About Media Lab Toronto
Who are we and why do this?
MLT is a collaboration between Patrick Dinnen [Chief Creative Technologist and Bottle Washer] who does this full time, and such interesting folks as David McCallum, Michael Pereira and Gabe Sawhney.
Why? Because there are mountains of possibility for new, novel, valuable things to build. Because building this stuff is fun. Because what we do doesn't really have a name yet, so we get to help define a new thing.
So what do we build exactly?
That's a tough one to nail down. There are a few common threads though:
- we use technology, often new and relatively unknown bits of technology
- 'off the screen' is kind of a mantra for us, meaning technology but not accessed through the keyboard and monitor methods that barely even register on our minds anymore
- tangible, physical (even magical) - stuff you can point to, hold, experiment with and (if we really hit the pinnacle) be amazed by
Yeah, but what do we actually build?
Well we don't do stuff that leaves earth's orbit (the insurance is too costly) or anything that kills kittens. But, even excluding those, their is still a vast field of options. What we build for any given opportunity depends on a range of factors: who are the audience, what are the client goals, what's the budget, where will the thing live and for how long...
We love to get to know each client and really get to the bottom of their constraints. Blue sky and blank page are all very well. But the real work we love comes from filtering what we know through what you need and coming up with something great we can build together.
OK, enough fuzzy possibility space. What we can tell you about is stuff we've built already, to help give an idea of what's possible:
- create a sound-reactive system to convert the sounds of the crowd in a public square into beautiful patterns of light in a huge outdoor installation. We can do that.
- build a system that displays messages in a playful, branded way on huge projection screens. Sucking in mobile text messages sent by hundreds of party-goers at a national product launch in three cities simultaneously. Sure.
- modify a bicycle to allow event attendees to pedal their way through a hybrid virtual world of present day and 1800's Toronto. Did that.