Seminar: Slow Communication

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker: Dr. Stefan Agamanolis

Faculty Host: Professor Katherine Isbister


Stefan will explore how the same design thinking that led to fast food has led to the modern mobile phone. Based on his work at MIT and Distance Lab, he will talk about some trends in communication design that lead in a different direction. Examples will include sports games you play over a distance, telephones crossed with flotation tanks, and communication systems designed for a bedroom environment. He will introduce the notion of "slow communication," an extension of ideas from the Slow Food movement into the design of communication technologies and techniques that suggests that the broad palette of technologies at our disposal and the increasingly wide availability of bandwidth have not been exploited nearly to the degree that they could be to provide us with communication experiences that are higher in quality, tailored to the nature of the relationship or context, and enable a greater sense of intimacy and immersion.

About the Speaker

Stefan Agamanolis heads Distance Lab, a creative research initiative bringing together technology, design, and the arts to redefine and overcome distance.   In addition to conducting academic research, Distance Lab works with briefs from industry and governmental partners, providing advice, generating ideas and building prototypes that inspire and can lead to new innovative products and services.

Stefan has over 10 years of experience inside the MIT Media Lab, first as a student and later as one of the founding research directors at Media Lab Europe, its former sister lab in Dublin, Ireland. There he led the Human Connectedness group, an interdisciplinary team that explored the future of human relationships as mediated by technology. His work and that of his researchers has won a number of awards and has been exhibited in diverse venues including Ars Electronica (Austria), the Osaka National Museum of Art (Japan), the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK), and the Wired NextFest (USA).  He speaks and consults internationally on a variety of digital media topics.  He holds master's and PhD degrees in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from Oberlin College. He was born and raised in Ohio.

Personal web site:
Distance Lab:
Human Connectedness: