Matt Ratto

Head, Critical Making Lab

Dr. Matt Ratto is Associate Professor with the Faculty of Information, and the newly appointed holder of the Bell University Laboratories (BUL) Chair in Human-Computer Interaction. He is also Chief Science Officer of Nia Technologies, a non-profit social enterprise aimed at using 3D printing technologies to help improve the lives of people with disabilities in developing countries. Previously, Matt created and ran ThingTank, a collaborative project between private, non-profit, and academic partners working collectively on the then-new Internet of Things. Widely known as an expert on 3D printing and digital fabrication, Matt’s academic work first and foremost centers on the notion of “critical making,” a term he uses to describe the making of material objects as a means of engaging with both the practical and theoretical. It forms the basis of his Critical Making Lab, housed at Semaphore, and is discussed in his many journal articles, conference papers, chapters, and his upcoming book (provisionally) entitled Critical Making. Professor Ratto received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 2003, completed a 2 year post-doc at the Netherlands Institute for Scientific Information (NIWI) and received a research fellowship at the HUMlab, an innovative digital humanities laboratory located at the University of Umea, Sweden. He moved to the University of Toronto in 2008. He is the head of Critical Making Lab.