Studio Organizers

Studio Organizers

Josh Tanenbaum

Transformative Play Lab, University of California-Irvine & (under construction)

Josh Headshot - Color - Close CropJoshua Tanenbaum is an Assistant Professor at University of California-Irvine in the Department of Informatics and a consulting researcher at the Nokia Chief Technology Office’s Advanced Engineering group.  His research interests include digital games and storytelling, with an emphasis on the pleasures of agency and transformation in digital narratives.  His work draws on theories from theater and dance to explore the connections between performance and play.  He also researches embodied interfaces, tangible and wearable computing, design fiction and steampunk, and maker and DIY cultures.  TEI attendees might recognize him as Captain Chronomek, a character he co-created with Karen Tanenbaum and Allen Bevins for the TEI Student Design Competition in 2011.

Karen Tanenbaum

Center for Games & Playable Media, University of California-Santa Cruz

Oct profile squareKaren Tanenbaum is a Project Scientist at the Center for Games and Playable Media at University of California-Santa Cruz where she works on authoring behavior for NPCs in a social training simulator. She has PhD in Interactive Arts + Technology from Simon Fraser University where she worked on adaptive systems, tangible and ubiquitous interaction, and interactive storytelling. She did a year-long internship at the Interaction and Experience Research group at Intel Labs, where she helped organize and promote Intel’s involvement with Maker Faire and Maker Education. She was an organizer for the Critical Making Hackathon workshop at CHI 2014.

Katherine Isbister

Games Innovation Lab, New York University


Katherine Isbister is jointly appointed in the Computer Science Department at NYU’s School of Engineering and the NYU Game Center, and is Research Director of the Game Innovation Lab. Her research focuses on designing games that heighten social and emotional connections for players, toward innovating design theory and practice. Her lab’s games have been featured in venues including IndieCade, the World Science Festival, and museums such as the Liberty Science Center. Isbister’s recent collaboration with Kaho Abe–Costumes as Game Controllers–was funded through NYC’s Eyebeam Gallery drawing upon support from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund. She has extensive prior experience organizing workshops and other conference venues.

Kaho Abe

Games Innovation Lab, New York University


Kaho Abe is a game designer and media artist based in NYC interested in improving social and personal experiences through the use of technology, fashion and games. She is currently the Artist in Residence at the NYU Game Innovation Lab, where she designs and builds games with custom interfaces with the hope to bring people together face to face. More recently she has been exploring the possibilities of Costumes as Game Controllers in collaboration with Katherine Isbister, funded by Eyebeam’s Computational Fashion Fellowship. An important part of her practice is sharing her work, methodologies and techniques with youth and adults through classes, workshops and afterschool programs on designing and building alternative physical game controllers. She holds an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design.

Anne Sullivan

Play Crafts


Anne Sullivan is a co-founder and Creative Director for Play Crafts, which is dedicated to creating playful design tools for crafters. She also started and coordinates the Santa Cruz Makers events, which brings together makers of all types in the local area to share knowledge and collaborate. She has a PhD in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Cruz where her research focused on creating artificial intelligence frameworks for making adaptive narratives within computer games.

Luigi Anzivino

The Exploratorium


Luigi Anzivino is an educator who works as Scientific Content Developer at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco. There he designs, builds, and facilitates hands-on interactive activities in the Tinkering Studio.

The Tinkering Studio explores a constructionist approach to learning, based on the idea that people think and solve problems differently when they are physically engaged in the act of building, prototyping, and using tools. The process of these explorations—which often result in “try-it” guides—is documented and shared on the Tinkering Studio’s website and blog.

Before discovering the world of informal education, Luigi earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at UCLA, where he did research to uncover how the brain is able to to pay attention to its surroundings, and learn from previous experiences.

He also has a more than passing interest in sleight of hand.