Michael Smith-Welch – Curriculum Vitae

[email protected] | @deviceofmind |

Professional Objectives


  • Collaborate and develop shared learning spaces with artists, scientists, researchers, and educators
  • Build devices and experiences that amplify our perception and understanding of the natural world
  • Teach with technologies that empower teens and young adults to invent, design, play, make, and experiment
  • Create trans-disciplinary learning environments that support making and self-expression


Summary of Experience


  • Builder of art works that incorporate large-scale construction and electronics
  • Creator of unique learning environments with a focus on iterative design
  • Co-Founder of cutting-edge, non-profit experimental art/culture space
  • Consultant for international projects, specializing in collaborative learning
  • Ten years of workshop and exhibit development in science and art museums
  • Five years of research experience in university and applied research centers
  • Fifteen years of leading workshops for educators on creative technologies
  • Ten years of classroom teaching experience in New York City


Formal Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
/ Master of Science in Media Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, 2002-2004. Thesis: “Playing with Perspectives: Using Digital Video with Teenagers to Explore the Other’s Point of View”  Relevant coursework: Technologies for Creative Learning, The Nature of Constructionist Learning, Autonomous Art, Experiences in Interactive Art

Bank Street College of Education / Coursework and Student Teaching, Early Adolescence and Science Education Concentration, New York, NY, 1995-1997. Focus: Early Adolescence and Creative Learning. Relevant coursework: Science Education, Adolescent Development, Art Environments for Learning, Qualitative Research

Purchase College for the Arts / Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Visual Arts, Sculpture Concentration, Purchase, NY, 1989-1994. Relevant coursework: Installation and New Media Art, Contemporary Art Theory, History of Art, Aesthetics, The Sociology of Art, Philosophy of Human Nature

Work Experience

Independent Artist
/ Performance and Installation Art
2018 – PRESENT,  Various International Locations

Smithsonian Institution / ARTLAB+ Mentor
2016 – 2018,  Washington, DC

RhizomeDC / Co-founder, artist liaison, A/V wrangler
2015 – 2018,  Washington, DC

Smithsonian Institution / Art-Science Educator
2016 – 2017,  Washington, DC

KID Museum / Founding Creative Director
2015-2016,  Bethesda, MD

MIT Media Lab / Scratch Workshop Developer
2013-2014,  Cambridge, MA

Futuremakers / Makerspace Workshop Developer
2012 – 2014,  DC Metro Area

American Visionary Art Museum / Visiting Teaching Artist
2011 – 2014,  Baltimore, MD

Exploratorium / Educator-In-Residence
2011-2012,  San Francisco, CA

Playful Invention Company / Education Outreach Developer
2006 – 2008,  Various International Locations

American Institutes for Research / Research Analyst
2004 – 2006,  Washington, DC

MIT Media Lab / Research Assistant
2002 – 2004, Cambridge, MA

Little Red School House / Middle School Science Teacher
1996 – 2002, New York, NY

Learning through An Expanded Arts Program / Artist-In-Residence
1993 – 1996, New York, NY

Selected Projects,
Workshops, and Talks


“Lost in the Wind Rose” Interactive Sculpture/Installation
Kyoto STEAM International Arts Competition, (February, 2022)
Custom-built, large-scale interactive sculpture  incorporating 224 electromagnets controlled via LiDAR sensing technology.

“64 Bits of Sound” Sound Installation,
Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant, (currently in production)
Custom-built, large-scale sound sculpture incorporating 64 analog motors controlled via a custom-built interactive digital interface
Video Performance Installation series (w/ Ami Yamasaki)
Tokyo, Japan, (current, Summer 2020)
Concept development, cinematography, video projection and set design for an on-line series of performances featuring the vocalist Ami Yamasaki.
“Cosmic Inland Sea” /
Setouchi art festival, Seto Inland Sea, Japan,  August-November, 2019
Resident artist on two islands in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, working with local communities to develop unique multimedia performances based on the work of Italo Calvino and Taruho Inagaki.

