[ISEA97] Paper: Rich Gold – The Architecture of Living Documents


You may know Xerox PARC as the place where the mouse and the graphic user interface were first designed. When Xerox PARC was first set up twenty-seven years ago one of its founding research goals was to study the “architecture of information”. Since then Xerox has become ‘The Document Company’. Over the past few years Rich Gold’s studio at PARC has been exploring “Living Documents” which are documents that are both part of a living community and also “alive” themselves, in that they are constantly changing. These documents have “sites” but non-stable content, which really isn’t much different than, say Paris or San Francisco. Gold is currently looking at The Architecture of Living Documents. Now it turns out that the design of real buildings or cities almost always involves something like a Living Document.

  • Rich Gold, USA, is a composer, cartoonist and researcher who in the seventies, co-founded the “League of Automatic Music Composers”, the first network computer band. As an inter­nationally known artist he invented the field of Algorithmic Symbolism,an example of which, The Party Planner, was featured in Scientific American. He was head of the sound and music department of Sega U.S.A.’s coin-op video game division and the inventor of the award winning Little Computer People (Activision), the first fully autonomous computerized person you could buy. For five years he headed the electronic and computer toy research group at Mattel Toys and was the manager of, among other interactive toys, the Mattel PowerGlove. He also worked on Captain Power, the first interactive broadcast TV show and ICVD an early CD based video system. After working as a consultant in Virtual Reality he joined Xerox PARC, where he was a researcher in Ubiquitous Computing, the study of invisible, embedded, and tacit computation. He was a co-designer of the PARC Lab and helped launch the successful LiveBoard project. In 1992 he created and now runs the PARC artist-in-residence program (PAIR), which pairs fine artists and scientists together based on shared technolo­gies. He is currently the manager of a multi-disciplinary lab­oratory, Studio RED (Research in Experimental Documents), which looks at the creation of new genres by merging art, design, science and engineering. As an Applied Cartoonist he gives talks all over the world on his work and his theories of Knowledge Art.

Full text p.21-22