PeopleFaculty, Research Professor

Rebecca Allen

Rebecca Allen is an internationally recognized artist inspired by the aesthetics of motion, the study of behavior and the potential of advanced technology. For over thirty years her groundbreaking work has pushed the boundaries of art and creative expression in areas of virtual and augmented reality, experimental video, wearable computing, and large-scale performance.
Rebecca moves fluidly between artist studio and research lab, using her research to inform her art. She is professor and was founding Chair of the UCLA Department of Design Media Art. Her most recent interest in virtual reality and neuroscience involves collaborations with Neuroscience research labs at UCLA and UCSF.
Allen has collaborated with artists such as Kraftwerk, Mark Mothersbough (Devo), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Peter Gabriel, Carter Burwell, Twyla Tharp, Joffrey Ballet, La Fura dels Baus and Nam June Paik. Her artwork is exhibited internationally and is part of the permanent collection of Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Previous research positions include: Founding Director of Nokia Research Center Hollywood where she and her teams designed and built prototypes of next generation mobile media experiences, wearable devices and innovative interfaces; Design Manager and co-inventor of the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) award-winning XO laptop; Senior Research Scientist and founding Director of the Liminal Devices research group at MIT Media Lab Europe; founding Director of the Intel funded UCLA research group called Emergence; Creative Director and 3D visionary for video game company Virgin Interactive; Artist and Senior Researcher at the pioneering NYIT Computer Graphics Laboratory, and Researcher at MIT Architecture Machine Group (predecessor of MIT Media Lab).
Clients include Time Warner, Island, Mattel, Philips, Nintendo, CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS, BBC, TVE (Spain), Taejon World Expo, Seville World Expo, Apple and DARPA. She’s listed in Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business”. Awards include an Emmy award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Design.
Rebecca holds degrees from Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.