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Dhairya Dand (धैर्य दंड) is an award winning inventor, designer and artist, currently running ODD Industries (futurist factory X lab) in NYC.

Previously he was a key member of Amazon's moonshot lab (C-Lab) in Seattle, resident at NEW INC (NEW Museum's cultural incubator) in NYC, a researcher at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, on the scientific advisory board to the XPRIZE Foundation and prior to that he was a sensorial researcher in Tokyo (Keio, U-Tokyo), an amateur geologist in Arabia (Expec-ARC), a HCI researcher and toy designer in Phnom Penh and Singapore (NUS), socio-political tool maker and accessibility designer in Mumbai (IDC, IIT Bombay, VJTI). Born in Nasik.

Dhairya’s work investigates the human body as a medium for computation, new materials as a tool to embody interactions and design as a vehicle for mindfulness. His work is situated in the belief that human well-being in an increasingly computational world can be achieved at the intersection of thoughtful design, innovative engineering and radical paradigms. Most of his work is quirky, funny, provocative and ugly.

Some of his works include a 2.5D malleable elastic display, indoors projected AR, shoes that tickle and guide, synthetic muscles, ice-cubes that know how much you drink, toys made from electronic waste materials, emotionally intelligent flowers, EV charging platforms, tools for political transparancy, wearable telepresence apparatus, optically invisible fibre-optics among others. Apart from these, as part of Amazon's futuristic moonshot lab - some of his works have been shipped out to millions of customers in the form of Alexa devices.

His work has been exhibited at various places around the world including the MIT Museum, Tokyo Designers Week, Singapore Arts House; his research published at academic conferences including CHI, TEI, UIST; and has been written and interviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, CNN, BBC, ABC, Forbes Magazine, NPR, Discovery among others. He has given keynotes at major international technology and innovation forums including: Tencent Annual Summit, TEDx, 72andSunny, Second Home, INK Talks, Contagious Future Flash, FITC, MIT Museum and WIRED.

He was named as a finalist for the Smithsonian’s National Design Award, was named as the first WIRED UK Innovation fellow ‘innovators who will change our world’ and an INK Fellow, FoST Fellow, part of Globe’s ‘Top 25 Innovators’ list, twice in the Forbes ’30 under 30’ list, ELLE’s ’20 Names To Know’ list, Vogue’s ‘Cool People’ list.

He holds a master's degree in Media, Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied at the Media Lab with Prof. Pattie Maes (Fluid Interfaces Group), Prof. Henry Holtzman (Information Ecology Group) and was advised by Prof. Jun Rekimoto (University of Tokyo/Sony CSL), Prof. Ethan Zuckerman (Civic Media) and Philipp Schmidt (P2PU). He also holds a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from VJTI and unofficially audited interaction design courses at the Industrial Design Center, IIT-Bombay with Prof. Ravi Poovaiah and Prof. Keyur Sorathia while working with them as a Research Associate at IIT-Bombay.

He has also taught semester-long studio-focused graduate courses at the Art Institute and several week-long innovation workshops with the MIT Media Lab Initiative of which he is also the Founding Director.

He has managed to live, work and study in New York City, Seattle, Cambridge, London, Ad-Dammam, Tokyo, Phnom Penh, Singapore, Bombay, Nasik and wishes to continue this cross-cultural wandering and wondering.

Awards / Lists

2014 The Smithsonian Finalist for the National Design Award

2016 Forbes 30 under 30 : Manufacturing and Energy

2014 WIRED UK Innovation Fellowship : Innovators that'll have a significant impact on the world

2015 ELLE 20 names to know list

2015 Vogue Cool People list

2015 Forbes 30 under 30 : Design

2015 Future of Storytelling Fellow

2014 INK Fellow : Young, global and cross-disciplinary path-breakers

2013 Boston Globe Top 25 innovators

2013 Most Contagious Ones to watch in Technology

2009 IBM's The Great Mind Challenge Top 20 out of 13,000

Experience

ODD Industries 2017 - Present
Principal : futurist factory X lab creating new science, experiences and design

