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6 Digital Media Pioneers Joining Minds at the Centre for Digital Media

Aug 14, 2014 By Richard Smith

What would happen if you put a bunch of creative pioneers in the field of digital media in the same room for three days? What if they were all not just meeting together but living in the same building, and having meals together? This intensive "hot house" environment was the premise of a CDM workshop for the summer of 2014. The workshop was a joint venture between the Centre for Digital Media, which provided travel and accommodation as well as meeting and working space, and Ken Perlin, from New York University.

Six digital media pioneers collaborated, created and shared visions for the future of digital media and human computer interaction during their stay at the Centre for Digital Media.  

Athomas Goldberg speaking at the Symposium at the Centre for Digital Media

Athomas Goldberg

The group was assembled by Ken Perlin, an Academy Award winning professor from NYU’s Computer Science Department. Ken Perlin is famous in both the academic and professional computer graphics world, from his days working on TRON (the first one), and breakthroughs in how we create "realistic" textures and surfaces using computers, to present day contributions in education, zooming user interfaces, and most recently work on Interpolating Force Sensitive Resistance for creating inexpensive and accurate touch-sensitive surfaces.

Ken pulled together a who's who of digital media in the 21st century, and invited them to spend a few days working together in Vancouver at the Centre for Digital Media. We provided rooms in the apartments that are part of the Centre, as well as meeting space, project development space, student assistants, and visual annotation specialist (and a graduate of our program), Melissa Wong. 


Bret Victor and Ken Perlin Panel

Bret Victor and Ken Perlin

The group included Margaret Minsky, Bret Victor, Athomas Goldberg, Chaim Gingold, and Hiroshi Ishii.

Chaim Gingold and Margaret Minsky

Chaim Gingold and Margaret Minsky

Hiroshi Ishii speaking at Symposium

Hiroshi Ishii

The group spent the first 3 days of their time together brainstorming and sharing their latest work. The fourth day was dedicated to a joint presentation—a half day digital media symposium and workshop—that was held at the Centre for Digital Media. 

100 digital media thought leaders were invited to participate in the Symposium this past Saturday afternoon. It gave them the opportunity to network and meet these innovators and listen to their groundbreaking ideas on the future of technology to communicate and express ideas. 

After the presentations, the attendees saw demonstrations of their latest works and their work with students and collaborators, including Judith Doyle, from OCAD. A panel in which the 6 pioneers responded to questions from the audience followed the presentations and demonstrations.

We at the Centre for Digital Media were very happy to host this event and hope it is the first of many more to come.

*All photos by Robert Huang.