Hiroshi Ishii


Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
Associate Director of MIT Media Laboratory
Director of Tangible Media Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Publications (Google Scholar) Profile

Hiroshi Ishii is the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, at the MIT Media Lab. He joined the MIT Media Lab in October 1995, and founded the Tangible Media Group. He currently directs the Tangible Media Group.

Hiroshi’s research focuses upon the design of seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment. 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, Ars Electronica, ICC, Centre Pompidou, and Victoria and Albert Museum), Milan Design Week, emphasizing that the development of tangible interfaces requires the rigor of both scientific and artistic review.

For this work, he was awarded tenure from MIT in 2001, and elected to the CHI Academy in 2006 recognizing his substantial contributions to the field of Human-Computer Interactions through the creation of new genre called “Tangible User Interfaces.”

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.

He served as an Associate Editor of ACM TOCHI (Transactions on Computer Human
Interactions) and ACM TOIS (Transactions on Office Information Systems). He also
serves as a program committee member of many international conferences including
ACM CHI, CSCW, UIST, TEI, SIGGRAPH, Multimedia, Interact, ISMAR, and ECSCW.

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.

His greatest treasure is the email message he received from Dr. Mark Weiser in 1997 re his CHI ‘97 Tangible Bits paper.