Let’s Get Physical

Session Title

Let’s Get Physical


Pip Tompkin Mike Kruzeniski, Pip Tompkin Inc., Microsoft EXG

Session Type: Presentation

Over the years, software has borrowed many metaphors from the physical products and artifacts we use every day. In the drive towards making software more natural and intuitive, it has inherited physical traits, both visual and behavioral, along the way.

We’ve reached a point, however, where software interfaces have in many cases surpassed what might be considered natural, giving us almost super-natural control of our media and environments. So what about their physical world counterparts, from where the metaphors came?
Now that software has taken on a familiar role in our everyday lives, could it be the source of new metaphors? Instead of software dressing in physical metaphors, could physical products and artifacts take on the traits and qualities of software?

This session will present how we’ve travelled full circle – how software design is now influencing product design. And we’ll discuss what lessons from software Interaction Design that we believe can be brought to Industrial Design.


Pip Tompkin is the founder of Pip Tompkin Inc., a product design consultancy located in Venice, Los Angeles, California, which develops consumer products, brand languages and strategic concepts for some of the largest companies all over the world. Pip is originally from Nottingham, England. He graduated top of his year from University of Northumbria with a 1st Class Bachelors Degree (BA Hons) in Industrial Design. Pip then gained a Masters in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art, in London, and was awarded with a special examiner distinction. Prior to founding his own company, Pip had worked for Nortel, Therefore Design Consultants (London, UK), Colebrook Bosson Saunders Architects (London, UK), Hareide Design Mill (Moss, Norway), Seymour Powell Global Forecasting Team (UK/USA), Design Edge (Austin, Texas, USA) and Nokia (Los Angeles, California. USA). Pip has helped companies develop products for both domestic and global markets for companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Nokia, Motorola, Canon, Knoll, Herman Miller and Polycom.

Mike Kruzeniski is a UX Creative Director for the Entertainment Experience Group at Microsoft, in Seattle. Before joining Microsoft, Mike was a Designer on Nokia Design’s Insight & Innovation team in Los Angeles, where he worked on projects such as the Nokia 2010 View of the Future, and the concept design for the Nokia 8800 Arte. He has a Master’s of Interaction Design from the Umea Institute of Design in Sweden, and a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the Emily Carr Institute of Design in Vancouver, BC.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 17, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Love this one! Would really like to hear this one.