Dr. Amanda J Parkes- biomedia designer, fashion technologist, curator, professor
Amanda Parkes is a biomedia designer & fashion technologist interested in how digital technologies and smart materials can expand our relationship with natural phenomena to facilitate a more intuitive connection interfacing technology to the natural world. Her dissertation work in the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab focused on computational materiality in kinetic interfaces as an area of innovation in future products– combining principles of abstracted motion in robotics with hybrid materials to empower designers in the process of kinetic improvisation and motion prototyping. She is the founder of Skinteractive Studio, developing fashion technology and hi-tech textile projects for use in areas ranging from performance to medicine and is currently working on sensor embedded costumes for the performance of Streb Extreme Action at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. She is also the founder and CTO of Bodega Algae, a company developing a modular, scalable, microalgae photobioreactor for the production of high-energy algal biomass for use in the production of biofuel and a recipient of an NSF Small Business Innovation Research award. She currently teaches in the Columbia University Department of Architecture on courses topics ranging from decentralized and parasitic energy systems to body augmentation and was formerly a scientist-in-residence at NYU ITP developing research and curricula around interaction design with biological organisms. She is the co-curator of Regeneration, a major new exhibition opening in October 2012 at the New York Hall of Science featuring contemporary interactive art on themes of art, science, and cultural sustainability. Her prior work includes developing exhibits and educational media at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Science Museum in London, and the the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Amanda holds a PhD & M.S. from the MIT Media Lab and a B.S. in Product Design and a B.A. in Art History from Stanford University. Her work has been featured in various internationally recognized design and art awards including the ID Magazine Annual Design Review, the Art Director’s Club, and the Prix Ars Electronica and she was named one of Mass High Tech’s ‘Women to Watch’ in technology in 2008. Outside the lab, she likes to sew, surf, and amass exquisite shoes.