All right, so I didn't blog throughout the day. Since I'm saving my full write-up for the Clearwired bog, I had to wait for the day to end to write about my culminated experience. The conference sessions themselves were -- well, conference sessions. All really good -- still trying to discern -- oph -- don't want to give too much away& So let me talk about lunch, the library, and dinner.
For lunch, the conference attendees were able to sign up for a group that was going to a specific location. We went to an Italian restaurant that was just caddy-cornered with the library. The conversation was good. I met a few people who work with Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle. Since I was sitting at the end of the table with the Microsoft guys, we mainly talked about Microsoft. It was interesting to hear how Microsoft is pushing User Experience in a real big way. Lunch lasted longer than the time allotted for all of the groups, so the sessions got pushed back a little bit. I liked the idea of the conference organizers putting together the lunch groups -- it really helped to break the ice.
Right after the afternoon sessions I took a long stroll through the library. If you haven't seen or been to the Seattle Public Library it I a large glass structure with numerous angles shaping the overall form. It is a striking building -- very modern. The space is big and open. It is organized around usage. The main entrance (at least what I think is the main entrance) leads into what is called the living room. A large soaring space that is meant to be a public gathering area, it's essentially an atrium that is open to at least 8 floors above. Interestingly, one of the people I went to lunch with commented that he felt the library lacked warmth -- he preferred the feel of a more traditional library ya know wood. I thought the living room space was an incredible public space. A testament to the mission o the library, large and open -- soaring, potentially representing the possibilities contained within the media (books, etc&) available in the library, maybe it represents the enormousness of the collection itself, or it just could be designed to be just simply a cool space. The best feature of the library is the stacks -- they wind up a central tower. I took the escalator to the top and wound my way down. The use of color to indicate paths through the library was interesting, the escalators were all bright yellow and the signage of the stacks was cool: the Dewey Decimal system was essentially inlaid into the floor.
After exploring the library, I walked down the block to a bar in the W hotel where a whole bunch of the conference attendees met up for drinks. Can we say networking& After some mingling, I wound up going out to dinner with Abe, a phd student at Chapel Hill, Lyn, an interior designer at an architecture firm, Erika, a principal at Mule Design, and a friend of who is local to Seattle. We went to Wild Ginger. The food was great and the conversation was even better. It was really good to talk shop with people from around the country. Lyn brought a different perspective on things though its all design we still use a slightly different vocabulary. I was pleased to have met Erika, I have always admired the work Mule Design has done, the sites they have designed exude simplicity and elegance, always seem to be on message for their clients. It was also fun to hear the inside San Fran scoop from her and get some good Mule swag, including the Dont be a dick Mena Trott button. This aspect of connecting with people is definitely a highlight of the conference for me. Its been a while since Ive been out of ABQ for a national conference and I was happy to meet and talk with the people I have met I learned a lot and gleaned a lot of ideas for some of the work Im doing.