With eleven labs worldwide and more than 1,000 scientists and engineers working across multiple research areas, Microsoft Research (MSR) is one of the largest corporate research organisations in the world.
While much of the work looks at both the computer and human-computer interaction, design is growing as a core competency, particularly in the Human Experience & Design group at MSR in Cambridge (UK). Here, design is being used to rethink many of the challenges being raised by technology and to extend the possibilities of how we live and work with technology. We have studied and designed for a whole host of contexts: examining more nuanced understandings of household communication; exploring material forms of remembering (and forgetting); querying the role of intelligence in machines, the future of the file; and so on.
Through our work we aim to develop a deeper understanding of design practice and expand the repertoire of design research, experimenting with tools, methods and materials in order to participate and productively intervene in the shifts and flows of technological innovation.