Tom Igoe

218 Prospect Pl. 3C, Brooklyn, NY 11238


Master's Degree in Interactive Telecommunications, Tisch School of the Arts, 1997.

B.A. in Theatre Arts, Virginia Tech, 1989.

Teaching & Research


Associate Arts Professor
  Fall 2007 - Present

Assistant Arts Professor
  Fall 2003 - Spring 2007

Visiting Assistant Professor
  Sept. 2001 - Spring 2003

Area head for two areas of curriculum: physical computing classes and sustainability classes; Duties include oversight of adjunct instructors and staff members in physical computing and sustainability areas, development and maintenance of new and existing courses in the area, and integration with other curricular areas. Also responsible for direction of maintenance and development of physical computing workshop.

Producer, in rotation with other faculty, for each semester's show of student works, open to the general public. Duties include scheduling, coordination with instructors and staff, and general oversight of all phases of show production.

Research focused on physical computing techniques and applications, and embedded networking applications. Developed instructional web sites on physical computing for the department and for personal workthat have been used both at ITP and by instructors at other institutions and by professional interface developers.

Co-primary investigator on Wildlife Tracking research project aong with primatologist Professor Anthony di Fiore, in which we are exploring new tools for observation of monkeys at Dr. di Fiore's research site in Ecuador.

Courses taught and originated:

Introduction to Physical Computing (2001 - Present)
Core course in physical interface design and development, required for all students.

Sculpting with Data (2001 - 2002),
A workshop in mechanical and sculptural representation of dynamic data

Networked Objects (2002 - 2008)
A workshop covering the basics of computer networking, and the development of physical interfaces for networked systems.

Physical Computing Studio (2006, 2008)
A studio course in which students develop one project over the course of the semester.

Sustainable Practices (2006 - 2007)
A seminar in which students survey the environmental impact of the practice of interaction design, and develop projects to lessen the negative impacts.

Sensor Workshop (2005 - 2006)
A workshop introducing students to a range of sensor technologies and how they are interfaced with computer systems.

Understanding Networks (2009)
A seminar/workshop surveying communications networks and their effects from technical, social, and political perspectives.

Wildlife Observation Tools (2010)
A workshop in which students learn about technologies and methods primatologists use their field research, and develop new tools to improve the work in the field.

  Interval Research Fellow
  Sept. 1999 - Sept. 2000
Researcher on independent projects; investigated alternate physical interfaces for computing environments, and video tracking and compositing tools for live performance and installation.
  Adjunct Faculty Instructor
  Fall 1997 - Spring 2001
Courses taught:

Physical Computing II
(Spring 2001)
An advanced course in physical interaction design for computer-human interaction.

Physical Computing
(Fall 1998, Fall 1999, Summer 2000, Fall 2000)
The origin of the current Introduction to Physical Computing course, above, originally taught by Dan O'Sullivan.

Introduction to Computational Media
(Fall 1997, Spring 1998, Summer 2000, Fall 2000
An introductory course in basic programming and troubleshooting. The second half focuses on the creation and control of digital media..

Interaction lab, Sabanci University
  Istanbul, Turkey
  Visiting Instructor
  May 2008
A three-day intensive workshop in physical computing and networked objects, taught at the invitation of Professor Selcuk Artut, Focusing on microcontrollers and wireless communication.
Digital | Media Arts Dept., UCLA
  Los Angeles, CA
  Visiting Instructor
  January 2006
A three-day intensive workshop in physical computing, taught as part of C.E.B. Reas' course. Course material derived form the ITP course above, focusing on the hardware tools. A one-day introduction to programming concepts was also part of the course.
Oslo School of Architecture
  Oslo, Norway
  Visiting Instructor
  March 2008
  March 2007
  February 2006
  March 2005
  October 2003
A one-week intensive workshop in physical computing. Course material derived form the ITP course above, focusing on hardware tools. A one-day introduction to programming concepts was also part of the course.
Interactive Institute
  Stockholm, Sweden
  Visiting Instructor
  October 2000
A one-week intensive workshop in physical computing, similar to the course offered in Norway, above.
City College of New York
  Adjunct Faculty Instructor
  Media Integration
  (co-taught with M.R. Petit)
  Summer 1998
An introductory course in multimedia concepts and creation of linear and simple interactive presentations. Incorporation of graphics, video, animation and sound as well as basic concepts in interactivity and basic programming were covered.
Dramatiska Institutet,
Interactive Media Program,

  Stockholm, Sweden
  Visiting Instructor
   March 1998
A one-week intensive workshop in physical computing. Course material derived form the ITP course above, focusing on the hardware tools.
  Graduate Research Assistant
  Aug. 1996 - Aug. 1997
Research assistant for Neighborhood Web project, investigating geographic indexing of and mobile access to web-based information.

