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Our vision for the future biological augmentation interfaces, MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group



Date : March 5, 2020
Location : 6th Floor, MIT Media Lab

Over the past decade, computers have evolved to have more intimate relationship with people. People have become physically and cognitively augmented through portable and wearable devices that put digital computation and information at our fingertips. With recent advancements in synthetic biology and biotechnology, we can now program living cells to act as a “biological computer” and sense, compute, and respond. Researchers have also integrated biological and digital systems to create hybrid devices that tap into our biological information and offer real-time digital readouts. It is likely that in the future, we will wear or ingest bio-digital technology to monitor and enhance our health and lifestyle. The Wearable Biotech workshop aims to explore the vision of bio-digital interfaces in, on, and around the body, and push the conversation forward by stimulating a dialogue between technologists, biologists, engineers, artists, designers, startups and industry. The workshop will start with short updates and presentations followed by brainstorms aimed at articulating challenges, a path forward and a series of motivating future use cases.

Tentative Program


Time Program Speaker
8:30 AM Registration & Breakfast
9:00 AM Welcome – Opening Remarks/Introduction
  • Professor Pattie Maes (MIT Media Lab)
  • Pat Pataranutaporn (MIT Media Lab)
9:20 AM Presentations of Inspiring Work, Synthesize
  • Rachel Smith (MIT Media Lab)
  • Tzu-Chieh (ZiJay) Tang (MIT Bioengineering)
  • Luis Ruben Soenksen (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
9:50 AM Presentations of Inspiring Work, Reveal
  • Katia Vega (UC Davis)
  • Xinyue Liu (MIT Mechanical Engineering)
  • Peter Nguyen (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
10:20 AM Break | Demo and Inspiration Stations
10:50 AM Presentations of Inspiring Work, Augment
  • Pat Pataranutaporn (MIT Media Lab)
  • Yihyun Lim (MIT Design Lab)
  • Ritu Raman (Langer Lab, MIT)
  • Deepak Mishra (MIT Bioengineering)
11:20 AM Presentations of Inspiring Work, Cultivate
  • Orkan Tehlan (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Canan Dagdeviren (MIT Media Lab)
  • Kit McDonnell (Ginko Bioworks)
  • David Kong (MIT Media Lab)
11:50 PM Lunch & Networking 
12:30 PM Breakout Session 1 – Challenges and Ideas (Card activity) IDEO + MIT Media Lab
1:20 PM Synthesis of Breakout Session 1 IDEO + MIT Media Lab
1:40 PM Shareback IDEO + MIT Media Lab
2:10 PM Break
2:25 PM Breakout Session 2 – Concept Creation and Prototyping IDEO + MIT Media Lab
3:40 PM Gallery Share Prep and Clean-up
3:55 PM Gallery Walk (include slips for following up)
4:55 PM Wrap-up and Closing Remarks IDEO + MIT Media Lab
5:10 PM Reception  & Documentation


Organizing Team

  • Pat Pataranutaporn (Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab)
  • Jack Forman (Tangible Media)
  • Suryateja Jammalamadaka (Community Biotech Initiative, MIT Media Lab)
  • Rachel Smith (Mediated Matter, MIT Media Lab)
  • Sunanda Sharma (Mediated Matter, MIT Media Lab)
  • Luis Ruben Soenksen (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
  • Peter Q. Nguyen (Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
  • Judith Amores (Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab)
  • Angela Vujic (Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab)
  • Desiree Dudley (Community Biotech Initiative, MIT Media Lab)
  • Ryan McCarthy (MIT Media Lab)
  • Rickey Ishida (MIT Media Lab)
  • Emily Pereira (MIT Media Lab)
  • Ari Adler (IDEO)
  • Bruno Olmedo (IDEO)
  • Lisa Tacoronte (IDEO)
  • Shavon McDonald (IDEO)
  • Shuya Gong (IDEO)

Faculty Advisors

  • Pattie Maes (Fluid Interfaces, MIT Media Lab)
  • Hiroshi Ishii (Tangible Media, MIT Media Lab)
  • Neri Oxman (Mediated Matter, MIT Media Lab)
  • David S. Kong (Community Biotech Initiative, MIT Media Lab)
  • James J. Collins (MIT Department of Biological Engineering)