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Week 225

Material exploration is the process of getting your hands dirty in order to realise inherent possibilities. Forms for consumer electronics and big, interconnected data are both clays to learn and sculpt. Ashdown is a data heavy project, and Tom is beginning the material exploration now, building systems to ingest data for manipulation and folding, so that – in the design process – we can ask the data what it wants to be, and have that dialogue that happens between material and designer during thinking through making.

That’s Tom’s focus. Matt is focused on a casual game prototype in a two week sprint on another big data project. You have to want to keep clicking, and that’s such an experiential requirement: everything else can be mocked, but this part needs to be designed. Paul Pod is in the studio to work together with Matt on this, and he’s great to have around. (Paul also worked with us on The Incidental.) Matt is our golden boy this week: his recent future cities column at io9 provoked a stellar review from Bruce Sterling. “BERG has become a new Archigram”?? Bruce, that’s terrifically flattering hyperbole, thank you! Now we really have something to live up to.

Jack is prepping the launch materials for the next film to be released (post Nearness). That’s for Tuesday next. He’s working with a mechanical engineer on one project, and will have what we hope is the production-ready Ojito back from the model maker tomorrow. There are a few more costs to figure out before we can make a go/no go. Last week’s workshop we had together with Brian Boyer of Sitra went well, and I’m pleased to see Brian beginning weekly updates for the Helsinki Design Lab.

Me, I’m writing a talk, clarifying points for the accountants, and filling in forms this week, together with the usual progressing of business development. (The pipeline is looking healthy at all stages this week, with all hands taking the lead on a variety of projects.) I’ll be sitting on a panel at the Wired Intelligence Briefing on Thursday, and on Saturday flying to Australia to open Web Directions South and to have a holiday.

A holiday? I’m serious, a holiday.

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