Duties included prototype development, hardware experimentation and testing, web-based interface and database development, and maintenance of project website and servers.


Books Igoe, Tom.Making Things Talk. San Francisco: O'Reilly, 2007.
2nd edition, 2011.

O'Sullivan, Dan, and Tom Igoe. Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers. Boston: Muska & Lipman, 2004.


A Strategist's Guide to Digital Fabrication
By Tom Igoe and Catarina Mota
strategy+business magazine Issue 64 Autumn 2011. 46-54.

"Getting Started with Microcontrollers" MAKE Magazine
January 2011: 42-45.

"Get in the Game" MAKE Magazine
January 2011: 71-73.

"Wireless Motion Sensing Made Easy" MAKE Magazine June 2008: 125-128.

"Net Data Meter" MAKE magazine May 2007: 133-137.

"DIY Circuits: It's Email Time." MAKE magazine May 2006: 117-119.

Igoe, Tom. "Sensor Interfaces: How Circuits Communicate with the Outside World." MAKE magazine Feb. 2006: 160-167.

Igoe, Tom. "Gear Head: Motion and Commotion Brighten a Sculpture Show." ID Magazine June 2005: 92 - 93.

Conference Papers

Bregler, Christoph, Clothilde Castiglia, Jessica DeVincezo, Roger Luke DuBois, Kevin Feeley, Tom Igoe, Jonathan Meyer, Michael Naimark, Alexandru Postelnicu, Michael Rabinovich, Sally Rosenthal, Katie Salen, Jeremi Sudol, Bo Wright. "Squidball: An Experiment in Large-Scale Motion Capture and Game Design." Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment (INTETAIN) (2005). Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence.

Bianciardi, David, Tom Igoe, & Eric Singer. "EOS Pods: Wireless Devices for Interactive Musical Performance." ACM Fifth Annual Conference on Ubiquitous Computing Adjunct Proceedings (2005): 13-16.

Lectures & Conference Presentations

Interaction 10
Savannah, GA
Feb 2010
Presented a talk on the differences between open source software culture and design culture, and why designers are needed in open source projects.
Sketching in Hardware
Dearborn, MI; San Francisco, CA; Providence, RI; London, UK
June 2006, 2007; July 2008, 2009
I have been a participant at this workshop on the interoperability of physical computing and electronics toolkits since its inception in 2006. Presentations and discussions cover the ideals for tools for developing interactive products, and how to make them interoperable.
Fritzing Planning Symposium
FH University Potsdam

Potsdam, Germany
September 2007, June 2008
Presented talks on the practice of physical computing, reviewing the origins, current state, and future directions. Participated in planning sessions to design Fritzing, an open source tool for design circuit boards.
HCII Speakers Series
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie-Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
April 2009
Presented a talk on the notion of products as instances of intellectual property flows, and on how using this notion could help make the disposal of products and re-use of their materials more effective from an environmental standpoint.
Ubiquitous Content Symposium
Media Design Department, Keio University

Tokyo, Japan
March 2009
Presented a talk on the practice of physical computing at ITP, reviewing the origins, current state, and future directions. Participated in a panel discussion of physical interaction design with Professors Shigeru Kobayashi, Naohito Okude, and Masa Inakage.
Third International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction
Cambridge, England
February 2009
Presented the opening keynote talk on an ecology of tangible interaction. Focus was on the environmental impacts of tangible interaction design and the possible benefits of open source approaches to the design of devices and technologies.
Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and Cinema
Blacksburg, VA
October 2008
Presented a lecture on physical computing, performance, and the arts as part of the department's speaker series. Lecture was open to the whole university.
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
San Diego, CA
March 2008
Presented Making Things Talk Workshop, in collaboration with Brian Jepson.

