Immersed in: Spatial Sound Lab—Feb. 15

Immersive audio and the future of listening

DATE: Wednesday, February 15, 2023
TIME: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Hybrid (MIT.nano Immersion Lab / Zoom)
SPEAKERS: Professor Ian Condry & Research Scientist Philip Tan, Comparative Media Studies/Writing



Spatial Audio LabProfessor Ian Condry and Research Scientist Philip Tan will discuss the current work of the MIT Spatial Sound Lab, with particular attention to the new 7.1 surround sound speaker system recently installed in the Immersion Lab.

The MIT Spatial Sound Lab is a community of scholars, artists, and researchers interested in the possibilities of immersive sound. "Spatial sound" refers to audio playback that emphasizes a spatial perspective beyond stereo, often in the form of multichannel or surround formats. We believe this style of audio production and listening can transform social relationships between artists and performers, while also providing new experiences in mediated and live settings. 


Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist of Japan and professor at MIT since 2002. He is the author of two books, Hip-Hop Japan and The Soul of Anime, both of which explore globalization from below. The books are available for free, thanks to Creative Commons and Duke University Press:

In the fall of 2019, Condry launched the MIT Spatial Sound Lab, a community production studio for immersive, multiperspective, sonic experimentation. Among the goals is to provide a space for using sound to disrupt hierarchies, reduce inequalities, and cross borders. He co-organized Dissolve Music, a sound conference and music festival, in 2018 and 2020. Since 2018, Condry is the radio DJ for Near and Far, a Japanese hip-hop show, on WMBR 88.1FM Cambridge, and online at, weekly Tuesdays 7-8pm. Archived at Since 2006, he has organized the MIT / Harvard Cool Japan research project, which explores the critical potential of popular culture. He is currently working on a book about musicians on the margins in Tokyo, Boston, and Berlin.

Philip Tan is the creative director for the MIT Game Lab. For six years, he was the executive director for the US operations of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a game research initiative. He has served as a member of the steering committee of the Singapore chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and worked closely with Singapore game developers to launch industry-wide initiatives and administer content development grants as an assistant manager in the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore.

Before 2005, Tan produced and designed PC online games at The Education Arcade, a research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that studied and created educational games. He complements a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies with work in Boston's School of Museum of Fine Arts, the MIT Media Lab, WMBR 88.1FM and the MIT Assassins' Guild, the latter awarding him the title of "Master Assassin" for his live-action roleplaying game designs. He also founded a DJ crew at MIT.

about immersed

IMMERSED is a monthly seminar in which we explore the possibilities enabled by immersive technology and interactive experiences. Technologies such as motion capture, virtual and augmented reality, photogrammetry, and related computational advances bestow the power to gather, process, and interact with data from multiple modalities, providing unique insights and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations.

IMMERSED examines how immersive technology is shaping innovations across the sciences and the arts through a mix of lectures, demonstrations, and tutorials. IMMERSED is sponsored by the MIT.nano Immersion Lab, which provides space, tools, and a platform to connect scientists, engineers, artists, performers, and others through creative projects that bridge multiple disciplines.

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