USC Berggruen Scholars 2022-2023 > Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life > USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences


Harpreet is Assistant Professor of Interaction and Media Design and Director of the Synthetic Ecosystems Lab at The New School. His research lies at the intersection of materials science, biology and electronics and draws on the complementary capabilities of the biological and artificial worlds. He calls this “convergent design” and creates bionic materials and hybrid substrates that lend themselves to future ecological machines, sensing systems and interaction design. Harpreet has previously created robots driven by plant physiological signals, nanosensors inside plant leaves for water monitoring, and electronic nanowires developed inside plant stems. His experience spans from corporate research wings, studios, museums to academic centers, having previously worked at the Ars Electronica Museum, Google Creative Lab, Microsoft Research, National University of Singapore, Keio University, at Telecom Paris and at the University of Tokyo. He was previously named MIT Technology Review Under 35 Innovator and received CHI Golden Mouse, Edison Award – Gold, SXSW Interactive Innovation Award and Fast Company World Changing Ideas. At Berggruen and USC, Harpreet will create installations that will refocus human attention on underwater macroalgae by recording their physiological phenomena on various coasts around the world.


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