Hayes Raffle is an award-winning product designer and inventor specializing in hybrid physical/digital objects to nurture learning, creative expression, and interpersonal communication. He has served as a Senior Staff Interaction Designer on the Google Daydream team developing new input and interaction paradigms for virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) and he helped develop Google Glass as a UX and innovation lead.
Hayes holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab, and a B.A. in fine art from Yale. Over 80 US patents either pending or granted have been granted for his inventions, and he has published over 40 peer-reviewed academic publications in the areas of tangible media, technologies for learning, and virtual and augmented reality. Previously, Hayes conducted research in Family Communication at Nokia Research, developing new technologies for young children to connect with long-distance loved ones.
Having completed his Ph.D. in the Tangible Media Group a the MIT Media Lab in June, 2008 and received his M.S. from MIT in 2004, Hayes’ research integrates design, epistemology and human-computer interaction, with a focus on educational toys. At MIT, Hayes was a LEGO Fellow for six consecutive terms and researched new technologies for hands-on learning. Major projects include the Topobo robotic construction kit, Super Cilia Skin textural communication medium, Jabberstamp drawing tools, and Fuzzmail emotional email application. Hayes’s projects have received numerous international awards and recognition, and have shown in Europe, Asia and North America. His work has received outstanding press from major publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BBC. Hayes is the author of several patents and over a dozen peer-reviewed academic publications.
Outside of the Media Lab, Hayes has done industrial design for IDEO Palo Alto, and has run the Rafelandia design consultancy in Boston and San Francisco serving diverse clients including SONY and Leapfrog Toys. While completing his B.A. in Fine Arts from Yale University, Hayes helped design and develop the award-winning ZOOB® building toy and later helped Primordial, LLC to design, market, manufacture and sell ZOOB internationally. He is currently bringing Topobo toys to market as principal of Topobo, LLC.
To stay inspired, Hayes enjoys teaching, windsurfing, mountain biking, cooking, and spending time with his wife and daughters. Hayes also continues an active art practice creating sculpture and interactive artworks, and he has shown his art in Europe, Asia, and the United States.