Summer School on Playful Interaction

SIGCHI Sponsored summer school
Centre for Game Design Research, RMIT University, Australia

Dates: Nov 10-14, 2017

Prof. Juerg von Kaenel

IBM Research, Australia / Wood Puzzles


Mechanical Puzzle Designs - in the era of emerging VR/AR

This talk will present methods, and thinking patterns used in designing mechanical puzzles. Many of these can be transferred into the world of computer game designs. The talk will conclude with a few speculations about the future of such designs in the merging era of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Short bio:

Prof. Dr. Juerg von Kaenel, together with his wife designs mechanical puzzles as a hobby (see In his early career he also designed computer games, some of which shipped with OS/2 in the late 80s), he also wrote some early computer programs to help solve puzzles, and designed some e-books (though the epub standard is not stable enough to really work well across devices at this point in time).

Prof. Dr. Jürg von Känel is also the associate director of the “IBM Research – Australia” lab in Melbourne. He studied math and computer science at ETH Zürich and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science (1991). Joined IBM in 1985 in Zürich Switzerland. In 1991 he moved to TJ Watson Research center in the US and most recently managed the relationship between Research and the financial services industries. In 2004 he initiated an Enterprise Risk & Compliance Framework focused primarily on the financial industry. This lead to the Treasury & Risk magazine listing him as one of the 100 most influential people in finance in 2006. He is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology, an honorary Enterprise Professor at the University of Melbourne in the Melbourne School of Engineering, and a member of the Industry Advisory Board of RMIT University. Since June 2011, he has moved to Melbourne, Australia to lead the establishment of the new IBM Research lab in Australia. He manages the innovation around cognitive solutions for financial services such as blockchain, cognitive compliance, financial advice; as well as government plays around making sense out of unstructured and structured data using cognitive analytics technologies.

Back to Summer School 2017 ↩

Slides of the talk coming soon.

Video recording/ live stream of the talk coming soon.