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Hiroshi ISHII
Works at MIT Media Laboratory
Attended Hokkaido University
Lives in Cambridge MA, U.S.A.


Hiroshi ISHII

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Thanks to Alan Kay and Infosys for inviting me to this amazing event #infosysconfluence in San Francisco! I presented #RadicalAtoms at the "Future of Making" session with Bran Ferren, moderated by Alan Kay. Great honor!
▶ Speakers:
▶ Agenda:
Future of Making – Panel discussion with Bran Ferren, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Applied Minds LLC and Professor Hiroshi Ishii, MIT Media Lab, moderated by Alan Kay.
Photography Courtesy of Infosys

Hiroshi ISHII

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Video of "The +Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Campaign for a Better World" featured 5 projects (bioLogic, inFORM, TRANSFORM, uniMorph and ZeroN) from Tangible Media Group, +MIT Media Lab. Great honor!
“MIT’s greatest invention may be itself—an unusual concentration of unusual talent, restlessly reinventing itself on a mission to make a better world.” MIT President L. Rafael Reif
TMG projects featured:
MIT Media Lab Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Let's make the world better, together. #MITBetterWorld

Hiroshi ISHII

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【踊細毛】‪#‎Cilllia‬ project lead by +jifei ou Ph.D. candidate of Tangible Media Group, +MIT Media Lab was unveiled at ‪#‎CHI2016‬ on May 12 in San Jose. ‪#‎RadicalAtoms‬
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a method for 3D printing extremely fine hair-like structures

Hiroshi ISHII

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【物質感触】 +Luke Vink and +Ken Nakagaki from #TangibleMedia Group, +MIT Media Lab  presented the paper on "Materiable" at ‪#‎CHI2016‬ on May 10 in San Jose. ‪#‎RadicalAtoms‬

Hiroshi ISHII

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【踊細毛】 +jifei ou  from Tangible Media Group, +MIT Media Lab  unveiled ‪#‎Cilllia‬ at ‪#‎CHI2016‬ on May 12 in San Jose. ‪#‎RadicalAtoms‬
The furry structures from MIT's Tangible Media Group have surprisingly diverse applications.

Hiroshi ISHII

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The MIT Campaign for a Better World
“MIT’s greatest invention may be itself—an unusual concentration of unusual talent, restlessly reinventing itself on a mission to make a better world.”
MIT President L. Rafael Reif
+MIT Media Lab 
This video starts with Tangible Media Group's bioLogic, and features inFORM, TRANSFORM, uniMorph and ZeroN projects. Great honor!
TMG projects featured:…/biologic-media-lab-exhibit…/…/zeron-levitated-interactio…/
Let's make the world better, together. #MITBetterWorld

Hiroshi ISHII

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【自由原子】 +Ars Electronica Festival 2016
"RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time"
"While the world still has its hands full dealing with the Digital Revolution and the cultural and social transformations and challenges that it’s brought about, a young generation of scientists and creative engineers has set a course for new frontiers and is already at work amalgamating the disembodied world of digital data with the physical world of our bodies.
They’re interconnecting bits and atoms in elementary form, fabricating new high-tech materials from natural substances. They’re teaming up with artists and designers, employing the neurosciences and biotechnology, digital hardware & software, and bringing together old handicrafts traditions with 3-D printers and laser cutters.
With their unorthodox approaches and highly inspiring projects, they’re not only blazing trails for new developments; they’re also opening up completely new ways of looking at the role of science in our society and the interplay of technology and nature.
In close cooperation with Prof. +Hiroshi ISHII of +MIT Media Lab, the 2016 Ars Electronica Festival 2016: Radical Atoms and the alchemists of our time will be focusing on this field, one that’s fascinating and challenging for art, technology and society in equal measure.
With his Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, Ishii has done pioneering work on the human-machine interface and thereby made a name for himself worldwide. His first high-profile appearance at Ars Electronica was in 1997. In the meantime, he and the staff of his lab have launched Radical Atoms, the next step in interlinking the digital and physical domains, and thus broaching a realm that goes far beyond the idea of an internet of things. The spectacular prototypes that have emerged from his lab are already milestones along the course of this new development."

Hiroshi ISHII

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【自由原子】“RADICAL ATOMS and the alchemists of our time” - the theme of +Ars Electronica Festival 2016, Sep. 8-12, Linz, Austria. Great honor to collaborate with +Ars Electronica team! +MIT Media Lab

Hiroshi ISHII

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【自由原子】" #RadicalAtoms‬  and the Alchemist of our Time" is the theme of +Ars Electronica Festival 2016, September 8-12, in Linz, Austria. Great honor for #TangibleMedia  Group and +MIT Media Lab  to collaborate with Ars Electronica to shape the future of materiality.

Hiroshi ISHII

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【自由原子】The theme of Ars Electronica Festival 2016 "Radical Atoms and the alchemists of our time." +MIT Media Lab  #TangibleMedia   #RadicalAtoms   #TangibleBits  +Ars Electronica

Hiroshi ISHII

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【至宝】My greatest treasure as a HCI researcher and a dreamer. 1997 email from late Dr. Mark Weiser. He reviewed and saved the life of my & Brygg Ullmer's ‪#‎CHI1997‬ ‪#‎TangibleBits‬ paper, in collaboration with Prof. Jim Hollan.
I cannnot thank them enough since #TangibleBits & ‪#‎TangibleUI‬ (TUI) could not continue to exist in HCI community without their resonance & encouragement in 1997 to rescue my CHI 97 paper. I miss Mark a lot, and loved to show my ‪#‎RadicalAtoms‬, evolution from #TangibleBits .
And so nice to see Jim Hollan and thank him in person at The Design Lab UCSD on May 13 right after ‪#‎CHI2016‬.

