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Ryan Patton

Ryan Patton

Portrait of Ryan Patton

Current University
Virginia Commonwealth University

Research Area
Games as an art material; physical computing devices and software; socially-engaged art practices; and histories of art education.

Research Summary

Patton explores methods and materials of digital media to question, repurpose, and make meaning in our daily lives. In his research on games, he investigates how games can be a transdisciplinary method to learning the world around us, through the digital curriculum on CurrentLab

Patton also explores how we can repurpose digital devices for personal use and discovery. He has developed modular physical computing switches intended for youth to design video game controllers, as well as assistive technology software. He co-created an augmented reality mapping surveillance tool called Citysneak, which explores disrupting conventions of public space and surveillance with smartphone devices. 

By presenting and creating these kinds of digital artifacts in art and educational contexts, Patton attempts to initiate conversations about our relationships with technology and how art education can play a role in those conversations.


He taught high school art in the South Bronx section of New York City, and animation and game design with the Smithsonian Summer Associates.

Alma Mater
Patton earned his Ph.D in art teacher education from Penn State University.