Christopher Csikszentmihályi is the new ERAChair of HCI & Design Innovation


Christopher Csikszentmihályi has been appointed to the new ERAChair position of Human-Computer Interaction and Design Innovation. The European Research Areas (ERA) Chair is a new measure to bridge the research and innovation divide in Europe. These grants are intended to help develop research excellence in EU Member States, Associated Countries and regions under the Horizon 2020 framework.

M- ITI was awarded one of the first ERA Chairs promoted by the European Union as part of the pilot Horizon 2020 call in 2013.  Click here to find out more about the project.


Chris Bio

Christopher Csikszentmihályi defines himself as an artist, designer, technologist and dude. He is known for inspiring and developing political technologies that rebalance power between citizens, corporations, and governments. Recently he started the Rootio project in collaboration with UNICEF a sociotechnical platform for community radio that will work to make community radio networked, interactive, and scalable but still  inexpensive, while maintaining roots in  small, linguistically diverse communities.

Before joining Madeira-ITI Csikszentmihállyi was a professor at colleges, universities, and institutes, including Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art and Design Research at Parsons the New School for Design. He cofounded and directed the MIT Center for Future Civic Media (C4), which was dedicated to developing technologies that strengthen communities. He also founded the MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture group, which worked to create unique media technologies for cultural and political applications. Trained as an artist, he has worked in the intersection of new technologies, media, and the arts for 16 years, lecturing, showing new media work, and presenting installations on five continents and one subcontinent. He was a 2005 Rockefeller New Media Fellow, and a 2007-2008 fellow at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and has taught at the University of California at San Diego, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and at Turku University.

He also has been represented by the Location One Gallery in New York's SoHo and Fringe Exhibitions in Los Angeles. He toured museums and nightclubs with his mechanical hip hop device, DJ I, Robot, which was nominated for the Best Artistic Software award at Berlin's Transmediale, while a previous piece, Natural Language Processor, was commissioned by the KIASMA Museum in Helsinki, Finland. The catalog for his installations Skin and Control is published by Charta and distributed by DAP, and he served on the National Academy of Science's IT and Creativity panel.

Chris received his BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994 and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 1998, he also holds a PhD(hc) Cornish College of the Arts. 


ERAChair new role and relevance

“We know Chris’s broad experience in research, teaching and creating meaningful partnerships with non-profits and industry make him an excellent choice for the ERAChair of M-ITI. We have an ambitious strategic development plan to make M-ITI into an excellence research center in HCI and design, Chris is a great leader to take us into new and adventurous directions that could leverage our positioning between Europe and the Americas” said Nuno Nunes, president of the board of Madeira-ITI. The selection of a creative leader was pushed by the search committee: "I'm delighted that Chris Csikszentmihályi will be joining Madeira-ITI as chair. Chris is a strong leader who can build upon the Institute's tradition of solid scientific research in a focused direction, one that can enhance and amplify its contributions to the science and practice of information technology" said Don Norman one of the members of the search committee. "Chris will open new opportunities for the research that could be conducted within LARSyS. Our strong engineering basis benefits a lot from the innovative ideas coming from art and design innovation that people like Chris are capable of providing going beyond technology into what makes people and communities better in a global village", said João Sentieiro director of the national associated laboratory in Robotics and Systems in Engineering and Science.