Past Member

James Patten

Former Alumnus, Tangible Media
  • Tangible Media

MS 2001, PhD 2006

Director, Patten Studio

James  started his own design studio (Patten Studio) right after finishing his PhD, and that's where he continues to work. His studio has done work ranging from new kinds of sensor and interface technologies, to science museum exhibits, kinetic sculptures, interactive installations and so on. James'  current focus is on working with architects and real estate developers to create buildings that sense and respond to their inhabitants in playful, yet functional ways.

How did your experience at the Lab guide you to your next move after graduation?    

After I graduated I was interested in continuing the kind of work I was doing at the lab, so I started my own company in order to have as much creative freedom as possible.

One thing I didn't realize until I left was that the Media Lab ritual of the demo is great practice for selling crazy ideas to powerful people, an important skill to have if you're running your own company or on some other path.

James' advice to current students? Make as many friends as you can while you're at the Media Lab! Your classmates are a special group and you'll want to keep in touch.