Thesis Weeknotes 08, 09 [Pause]

Weeks 8 and 9 were scheduled pauses: we had an industrial project planned, our last “class” – half of us worked with Nokia, the other half with Lego. We were also very lucky to have that project bookended by two open lectures – the first by IDEO co-founder and now director of the Cooper Hewitt in NY, Bill Moggridge, and the second by the wonderful metaphor-sketching Bill Verplank.

I can’t say much about the Nokia project – it’s currently under the wraps of an NDA. It felt like a distraction from our theses (and it was, obviously), but I think that in the end we did some really strong work, which hopefully we’ll be able to show properly in due course. Each of our projects was very different – in scope, in style, in approach – which was really nice to see come together in the final presentations. I was working with David, and we battled to do the smallest possible thing – and I think just about pulled it off, even if we made our lives difficult by choosing to work on something invisible and was focused on people’s subconscious!

But it was really humbling to have the two Bills come to speak: together they coined the term Interaction Design; Moggridge helped design the first laptop and founded what is now one of the world’s biggest and most respected design firms; Verplank worked on the first real GUI at Xerox and spoke casually about having discussed and argued over things that now seem completely normal (the desktop metaphor; files going in folders; what happens when you send something to the printer; etc ) -not to mention his amazing style of drawing while speaking, resulting in a wall-long roll of paper being covered in notes and sketches over the course of his lecture.

So these couple of week were a complete pause, thesis-wise, but with a good excuse.

Maybe some thoughts fermented in the back of my mind, without me noticing…

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