CG@Penn has received its largest corporate gift to date from The Susquehanna International Group, LLP, better known as SIG, to build a new computer graphics center and gallery for the program, as well as creating the largest academic motion capture studio in the region.
The SIG Center for Computer Graphics at Penn will open in the Spring of 2009 and provide a state-of-the-art Vicon Motion Capture system and laboratory for projects such as 3D motion picture special effects, computer graphics and animation, simulation and modeling of large-scale human crowds, and research into the interrelationships of human movement, language and communication.
The motion capture studio will be approximately 800 square feet. The accompanying gallery will serve as the public entrance to the Center and will include a virtual companion wall that will be programmed to interact with visitors, indicating the nature of the program and its research. These newest additions to Penn computing will be housed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, next to Penn’s first computer, ENIAC.
With the SIG Center’s emphasis on a left and right brain approach to education that includes computer programming project work, mathematical models and frequent deadlines, many graduates of the program who do not enter the entertainment, game or design industries often choose to work in financial markets and firms like SIG, where emphasis is placed on innovative solutions and collaboration between technologists able to work on multi-expert teams.
Because of this shared philosophy and successful recruiting of Penn graduates, SIG partnered with Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science to create the new lab space. SIG is one of the largest privately held financial institutions in the world and provides trading and market modeling services, institutional sales, research, private equity, venture capital, and investment banking.


The SIG Center for Computer Graphics has been designed by Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd. and is being constructed by the Murphy, Quigley Company, general contractors.

The plan for the new space includes a large motion
capture area on the south end surrounded by workstations. There is a storage area and a closet on the east end. The mocap space is separated from the general work area to the north by a curtain that will provide privacy when closed and promote a spacious feeling when open.

In the northwest corner of the lab is the associate director's office. Next to it, the new conference room will include a built-in projector and lots of whiteboard space. There is a kitchenette near the entrance to the conference room that will feature a sink! The northeast
corner of the lab is a group work area with a couple of small tables and a whiteboard. The eastern wall of this area is opaque glass that will serve as a projection surface. Two projectors will project CG@Penn projects of interest for display in the hallway outside of the lab.
And there are 4 new windows in the western wall of the lab!


A progression of the space...


Designed by Shruti Shah