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Date Thursday June 9th 2005
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Onomy Labs is an exhibit design/build firm that works with clients to realize novel interactive devices. In some cases, this means taking a client’s research project and dragging it into the light of day. In other cases, it means spending hours with a client until they finally slip up and utter what they *really* want. On the flip side, some days it means spending the latter part of a conversation trying to convince a vendor that their technology really *will* do the strange thing you spent the first half of the conversation asking if it would do. Other days, it’s much simpler, and the whole world turns into a “it just has to be there in the morning” situation.

We’ve been at this game for a couple years now, and are now able to occasionally take a step back, muse about the things we’ve learned, and laugh about the times that weren’t very funny at the time. See some fun things we’ve gotten the opportunity to build over the last couple of years. Smell the spray-adhesive. Hear the whine of the chop saw.


Scott Minneman has long been engaged in, and with, the practice of interdisciplinary design activity and the physicality of everyday design work. This manifests itself in his own background of architectural and engineering design (BA, BS, and MS from MIT; PhD from Stanford), embedded systems, interactive video, installation art, and rock climbing, as well as his research interests in applying technology to support group design work.

At Xerox PARC from 1987 until 2001, he explored the nature of collaborative design and the potential for video/audio/computing systems to support design processes, focusing on design communications and shared drawing.

Scott has worked on interactive robotics for the physically challenged, and communication aids for non-vocal and deaf individuals. As a scientist-collaborator in the PARC Artist-In-Residence (PAIR) program, Scott did installations at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, at The Friends of Photography, on a Sony JumboTron on the facade of a nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (for SIGGRAPH), and on a single-wide mobile home in Goleta, CA. He has coached a FIRST robotics team in Palo Alto for 8 years, and helped Singapore launch their FIRST robotics contest. He co-founded Onomy Labs in 2002, a company of folks who imagine and construct novel interactive devices for collaborative sense-making settings (like museums), and who shepherd technologies out of laboratories into the hands of everyday people. He is Onomy's CTO, and does the mechanical engineering and art direction on most projects.

Click here for Onomy's website.

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