Brief Bio for Michael Smith-Welch

Michael Smith-Welch
is an artist and educator who designs environments that support learning through invention and iterative design. Michael is passionate about helping people discover new ideas, concepts, tools and technologies through the construction of personally meaningful artifacts.  These collaborations might lead to explorations of the creative properties of light and sound or the imaginative use of motion and mechanics.  He also focuses on helping novice programmers build computer-based interactive art and enjoys helping young inventors understand electronics through the playful design and manipulation of circuits.

A sculptor by training, Michael was an artist-in-residence for the New York City public school system for three years and a middle school science teacher in Manhattan for seven years.  Following this work he became a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab where he focused on technologies and activities that help young people use computation for personal expression and creative problem solving. Upon receiving his degree he became the education outreach developer for the Playful Invention Company, a technology design firm at the cutting-edge of creative and playful thinking and learning.  For the last five years Michael has been developing creative learning environments throughout the United States and internationally.

In 2011 Michael was educator-in-residence at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, California where he worked with the “Tinkering Studio” on events geared toward young makers.  In 2012 he carried out maker-based workshops in Istanbul, Turkey, an interactive music workshop in Arnhem, Netherlands, a series of physical computing workshops in Hong Kong, and he introduced computer programming to large numbers of teachers in Shanghai, China.

From 2013 to 2014 Michael helped start KID Museum, a new, emerging children's museum in Montgomery County, Maryland.

In 2015 Michael began a long term collaboration with Tsinghua University in Beijing, China to develop a Lifelong Learning Lab that will serve as a hub for best practives in creative thinking and playful learning in East Asia.

When he's not collaborating with people around the world he can be found in his Takoma Park, Maryland studio developing ideas with his two daughters.

E-mail: [email protected]