Today i came across an organisation called Distance Lab
“Distance Lab is a creative research organisation bringing together digital media technology, design and the arts to redefine and overcome the disadvantages of distance in learning, health care, relationships, culture and other domains.
Working with briefs from industry and governmental partners, Distance Lab generates ideas and builds prototypes that inspire and can lead to new innovative products and services.
The Lab is headed by Dr. Stefan Agamanolis, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and one of the founding research directors at Media Lab Europe, its former sister lab in Dublin
Inspired by the culture of the MIT Media Lab, Distance Lab is an interdisciplinary work environment full of radically creative scientists, designers, artists, and engineers from all over the world. We are concentrating our efforts on the theme of distance.
We don’t just philosophize and write about the future, we invent it. We emphasize the development of working prototypes and demonstrations of new technologies.
Our projects range from technology and design solutions that can be commercialised in the near-term to more far-reaching experiments that inspire and challenge assumptions about how we use technology and how we will deal with various forms of distance in the future” via Distance Lab homepage
When i found this page, i was super excited firstly due to the great work they are doing, but secondly that they are based in a rural part of Scotland. Anyone who knows Scotland will know this is a rare occurrence to find a design company that is doing meaningful work and tackling it through new and innovative technologies. I would love to visit these guys if/when i return home. Some of their research topics that they are exploring currently are:
Can we develop compelling distance learning experiences that are more than “lectures over television” ?
Can we create inexpensive solutions that allow people with health problems to be robustly cared for over a distance and have a better quality of life no matter where they reside ?
Can we combine communication technologies and architectural design to create new kinds of work and living spaces that span multiple geographical locations ?
Can we create new systems that enable distributed knowledge and expertise to be aggregated and exploited more seamlessly ?
Can we devise new modes of communication that enable distant family members and loved-ones to feel a greater sense of awareness and togetherness between each other ?
I especially love this last one, it is something i extremely interested in for exploring during my thesis project!