“Ephemeral Knots” (w/ Ami Yamasaki) / Multimedia Performance
VIVA ExCon Festival
, Roxas City, Philippines, November, 2018
Performance collaboration with local Filipina artists, incorporating custom-designed, real-time video capture and the unique vocalizations of Ami Yamasaki.

“The First Question” (w/ Ami Yamasaki) / Sound and Water Installation
Mono8 Gallery, Manila, Philippines, August/September, 2018
Sound art installation using water and “audio spotlight” ultrasonic speakers to explore the nature of human language and the origins of human consciousness.

“Surface 1 and Surface 2”(w/ Ami Yamasaki) / Multimedia Performance Art
mhProjects Gallery and Westbeth Arts Community, January, 2018
Two connected performance pieces highlighting the vocal work of Ami Yamasaki. Performances incorporated sound design (real-time sampling) and interactive video to explore reflection and shadow, respectively.

“Light (Idea) Cloud”/ Light Installation
Smithsonian Museum, November/December, 2017
Custom-built, large-scale sculptural commision  hanging 50+ feet in the air that incorporated 64 large software-controlled lights for keeping track of ideas generated during the “Long Conversation” event at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

“Out of the Shadows”/ Design-Based Workshop
Summer Workshops at ARTLAB+, 2017
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, March 2016
Developed and facilitated a set of workshops focusing on the work of Ai Wei Wei and the idea of revealing hidden ideas and stories with light and sound

“Reinvent with Nature’s Code”/ Design-Based Workshop
Summer Workshops, 2016
National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, March 2016
Developed and facilitated demonstrations on the museum floor that illustrated how data from the natural world can be used for creative expression through 3D design, computer animation, and sound.

“Connected Expression” / Interactive Sound-Art Workshop
Fontys University, Eindhoven, MD, October 2015
Developed and led intensive workshop about creative uses of computation and everyday materials.  Using micro-controllers participants invented artistic sensing systems for connecting the physical and digital worlds to produce unique sound environments.

“Lifelong Learning Lab” / Art and Computer Programming Workshops
Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, March-April, 2015-2016
Worked with team from MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten group and the Lego Foundation to create hub for best practices in creative thinking and playful learning.
“Spring Fling” / Experimental Sound Installation and Public Program
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, March 2015
Developed ideas, experiences, and contraptions around “springs” and sound for museum fundraising event.
“Tomorrow’s Toys” / Maker Lab for Teens
Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD, August 2014
Developed and led workshops that  introduced participants to a variety of tools for making and creating, with a focus on both analog and digital electronics.
“The Mother of All Video Art  Demos” / Artist-Educator Residency
Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, August  2014
Developed workshops in the Tinkering Studio, specifically ideas around introducing computation and interactive video to museum visitors.

“Mind and Machine” / Experimental Art Workshop for Teens
American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, July  2014
Developed a series of multi-media installation workshops for the exhibit “Human, Soul, and Machine”
“Re-Inventing the Wheel” / Organizer of Experimental Science and Art Fair
Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, MD, June 2014
Developed a family-friendly event that explored “heirloom technology” by building a series of temporary exhibits that merged old and new forms of technology.

