hiroo iwata:device art
hiroo iwata:device art hiroo iwata:device art
mar 03, 2010

hiroo iwata:device art

hiroo iwata on ‘robot tiles’ at tokyo fiber 09 senseware image © designboom

device art explores the connection between art, design, technology, science and entertainment using a range of technologies – from the everyday to the latest high-tech gadgets. it is a movement that finds its origins in japan and intends to explore the significance new technologies in our world. in the past, technological devices have merely been viewed as a tool to one’s artistic endeavors, however, the goal of this movement is to place technology at the forefront of the work.

hiroo iwata on ‘robot tiles’ image © designboom

‘robot tile’ by japanese engineering researcher hiroo iwata follows the principles of device art. the work encompasses movable floor tiles which repositions themselves as users walk ahead. the tiles incorporate sensors using electrically-conductive textiles.

hiroo iwata on ‘robot tiles’ image © designboom

‘robot tiles’, fabrics conduct electricity using nano-level conductivity image © designboom

hiroo iwata demonstrating ‘media vehicle’image courtesy of getty images

‘media vehicle’ is a small size vehicle that allows the user to move around real and virtual space. the driver on board experiences the environment through a combination of live video images and real movement. on the exterior, a wide angle camera is setup feeding live images to the interior. the flow of visual data from exterior to interior allows for a multilayered experience.

the technology of media vehicle also opens up the possibility for a ‘cross active system’, where one person remains in the cockpit while a second person controls the camera housing the position sensor. collected image and motion data is sent inside the vehicle leaving driver feeling like a puppet being steered by someone else.

hiroo iwata portrait © designboom

‘media vehicle’ is currently part of cyber arts japan, a group media-art exhibition at the museum of contemporary art, tokyo. the exhibition will last until march 22 and features other artists whose work also focuses on art and technology in japan.

cyber arts japan is a celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of ars electronica, the worldwide media art festival held annually in linz, austria. the ties between ars electronica and japan have been close since the festival’s founding in 1979, thanks to the work of many japanese artists. since then, this annual event has become the world’s largest electronic art festival.

hiroo iwata is an associate professor at the institute of engineering mechanics and systems of the university of tsukuba. he conducts research on virtual reality technologies, particularly media technologies as applied to physical senses. he is also the research representative for core research for evolutionary science and technology (CREST) at the japan science and technology agency.

  • The vehicle wich looks like an embryo, is the reverse of the geography inspired war machines, that need to be camouflaged. This needs to pop, just like a toy.

    Pimpão says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

technology news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,534 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample