(Session 3) 

9:00 am – 12:30 pm


Workshop: Interfaces for nonordinary states of consciousness


Fluid Interfaces Research Group
MIT Media Laboratory
Cambridge, MA


Pattie Maes, Director          Judith Amores                   Adam Haar Horowitz
               amores@media.mit.edu         adamjhh@mit.edu


In this workshop we will give an overview of how technology can interface with the unconscious mind during both sleep and wakefulness. We will showcase examples of work

at the intersection of the fields of Human Computer Interaction, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. We will start with a one hour presentation with examples of what is possible from both our work and others, covering technologies built for dream direction, altered states of consciousness, meditation, nightmare alleviation, hypnosis, ganzfeld experience, implicit bias, sensory deprivation, false biofeedback, and improved memory consolidation. We will use technological platforms, including Head Mounted Displays, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, biometric sensors, sleep tracking devices and Brain Computer Interfaces as inspiration to break off and brainstorm in parallel groups, sketching designs for new interfaces with the unconscious and finally reporting back to the larger group for discussion and reflection.

The workshop is limited to 45 people.




Pattie Maes is a Professor at MIT's Media Laboratory and the department head for the Academic Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She founded and directs the Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces research group, whose goal is to design and develop computer interfaces that are a more natural extension of our minds, bodies and behavior. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Maes was a visiting professor and a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds bachelor's and PhD degrees in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Her areas of expertise are humancomputer interaction and artificial intelligence. Maes is the editor of three books, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. She is the author of over 100 publications as well as several patents. In 2011, Fast Company named her one of 50 most influential designers. Newsweek magazine named her one of the "100 Americans to watch for" in the year 2000; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the CyberElite, the top 50 technological pioneers of the hightech world; the World Economic Forum honored her with the title "Global Leader for Tomorrow"; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Her 2009 TED talk is among the most watched TED talks ever. In addition to her academic endeavors, Maes has been active as an entrepreneur and as a cofounder of several venturebacked companies including Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft) and Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet). She remains an advisor and investor to several MIT spinoffs.

Judith Amores
is a PhD student and Research Assistant in the Fluid Interfaces Group of the MIT Medialab. She graduated from MIT with a Masters in Media Arts and Sciences and helped run the VR/ARatMIT club as a copresident. Before that she received a Multimedia Engineering degree from LaSalle University, Barcelona, Spain. Her areas of expertise are Computer Science and Design with particular emphasis on User Experience and User Interaction Design and film. Judith previously interned at Microsoft Research and URL Barcelona developing Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences and at the Google Creative Lab as a Creative Technologist. She
has published over 19 scientific papers, holds 3 patents and received several awards including a 2016 Facebook Graduate Fellowship, finalist in the 2016 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards, 2017 Scent Innovator Award by the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) and IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances) and lastly she was selected as a 2017 INK Fellow.

Adam Haar Horowitz is a Master's student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Medialab. His work aims to augment human awareness, translating advances in neuroscience into design of interventions and experiences. He believes technology can show us parts of ourselves that remain otherwise invisible, opening doors to introspection, wellness and wonder. Adam has a background as a neuroscience researcher at MIT's McGovern Institute studying Mindfulness Meditation and MindWandering, and as an Artistscientist at the Marina Abramovic Institute. His work has been shown at Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, VR Sci Fest, Red Bull Station, SESC Pompeia and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Adam helps lead two communities here in Boston: MIT Hacking Arts and Consciousness Hacking. Current projects include haptic wearables for attenuating auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia, microscopic Virtual Reality adventures inside the human body, and dream control and capture in the liminal space between wakefulness and sleep. Adam received his Bachelor's from Pomona College in Cognitive Science and Art. He is an alumni of MIT's Gabrieli Lab and a Research Affiliate at Harvard metaLAB.