And we’re back II

After successfully transferring my entire digital existence to the helpful people at DreamHost, I’ve finally gotten around to logging back in. Lots of interesting activity has kept me away, but I’m better for it. Next stop, Berlin.

OVer the past weeks I spent time as a guest reviewer for a couple of classes. It started with Dennis Crowley‘s course on “Ubiquitous Computing for Mobile Devices” over at ITP. Essentially a derivative of Frank Lantz’ course on ‘Big Games,’ which I sat in on two years ago (me=733t), Crowley’s kids were instructed to think up new ways to marry mobile tech with some snazzy (hipster-prone) social interaction. If I saw the future of web 2.0 in that room you better get used to recording every goddamn thing you do during the day. With the exception of some projects, most required you to either send some information somewhere, where it would be gathered, jostled and spit back out. I’m as lazy as you are.

Next was Laura Forlano’s class “Design in Everyday Experience – Working on the Move” at Parsons where I sat in on two presentations. This class was a lot younger, but not necessarily worse for it, as Lucas found out a week later. At any rate, one group had a flashy prototype of some utopian technology with barely any data to back it up and the other had an overwhelming amount of market info that would justify their ‘product’ but, alas, nothing to appeal more to the imagination. If anything, please start with a small idea (‘help the blind do X’) and avoid large abstract statements that hold no water (‘Bridge cultural differences’).

Last was “Big Urban Game” (I’m noticing a trend here, taught by Lian Chang and Mike Sharon ( Another set of cool projects. What struck me was that apparently PLAY TESTING your game really helps improve it. Who would’ve thunk it? I liked the GEMDAS (pdf of earlier version) idea, although I wasn’t sure what was so big or urban about it. Nonetheless, every visit to the arch school leaves me in awe of how well versed that crowd is with making things look pretty.

Next week: Berlin.

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