I went to see Chris Kray at Culture Lab at Newcastle University. Over the next months we will be working on a joined project on a new approach to creating and building interactive appliances. I am looking forward to spending some more time in Newcastle.
Chris showed me around their lab and I was truly impressed. Besides many interesting prototypes in various domains I have not seen this number of different ideas and implementations of table top systems and user interface in another place. For picture of me in the lab trying out a special vehicle see Chris’ blog.
Jayne Wallace showed me some of her digital jewelry. A few years back she wrote a very intersting article with the title “all the useless beauty”  that provides an interesting perspective on design and suggests beauty as a material in digital design. The approach she takes it to design deliberately for a single individual. The design fits their personality and their context. She created a communication device to connect two people in a very simple and yet powerful way . A further example is a piece of jewelry that makes the environment change to provide some personal information – technically it is similar to the work we have started with encoding interest in the Bluetooth friendly names of phones  but her artefacts are much more pretty and emotionally exciting.
 Wallace, J. and Press, M. (2004) All this useless beauty The Design Journal Volume 7 Issue 2 (PDF)
 Jayne Wallace. Journeys. Intergeneration Project.
 Kern, D., Harding, M., Storz, O., Davis, N., and Schmidt, A. 2008. Shaping how advertisers see me: user views on implicit and explicit profile capture. In CHI ’08 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 – 10, 2008). CHI ’08. ACM, New York, NY, 3363-3368. DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1358628.1358858