Viirj Kan: Researcher & Designer
Working at the intersection of materials, chemistry, and robotics, Viirj Kan develops interfaces that connect humans to a broad range of systems.
Currently seeking new opportunities, Viirj is a recent graduate of the MIT Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where her master's thesis research received Best Paper Award at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2017. At the MIT Media Lab, her work focused on translating molecular signals to human senses – environmental information to user experience. Utilizing organic compounds from food, she developed smart biomaterials that change color, scent and form in response to chemical stimuli.
Prior to joining MIT, Viirj conducted human-robot interaction research at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and worked as a freelance design consultant. Her work has been featured on Fast Company, CNN, Vice, MIT News and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. She holds a Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
2014 - 2017 MIT Media Laboratory
2012 - 2013 NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
2014 - 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2009 - 2014 Art Center College of Design
2017 Best Paper Award at CHI 2017
2015 Golden Mouse Award at CHI 2015, Best Video Showcase
2016 TedXbeaconstreet - "Pixels to Droplets: How to hack your food..."
2016 Museum of Fine Art Boston - Technology + Fashion Lecture
2015 ACCDnews - "Environmental alum Viirj Kan deploys disruptive design..."
2015 CNN - "The social network you can wear"
2015 Fast Company - "MIT invents a social network you can wear"
2015 VICE Creators Project - "Wear Your Likes on Your Sleeve..."
2015 MIT News - "Wear your social network"
2017 CHI - Organic Primitives: Synthesis and Design of pH-Reactive Materials
2016 MIT Polymer Symposium - Organic Primitives for Sensing and Actuating
2015 CHI - Transform as adaptive and dynamic furniture
2015 TEI - Social textiles: Social affordances and icebreaking interactions