International Symposium on Smart Graphics 2001 The Smart Graphics Enterprise Symposium Scope Symposium Program Symposium Committee Submission Symposium Venue Registration Advertising & Sponsors Previous Symposium   Invited Talks

Talk 1

March, 21, 11:00 am
Richard Buchanan
School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University

Locating the Design Problem: Design and the Development of Smart Products

Abstract: The initial development of "smart graphics" has opened the way to a new generation of digital products for both specialized and general audiences. But to move such products from the early conception stage to fully realized products that will survive in the context of human use, we need to understand more carefully the differences among advances in software engineering, usability studies, and design thinking. The goal of this talk is to present some of the ways that the discipline of design particularly in the new form of interaction design can contribute to the creation of "total products" that employ smart graphics.

Bio: Richard Buchanan is Professor of Design and Head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and teaches in the areas of Interaction Design, Communication Planning, Information Design, and New Product Development. Among his numerous publications are Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies and The Idea of Design. Buchanan is an editor of the international journal Design Issues, published by the MIT Press. A recent article is "Good Design in the Digital Age," published in the inaugural issue of Gain: AIGA Journal of Design for the Networked Economy. More information can be found at

Talk 2

March, 21, 4:00 pm
Bradford W. Paley
Digital Image Design, New York City

Delivering Concrete Data to MoMA and the New York Stock Exchange:
Perceptually/cognitively informed information design

Abstract: Abstract information can be more easily understood when it is cast in concrete visual representations. Two case studies of delivered, working systems are discussed: The design of a handheld wireless device for Goldman Sachs, and the interactive part of the Mind'space exhibit in the Workspheres exhibition, currently showing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. A design approach based on the multiple abilities of the human brain is presented. This approach posits an "information processing pipeline" through which input is successively refined through sensory, perceptual, cognitive, symbolic, linguistic, and structural processes in the brain. The approach also suggests that behavioral, emotional, and social processes, while not strictly part of information processing, are equally valuable in the design process. This list of differing abilities is suggested not as mind science, but as a design checklist that can guide design and provide a framework for critique. The case studies are discussed in the context of this checklist: design features are related to the brain processes that inspired or explain them.

Bio:W. Bradford Paley is the founder of the New York interaction design firm Digital Image Design Incorporated. He is a recognized contributor to the fields of interaction design, scientific visualization, physical interface design, and ubiquitous computing. His accomplishments include:

Developing patented and award-winning interaction devices (the Cricket, a 3D mouse for desktop virtual reality; the Monkey, a doll-like input device for animators)

Founding "financial data visualization" groups (at Lehman Brothers in 1989, and J.P. Morgan in 1993) that did the first significant applied work in that field.

Speaking regularly at organizations that explore novel interaction techniques; including SIGGRAPH, AIGA, the MIT Media Lab, SmartGraphics, United Digital Artists Organizing the conference devoted to the design of physical computer interfaces:

Deploying ground-breaking interfaces that are carefully tailored to thought processes involved in people's workflow, such as the handheld wireless device Goldman Sachs brokers use on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Developing and showing perceptually-informed sound/light "toys" based on physical simulation and constraint systems.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley; beginning to work in computer/human interaction in 1981. He has done innovative work devising new techniques for displaying complex or voluminous data, and developing new interaction paradigms for understanding and manipulating such data. The interactive work presented on the top of the Mind'Space desk is representative of his current design/interaction focus: exploring how people's understanding can be supported when information designers involve more than the intellect. When data is cast into shapes that look and act like what they mean, understanding becomes effortless; even fun. Information flows easily into the sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and other "pre-attentive" processes working in people's minds. It's possible to tap these deep resources by combining traditional illustration techniques with contemporary physical simulation algorithms. More information about his and DID's work can be found at at and

Talk 3

March, 22, 11:00 am
Joe Marks
MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories
Cambridge Research Lab

Tangible Interaction + Graphical Interpretation: A "Smart Graphics" Approach to 3D Modeling

Abstract: Artists using standard 3D modeling packages must specify precisely the geometric and material properties of the models they create, and therein lies much of the complexity and tedium of using those tools. By contrast, children playing with construction toys like Lego and K'nex make simple models easily, and use their imaginations to fill in the details. We would like to transform computer-based geometric modeling into that same kind of playful, tactile experience but without sacrificing the ability to create the interesting geometric detail and movement that make 3D graphics and animation compelling. To retain the tactile experience of model manipulation, we look to tangible-interface technology; and to create detailed, fully realized models, we use "Smart Graphics" methods for graphically interpreting a nascent model by recognizing and augmenting its salient features. This combination of tangible interaction and graphical interpretation is investigated in a pair of case studies. Tangible modeling can be approached in two ways: either by directly instrumenting the modeling medium with embedded computation or by using external sensors to capture the geometry. Our first system consists of computational building blocks assembled into physical structures that in their aggregate determine and communicate their own geometric arrangement. A rule-based system interprets these structures as buildings, parses their architectural features, then adds geometric detail and decorative enhancements automatically. Our second system uses simple and robust computer vision to capture volumetric scans of clay models of such common toy-like objects as people, animals, trees, houses, cars, and boats. A volumetric matching algorithm allows us to recognize, interpret, and bring the clay models to (virtual) life. Joint work with: D. Anderson, J. Frankel, A. Agarwala, P. Beardsley, J. Hodgins, D. Leigh, K. Ryall, E. Sullivan, and J. Yedidia.

Bio: Joe Marks grew up in Dublin, Ireland, before coming to the U.S. for college. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Harvard University in 1991. He has worked previously at Bolt Beranek and Newman and at Digital's Cambridge Research Laboratory. He is currently the Director of MERL's Cambridge Research Lab. His main areas of interest are computer graphics, human-computer interaction, and heuristic optimization. More information can be found at