This was a hands-on hardware workshop for programmers with an interest in embedded hardware. The workshop introduced participants to some off-the-shelf modules for networking sensors and other embedded devices.

9th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing
Innsbruck, Austria
September 2007

Co-organizer of workshop, Ubiquitous Sustainability:Technologies for Green Values, which explored the ways in which research within the Ubicomp community intersects with values and practices linked to environmental sustainability.

Industrial Designers' Society of America
Re-Action: Rethinking Design for the Real World
Washington, DC
August 2005

Panel speaker for Tomorrow's Housewares section. Panel co-chaired by Rebecca Trump and Lillian Shieh.

Collaborative Artefacts | Interactive Furniture
Workshop on Interactive Furniture
Chateau-d'Oex, Switzerland
June 2005

Participated in three-day workshop of designers and researchers developing interactive furniture concepts, run by the CRAFT research group from the Ecole Polytechnique Fèdèrale de Lausanne. Presented the work of several ITP students and faculty members as part of the workshop's proceedings.

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
San Diego, CA
March 2005
Presented Net Objects Workshop, in collaboration with Raffi Krikorian.

This was a hands-on hardware workshop for programmers with an interest in embedded hardware. The workshop introduced participants to some off-the-shelf modules for networking sensors and other embedded devices, Bluetooth communication, RFID readers, and public display signage, and discussed how to make connections between these kinds of devices and standard web service applications.

Also presented a short talk, From the Classroom: Networked Objects at ITP, a discussion of the lessons learned in teaching this class at ITP.

Harvard University
Dept. of Visual and Environmental Studies
November 2005
November 2004
Guest speaker for Digital Expression class, taught by Jeffrey Huang and Muriel Waldvogel.
CS Artificial Intellligence Lab
November 2004
Guest speaker for HCI Seminar Series Fall 2004. Presented recent projects in Physical Computing, Social Software, and assistive Technologies from ITP.
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
San Diego, CA
February 2004
Socially Mobile: Experiments in Social Software Applications using Mobile Phones
This panel is an overview of recent projects combining social software applications and mobile phone technology from students and recent alumni of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU

Networked Objects
This session is an introduction to homebrew development of alternate physical interfaces to the internet.

O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
Santa Clara, CA
April 2003
Overview of physical computing techniques, presented as part of the Nanotechnology & Hardware track.
IV Salon y Coloquio de Arte Digital
   Havana, Cuba
   June 2002
One-week presentation on digital art featuring artists and academics from Cuba, North and South America, Australia, and Europe. Presented a talk on physical computing, and exhibited Not your Mother's Dollhouse, a series of digitally-controlled mechanical dioramas, developed in collaboration with M.R. Petit.
Siggraph-NYC Invisible Computing
  Fashion Institute of Technology
  New York, NY
February 2000


Half-day panel discussion. Presented personal projects as part of Dan O'Sullivan's group at ITP. Other participants included Steve Feiner (Columbia University), Bill Gaver (Royal College of Art), Hiroshi Ishii (MIT), Bill Buxton (Chief Scientist, Alias). The goal of the conferences was to build a physical computing community and industry in New York.
Interval Research
  Palo Alto, CA
  Jan. 1997
Presentation of personal work to Interval Research staff as part of installation of Breath at Interval.

