Well, I had planned to post something about this sooner, but have been… busy.
At the beginning of 2022, after almost 9 years at Google I left and took on a new role as Principal Designer at Moixa…
Back to April 2013 – I move to NYC from London and join Creative Lab… One of the first things I work on is an amazingly ambitious project for Larry Page (remember him?) in what was then Google.org – to radically remake the world’s electricity grid for a zero-carbon future.
It gets a little mention here in a long article about Google’s newly opened Bayview building.
Called ‘Bottom-Up Grid’ or ‘BUG’ it aimed to make electricity infrastructure more like the internet – able to flexibly store, route and reroute power, making it far easier for renewables to scale.
I’m making it up as I go along (which is what design is, remember?), with an awesome gang of talented people: creating speculative designs, dynamic simulations and infoviz, physical models, science-fair-like exhibitions to convince important people in nondescript buildings in mountain view.
HOLYCRAPHOLYCRAP THAT’S LARRY PAGE. MAYBE WE *CAN* REMAKE THE ELECTRICITY GRID FOR THE 21stC!!!!!
He asks the very, very smart team we’re working with lots of questions including… how you might be able to cook pasta more quickly with high voltage.
But he gives it the nod.
The project continues for a while… until it gets a smaller focus, becomes a pilot internally, quietly sunsets. I went on with the wonderful Creative Lab teams to do many similar fantastic projects with Google Access & Energy which – sadly no longer exists now that we really need it…
Late 2021: I’ve been back in London for about 5 years, working in Google Research and having a lot of fun with a bunch of studios – imagining what an alternate decentralised Google might be in future with private, personal AI for everyone – but BUG still… bugs me…
I’d installed a solar & battery system to my home in 2018 from a UK startup called Moixa.
It was the nearest thing to BUG I could find on the market: harvesting what energy you can from the UK sunshine (!), then storing it in a battery and sharing using innovative networking software…
And then… I saw they were hiring for a Principal Designer.
So… I figured I needed to go for it.
At Moixa we make something that we hope is a building block of something like this – solar energy storage batteries that can be networked together with software to create virtual power plants, that can replace fossil fuels.
It’s one part of our mission to create 100% electric homes this decade.
The home is a place where design and desire become important for creating change and impact in the climate fight.
I hope we can make energy transition in the home something that is aspirational and accessible with good design.