004 Archives

I'm on vacation in Michigan, visiting the folks, the dog and the state I moved away from. Most of my time is spent in Ann Arbor, but I also got to spend a little time in Traverse City up north and Kalamazoo (as in "I got a gal in..."), in the middle-south of the state.

While we're on the Michigan tip, I would like to recommend Sufjan Stevens new record, who sings about Michigan a fair bit. Thought it's occasionally too wussy (learn some power chords, son!), it's good mellow folk rock.

One of my goals in going to Milan and New York was to see where the industry currently stood in terms of my smart furniture ideas. I mean, I'm an outsider, so who knows if I'm reinventing the wheel? If these fairs are representative, I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I'm not reinventing the wheel (if you know what I mean).

Rereading that last post, it seemed kinda grumpy. That's not actually representative of my experience. There was a huge amount at these fairs that I liked a of lot. Here are some notes about that.

Since my furniture manifesto was being published, I decided to learn something about the furniture business by diving into the deep end. In April, I went to the Milan Furniture Fair (the Salone Internazionale del Mobile) and then International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York in May. It's hard to distill these enormous fairs into some blog entries, but here are some thoughts/observations. For those who are in the business who may be reading this, excuse me if I state the obvious or jump to conclusions.

The first thing that surprised me was how enormous and fragmented the industry is. Here's a map of the Milan center that hosts the Salone. It's probably half a square mile in area and on multiple floors:

It was supposed to be an appliance design conference, but there was this reception and there was champagne and, well, I don't really know how I ended up wearing a jester at Thornbury Castle...

(thanks to Rachel Eardley for the photo!)

I've been bouncing around Europe, going to various conferences and hanging out with Molly. My brain is full of amazing impressions and my notebook is full of ideas. I'll (hopefully) be updating the site when I get to Ann Arbor toward the end of the month.

Today I'm at 2AD, the Appliance Design Conference in Bristol and it's really great. I'm doing the Smart Furniture Side Show, where I'm talking about my ideas and the second version of the Manifesto (which is going to be in the June issue of Metropolis Magazine--look for it!).

I'm also heavily relying on several amazing posters designed by some very talented friends of mine on very short notice: Ranjit Bhatnagar, Brady Clark,Terry Colon and Sonia Harris (who burned the midnight oil pulling everything together--thank you, Sonia!).

Here's Sonia's rendition of the v2.0 Manifesto, in glorious printable large format PDF to decorate your cube with (or throw darts at...whatever):

(290K PDF)
[Poster picture/PDF added 5/25/04]




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

Recent Comments

  • Katherina: Information not just material. In our days it is a read more
  • Hi Mike, totally agree on building the IoT in a read more
  • Mutuelle: Man is the reflections of his thought, some name it read more
  • Amanda Carter: You obviously placed a great deal of work into that read more
  • Molly: You might find it interesting to connect with return of read more
  • George: You might want to change "Size" to "form" for terminal. read more
  • Mike: Thanks for the reminder, Robin. I'm aware of that article, read more
  • Robin: It's a slightly different argument (it predates most work in read more
  • Tim: This reminded me of the Pleo video Mark posted awhile read more
  • michael studli: i was wonting to know is the game fun to read more

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2004 is the previous archive.

June 2004 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.