Consulting & Production

Open Source microcontroller platform
July 2005 - Present
Core partner in Arduino LLC. The company directs the Arduino project, an open source microcontroller module and development environment for designers, artists, and electronics hobbyists. Originated in Ivrea, Italy, at the Interaction Design Institute, Ivrea, the partners are now in three countries: the US, Italy, and Sweden. Along with the other four partners, I am responsible for the direction of the project, including planning for hardware and software development and managing relationships with companies who license the brand for development of new versions of the module. I also manage the documentation and examples for the project.
Interactive Design Institute, Ivrea
Artemide Lighting Workshop
Interaction Design & Prototyping
June 2005
Worked with a team of 8 designers, engineers, and students to develop interaction design prototypes for new lamps and control systems for Artemide lighting. Developed concept sketches, usage scenarios, and functional prototypes.
The Cairns Project
Technical consultant
July 2004 - Present
Currently consulting on development and design of the Cairns project, "an open-source, web-based knowledge management software that enables practitioners of participation to upload and index information about their own projects and to search easily for information about those of others." The site interface offers a set of visualization tolls that make it easier for practitioners to make connections between the work of their own groups or those of others. This project is part of ongoing research in visualization and deliberative practices, part of the Democracy Design Workshop at New York Law School, led by Beth Noveck.
Technical collaborator
June - August 2004
Technical collaborator for the development of Squidball, a large-scale, real-time interactive video game that uses motion capture technology to create a unique and energetic gaming experience. The project was led by Chris Bregler of NYU's Media research Lab. The game necessitated building the world's largest calibrated motion capture volume at that time. It was presented in August, 2004, with an audience of 4,000 people, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, as pre-show entertainment for the SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater.
Eos Orchestra
Hardware interaction design
April 2003
Collaborated on the design and development of a series of networked musical instruments to be played by attendees at the orchestra's annual benefit banquet. Attendees were conducted by the orchestra's artistic director, Jonathan Scheffer, in a live performance of Terry Riley's "In C". Pods were developed in collaboration with Eric Singer of LEMUR, and David Bianciardi of Audio Video & Controls.
Children's Museum of Manhattan
Hardware development
September 2002
Hardware development and programming for sensors of Daniel Rozin's video painting easel exhibit.
Gay Men's Health Crisis
AIDS: A Living Archive
  Interaction Design
  New York, NY
  Jan. 2001 - May 2001
Interaction design and production management for two interactive elements of AIDS: A Living Archive, an exhibit which chronicles the history of AIDS and AIDS activism in New York City. Exhibit on display at the Museum of the City of New York, May - Sept. 2001.
EAR Studio/Diller + Scofidio Architects
  Technical Director, Blur Media project
  New York, NY
  Sept 2000 - March 2001
Responsible for new technology research and evaluation and technology direction for interactive experience inside the Blur pavilion, which Diller + Scofidio are designing in conjunction with EAR Studio for the Swiss National Expo in 2002.

Pavilion was a 300 x 100 ft. structure on a lake, enshrouded in an artificial cloud. Exhibit consisted of architectural LED signs and 600 visitor raincoats that change color in response to each other and to the LED signs. Due to budget cuts, multimedia exhibit was never developed past the final plans.

EAR Studio
  New York, NY
  June 1999 - October 1999
Programming and consulting for EAR Studio on interaction design and display design on various museum projects, including New York City Police Museum, Princeton University Children's Library, and Diller + Scofidio's proposed media project for the Moscone Convention center in San Francisco.
  New York, NY
  June 1999 - October 1999
Consulted on and implemented database-driven display system for Luvbuzz cocktail lounge and date-matching service, specified and installed hardware for day-to-day database operations, coordinated with database developers, and implemented architectural wall displays for images in database. Also designed and implemented an interactive video projection/installation to complement design of space for opening night
Halsell New Media / Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  New York, NY
  June 1999 - October 1999
Collaborated on interaction design and programmed prototype for DVD/DVD-ROM The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords. This hybrid DVD/DVD-ROM was intended as a prototype for a possible digital television interface for CPB.
American Museum of the Moving Image
  New York, NY
  Sept. 1999 - May 2001
Consulting on hardware and software upgrades of various AMMI interactive exhibits. Work includes collaborating with museum and programmer on software performance and administrator interface improvements and recommending and implementing hardware and networking improvements to exhibits, and coordination of all elements into final implementation.
Glyph Media/C.B.Cooke
  New York, NY
July 2003
July 2002
  March 1999
Lingo programming for corporate CD-ROM, Summer 2002 and 2003. Wrote interface control and audio control software.

Hardware design & programming for "12, 28, 37", a video installation by artist C.B. Cooke at the Alternative Museum, New York City. Installation consisted of three video screens activated by a Smith & Wesson revolver.

Malice Palace
  Jun. 1996 - Oct. 1996
Programming for Malice Palace, a graphic multi-user networked environment using Time-Warner's Palace software.


