Matt Ratto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and directs the Semaphore Research cluster on Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing and, as part of Semaphore, the Critical Making lab. His work explores the intersections between digital technologies and the human life world, with a particular focus on new developments that trouble the divide between online and offline modes of production. Ratto is an avowed expert on 3D printing and digital fabrication, having carried out research on this topic since 2009. His research also addresses pervasive and ubiquitous technologies including wearable computing and the Internet of Things. Ratto created and ran the ThingTank from 2009-2011, a collaborative project between private, non-profit, and academic partners working collectively on new IoT products and services.
His work crosses both the boundaries between the digital and physical world and the divide between humanities and engineering disciplines. He coined the term ‘critical making” in 2007 to describe work that combines humanities insights and engineering practices, and has published extensively on this concept. A current project involves the development of a cost-effective software and hardware toolchain for the scanning, design, and 3D printing of lower-limb prostheses for use in the developing world. This work is being carried out in partnership with non-profit CBM Canada, CoRSU hospital in Uganda, Autodesk inc., and Toronto prosthetics and orthodics experts.
Culture and Technology Concentration Liaison
Chair, Awards Committee
Faculty representative for Division II, University of Toronto Graduate Education Council (GEC)
Director, Critical Making Lab
Director, Semaphore Research Cluster for Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing
Faculty, Book History and Print Culture Collaborative Program
Faculty, Knowledge Media Design Institute, University of Toronto