In 1983 Tamiko Thiel joined the start-up Thinking Machines Corporation to direct the packaging design of the Connection Machine CM-1 / CM-2. The doctoral thesis of W. Daniel Hillis, then PhD. candidate under Marvin Minsky at the MIT AI Lab, the Connection Machine was the first commercially available massively parallel supercomputer and in its time one of the fastest computers in the world. Thiel?s design challenge was to find a form for its 12-dimensional network of 65,536 processors that was not only buildable, but also communicated the passion and conviction of its makers that this was indeed the first of a new generation of machines.
She will talk about the images from history and science fiction that influenced the design, and how her desire to use physical form in a symbolic manner led her to ? as she thought ? depart from the modernist dogma ?Form Follows Function.? In reality, she was rediscovering the original meaning intended by architect Louis Sullivan, who considered ?function? to include ?the aspirations, values, ideals and spiritual needs of human beings.?
MIT Stata Center, Rm 32-D463 (4th floor, Star Room)
Map: Stata Center
Added by cameron on November 4, 2004