Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done

A picture of Sarah Brin

Sarah Brin

Writer, curator (Autodesk Pier 9)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Sarah Brin, and I'm a curator specializing in technology, public space, and participation. I work at the Autodesk Pier 9 workshop in San Francisco, which is a fancy digital fabrication facility where I work with artists, public installations, and other experimental programs intended to delight and inspire people.

I also do a lot of extracurricular work around artist-made videogames and museums. I believe in popular media's potential for affecting cultural change, and a lot of my projects not-so-secretly hinge on that belief.

What hardware do you use?

Despite working in a digital fabrication facility with a ton of sophisticated machinery, the hardware I use on a day-to-day basis is pretty simple! I use a MacBook Air, a wireless Evoluent 4 VerticalMouse, a Goldtouch laptop stand, a Logitech K810 external keyboard and a 24 in. Viewsonic LED monitor. And a wrist rest. The ergonomic stuff is pretty essential because I got carpal tunnel in both hands real bad when I was in grad school, and if I slack on my computer habits (or grip my phone too much), it comes back.

When I work from home, I am very, very dependent on my Sonos PLAY:1 and my ever-slowing iPhone 5s. I have a Canon PIXMA MG5620 wireless printer, and it's slower than I'd like.

And what software?

Nothing too fancy. Everything I write, from grocery lists to magazine articles, starts as an email draft, either in Outlook or Gmail. I use both Pages and Word equally, same with Excel and Numbers. But for presentations, I only use Keynote. I'm pretty dependent on Tomato Timer for multitasking, and I keep my running to-do list on Trello. I am extremely dependent on Spotify, Chrome and Sunrise.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would have lots and lots of natural light, a good sound system and leafy plants. And a nice big labrador. I'd need a lot of table space so I could spread out all my dumb scribbly drafts, floor plans and reference books. (So far I'm just describing my friends' Steve and Michelle's house in Los Angeles - I've done all of my best writing while watching their dogs while they were on vacation!)

I'd like a proper desktop iMac, too. And more colored pencils. And more pictures of my friends.