James Patten pushes the edges of interactivity in the physical world by exploring the convergence of interactive media and the built environment.

An interaction designer, inventor, and visual artist, his work challenges us to imagine interaction beyond traditional screens.

As the Founder and Principle of Patten Studio, James leads a team of multidisciplinary artists and creative technologists that bring passion, ingenuity, and skill to experiential marketing, retail innovation, and placemaking. His studio-initiated research has led to the creation of new technology platforms—such as tiny computer-controlled robots that allow users to physically grasp and manipulate digital information, novel actuated lighting features that sense and respond to human activity, and immersive environments that engage the body.

 James’s work has been exhibited or performed in major venues around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the transmediale festival, the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, and the Ars Electronica Center. He has been recognized in several international design competitions, including the International Design Magazine’s Annual Design Review and the International Design Excellence Awards. 

James earned his doctorate at the MIT Media Lab where he studied in the Tangible Media Group under Hiroshi Ishii. Prior to the Media Lab, Patten studied virtual environments with Randy Pausch at the University of Virginia, and developed new interfaces for visualizing time-varying volumetric data at NASA Langley Research Center. He is a TED Speaker and Senior Fellow.

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