Bloom, NYC 2019 - 2020
Research & Design : EV Charging Consortium

NEW INC, NEW Museum 2017 - 2018
Y4 Residency

XPRIZE Foundation, CA 2016 - 2019
Scientific Advisory Board, Safety XPRIZE

Concept Lab, Amazon, Seattle, WA 2014 - 2016
Researcher + Designer : rethinking, building and designing everyday experiences for a future of 3-5 years from now

Art Institute, Seattle, WA 2014 - 2015
Visiting Lecturer : teaching courses on experience and interaction design

Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA 2013 - 2014
Researcher : working on wearables, shape changing displays, learning across distances, tools for culutral exchange (Prof. Pattie Maes)

MIT Media Lab Initiatives, Cambridge, MA 2013 - 2015
Founding Director : weeklong hands-on innovation workshops, 1000+ teen attendees, 40+ MIT researchers as mentors

Rekimoto Lab, University of Tokyo 2014
Visting Researcher : working on augmenting senses (Prof. Jun Rekimoto)

EXPEC-ARC, Arabia Summer 2013
Amateur Geologist : developed new concept "MediumX" – smarter tools for geologist

Fabrication in China, Shenzhen, China 2013
Fellow : travelled extensively in Shenzhen, learnt industrial fabrication at scale, designing for scale, logistics, business practices (Andrew "Bunnie" Huang, Chris "Akiba" Wang)

Information Ecology Group, MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA 2012 - 2013
Researcher : worked on sensory augmentation, learning, wearables (Prof. Henry Holtzman)

Keio – NUS CUTE Center + Mixed Reality Lab, Singapore + Tokyo 2010 - 2011
Researcher : created open source toys made from eWaste and emotionally intelligent robots (Prof. Masa Inakage, Prof. Adrian David Cheok)

Play and Learn Lab, Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay 2010
Research Associate : created new devices for kids with cerebral palsy (Prof. Ravi Pooviah)

Lokshahi, India 2008 - 2010
Co-founder : mGovernance startup serving rural India

Physical Computing Lab, Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay 2010
Research Assistant : created interactive learning aids for kids (Prof. Ravi Pooviah)

Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University Summer 2009
Research Intern : created tools to study the effect of the Internet on democracy

Google, Summer of Code Program Summer 2008
Developer Intern : created extensions and libraries for abstracting maps

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Media Lab 2012 - 2014
Masters in Media Arts and Sciences (Full tuition scholarship)

VJTI 2006 - 2010
Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science

Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay 2009
Courses in Interaction Design (Audited with Prof. Ravi Poovaiah and Prof. Keyur Sorathia)

Microsoft Research Summer 2008
Summer school in ICTD and computer networks

Exhibitions

2015 New York SpaceGabi Peace Clock

2014 Cambridge MIT Media Lab icon - a wearable tool to facilitate remote collaboration

2013 St. Andrews UIST Obake – shape-shifting 2.5D elastic display

2013 Cambridge Mirai, MIT Human Augmentation – programmable hair, moustache antennas, on-demand muscles

2013 Cambridge The other other festival The Nostalgia Room – What was your life like?

2013 Paris CHI Cheers – Alcohol aware strobing ice cubes + Radical Kitchen – An augmented tangible kitchen

2013 Barcelona TEI SuperShoes – Facilitating urban rediscovery

2012 Atlanta ICTD ThinkerToys – Converting eWaste into educational fun toys

2012 Singapore Singapore Arts House Coucou – physical social networks for kids

2009 Kanpur Indian Institute of Technology Horizon – Hand gesture device

2009 Mumbai Innovative Technologies in Manufacturing Expo GestureWheelChair

Teaching

Fall 2016 DataVis Guest Lecturer, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Fall 2015 Interaction Design X Spaces Guest Lecturer, CMU School of Design

