Coming up at Solid Amsterdam

A look at our unified program for unified creators.


Register now for Solid Amsterdam 2015, our conference exploring the intersections of manufacturing, design, hardware, software, and business strategy. The event will take place in Amsterdam on October 28, 2015.

Creating a great product means knowing something about many things: design, prototyping, electronics, software, manufacturing, marketing, and business strategy. That’s the blend that Solid brings together: over our one-day program at Solid Amsterdam on October 28, 2015, we’ll walk through a range of inspiration and insight that’s essential for anyone who creates physical products — consumer devices, industrial machines, and everything in between.

Start with design: it’s the first discipline that’s called on to master any new technology, and designers whose work has been confined to the digital realm are now expected to understand hardware and connected systems as well.

Design at Solid begins with our program co-chair, Marko Ahtisaari, who was head of product design at Nokia from 2009 to 2013, and is now CEO and co-founder of The Sync Project. We’ll also hear from Thomas Widdershoven, creative director at Design Academy Eindhoven and co-founder of thonik, a design studio whose work specializes in interaction and motion design.

Of course, design doesn’t stop at the engineer’s office door. It’s critical that everyone understand something about the fundamental processes and technology of electronics manufacturing, and how dramatically they’ve changed in the last few years. Our program includes an overview from several angles.

Nadya Peek, of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, is an authority on advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication. (You can watch her talk from Solid San Francisco 2014 here.) bunnie Huang is the world’s preeminent hardware hacker and an extraordinarily effective collaborator with the fast, flexible Shenzhen manufacturing ecosystem. David Cranor, an entrepreneur and electrical engineer, is a co-founder of Formlabs and one of the creators of Solid San Francisco’s pop-up factory, which, in a never-before-seen flourish, manufactured electronics on the floor of the conference.

Our business sessions come from two very different perspectives: Katherine Hague, founder of ShopLocket and now an executive at PCH, is an expert on hardware startups — the new breed of tech companies that are able to go from idea to product quickly and at minimal cost. Dirk Slama, director of Bosch Software Innovations, is an expert at running cross-disciplinary hardware development processes inside large, heavy-duty enterprises. (He’s an author of Enterprise IoT, our forthcoming guide to the topic, as well.)

We’ll approach social good from several angles: Francesco Cara will speak about using connected devices to contain climate change. Two of our speakers, Amar Hanspal and Peter Bihr will address smart cities — Bihr will ask us to take a nuanced, sympathetic approach, and Hanspal will examine the blend of design and data that will support smart cities.

We’ll hear about the importance of design and engineering to the entrepreneur. Jesper Kouthoofd is head of design at Teenage Engineering, whose OP-1 synthesizer is already legendary for its blend of design and technical understanding. Bethany Koby is CEO and co-founder of Technology Will Save Us, which produces accessible DIY electronics kits. This fall the BBC will distribute her micro:bit experimentation kit to a million schoolchildren in the UK.

When any object can become an Internet endpoint, privacy becomes essential. Gilad Rosner will give an overview of challenges and approaches for ensuring good privacy and security.

We always like to include an orthogonal talk at Solid — a deep look at pipe organs, for instance, or the science of flavor. In Amsterdam, we’re pleased to host transhumanist writer Warren Ellis, author of the critically acclaimed cyberpunk comic book series Transmetropolitan, among many other works of written and visual media. His work explores technology that’s integrated deeply into the human condition — extrapolating, perhaps, from the technology we’ll discuss elsewhere in the program.

Register now for Solid Amsterdam 2015 to take part in this authoritative overview of the new hardware movement and the Internet of Things — and the extraordinary impact that they’re about to have on every business.

Cropped public domain image on article and category pages via the Google Art Project on Wikimedia Commons.

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