MIT graduate and researcher Viirj Kan developed the adaptive desk TRANSFORM

Shape-changing desk thinks with you

Published in Senses by

‘I think there’s a lot of space for designers to expand beyond the producer/client model and become knowledge makers, cultural disruptors and gatekeepers between pure economic gain and the well-being of humanity,’ says graduate student and researcher at MIT Media Lab Viirj Kan.

Together with fellow students Kan developed TRANSFORM, a shape-changing desk. The project is an exploration of how shape display technology can be integrated into our everyday lives as interactive, transforming furniture. For understandable reasons the concept was recently honored with the Golden Mouse award at CHI conference in Seoul on human computer interactions.

Earlier Viirj Kan, who was born in Macau and raised in Las Vegas, was in the news with her project Social Textiles about wearable social messaging. On MIT Art Center’s blog Kan describes her creative practice as ‘working at the fringe of science fiction and reality, I do R&D to envision, prototype and develop future technologies that bridge the physical and digital world. My research involves developing a common language between humans and “machines”—whether it be gestural, spoken, haptic, textual or chemical.’

TRANSFORM is an intriguing example of that.

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