A visionary in experimental graphic design.
John Maeda is among the foremost experimental and conceptual graphic designers in the world today. He is both an artist and a philosopher whose work has influenced much of the commercial design seen today, and he is quickly falling into the status of a digital media icon. The key aspect that seems to set John Maeda apart from other designers is the fact that he fuses the art of computer programming and digital media techniques to forge the compositions which he is so well known for. (Art and Culture 2). Even before the advent of Flash and the popularity of motion graphics that are so prevalent on the Internet today, John Maeda was experimenting with these ideas, creating them in a more primal manner. Maeda describes himself as both a researcher and a designer. He has created everything from digital, interactive calendars to magazine covers and websites. For every graphic piece that he creates, Maeda writes a special program to execute it, then dispenses of the program because it has fulfilled the task that it was made to accomplish. Many of his digital compositions concentrate on the idea of user-controlled elements and the importance of the viewer's participation. In these compositions, Maeda gives the viewer a chance to create phenomena that change from moment to moment. He believes that the purpose of reaction graphics has always been to interact with people on an instinctual basis more than a communicative one, as in interactive graphics. ("Numbers" 54). Through these various artistic experiments, Maeda has attempted to understand the relationship between creativity and technology. His latest work involves sculpture and furniture that link digital content and physical materials.
Maeda is currently Sony Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and Director of the Aesthetics and Computation Group (ACG) at the M.I.T. Media Lab.