Stefan Agamanolis

Researcher / educator / innovator in digital media technology and human-centered design

My background and work straddles the domains of technology, design, and art. I earned my PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and have over 10 years of experience inside the MIT Media Laboratory, first as a student and later as one of the founding research directors at Media Lab Europe, its former sister lab in Ireland. There, I led a design-oriented research group entitled Human Connectedness that was the birthplace of several award-winning product concepts pertaining to the future of human relationships as mediated by technology. I later became the founding chief executive and research director of Distance Lab, a unique research initiative in Scotland that created technology and design innovations to address challenges found in rural and remote areas of the world, particularly focused on health care but also learning, relationships and cultural heritage. In 2010, this lab became the Centre for Design Innovation and is now part of the Glasgow School of Art.

I am currently Senior Director of Patient Experience and Director of the Center for Patient Experience Innovation at Akron Children's Hospital, a top US pediatric health care system of 4000+ employees that handles over 650,000 patient visits per year. The Center's mission is to transform the emotional and cognitive journey of patients and their families, supporting a culture of legendary service and integrating efforts across the organization to design and deliver distinctive experiences that consistently exceed expectations. I am also an Associate Director of the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute and I serve as Director of the Center for Telehealth Service Design. In these roles, I am applying the principles of human-centered design directly within a health care institution to innovate in patient and family experience, telehealth / telemedicine, and the use of digital media in health care.

I am known for my work in digital communication experiences. I have engaged in a variety of projects including videoconferencing systems of the future (Reflexion, Talking Boxes, iCom), installations for playing sports over a distance (Breakout for Two, Remote Impact, Jogging over a Distance), cultural heritage applications (RAW, HandMade), and explorations on the theme of "slow" communication (Iso-phone, Mutsugoto). I have also been involved in a number of health care-oriented projects including the Open Window, a system that brings visual images of personally familiar places and calming artworks into a patient's hospital room, and Remote Rehabilitation, a system for delivering group-based pulmonary rehabilitation in the home using Internet-based videoconferencing. (Visit my Online Portfolio)

My work and that of my researchers has been exhibited in diverse venues including Ars Electronica (Austria), the Osaka National Museum of Art (Japan), the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), the E-culture fair (Netherlands), and the Wired NextFest (USA). In addition to various academic and private seminars, I have delivered presentations in several international forums including Prix Italia, eComm, PICNIC, Mastermundo, NEXT, TEDx London, Futuresonic, and EuroITV. I have also led workshops and learning experiences at various institutions including NYU Abu Dhabi, Madeira Tecnopolo, and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. I have also participated on program and review committees for a number of scientific conferences including Ubicomp and ACM CHI.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF) Online Portfolio