An Apple a Day


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A talk presented to the D&AD 'An Apple A Day' event at the Hoxton Pony on June 16, 2009 - on the topic of which piece of technology has changed the way you work.

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An Apple a Day

  1. 1. Matthew Knight Talking at ‘An Apple A Day’ for D&AD June 16, 2009 Hello My name is Matthew Knight, and I’d like to start with the end credits. During in the making of this presentation, the following things also occured
  2. 2. As you can see, I’m an expert procrastinator, and technology provides me with all of the tools to further my skills in this area.
  3. 3. Sixteen Cups of Coffee Three Wikipedia Edits Two Seesmic Updates Three Audioboo Posts GeoTagging of Thirty Flickr images Tidying my Bedroom 800 articles read in Google Reader Recording my cat play with string on my Flip Installation and fiddling around with three PHP frameworks Watching thirty ‘keyboard cat’ videos Sending two postino postcards Three blog posts Friended six people on flickr Reading two articles on ‘Getting Things Done’ Sent three real postcards on postcrossing You-tubing to find a video about a balloon connected to the internet Writing two tweets about failing to find a video about a balloon connected to the internet Sixty tweets about something completely random Ten tweets about not having finished writing this presentation yet. Watching the iPhone 3GS video again Installed Qik on my other mobile phone Walked around the office, whilst Qikking from said mobile phone Watching the Google Wave video again Registering my Facebook username URL Tweaking the HTML on three of my websites Reading two articles on the psychology of Deadlines Adding about twenty images to dropular Viewing about two hundred images on dropular Seeing how many of the images were also on ffffound Searched twitter to see how many references of twitpocolypse Followed random clicks through a series of blogs about neuroscience, not understanding any of them Making my cat record an audioboo Uploading 50 images to project I curate Wireframing the homepage for a charity website I help out with Writing some brief guidelines for digital projects for the charity Playing around with about five different AR examples. I even mowed the lawn As you can see, I’m an expert procrastinator, and technology provides me with all of the tools to further my skills in this area.
  4. 4. Just googling on the word ‘webponce’ - which is my username is pretty much all of the applications I use online shows just how many distractions i’m signed up for. A massive part of my job as as Technical Creative is to play around with these things, to get my head around the hundreds of new platforms and ways of communicating online to see how they can support or deliver the ideas we have at Wieden + Kennedy, but I’m going to go out on a limb, and say the one piece of technology which has truly revolutionized the way I work is at quite the other end of the spectrum:
  5. 5. IBM 26 on/off switch by Marcin Wichary Used under a CC License, Sourced from Flickr The humble off switch. Some times, getting things done means walking away from the computer and going back to basics, and making real connections with real things and people in the meatspace.
  6. 6. This is mudtub by Tom Gerhardt, which is a truly human interface. With lots of talk around multitouch and AR and minority report type interfaces, this is really playful and whilst it might not have applications in the design studio -
  7. 7. putting a smile on someone’s face is a much better objective than building a website in my books.
  8. 8. My next favourite thing in the real world from recent weeks is Tweenbots - a lovely project by Kacie Kinzer at ITP NYU. These little robots had no intelligence, just a motor, a sweet smile and a flag with the instruction ‘help me get to ...’ and a location. People who encountered the tweenbot, would give it a helping hand if the robot was going in the wrong direction, and not a single person kicked it, or set fire to it, everyone just helped it on its way.
  9. 9. David Horvitz is a daily inspiration to hundreds of people, only partly due to his almost daily posting of pure ideas for people to go and do.
  10. 10. here are a couple from his latest 2009 project. thoroughly offline and thoroughly simple, but creating connections between distributed groups of people online and off.
  11. 11. tofhwoti.html A great deal of digital content and thinking is spilling out in the real world, such as ‘Things my Friends have Written on the Internet’ edited The Really Interesting Group,
  12. 12. a collection of digital articles, typeset and printed into a wonderful newspaper;
  13. 13. Currently offline :( similarly this is a printed version of a users’ instapaper account, and rather than reading it all online, he print, bound and created a lovely typeset book.
  14. 14. Along a similar vein, recently launched iPhone app Postino allows you to take any image from your iPhone and turn it into a real world postcard, sent to anywhere in the world. here’s one i sent myself, and i’ve also just sent a number these to people via the postcrossing website, which connects people who send snailmail postcards to each other at random.
  15. 15. Which links to another project also by Russell Davies of the Really Interesting Group - dawdlr, a delightfully slow version of twitter, where people can say roughly what they’re doing round about now on the back of a postcard and send it via the mail to Dawdlr, who publish the results every three months. Very untwitter.
  16. 16. This in turn inspired one of my own projects - the disposable memory project, where we’re leaving disposable cameras around the world, currently 150 in 40 countries, and over time as people find them, take photos and send them back, we’re developing the images and sharing the stories.
  17. 17. Another physical creation, but this time, much more connected to the internets, is Paris by Tim Schwartz, who has taken a very analogue and steam punk approach to infographics and data visualisation. This simple device takes a feed from online, and displays whether Paris Hilton, or Paris France is being talked about more. Tim has also done another similar piece which, using references to the word ‘war’, insurgent, terror and a few other terms, he has scraped these words from the New York Times archives since the start of the last century to the present date, with the meters showing the word counts as the calendar ticks forward. There a real explicit feeling about illustrating figures over time, as it helps give context. Many of these kind of projects have been enabled by Arduino, which is helping bring digital thinking to real things.
  18. 18. Cheers! TWITTER @webponce WORK PLAY So, in the spirit of switching off, I’m going to finish now, and propose a thoroughly offline beer. Thankyou.