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Deconstruct 09 – 04 September 2009

Alex Christie

9 September 2009

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Deconstruct 09 is a grass-roots conference that aims to bring together some of the brightest minds in the digital industry from around the world.

The focus for 2009 was the challenge of designing for tomorrow with ubiquitous computing, interface design, gaming and mobile.

Here is a list of the keynote speakers that stood out to me and why.

Adam Greenfield – Designing with Humanism

Adam provided a credible vision for how the modern web and communications will continue to expand from PC, to mobile, to any object with or without a power source.

He proposes that ubiquitous (always on) computing will increase and evolve into a networked urbanism. The result will be billions of processors embedded into everyday materials such as your living room wall, reacting to temperature change and traffic lights, controlling the direction of traffic in our cities. This type of ubiquitous computing is already happening in Korea.

One of the reasons for Adam’s vision is a United Nations statistic which highlights ‘by the end of 2008, more than half the world’s human population will live in cities’.

It is a powerful concept when as a consumer you dispose a bottle of water into the trash and you automatically get refunded 5pence.

Adam believes users have already started to rely on technologies such as Sat Nav and mobile Google Maps and the result of that is – users build up a dependence on these technologies and when they suddenly become unavailable users could find themselves without a clear direction.

The key responsibility as an experience designer is to ensure that you have produced a design with an element of humanism. Users can still think for themselves.

Robin Hunicke – Getting Juicy

Robin is a Game Producer who specialises in juicy gaming without competition, with no fixed goal and without an increasing level of skill required to play. The output is a gaming concept that is an interactive virtual experience.

Robin demonstrated this gaming concept through her latest release Flow and Flower, in which, you navigate through valleys and across landscapes whilst triggering atmospheric audio and visual effects.

Robin defines her ‘Getting Juicy’ ethos as tactile, inviting, repeatable, real-time, emergent and coherent.

The message to me was that if your not designing with “juicy” in mind, you’re missing the opportunity to provide your user with a complete experience.

She insists her concept of “juicy” should always be applied to any user experience.

Russell Davies – Print Media Lives On

I mention Russell for his expert showmanship and ability to unwittingly devise a presentation which included throwing Kinder Eggs into the audience.

He opened by saying ‘We have broken your business, now we want your machines’ in relation to newspapers.

Russell works with organisations such as the Open Intelligence Agency and the Really Interesting Group. He writes for eggbaconchipsandbeans, Campaign magazine and Wired UK.

His message was simple and had two main points:

- Always surprise your users (audience) in which ever manner is likely to get their attention and hold on to it by whatever means you can

- Traditional print media shouldn’t be forgotten as the power of the printed newspaper can still hold it’s own – tools and technologies are extremely accessible and should be utilised

Contact Russell if you ever wish to print your own newspaper as he knows all the right people.

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