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Spring 2012  No.21
Opening Up Options for Room Designs

Wouldn't it be wonderful to alleviate one of the headaches of moving or renovating your home by having different options for furniture arrangements available at the click of a button?

Alumni researchers Sai Kit Yeung and Craig Yu thought so and have now helped to turn this great idea into virtual reality as part of the high-flying team behind the Make It Home computer software.

Advances on previous programs used by furniture retailers include automatic rather than manual rearrangement of furniture and multiple solutions enabling Make It Home to produce various room designs in 20 seconds compared with around 20 minutes for one layout. 

Also involved in the project were HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan as research advisor and Prof CK Tang, Computer Science and Engineering, together with academics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Along with interior designers and home movers, others who could find the program useful include movie set designers and video game developers. In addition, there is potential for assisting shopping mall layouts and city planning.

"After training at HKUST, we are proud to say we have a very solid foundation of skills on which to build," said Sai Kit, who completed his bachelor, master's and doctoral studies at SENG. Craig undertook his bachelor and master's at the School.

Make It Home has been written about in the international magazine, New Scientist, and local media, and was accepted to SIGGRAPH, the prestigious computer graphics conference held in Vancouver in August 2011.

Sai Kit Yeung
BEng in Computer Engineering, MPhil in Bioengineering, PhD in Electronic and Computer Engineering, HKUST; Postdoctoral Scholar, UCLA and HKUST; Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design

Craig Yu
BEng/BBA Dual Degree Program in Technology & Management (Computer Science + General Business Management), MPhil in Computer Science, HKUST; PhD student, UCLA