Who We Are

Mission and Vision

Computer-driven media now circulate and activate images, sound and objects at densities greater than human limits of comprehension. We face the limits of effectively managing the technologies that activate our everyday world. Our challenge is how to build and inhabit environments that leverage the power of emerging technologies for shelter, sociality and play.

We pursue our mission by developing new practices for imagining and creating worlds that do not burden but enliven experience. We design technologies and techniques for animating environments that are richer but not more complicated, by asking how can we create worlds that we would want to live in?

We are building an ecology of practices for imagining and making the worlds we inhabit.


The Synthesis Center is a place – a social construct designed to redistribute the intellectual, economic, and social energy of different disciplines to create fresh knowledge. Like any place it is built out of:

  • a physical space where people can gather, work, and communicate with each other
  • a group of people who live and work together in accordance with shared goals
  • the capacity to support the conversations and work of its members

How It Works

Our place functions like a wheel spinning on an axis. We provide the axis to transfer the energy of our participants, and the grease to keep the wheel spinning true. To spin the wheel our participants provide energy in the form of external funding, time, special technology, work.

Modern AlchemyThe Story of Synthesis

The familiar form of science which has come to dominate our present era emerged from alchemical practices in the 17th century. Along the way it introduced a rift with long-lasting consequences. The Newtonian description of the world as a mechanical system with direct transmission of force by physical contact became the basis of the new mode of inquiry. Any phenomenon that could not be expressed in the manner of such mechanical laws fell into disregard.