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About this Video

Imagine an umbrella that bleeds in acid rain; an apple that breaks out in red spots if it was contaminated during transport; a compostable fork that wilts when you’ve eaten too much; pasta that changes its shape to suit the sauce you put on it; a shirt with colorful patterns activated by different perfumes. Viirj Kan uses compounds found in food to tell people something about the world around them through scent, color, and form-changing materials.


About the Speaker

Viirj Kan

Viirj Kan

Viirj Kan develops interfaces that connect humans to a broad range of systems. She designs tools to uncover how to translate signals into human senses, and data into user experiences. Working at the intersection of computer science, robotics, biotechnology, and chemistry, she has authored a number of publications in the field of human-computer interaction. Her research in wearable displays, programmable matter, and shape changing interfaces has been granted a Best Paper Award at CHI 2017, a Golden Mouse Award at CHI 2015, and an Honorable Mention Award at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC). Her work has been covered by Fast Company, CNN, Vice, CBS, MIT News and the Museum of Fine Arts. Viirj is an alumna of the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab. In the past, she conducted human-robot interaction research at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.