All About Glass

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Behind the Glass: Yasuaki Kakehi

How can technologies enhance human sensation, imagination, skill, communication? These are the questions Yasuaki Kakehi seeks to address through his experiments with interactive tools, toys, and sculptures.

An artist, scientist, and technologist, Kakehi challenges our perception of the boundaries between engineering, art, and design—boundaries he says are dissolving. Kakehi’s playful work creates experiences that are naturally familiar, yet technically magical, by combining small pieces of the physical and digital worlds: atoms and bits. His Transmart miniascape, for example, uses pixels and sound on glass plates to create a visual garden that changes in response to external stimuli.

In his talk at the Museum, Kakehi discussed his current research: exploring behaviors and extracting changes in familiar materials, including glass, through human interaction and variations in energy fields.

An associate professor of environment and information studies at Keio University in Japan, Kakehi is currently a visiting professor in the Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT. He exhibits the results of his work internationally, at venues such as the Ars Electronica Festival, Association for Computing Machinery SIGGRAPH Conference, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, and Tokyo’s InterCommunication Center.