Email Clock
Dec. 2002
Internet-connected clock that checks user's email and displays volume of mail as an amount of passing seconds per each kilobyte of mail received. Developed as a teaching example for embedded networking classes, not yet exhibited.
Virtual Dimensions
  Jul. 2000
Live video performance with Vernon Reid (guitar), DJ Logic (turntables) and Mike Wimberly (percussion). Performed at Riverside Church Theatre, New York City.
Jell-o Video
  Jun. 2000
Interactive video art and balloon installation. For opening party of Outsider Video Productions, New York City.
Bovine Fetch
  May - Jun. 2000
Full-scale cow sculpture, designed in collaboration with several other artists, as part of Cow Parade New York 2000.
Empire State Building Flash-A-Thon
  Feb. 2000
Site-specific event involving wireless web connection to remote camera and 60 photographers on the Empire State Building.
The Eye Thing
  Nov-Dec. 1999
Interactive video installation.
  Jul.-Aug. 1997
Interactive video installation.
The Leak
Apr. 1997, May 2000
Interactive sculpture of sound, laboratory pyrex, and water.
  (collaboration with Romy Achituv)
  Dec. 1996 - Jan. 1997
Interactive video & sound Installation.

Presented at ITP/NYU, and at the gallery at Interval Research Corporation, Palo Alto.

Max Fish
   Mar. 1996 - Aug. 1996
Collaborated on design of site architecture and production for web site for Max Fish, a local bar. Executed implementation of video frame grab and realAudio of live events from bar, and live realAudio connection to the bar's jukebox.
Cyberfoo: First Night in Cyberspace
  Dec. 1994, Dec. 1995
Coordinator for Boston location of Cyberfoo: First Night in Cyberspace 1994, a multi-city link of new year's eve celebrations using various net-based tools. Executed in collaboration with the WELL, Echo Communications, First Night Boston, New York, San Francisco, and others. Assisted on New York event for second year, 1995.

Systems Management

Multimedia Lab Manager,

  Sept. 1997 - June 1999
Duties included management and maintenance of the lab's facilities in conjunction with the Technical Coordinator; management of a staff of 13 graduate technical assistants; planning and allocation of lab and classroom hardware resources; research and planning recommendations for long-term technical direction of the lab.

Lighting & Projection Design

Youth In Asia: A Techno-fantasia on National Themes
Tisch School of the Arts Undergrad Drama 
 May 2003
Projection design for TSOA undergrad drama department production. Projection design developed concurrently with script and staging, as this was a new play.
NYC Technical College
  May 2000
Projection design for New York City Technical College production. One of the first two US productions using Dataton's Watchout software.
American Repertory Theatre
  Cambridge, MA  
  Aug. 1989 - Aug. 1995
Lighting Operator. Responsible for running, maintenance, and changeover of all lighting and electrics for shows in rotating performance schedule. Assisted with implementation and programming of lighting designs in technical rehearsals.

Press Notices

Wired Magazine
Volume 18, issue 2
January 25, 2010
"In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms Are the New Bits"
Subject: Open Source Fabrication
Writer: Chris Anderson
The Atlantic
Jan/Feb 2010
"The DIY Chip"
Subject: Physical Computing
Writer: William Gurstelle
Computerworld Australia
Online edition
12 Oct 2009
"The A-Z of Programming Languages: Arduino's Tom Igoe"
Subject: Arduino microcontroller platform
Writer: Trevor Clarke
Wired Magazine
Volume 16, issue 11
20 Oct 2008
"Build It. Share It. Profit. Can Open Source Hardware Work?"
Subject: Open Source Hardware
Writer: Clive Thompson
19 Sept 2006
"Interview with Tom Igoe"
Subject: Physical computing, work and projects
Writer: Regine Debatty
Popular Science
December 2002
"Geek DIY"
Subject: Embedded Web servers
Writer: Paul Wallich
Fortune Magazine
Oct. 2000
"Audible Data"
Subject: Networked Piano project
Writer: Clive Thompson
New York Times
March 2000
"Experiment in Wireless Technology Proves to be More Art than Science".
Subject: Empire State Building Flash-a-thon project
Writer: Lisa Guernsey
Boston Globe
Dec. 1994
"A Terminal New Year's Eve Date"
Subject: First Night in Cyberspace Project
Writer: David Wildman
Dec. 1994
"New Year's Eve Surfing"
Subject: First Night in Cyberspace Project
Writer: staff
USA Today
Dec. 1994
"Internet's Version of Auld Lang Syne"
Subject: First Night in Cyberspace Project
Writer: Mike Snider