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Talking Cool Stuff With Critical Mass in Chicago.

I visited the great digs of digital experience design house Critical Mass today and was wowed with the terrific work they are doing. Critical Mass as design thinking and methodology down cold, with greaat insights into consumer culture, the customer journey, and the use of social media to generate a memorable experience.

David Armano and I did a video that covered design democracy, the olpc debate, the meaning of social media, and more. Oh, yeah, and Google Health and the issue of privacy. We called it Brunch with Bruce. I loved the technology that enabled us to just sit in front of a laptop and stream it live.

The firm has Hyatt, NASA, Rolex, Mercedes Benz and the city of Las Vedgas as clients. The work it is doing for Vegas is wonderful. it?? creating an experience for people who want to head for Vegas that allows you to connect with your ??osse?or entourage and plan the trip before you go (make up your own persona for Vegas), put up photos, videos, words and connect while you’re in Vegas (even with those who can’t make the trip with you) and manage all the memories after you get home. I can imagine this working for any big event—like a wedding in Cabo.

Anyone who has doubts about the efficacy of design methodology in today’s business culture has got to check out Critical Mass.

I’m here for the Institute of Design’s Strategy Conference and it’s no coincidence that one of the guys who showed me terrific customer-centric research at Critical Mass is a grad of ID—David Stallsmith. His work on organic food and the “green continuum” was right on.

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