Phillip Tiongson

Phillip Tiongson

Principal and Founder, Potion

Phillip R. Tiongson is the principal and a founder of Potion.

Drawing on his training and passions as an artist, software engineer, and storyteller, Phillip leads the studio in creating its groundbreaking interactive experiences. Potion’s signature installation projects, which merge physical and digital elements, reflect his belief that digital interactions can foster a transformative experience of the physical world. Phillip believes that the blending of computation, design, and storytelling creates a new medium of expression. Always curious, Phillip is cultivating new areas of Potion’s design practice, including mobile app development and strategic consulting.

In applying technology in simple, elegant, and surprising ways, Phillip’s work at Potion has shaped the field at large. His award-winning projects have preceded mainstream versions of touch surfaces, position-based apps, and smart environments, and have created new ways that users can interact with information in their environments.

Phillip holds a M.S. from the MIT Media Lab, where he trained under John Maeda and Glorianna Davenport, and a M.F.A. in Film Directing from Columbia University. While at IBM’s Advanced Internet Technology Group, he earned two U.S. patents for his work in interface design. In 2005, he and fellow Media Lab graduate Jared Schiffman founded Potion, which has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Design and as a National Design Award Finalist.

Phillip’s projects have been honored by AAM, SEGD, Fast Company, MUSE, Communication Arts, SXSW, and the Art Director’s Club. His past clients include the Museum of Science and Industry, Richard Avedon Foundation, Smithsonian Networks, The Field Museum, Yale University Press, Lionsgate Entertainment, St. Regis Hotel, and Nike. He has given talks at industry events, such as Gravity Free and Design Exchange Boston, and he is a member of AIGA, AAM, and MIT’s Educational Council.


Nature’s Notifications: What technology can learn from a buzzing bee and a thunderclap.

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