Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America


July 23rd-27th, 1984

Art Show Overview:

As is clear to those who habitually attend the SIGGRAPH conference, the exhibition is different this year. In it are, among other things, a ski boot, a remote control device, hand-colored images of an arched doorway, and a computer game that explains machine logic. The common element uniting these seemingly disparate projects is that they demonstrate current applications of computers to design problems. In each of them the computer played a significant role in the design and, often, in production.

The point of view illustrated in the exhibition is that the computer will, as is so often said, serve as a tool in helping with various aspects of our work. More important, however, the computer is viewed here as having the potential for becoming a medium capable of altering our ways of thinking about our work. The exciting objective for computer-supported design at this time is to go beyond mimicking past media (as all new media do at their inception) and continue to develop processes and formal structures that are inherent to the computer’s distinct characteristics.

Patrick Whitney, Chairman
Design Arts Exhibition Committee


Visual Proceedings:

View PDF: [SIGGRAPH 1984: CAD Show]

Additional Images:

  • SIGGRAPH 1984   


Cheryl Kent
Whitney and Kent, Limited

Communication Development and Evaluation
C.G. Screven
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Supporting Organizations
Cray Research

Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning
University of California – Los Angeles

International Neon Products Incorporated

Institute of Design
College of Architecture and Design
Illinois Institute of Technology

Visible Language Workshop
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Exhibition Artworks:

Exhibition Writings and Presentations:

    Title: Computer-Aided Industrial Design
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is destined to become the standard industrial design medium, for the same reasons it is revolutionizing other design and engineering fields. And many industrial designers are eager now to adopt it. Yet, only a fraction of CAD technology’s potential has found its way into the industrial design studio. High costs are partly to blame, but even as costs decline, a more fundamental reason accounts for the slow adoption: the industrial designers’ needs are so disparate that no single CAD system available today, has scope enough to fulfill them all.

    [View PDF]

    Title: Information, Computers and Design
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    The Dilemma of the Specific and the General
    In the Yucatan peninsula, corn is planted by Indian farmers in the same way it was done hundreds of years ago. The farmer wears a sack filled with seed slung over one shoulder. As he walks the field’s rows, he uses a long stick to make holes in the ground into which he drops seeds. Although the stick is a simple tool, it is not naive. It has features that make it well-suited for its task: it is long enough so the farmer can make the hole without bending to the ground; and, the end of the stick is sharpened to a point to make the hole for the seed.

    [View PDF]

    Title: What Good is a Computer to an Architect?
    Category: Paper
    Abstract Summary:

    What good is a computer to an architect? Palladio found pen and paper perfectly adequate, after all. And it is hard to imagine Frank Lloyd Wright at a keyboard. (It just doesn’t go with a cape and cane.) The most sophisticated piece of technology on most architects’ desks, even today, is an electric pencil sharpener.

    [View PDF]