J. Nathan Matias     MIT Media Lab

I am a computational social scientist who works with millions of people in citizen behavioral science toward a fairer, safer, more understanding internet. I advance this work through CivilServant and as a postdoc at Princeton University departments of Psychology, Sociology, and Center for Information Technology Policy.

Note: the projects on this website were last updated in 2013. Please follow the links below for more up-to-date information:

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Balloon Velcro Construction Kit

Autumn 2011

J. Nathan Matias co-creator Jason Haas co-creator MIT Media Lab
Jason Haas Attaching Balloons

Throughout the autumn of 2011, Jason Haas and I experimented with ways to use balloons as construction materials in the spirit of LEGO.

We attached balloons to each other with adhesive velcro strips and tried to build large structures with them. We also held a play-testing session with the entire Media Lab.

Making structures with balloons offers opportunities to construct objects larger than any single person, and to attach individual parts by looking through the semi-transparent balloons.

In playtesting, we noticed that many people feel very tentative about building with balloons. They're hard to inflate and people have strong phobias against popping.

Media Lab Atrium: Balloons Media Lab Atrium: Balloons Feeding the Balloon Snake to the Atrium Novy San Balloon Structure Jason Haas attaching balloons