Future 50: Alexander Chen 01.08.13

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Icon asked a dozen experts and practitioners to nominate the people they think are, in some way, shaping the future. The resulting list of global talent is a snapshot that shows how young designers and architects are pushing the boundaries of their disciplines and trying to change the world

"Since I was a kid I've jumped from one hobby to another. I do the same today, blending everything I love – music, design, film, code." This is how Alexander Chen – designer, artist, musician, coder and creative director at Google Creative Lab – describes his work. In 2011, he launched Mta.me, which transformed a New York subway map into a string instrument. The project led to the Les Paul Doodle, which transformed the Google logo into a musical instrument that generated more than five years of music. In 2012, Chen led the creative team behind the Project Glass concept video and has continued to collaborate with the Google Glass team. "I've been thinking a lot about the next generation of designers and coders," says Chen. "Lines of code are all around us, but only a small group of people understand even the basics of how they work." Chen hopes to help others understand the new world in which we live.

New York

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