Invent new tangible and embodied interactions that inspire and engage people

Hiroshi Ishii

The Tangible Media Group (TMG) strives to push the boundaries of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) by Inventing new tangible and embodied interactions that inspire and engage people. We invent new digital/physical materials, which we call "Tangible Bits" and "Radical Atoms," for interaction design, interpersonal communication, and artistic expression.

We seek to advance mission-critical fields such as Tangible Telepresenceto reinvent distancing and strengthen the sense of copresence among people, spatially, temporally, and emotionally. We introduce "tangibility" to interpersonal communication and collaboration channels to enhance the social presence.

We also explore “TeleAbsence,” our counter vision of Telepresence, creating the tangible interfaces linked to the memory of the favorite places, people (loved ones), and events you wish to recall and not forget. We explore interactive storytelling using tangible objects such as piano, antique telephones, and typewriters with AR techniques to access digital memory associated with the tangibles.

The invention of new hybrid (digital/physical) materials is the key to enabling our research. We focus on various science and technologies, including advanced material science, smart fiber & textile, digital fabrication, 4D printing, sensors and actuators, haptic interfaces, and soft- and hard-robotics technologies.

We pursue transdisciplinary research. We expect TMG researchers to fluently speak the languages of art, design, science, and technology and express their ideas across all these disciplines. Influential academic publications are essential to contribute to the field of Human-Computer Interaction and Media Arts.

What We're Looking For:

The Tangible Media Group seeks creative, design-sensitive, technologically competent, hard-working, and team-oriented graduate students. Since we implement fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing tangible interfaces to inspire and engage people, our work requires a broad skill set in product design, electronic engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, digital fabrication, and computer programming. We expect applicants to have academic knowledge and track record in HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) research and publications as well as experience in Interaction Design. Oral and written communication skills are essential, as work is regularly presented to visitors and submitted to major conferences and journals. 

If you would like to apply to TMG, please send the URL of your online portfolio that presents your past work and future vision, as well as your CV and statement, to It is critical to be able to review these materials on the web (no e-mail attachments please) prior to an interview.

Learn about applying through the Program in Media Arts & Sciences.