For melding the digital and physical worlds with futuristic impact and artistry

Scientist. Artist. Technologist. Yoichi Ochiai operates on the uncertain boundary where bleeding-edge tech and the natural world intersect. At the University of Tsukuba, near Tokyo, Ochiai leads a 50-person laboratory dedicated to an interdisciplinary blend of “computer science, physics, biology, wave engineering, material science, interaction, usability, art expression and design.” He’s also the CEO of startup Pixie Dust Technologies, which last year developed a platform called magickiri that helps businesses analyze the risk of COVID-19 infection spread in their interior spaces. As an artist, Ochiai has created mesmerising tech-enhanced work, including as executive director of The New Japan Islands exhibit.

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