III. Why Is This Thesis Being Done At The Media Lab?


To our knowledge the Aesthetics & Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab is the only organization pusuing this direction at an academic institut

ion. Several schools of design have "media" or "interactive" design departments, but these organizations are primarily focussed on commercially available tools for design. Neither the students nor professors possess the computer science skills to open up the medium to interactions beyond the basics provided by these tools. Isolated individuals in the commercial realm demonstrate exceptional computational skill and inspiring work (Paul Haeberli of SGI and Scott Snibbe of Interval as prime examples). But only at MIT are we lucky enough to have a group of individuals extremely versed in the computational medium actively pursuing pure visual design research for the computer itself. We have now begun to reach a kind of "critical mass" for discourse on the topic of design and computation wherein enough projects are in process such that we can start to extract trends and examine the design process itself. This analysis could only occur at the Media Laboratory.