Spring 2015 Experience Design Visiting Lecturer, Art Institute of Seattle

Fall 2014 Interaction Design Visiting Lecturer, Art Institute of Seattle

Workshops

2014 Interaction futures : how may we interact with people, objects and spaces through our computers MIT Media Lab DI

2013 Hacking "Culture" : reimagining our culture for the 21st century MIT Media Lab DIy

2010 New modes of Interaction IndiaHCI

2010 Prototyping Techniques ExpoiD

Talks

2024 Virtual KIT "Keynote"

2023 Singapore Forbes Summit "Keynote"

2023 NYC MIT Media Lab x Foster America Panel + Workshop on Future Foster Care

2023 Reykjavik Creativity Conference “Create Dangerously : Absurdist AI, Human Empathy and how to beat the machine (or at least be friends)”

2023 Virtual LTVC Library Teen Virtual Convention "Careers in STEM"

2023 Vienna Moonshot Pirates “Moonshots begin on Earth”

2023 Virtual Kyoorius Design Yatra “Pro(to)topia"

2023 Portland UMaine “Design Futures“

2021 Nasik Swayam “Innovation for Everyone“

2019 Toronto FITC “Masterclass“

2018 NYC NEW INC, NEW Museum "BacteriaWatch"

2018 Berlin TEDx “Where to find disruptive ideas“

2018 NYC HOK “Masterclass“

2018 Trondheim Norwegian University of Science and Technology “Masterclass“

2017 NYC AIF “Everyday Inventing“

2016 Klagenfurt TEDx “D=U“

2015 Beijing Tencent WESummit “Future?“

2015 Pittsburgh CMU School of Design “The art of looking sideways.“

2015 Seattle John Boylan's Conversation Series “Art, Design and Fabrication“

2015 Hamburg TEDx “Love, See, Do. Repeat.“

2015 Los Angeles 72andSunny “Masterclass“

2015 Toronto ICA+Contagious Future Flash “Media-Mediums“

2015 London Second Home “Letting go“

2014 London WIRED “Learning and Education in a wearable age“

2014 Mumbai INK Talks “So far..“

2014 Goa Kyoorius Design Yatra “Life is an omelette“

2014 Mumbai INK Salon “Superhuman in making“

2013 Cambridge MIT Museum “Hacking the body“

2013 Boston Architecture Expo Keynote “SuperShoes : facilitating urban rediscovery“

2013 Tokyo Tokyo Design Week “SuperShoes : facilitating urban rediscovery“

2013 Cambridge MIT Media Lab “Wearables and the art of getting lost“

2012 Cambridge MIT Media Lab “Made in China : Manufacturing in Shenzhen“

2011 Singapore Singapore Arts House “ThinkerToys“

Grants

MIT MISTI-Hayashi 2014

Fabrication in Shenzhen 2013

MIT 2012

Keio-NUS CUTE Center + National Research Foundation 2011

Berkman Center for Internet and Democracy 2009

Google Summer of Code 2008

Publications

Austin Lee, Dhairya Dand “MeMod: A Modular Hacking and Programming Toolkit For Everyday Objects” at TEI 2016

Dhairya Dand “icon : a wearable tool to facilitate remote collaboration“ graduate thesis published at MIT in August 2014

Dhairya Dand, Rob Hemsley “Obake : shape-shifting elastic 2.5D display“ at UIST 2013

Dhairya Dand “Cheers : Alcohol aware strobing ice cubes’ at CHI 2013

Dhairya Dand, Christian Erwin, David Nunez, Laura Perovich, Rob Hemsley “Radical Kitchen : an augmented tangible kitchen“ at CHI 2013

Dhairya Dand, Henry Holtzman “SuperShoes : Facilitating urban rediscovery“ at TEI 2013

Dhairya Dand “ThinkerToys : Creating interactive toys from eWaste' at ICTD 2012

Peter Pearson, Dhairya Dand, Adrian Cheok, Masa Inakage “LinkU : Dynamic social networks in Fourth Places“ accepted at WiCom 2011

Dhairya Dand, Sisil Mehta “Handicap assistance device for appliance control using user-defined gestures“ at ISMS 2010

Dhairya Dand, Ravi Poovaiah “Jellow – An emotional communication device for the cerebral palsy kids“ at ICCP 2010

Dhairya Dand “Jellow – An emotional communication device for the cerebral palsy kids“ undergraduate thesis published 2010