lunch with microsofts mastermind j allard

October 7, 2006

finally i had the chance to meet J Allard the “brain” of microsoft for lunch and talk with him one to one. first i have to say he is really a nice and smart guy and he had time for all my questions…in fact he asked me more stuff then i did :) so we were talking first about how tricky it is to order lunch in a country you don’t know the words for choosing your sandwich ingredients, about his house witch he decided to renovate very colorfull and what i should see in seattle (like the libary builded by REM Koolhas, witch is anyway an obligation for me as architectur model maker & scenographical designer).

after the smalltalk part we get more to the core… :) :) :)

i was quite suprised as our conversation drifts over to design and especially about designing the xbox 360: not so long since J has really found my “molten stone” faceplate on flickr and has droped my a note (what honor ;). so we talked about hardware shells&cases, witch are could seen as a new canvas for art (at least for some guys like me :). this was exactly microsofts decision to do a first step in this direction, with a removable faceplate on the xbox360.

apropos faceplates: i showed him our new faceplate …WHAT NEW FACEPLATE??? (be patient, i will post images soon when i’m back in switzerland :)… and he was really impessed and made me a bit shyly when he stoped all the passing guys like peter moore, larry hyrib (major nelson), and a lot of the programming staff and the hardware crewto show them my faceplate… so be prepared!!! ;). he gave me also good advices and inputs for new artwork and we had a very interessting talk about legally protected content: everybody has the feeling (me too) that you have to watch every step & word you say about MS, because they will call a horde lawyer after you…but that’s exactly not the company that J would work for.

then we discussed where xbox 360 should go for the futur, what i would change when i were in his position and how i use flickr…(i love flickr:). so finally we drift to the new player that will comingzune: the zune! he gave me a very impressive comparison with his wallet, in a user-identification & design aspect and why apple has maybe limited his scope too much…hey don’t get me wrong i’m a very satisfied mac-user and the ipod is a powerseller, but where could they go in futur with theirs very defined CI (we talk about the “bathroom-esthetic”;)?

soooo…J Allard has even overrun our meeting while we where chating and myself has learned very much in this very exciting one and a half hour with him. thanks J!

back in office i had then the pleasure to test for myself a brand new zune along with the guy who made the interface design for this thiny thing, as well as he has done for the xbox 360 interface. hey adam, good job! but i think that’s enough for today. this was my very interessting internship in redmond and i hope you liked my posts, i will spend some time in seattle downtown on my own to check out the city… (so i’m grateful for good insider hints :)

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2 Responses to “lunch with microsofts mastermind j allard”

  1. Gavin said

    Wow, sounds like a great experience meeting J Allard. Maybe one day you could share some of those tips with us? :) We need to get you affiliated with more people so you can some more feedback!

  2. peperazzi said

    jep, i will…so in what parts you wanna know more? and of course i would appreciate when you tell/send interested peoples my url, so i get more feedback to make my work better, thx :)

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