“The European dream appears quite stable. China may be heading for a bump in the road if its population ever demands democracy. Russia had a period of fast growth (with precious little benefit for most Russians) but what happens if Vladimir Putin is becoming a military adventurer? Europe looks to have those traumas behind it. Nor has it become an American-style plutocracy.”
“Europe still has lots to learn. A French friend recently attended a Californian reception packed with brilliant French engineers working in Silicon Valley. He came home thinking: “What would it take to bring those people back to France?” That’s the sort of question Europeans need to ask: how to convert their wonderful idea networks into Apples and Googles? London, Europe’s de facto business capital, with its budding tech sector, may be finding an answer. If it does, the rest of the continent will try to copy it, because nonstop cross-border learning is still the secret of Europe’s success.”
The first paragraph and the second here are oddly dissonant to me. Isn’t the financialisation of Silicon Valley (and for that matter, London’s Tech City) a sure sign plutocracy comes riding in on the back of “Apples and Googles”?
(via Why Europe works — FT.com)
It’s been a while since I spent time at my own desk in the Dutch Game Garden. It was nice to do this again yesterday, having the city right outside my door and kindred spirits such as FourceLabs upstairs. I wasn’t inside the whole time though, in the morning I had another chat at EKKO about Tako. And in the afternoon I headed to Leidsche Rijn accompanied by Julius to attend a workshop concerning Utrecht’s bid to become European capital of culture.
I kicked off the week with two days of work at Layar (now on my way to Amsterdam in a diverted train for my third and last day of the week there). I’ve been collaborating closely with some of the engineers to shape some upcoming new… stuff. Things are developing at such a high pace that it’s a real challenge to keep up. It feels like being on top of a rodeo bull sometimes, but in a good way. This means I need to be pragmatic and fast with developing and documenting designs.
In between, I’ve posted a long overdue project description to the Hubbub site for Mega Monster Battle Arena. It’s this quirky project — a cross between a game and an opera — that I was involved with last year. It feels good to finally have it out there for me and others to point to.
Other in-between stuff includes a final review of several graduation project proposals. I need to provide feedback by the start of next week, and then I’ll switch to coaching a handful of students.
The week will be topped off with what is sure to be a fun friday at the BUROPONY studio. I’ll do some work on their site, and in return have them do some additional work on the Hubbub brand. Scratching each other’s backs, that’s how small creative enterprises flourish.
I’m sitting in the North West Airlines World Club in Detroit using my eleven hour (!) lay-over to work away all the email and RSS feeds that have been piling up during the past days of being (mostly) off-line.
I had a great time at the IA Summit. It was definitely worth the trip. Attended lots of thought-provoking talks and met a whole bunch of inspiring people. It’s interesting to now be able to put the European IA scene in context of the ‘international’ one.
I’m single-quoting international, because to be honest, I think the IA Summit is a North American event. Of course there were quite a few visitors and even speakers from outside the US & Canada, but I can’t help but feel that the majority of attendees really are not very aware of the truly international character of the IA community.
That’s a shame.
One example is something I really should have fixed during 5 minute madness: the announcement of the European IA Summit. Apart from mentioning the event’s name and URL, people weren’t exactly persuaded to come over. It wasn’t even mentioned that this is in the beautiful city of Barcelona!
Anyway, I’ll just use this opportunity to invite all my American colleagues to make the trip and get a taste of how we do things in Europe. Seriously, I’m sure people will enjoy learning about the unique issues we’re dealing with (I did the other way around). Like Jesse James Garrett said: “embrace ambiguity”.
On a different note, I’ll probably be doing a series of posts over the coming weeks like I did for the last Euro IA Summit, once I get my notes ordered and filtered. Stay tuned.
The second European IA Summit has come and gone. The promised live updates from Berlin weren’t delivered due to the scarcity of power sockets and flaky WiFi (a lesson for the organization of next year’s event, IMHO). I do have a few hundred photos to go through, including the contents of my Moleskine (chaotic mind-maps of each talk, for the real connoisseur.)
All in all, the summit was great. It was nice to meet old acquaintances and make new ones. We had quite a few laughs because of language and cultural differences, which is what a European event is all about I guess.
It was encouraging to see that the number of attendees was considerably larger than last year. The variety of nationalities had also increased I think, which is good of course.
The contents of talks were of a pretty high standard, while presentation skills of the speakers varied widely, as could be expected. It’s a shame when high quality content becomes hard to grasp due to bad presentation, and we had a few of those, but I still respect anyone who had the courage to step up and express their views.
On the way back I created a mind-map of all the big themes I picked up on during the weekend and intend to delve into the main ones over the course of this week in a series of mini-posts. The first one will be on strategy; the follow-ups will cover social search, process & deliverables, involving the client and accessibility.
Dan Saffer of Adaptive Path wrote an introductory piece for budding interaction designers. Five years ago, Robert Reimann of Cooper did the same. Both are nice overviews for novices and especially the parts on a designer’s temperament are entertaining to read.
Saffer fails to mention any good IxD schools outside of the US and UK. Which is a shame for all of us European designers. Reimann mentioned Ivrea’s now defunct IxD institute.
I’d like to start by pointing to my courageous little country’s Utrecht School of Arts, which has been teaching IxD for 15 years now (!) and today offers both BA and MA programs. They’ve recently branched off into game design, which has been quite successful.
Full disclosure: I was a student at the same school from 1998 – 2001 (BA IxD, MA Game Design) and am now teaching a course in mobile game design.
Any other good IxD schools in Europe that you know of?