We believe that everyday objects can be transformed into art through the use of technology, electromechanics, and computers. Through various advances it is now possible to make mobiles dance based on weather predictions, coffee tables draw pictures in the unlikely medium of sand, and chandeliers follow the movement of plates on a dinner table. Smart phones and speech recognition provide an easy way to interact with these newly animated furnishings while data from the Internet can be used to artistically show anything from the weather, to stock prices, to Twitter sentiment.
At Atelier Automatik we handcraft customized art, furniture, and lighting along with clever mechanisms to create a unique experience in your home or office. We focus on carefully thought out design, impecable execution, and highly personalized creations. We are not interested in mass-produced experiences.
Our creations operate happily by themselves - they draw, move, and interact with their environment full time or on a schedule. Our installations can also be controlled with iPads, smart phones, computers, and even by the spoken word through Alexa. Some installations can even be controlled from anywhere in the world though an Internet connection.
These simple and intuitive interfaces allow your art piece to enhance any occasion. For example: custom words, pictures, and even lights can be displayed on the Sand Table. Our light fixture, Tentalux, allows each tentacle to be pointed at a different place and for the brightness to be set as well. These scenarios can easily be saved and replayed.
As a kid, Michael was programming professionally: parts of the CP/M operating system (before MSDOS and Windows), a top-ten selling video game, and investment management software. He built robots that could navigate, map, and talk long before this was commonplace.
As a self-taught software developer, artist, inventor, machinist, maker, and welder, Michael has designed and built many unique things, and he has always been experimenting at the intersection of art and technology.
Michael was the CTO of Goldman Sachs and CIO for Global Markets/Risk at Bank of America. He acted as Obama's interim CTO during his first campaign. He cofounded Gadgetoff, an organization that brings inventors together, and is also a U.S. Patent Holder. He has been a civilian advisor for the Department of Homeland Security.
By the age of eight, Asa Hillis was learning from craftsmen who inspired his affection for furniture design. These mentors served as impetus to pursue his passion of woodworking. He attended Rhode Island School of Design and California College of the Arts where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with highest distinction honors in the Furniture Program, was given the Ronald and Anita Wornick Award for talented wood artists.
Asa Hillis’s work is influenced by technical skills developed over a sixteen-year journey with mentors and makers such as Garry Knox Bennett, an international renowned furniture maker and Adam Savage, a special effects fabricator from the series MythBusters. Asa strives to incorporate truth to material principles that couple with his appreciation for creative, one-of-a-kind designs so that each piece is crafted with a timeless quality. He has a great love for wood and its grain pattern that continues to inspire and influence the outcome of his pieces. Asa is currently designing with different mediums such as metal, glass and electronics to expand the possibilities for his clients. No matter what material he is creating with he stays true to the principle, “quality over quantity”.