16 September 2010

Geek-to-chic events showcase K&B/interior designers' “Tech Moxie”

The following post is written by Mark Johnson, FAIA. Mark's a good friend and colleague and he's reporting from two events I didn't make it to this year. I'm happy to host his dispatches from a conference at Google's Boulder Campus and then from Fashion Week in New York. Unrelated events? I don't think so. You can follow Mark on Twitter; he tweets as @MarkJohnsonFAIA. So without further ado, here's part one of Mark's adventures from the road.


I was delighted to attend major events in just two weeks where Kitchen & Bath (K&B) and Interior Designers dominated social media and embraced the newest design technology offered from Google. Why is this tipping point so important? Historically the K&B/Interior Design community has been content to follow rather than lead in adoption of online and tech tools. Architects have been the resident design geeks, but not for long…

Question: “Can a designer be Geek and Chic?” You say it’s an oxymoron and I’m a moxie moron for even suggesting? Stay with me for this two-part blog and I’ll try to prove it’s an important sea-change. Dive in, I promise you won’t become a pocket-protector misfit.

The Podium at 3D Basecamp - A mashup of High Tech & Camping with Shrek
Google 3D Basecamp where "It's Hip to be Square"

The events I attended couldn’t be more different and that’s what’s so exciting. I’ll call Google SketchUp 3D Basecamp in Boulder, “Geek Week.” I’ll dub the Luxury Bath Design Challenge at New York Fashion Week 2010, “Chic Week.”

Mark Johnson FAIA proposing "Unconference" Session on Social Media and Google 3D Warehouse. Aidan Chopra wondering... Does this topic have traction??

Let’s start in beautiful Boulder where Google’s indoor camping theme had their employees wearing wool caps in August…yeah, pretty geeky, but in a chic sort of way. We talked tech around virtual campfires; amazing what you can do with LED lights, a fan, fabric and kindling…not very romantic, but it was a geek fest after all. Don’t worry fashionistas, Part 2 will cover New York Fashion Week so hang in there, you need to read this.

Camp #4 - The On-Stage Wilderness with Google dudes and a roaring virtual campfire.

Trekies, I mean Techies, from around the world converged on Boulder with the unbridled enthusiasm of tweenage boys attending a Boy Scout World Jamboree. All the while, who’s quietly tweeting to the world about the release of Google SketchUp Version 8? Why it’s a cadre of K&B designers at 3D Basecamp, iPads and Macs in hand, and their Florida friend, Paul Anater @Paul_Anater, tweeting from afar.

Camp #5 - "Unconference" Session on Social Media +Google 3D Warehouse. No campfire, just lanterns...

Rachele Harless Gorsegner @misedesign, Eric Schimelpfenig @SketchThis, yours truly @MarkJohnsonFAIA, and @IntDesignerChat interloper, Alex Oliver @igloostudios were all there to witness the Version 8 launch, post over 50 tweets, and add a 34 pic photo album to Facebook by the next morning. I’ve included some pics with captions so you can see the brain damage we inflicted. Not to worry, most of it was virtual.

Camp #3 - Rachele Harless Gorsegner & David Pillsbury @davidpillsbury goofing off with the Google Team

Boulder is pretty laid back so our band of K&B SketchUp power users showed them how it’s done. In fact, on “Unconference Day,” Alex Oliver and I each led conference sessions highlighting Social Media, Google Apps, 3D Warehouse and our segments of the design industry; building products for architecture, interiors and K&B. Our quantitative analysis demonstrating how to generate ROI metrics with free Google Apps raised some eyebrows…Uh oh, this is getting geeky. In plain speak; 3D building and interior products are some of the most popular collections in Google’s entire 3D Warehouse.

SketchUp Road Warriors: Mike Tadros, Eric Schimelpfenig, David Pillsbury, Mark Johnson, Alex Oliver So to our many friends on the K&B and Interiors side of the business, you were well represented at "Geek Week". We even recruited a few through the wormhole to the K&B side of the Universe. Next post; on to New York for "Chic Week". No camping gear allowed…although a few celebs were spotted wearing “camo” near the runway! Eeww.

1 comment:

  1. Your stamina is breathtaking. How you manage to post in the midst of all this hoopla is really something. Two doctor's appointments in a week is enough to throw a monkey wrench in my blogging!


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