Marko Tandefelt is a Helsinki born and based concept designer/whisperer, educator and a musician, with 20+ years of experience working and educating within boundaries between art, design, media and technology fields in New York. Among his interests are: New user interface concept design, sensorbased prototyping, immersive interactive multisensory cinema, experimental visualization systems, electronic music, crowdsourcing, co-design, and sustainable electric transportation systems. Marko has worked for companies such as NEC R&D Labs, ESIDesign and Antennadesign/NYC MTA.
In Helsinki Finland, Marko has been working on a wide range of projects within many overlapping domains and disciplines, including: Technology consulting for a realtime 3D Body scanning art installation “Body As an Image” for media artist Hanna Haaslahti, currently considered for the 2nd round of Sundance Film Festival New Frontiers; Interface prototyping for a groundbreaking electric car charging system for Parkkisähkö OY; and concept consulting/whispering for an innovative, yet unnamed Finnish startup.
After his studies, Marko worked at the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York as an AV & Media Producer in a large scale touring international exhibition Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, as a Project Director and Curator of “SAUMA: Design As Cultural Interface” and “F2F: New Media Art from Finland” exhibitions.
From 2001-2016 Marko taught Masters level Physical Computing and Thesis Studio courses at Parsons The New School for Design MFA Design Technology program. His students have won numerous leading international design/media and art awards, such as Ars Electronica Golden Nica, Red Dot, IF, AIGA, Adobe Web Design, Golden Web, Cologne Design Award, Nokia Mindtrek, Good Design Award, and Future Everything Award, to name a few. During 2007-2015 Marko worked as the Director of Technology & Research/Senior Technology Manager at Eyebeam Art & Technology Center where he was in charge of practical and conceptual implementations of technology within wider creative processes, artist’s practice and exhibitions and research for the organization. Marko was also in charge of audiovisual and technical realization of large exhibitions such as: Source Code, Interference, ReGroup: Beyond Models of Consensus, Biorhythm, Surface Tension: Future of Water, Untethered, Tourists and Travelers, X-LAB, Feedback Ecovisualization exhibition and Postgravity Art Syntapiens to name a few (for more, see under “Exhibitions). Among central projects at Eyebeam, Marko was involved in organizing an experimental 3 day hackathon on novel interactive multisensory immersive cinematic storytelling methods, New Cinema, together with the Creators Project/Intel/Vice Magazine. The event enabled the birth of a series of new collaborative projects by feature film directors, world’s leading creative coders and designers from Google, and 3D/SFX people from UK based company Framestore, behind visual effects for Harry Potter, Avatar, Children of Men and Gravity movies.
Relating to cinema, future, new human interface technologies and affective/emotional/mindful approaches to computing, Marko was asked to consult for a Microsoft team on the thematic and conceptual structuring of a large hackathon “Captivated by HER”, inspired Spike Jonze’s movie “HER”, its human centered design blends and atmosphere. The hackathon was organized by Microsoft in collaboration with Vice Magazine and Warner Brothers, taking place at Marko’s Alma Mater, NYU Tisch Film & TV School’s ITP Program.
Before moving back to his native Helsinki Finland in 2016, Marko was invited to the “Virtually Human: A Panel Discussion on the Future of Cognitive Machines”, a resonating small scale event on how human and non-human agents related, touching also on the Future Life Institute’s open letter on “Research Priorities for Robuse and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence”, hosted by IBM Watson Research Center. Issues relating to technology, the role of A.I. and related impact on human mind and self awareness are among major interests and concerns of Marko.
As a person Marko thinks constructively and critically a lot about a long list of things, among them: The future, income inequality, shifting nature of what work means, white savior complex, presence, mindfulness with technology, sofalarity/complacency, art, architecture, design, media, urbanism, culture, open source hardware and software, new models of co-designing, sharing and co-ownership, future of cinema, music, nature/rural areas, techno determinism, cognitive biases we all have, the chasm, self fulfilling prophecies and the role of humans & our wider collective consciousness in shaping our lives, together.
Marko is very passionate about electronic music and especially low frequencies and their impact on the body and mind. He has built musical instruments, electric and synth MIDI basses, pickups, musical gloves, tilt/compass/sensor based instruments and collaborative waterbased connected body instruments. Marko has worked and recorded in NYC based recording studios, including Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode recording engineer and techno DJ Francois Kevorkian’s Axis. The latest band Marko has been playing synth bass in is Varick. He is currently constructing his own electronic music/immersive viz studio in the 1952 Olympic Village in Käpylä district in Helsinki, Finland.
Marko holds a B.M. degree Summa Cum Laude in Music Technology from NYU, and a Master’s degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Film & TV School Interactive Telecommunications Program ITP. He is a longtime member of ACM, AES, IEEE, SIGGRAPH, SMPTE and SPIE, and a lifetime member of Pi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honor Society.