[AG-TECH] Furniture aesthetics

Wenjun Liu wliu at mcs.anl.gov
Wed Sep 12 13:03:05 CDT 2001


Your email made me re-think the overall purpose of room and space in AG.
There seems no single answer to your question. So I will over-state it a
little bit. Please bear with me.

At least we can identify three purposes of an AG room:
1. Make it easy and accurate for cameras to capture people and events in
that room. We may call this the technical purpose.
2. Make it as comfortable and visually appealing as possible for room users.
We may call this, to use your word, the aesthetic purpose.
3. To help maximize the productivity of room users. This is sometimes called
the ergonomic purpose. (Ergonomics usually means an applied science of
equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by
reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. For that definition, part of our
second purpose should be included here. But my thought of maximizing
productivity is more positively termed: certain room design and seating
arrangement simply make it more efficient for room users to carry out their

I believe previous discussion about light and color is mainly for technical
purpose while your email is for aesthetic purpose. Those purposes should not
have conflicts with each other. However, there, indeed, is a priority on
these. First of all, we have to make sure our walls, furniture, and lights
are painted and placed such that our cameras will faithfully capture people
and events there. There are really no fixed solutions to this. The general
idea here is: If you paint your walls or furniture (those are backgrounds)
too bright and you always zoom out your cameras to include large areas of
backgrounds, your cameras will have to use low exposures to compensate the
brightness. Hence any other objects (e.g. most human faces and certain
clothes) that are darker may not get enough exposure. This does not mean you
have to paint all your walls and furniture darker to match your room users.
Instead, you can simply light up any darker objects to match bright
backgrounds, which is a common practice in photography as most backgrounds
can't be changed in most photo-taking situations. Ours is different. I am
sure most AG folks want to make their node an enviable showcase. If we
simply spend some time testing all combinations of lighting, color painting,
and camera positioning, we should easily make a technically and
aesthetically satisfactory room.

As for the third purpose of an AG room, I guess we probably need more design
expertise and room-specific treatment. It occurs to me that since most nodes
have accumulated lots of room design expertise and knowledge, why don't we
help each other by, say, having a node room design contest: Folks of each
node proudly show pictures (and AG use) of their node to all AG community.
This, hopefully, will boost interests in room design and exchange expertise
in this area. Of course, this is my personal thought only. If you are
interested, we can further discuss these issues personally.


----- Original Message -----
From: "David E. Bernholdt" <bernhold at jumby.csm.ornl.gov>
To: <ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov>
Cc: <bernholdtde at ornl.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 8:45 AM
Subject: [AG-TECH] Furniture aesthetics

> With the recent discussion about colors of walls & such to improve the
> camera's perception of the space & the people in it, I'm wondering
> about furniture.  Personally, I'm partial to gray/white tables as more
> "modern" looking, but it sounds like we might actually be better off
> with something darker (i.e. woodgrain) to help provide the camera with
> a bit of contrast.  Any comments?  Thanks
> --
> David E. Bernholdt                   |   Email: bernholdtde at ornl.gov
> Oak Ridge National Laboratory        |   Phone: +1 (865) 574 3147
> http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~bernhold/   |   Fax:   +1 (865) 574 0680

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