Associate Director, MIT Media Lab
Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Co-Director, Things That Think
Head, Tangible Media Group

Tangible Media focuses upon the design of seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment. Hiroshi Ishii, a Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, joined the MIT Media Laboratory in October 1995. He founded the Tangible Media Group to pursue a new vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): “Tangible Bits.” His group seeks to change the “painted bits” of GUIs to “tangible bits” by giving physical form to digital information. Currently, the Tangible Media Group is working to evolve their vision of “Tangible Bits” to “Radical Atoms.”

Prof. Ishii and his team have presented their vision of “Tangible Bits” at a variety of academic, industrial design, and artistic venues (including ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, Industrial Design Society of America, AIGA, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, and Victoria and Albert Museum) emphasizing that the development of tangible interfaces requires the rigors of both scientific and artistic review. A display of many of the group’s projects took place at the NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo in the summer of 2000. The following year, a three-year-long exhibition titled “Get in Touch” featured the Tangible Media group’s work at Ars Electronica Center (Linz, Austria) from September 2001 through August 2004. Professor Ishii was elected to CHI Academy by ACM SIGCHI in 2006.

Prior to joining the MIT Media Lab from 1988-1994, Prof. Ishii led a CSCW (computer-supported cooperative work) research group at NTT Human Interface Laboratories Japan, where his team invented TeamWorkStation and ClearBoard. Prior to founding the Tangible Media Group, Prof. Ishii was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Canada from 1993-1994. He has also received several degrees in engineering, including a B.E. degree in electronic engineering, M.E. and Ph.D degrees in computer engineering from Hokkaido University, Japan, in 1978, 1980, and 1992, respectively.


Photo Credit: Junichi Otsuki

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