Design Talk 76. Placeful computing; Jared Ficklin, Chief Creative Technologist & founding partner, argodesign

Jared Ficklin’s approach of ‘think by making’ has led him to produce remarkable digital design work, often at the forefront of exploring new computing metaphors, from smartphones to spatial interfaces. In his conversation with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, Jared gets to one of the big truths of the digital age: the major expansions in computing occur when a significant change in UI metaphor resonates with users. The discussion goes deeper, exploring everything from what it means to sustain successful design studio culture to Jared’s hopes for new forms of public transport.

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On this edition

Every time a new interaction metaphor resonates with the user you see an expansion and an explosion in computing. Jared Ficklin, Chief Creative Technologist & founding partner, argodesign Episode 76, MEX Design Talk podcast


  • frog Design, where Jared worked and became a fellow.
  • Boston Dynamics, the robotics company mentioned by Jared.
  • Episode 5 of the MEX podcast, a discussion with Louisa Heinrich about robot relations, which might interest those keen on design issues relating to robots.
  • Episode 68 of the MEX podcast, when Marek spoke with Jared’s long-term collaborator Mark Rolston, including on themes related to placeful computing.
  • Magic Leap, the mixed reality computing platform which Jared and his design studio argodesign has been working on.
  • Microsoft’s Hololens, another mixed reality computing platform mentioned by Jared.
  • Multi-touchpoint experience design has been continuously examined within the MEX initiative since 2009 under MEX Pathway #2, an archive of which can be explored here.
  • Interactive Light, an experiment by argodesign, mentioned by Jared as an example of some of the studios air interface explorations.
  • Jared’s bio, in which he extols the virtues of ‘think by making’, part of argodesign’s creed.
  • Wire One, the urban cable system Jared has been working on for Austin.

The main tools we've used for all these years are narrative and storytelling. Design is discovering what a user values in a technology, creating a story of the experience and manifesting it. Jared Ficklin, Chief Creative Technologist & founding partner, argodesign Episode 76, MEX Design Talk podcast

About MEX Design Talk & how to get in touch

The podcast for the MEX community, interviewing UX pioneers, exploring emerging technologies, user behaviour and how to design better digital experiences.

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