Subject: "Tangible Bits"
Date: January 27, 1997 2:34:10 AM EST

Dear Hiroshi and Brygg,

I recently had a chance to read your CHI 97 paper "Tangible Bits"!
Great work! In my opinion this is the kind of work that will characterize the technological landscape in the twenty-first century.

I do have a request. As a former professor with tenure I well understand the need to distinguish one's work from all that comes before. And I very much appreciate your kind acknowledgement to me. Thanks! My request is that you help me stop the spread of misunderstanding of ubiquitous computing based simply on its name. Ubicomp was never just about making “computers" ubiquitous.

It was always, like your work, about awakening computation mediation into the environment. The Tabs, Pads, and Boards were simply a way to break out of the mold while still engaging traditional computer scientists -- although sponsoring Natalie to work on the String turned out to be as important as any of them!

I tried to stop using ubiquitous computing because of its misleading implication, but it keeps cropping up again, so I keep returning to it as my umbrella name for lots of work, including Things That Think. Augmented reality was in use for awhile, but again got balkanized in meaning. I have started to talk about Calm Technology as a theme, but it better names a goal than a research project. "Tangible Bits" is very nice, and maybe could serve as an overall umbrella, but then you might lose it as the name of your research project! I think we would all benefit if we could have an allegiance to some one common thing, and define our differences within that.

But we struggle with what to call that allegiance.
Anyway, great work, and I hope to visit soon and have some good chats now that Xerox has joined the Media Lab (and I am one of the two official Xerox liasons).

(Dr.) Mark Weiser
Chief Technologist, Xerox PARC
phone: 415-812-4406 fax: 415-812-4471
email: info:
This document: Click on parts of the picture above for more info, or read on. (The picture is by Peter Menzel , and first appeared in a German magazine profile, without the words. I have adopted it for my web page with permission. Thanks Peter.) ...
Ed Chi's profile photoHiroshi ISHII's profile photo
I miss him a lot. I met him at Ars Electronica Festival 1997 in Linz, Austria. I wish I could see him again at Ars Electronica Festival 2016 which overall theme is "Radical Atoms."
A visionary ▷ Painted Bits ▶ Tangible Bits ▶ Radical Atoms:
Hiroshi Ishii is a Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, at the MIT Media Lab. He was awarded tenure from MIT in July 2001, and was named Associate Director at the Media Lab in May 2008. He was honored with the Jerome B. Wiesner Professorship Chair from MIT in April 2011. He directs Tangible Media Group and co-directs Things That Think (TTT) consortium.

Hiroshi Ishii's research focuses upon the design of seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment. At the MIT Media Lab, he founded the Tangible Media Group in fall 1995 pursuing a new vision of Human Computer Interaction (HCI): "Tangible Bits." His team seeks to change the "painted bits" of GUIs to "tangible bits" by giving physical form to digital information.  In 2012, he presented the new vision "Radical Atoms" to take a leap beyond "Tangible Bits" by assuming a hypothetical generation of materials that can change form and appearance dynamically, becoming as reconfigurable as pixels on a screen. 

Ishii and his team have presented their visions of "Tangible Bits" and "Radical Atoms" at a variety of academic, design, and artistic venues (including ACM SIGCHI, ACM SIGGRAPH, Industrial Design Society of America, AIGA, NTT ICC, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, and Victoria and Albert Museum), emphasizing that the development of tangible interfaces requires the rigor 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 summer 2000. A three-year-long exhibition "Get in Touch" featured the Tangible Media group's work at Ars Electronica Center (Linz, Austria) from September 2001 through August 2004. He was elected to CHI Academy by ACM SIGCHI, and it was announced in CHI 2006 in Montreal. He received Funai Achievement Award in FIT 2010 in Kyushu, Japan.

Prior to MIT, from 1988-1994, he led a CSCW research group at the NTT Human Interface Laboratories, where his team invented TeamWorkStation and ClearBoard. In 1993 and 1994, he was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Canada. In 1986~87, he was a visiting researcher at the GMD in Germany. 

He received 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.


Hiroshi ISHII
Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Associate Director of MIT Media Laboratory 
Head of Tangible Media Group, Media Lab 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

ishii [@]

Recent talks, interviews, articles, and TV programs

in English: (talks and articles)

in Japanese: (interviews, articles and TV programs)

Recent Talks in Japanese:
Bragging rights
Visions: 1) Seamless Media 1988~1994, 2) Tangible Bits 1995~2008, 3) Radical Atoms 2008~2200
  • Hokkaido University
    Computer Engineering, 1974 - 1980
Basic Information
  • MIT Media Laboratory
    Professor, 1995 - present
    Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences Associate Director of MIT Media Laboratory
  • NTT Human Interface Laboratories
    Senior Research Engineer, 1980 - 1995
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Cambridge MA, U.S.A.
Boston MA, U.S.A. 95-04 - Toronto, Canada 93-94 - Bonn, Germany 86-87 - Yokosuka, Japan 86-95 - Yokohama, Japan 80-86 - Sapporo, Japan 60-80 - Tokyo, Japan 56-59