Amanda Parkes is a media designer & technologist interested in how digital technologies and smart materials can expand our relationship with natural phenomena to facilitate a more intuitive connection between technology and the natural world. She completed her PhD in the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab with a concentration 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. She is also the co-founder and the 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 recipient of an NSF SBIR award. She currently teaches at the Columbia University Dept of Architecture with course topics including body augmentation and wearable electronics, parasitic and decentralized energy paradigms, and synthetic biology in design practices. 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. Before joining the MIT Media Lab, Amanda developed exhibits and educational media at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Science Museum in London and the the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. She holds an M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (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 and the Prix Ars Electronica and she was named one of Mass High Tech's 'Women to Watch' in technology for 2008. Outside the lab, she likes to sew, surf and amass exquisite shoes.