In a city steeped with interactive talent for hire, it seems peculiar that San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein + Partners chose someone with no online experience to start a “hybrid design/interactive group” in 2003. But then, adherence to norms has never been the agency’s strong suit. For the person picked to lead the group, associate partner and director of interactive and design Keith Anderson, the decision was—to a degree—liberating. Without a strong technical background, he says, the shop wasn’t limited in its thinking by the constraints of technology. But only to a point: “It was a little daunting because so much of it is about the technology itself and what the technology allows you to do.”

Over the years, Goodby has likely achieved the most interactive acclaim for its Hewlett-Packard work—last year’s haul included awards from the One Show, Cannes and Microsoft’s MSN Creative Awards.

Much of that work is business-to-business, but the shop had a chance late last year to make technology a little more interesting to the masses: For Comcast, it brought the endearingly loopy “It’s Comcastic” campaign online, using entertaining interactive elements to make the cable company’s services more compelling. For instance, to illustrate its on-demand services, Comcast lets visitors pick a puppet to deliver a customized message to someone else, via Puppet Mail.

When asked his group’s favorite piece of recent work, however, Anderson mentions a project that is digital, but offline: the Saturn Skydome, made for the Wired Next Fest in Chicago in June 2005, to display the still-in-preproduction Saturn Sky roadster. The geodesic dome allowed people to experience what it felt like to drive the car with the top down, and peel back the car’s “skin” to see inside. “It was like you had X-ray vision projected onto the surface of the car,” says Anderson.