“Physical Computing from Scratch” / Workshop for Educators
Shanghai Science and Technology Center, Shanghai, China, October 2013
Developed and led workshops for large groups of educators on more advanced computation projects that could sense the physical environment.
“Luminous Motion” / Experimental Art Workshop for Teens
American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, July 2013
Developed a series of multi-media installation workshops for the exhibit “All Things Round: Galaxies, Eyeballs, & Karma”
“Tinkering with Intention” / Invited Talk at University of Maryland
Human-Computer Interaction Lab, College Park, MD, March 2013
Talk given to the Human-Computer Interaction Lab students and faculty that introduced my work as an artist and educator.
“Creative Learning” / Invited Talk
Shanghai Science and Technology Center, Shanghai, China, October 2012
Keynote speaker at a symposium on creative learning and led educator workshops on creative uses of the Scratch programming environment.
“Tinkering in Everyday Life” / Educator Workshops
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Hong Kong, China, October 2012
Speaker to 400 youth-oriented social workers in Hong Kong on the pleasures of making things and the relationship between creativity and problem-solving. Leader of three distinct workshops for local teachers, families and youth workers at the Learning through Engineering, Art and Design (LEAD) Center.
“Makerspaces” / Invited Talk and Workshop at COSLINE Conference
Maryland Library Association, Ocean City, MD, October 2012
Presentation to the Council on State Libraries on the ins and outs of establishing makerspaces within public libraries.  Talk included a small sewable electronics workshop, introduction to laser cutting, 3D printing and other tools.
“Music as Material” / Electronic Music Workshop for University Students
ArtEZ Institute of Art, Arnhem, Netherlands, October 2012
Co-developed and led intensive  workshop that introduced conservatory music students to DIY musical interfaces, physical computing and the design of playful learning environments, culminating in an open-house mini-performance.
“Playful Interactions” / Interactive Art Workshops for University Students
Bahçesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey, July 2012
Lead consultant and artist-in-residence for a long-term, multi-part collaboration for introducing creative uses of new media and technologies, iterative design and “maker” culture to children and educators in both formal and informal learning environments.

“Let’s Innovate” Conference / Invited Talk and Workshop
Math-Science Innovation Center, Richmond, VA January 2010
Keynote speaker and workshop leader at annual conference for students and educators, focusing on computer programming, kinetic art, and robotics.
“LEAD Centre” / Informal Learning Space Design
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Hong Kong, China, January, 2005
Head consultant for a long-term, multi-part collaboration with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups to introduce creative uses of new media and technologies to children and educators in both formal and informal learning environments.

“Idea Factory” / Community-Based Art-Technology Workshops in Iceland
100 Degrees Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland , April 2006 – May 2007
Collaboration with local artists and the Reykjavik Energy company to use new digital technologies with children enabling them to design and create their own interactive inventions and art-science projects.

“Art-Making Machines” / Cooper-Hewitt Summer Design Institute
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, NY, July 2004
Co-designer and leader of workshops with museum educators using new technologies for building and programming “art making machines” with interactive light and color.

“Playing with Perspectives 1” / Invited Talk and Design Charrette
Lego Corporation, Billund, Denmark, September 2003
Invited talk and discussion of my research along with a design collaboration with two LEGO Corporation design teams on potential products.
“Playing with Perspectives 2” / Invited Talk
Media Lab Europe, Dublin, Ireland, September 2003
Invited talk and critique of my Media Lab research with scientists developing new interactive technologies in Media Lab Europe’s Everyday Learning group.
“Digital Dialogues” / Tech-Craft Workshops
Haystack Mountain School, Deer Isle, ME, August 2002
Collaboration with technologists and artisans to explore the potential relationship between digital arts and craft materials.


Related Interests


analog and digital electronics • video art • generative art • bricolage • kluge art • art history • critical theory • makerspaces • bio-art • microbiologysensory ecologysoundscape and acoustic  ecology • heirloom technology • community-based art • repurposing • materials science • critical makingcomputational art • video art • video game design • psychogeography • experimental film • interaction design • 3D design and fabrication • wearables • robotics • engineering education • evolution • artificial life • neuroscience  • sound synthesis • music and new musical instruments • multiscale art and installation • documentary video


Technical Skills


Hardwaremicrocontrollers (Arduino, Raspberry Pi), analog and digital electronics, soldering, basic electronic sensing and circuits

ProgrammingProcessing, Arduino, Python, Scratch, ScratchX, Max/MSP/Jitter, PureData, GitHub user

DesignAdobe Creative Cloud (Illustrator, Photoshop), ReplicatorG, Thingiverse,  TinkerCAD, 123D, Inkscape, Pixelmator, Google Drive, MS Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, WordPress

VideoFinal Cut, Adobe Premiere, Max/MSP/Jitter

SoundAbleton Live, Max/MSP, PureData, Audacity, ACID Pro, MIDI, guitar, keyboards, experimental music controllers

FabricationHand and power tools, Afinia H480, Printrbot Simple,  Makerbot Replicator, laser cutter, ShopBot CNC, FormLabs 1+ & 2 resin 3D printers



references available upon request