Nigel Paine – It’s a totally different way of working

The power of physical space becomes the power of virtual space, it’s exactly true. And, you know, watching – one of the things that I do is I’m on a startup board in DC in the US and, so I’m working with 27 year olds, 28 years olds, and me, and the way – when we meet, the way they use their technology is amazing. Obviously I’m very familiar with technology, I use it everyday when I’m… but I still haven’t got that almost unbroken link between their brain, their fingers. When we’re talking they’re typing, and when we’re explaining something they’re already pulling up the page or pulling up the website they just literally… They have their laptop, you know, kind of on physically in a way that I never do. They have it kind of attached to them quite awkwardly, so they sort of type at an angle like this, in order that they’re still talking to me, so they’re talking to like tu, tu, tu, and then they’ll turn it around and say see, look, is this there, and if we could do it like this, look at this, and this is how, which I’m doing, its a very different way of working, it’s a more intimate relationship between the computer and the individual and the team, and it’s not a barrier.

I like to have my laptop, that’s why I work with an iPad all the time when I’m in meetings, but I like to have a laptop in front of me with the screen up, so straight in front, which is a barrier, it’s a barrier between me and – so if I was working on my laptop now, there would be this screen there and it would be a barrier, whereas they don’t use it like that, it’s kind of at an angle, and it’s not a barrier, and they have the screen down and up and down and up and down depending on what they’re doing. So, they just – that sort of Mac ability to sleep wake, sleep wake instantly they use all the time, so they just do something, slam down the screen, lift the screen up, do something else, slam down the screen. It’s a very interesting way of approaching it’s far more I guess informal. My relationship with the laptop is still quite formal in a way that – it’s on, the screen is front of me, and then I finish the screen goes down, it’s much more casual, their relationship. It’s very, very interesting to watch, and I just can’t work that fast on a machine, no I can’t, by the time I thought about it, they’re three steps ahead, they literally think on to the keyboard they just… it’s just completely natural, it’s a totally different way of working.

So even though I would say that I’m just as text savvy and computer literate as anybody else. The fact that I’m still – I’m not a native, you know, these kids they’ve had computers since they were three or something, they are, they have a different relationship with the machine, a completely different relationship with the machine.

It’s totally reshaping the behavior it is and in a way that it’s – it is reshaping mine to a certain extent, but, if you like, I have a kind of formal presence independent of the machine, but they don’t seem to have a formal presence independent of the machine, they are on the machine almost – once – it’s an extension a very strong extension in the way that I kind of iPad is I would never sit down and watch television without my iPad or my laptop I really go on a train or an underground I use my iPad all the time, all time, all the time, so it’s almost like that, but for them it’s the computer and everything that they can do becomes an extension, extension of them and they just use it in a way that I don’t.

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