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Santiago Alfaro

Research Scientist at Intel Labs

Bio:

Santiago Studied Industrial Design in Colombia and followed with a Master in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. His thesis project was a set of educational toys for children with obesity to gain a better understanding of the nutritional value and caloric content of different foods (Balance). After graduation, he moved to Boston and worked in an architecture firm where he was in charge of the CAD building and modeling for traditional architecture and also as one of the designers for a proposed lunar exploration vehicle that was presented to the NASA Institute of Advanced Concepts (Lunar Rover). He then pursued a second Master and a PhD in Design Technology from the Media Lab at MIT. As his Master Thesis, He developed Surround Vision which was the first system that used the sensors inside a tablet to be able to extend and explore the contents of live TV while watching. As his PhD thesis He researched the ability of the human brain to map new sensory inputs from wearable sensor in order to augment the human perception of our world, this was “Digital Synesthesia”.

He has always been a maker and thanks to Industrial Design he gained the knowledge of working with many different materials from Natural fibers to plastics and metals but it wasn’t until his studies at RISD that he discovered the joy of creating with his hands and the pursuit of beauty as much as function. He became proficient in traditional woodworking, machining and began exploring clay and wheel-thrown pottery.

When he got to the Media Lab he began to add to his projects coding and electronics and so became a well rounded maker. MIT taught him to never stop exploring and learning and to learn while making. Also during his 6 years at MIT he had the wonderful opportunity to explore more materials and techniques like glassblowing and metal smithing.

He has taken this passion for the making process into his design and prototyping, making him a valuable part of any team that is exploring at the tip of current technology by helping advance the concepts, bring demos to life and always have an eye on the UI and UX of any technology he may be designing.

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