Bo Rodda

Chicago, IL, USA
As a designer, visual artist, technologist, and educator, Bo Rodda has uniquely cultivated an interdisciplinary background. Fifteen years of professional creative arts multidisciplinary design experience has made him the artist, designer, and innovator I am today. By integrating traditional arts, the sciences, digital interactive and visual design, industrial design, in addition to extensive research into high performance and sustainable building design, he has achieved an interdisciplinary portfolio and knowledge base that few artists can claim their own. His work has been shown around the world including his exhibition of his “Active Light Cloud,” an interactive intelligent lighting system in Milan’s Salon del Mobile and at the Art Institute of Chicago. This project received acclaim by,,, as well as being cited in the 2009 conference proceedings of the Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture. The project was funded by Motorola and featured in “Milan Design Week,” gaining him recognition for sustainable design.

His recent work at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory culminated in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project allowing for real time energy management, visualization, and outreach through a network of real time “Energy Dashboards.” The multi- year effort is now seen as fundamental to nearly all laboratory sustainability efforts including the introduction of a smart grid at the nation’s first national laboratory. Another notable project was the deployment of a massive wireless environmental sensor mesh in Argonne’s high performance data center which houses Mira, one of the fastest computers in the world. He has also worked as design and marketing consultant with several Fortune 500 companies including Sam’s Club, SmartOne’s, Walmart, and Disney.

As an educator, Rodda has lead several successful interdisciplinary design course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In his course Manifest/ Space, SAIC design students and scientists from the Kavli Institute of Astrological Physics at the University of Chicago worked together to design an interactive traveling exhibit that has visited the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington as well the World Science Fair in New York City. Another recent course, People vs. Space, was co-taught with international artist Jaume Plensa challenged students to propose world class public works of art to the City of Chicago and culminated in an exhibition at the Paul Grey Gallery of Chicago. He is currently teaching the GFRY Design Studio, a two semester research and design course investigating how the digital world is fundamentally changing the relationship between the city and its inhabitants.

Bo Rodda is currently an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is actively engaged in a number of freelance design and research projects involving urban data research, digital fabrication, interactive architectural design and visualization projects. He also maintains his painting practice at his studio in Chicago, IL.

Work Experience

The University Of Chicago

Research Fellow

UrbanCCD’s mission is to catalyze and pursue an interdisciplinary research agenda in urban sciences aimed at increasing our understanding of cities and our ability to anticipate the effects of rapid global urbanization on natural, built, and socioeconomic systems.
January 2014 - Present Chicago, Illinois, United States

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago

Instructor, Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects

Spring 2012 "Manifest/ Space"
Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Collaborators: The Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and Argonne National Laboratory. Funded in part by the University of Chicago and the National Science Foundation.

Description: Student teams design, fabricate and deliver an exhibition system for exterior environments, focusing on the presentation of content associated with the South Pole Telescope, a NSF funded radio telescope operated by the University of Chicago. The exhibit traveled to the World Science Festival in New York City as well US Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC.

Fall 2012 GFRY Design Studio, “A View with a Room,” Department of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Funded in part by Motorolla Solutions Innovation Generation STEM Grant.

Description: SAIC's 2012–13 GFRY Studio will explore how data and physical infrastructures can inform sustainable development. The course will culminate in the design and exhibition of person-to-person and person-to-system interfaces that make complex interactions within Chicago accessible. The project has the potential to inform citywide planning efforts by benefiting Chicago's 311 data system, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), among other civic entities. The GFRY Studio, named in memory of Motorola's former Chief Marketing Officer Geoffrey Frost, aims to encourage students to apply creative strategies to solve societal problems, understanding that gaining technological proficiency in the course of their design work will provide students with the skills to do so effectively.
January 2011 - Illinois, United States

Argonne National Laboratory

Building Intelligence and Energy Efficiency Specialist

Argonne National Laboratory: Building Intelligence and Energy Efficiency Specialist, Office of the CIO
My primary role at Argonne National Laboratory was as a subject matter expert to the Laboratory’s sustainability and building intelligence initiatives. Working directly with Argonne’s research and operational divisions, I proposed and managed a number of transformative projects generally relating to next generation facility energy management, energy data analysis, as well as sensor design, deployment, and data analysis. In this capacity I had the great pleasure of working in a number project teams including Argonne’s Building Technologies Group, Mathematics and Computational Sciences Division (MCS), Leadership Computing Division (ALCF). Additionally I was deeply involved in the formation of Argonne’s Sustainability Group, an intra-divisional research and operational collaboration tasked with transforming the laboratory into a model of high performance and sustainability.
March 2010 - November 2012 Chicago, Illinois, United States


Rhode Island School Of Design (RISD)

BFA Painting

September 1998 - May 2002 Rhode Island, United States

School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago (SAIC)

MFA Design for Emerging Technology

September 2008 - May 2010 Chicago, Illinois, United States


3D Modeling, CAD, Cinema 4D, Digital Rendering, Drawing, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industria; Design, Interaction Design, Modeling, Painting, Public Installation, Rhino,