NOTE: Distance Lab became part of the Glasgow School of Art Innovation School in October 2010.
This is a snapshot of the Lab's web site around July 2010 for historical reference.
Distance Lab
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Lost Values

What is 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.

In addition to conducting academic research, the 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.

Why was Distance Lab created ?

Emerging digital media and networking technologies hold enormous potential for positively transforming economies and lifestyles in "rural and remote" regions of the world. In many areas, these technologies have already had a profound effect, yet there is a sense that we have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible. Three main factors have hindered progress:

  1. There has been a lack of research attention to the problems and opportunities to be found in rural and remote areas, which have largely been ignored compared to the large urban centres.

  2. Many of the ideas and results generated within academic institutions have often failed to impact on society. Conventional academia is incentivised to publish results to audiences of academics rather than transfer knowledge to industry where it can be put to practical use.

  3. Conventional academic structures are known to discourage interdisciplinary collaboration. Too often design and technology lack an appropriate dialogue, and as a result, new technology often fails to have a full and positive impact on society because it is not offered in a way that is usable or meaningful to the people it could benefit.

Distance Lab was created to address these failings of research content, model, and collaboration in such a way as to promote economic and social development in rural and remote areas.

In addition to geographical distance, there are also many different kinds of distance that affect our lives that make it rich and flexible theme that can bring together a wide array of work:


What is Distance Lab like ?

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.

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.

We don't just philosophise 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. Some projects are self-directed, others are driven by external briefs.

Read some of the research questions we are passionate about tackling.

Where is Distance Lab ?

Distance Lab is located in the highlands of Scotland, an area renown for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural offerings. If you like golfing, fishing, fine dining, or outdoor activities of any kind, you'll love visiting our area. Read more about our surroundings...

A unique organisation in Scotland, Distance Lab is transforming traditional models of research and innovation with its focus on knowledge exchange, commercialisation and economic impact, which positions the Lab strongly within the new Scottish Government Economic Strategy and synergises with priorities growing in academic research. Distance Lab has received seed funding support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a regional development agency covering the north and west of Scotland.

But just because Distance Lab is in Scotland doesn't mean it can only have an impact here. There are countless areas of the world that are "rural" or "remote", and there are individuals and companies everywhere that must overcome distance in order to thrive. We are a culturally diverse organisation and we invite engagement from anywhere that could benefit from our work and our creativity.

What does Distance Lab offer to external organisations ?

We offer a partnership programme for companies and organisations that would like to tap into our research outputs and creative capacity.

We also engage in specific contract research and collaborative research projects of any size. We can work with you to develop a brief that achieves the results you need within your budget.

We also offer tailored workshops and seminars to organisations looking for insight into digital media innovations and foresight of future trends. Our innovation retreats offer a mix of highland culture and inspiration that will keep your employees energized and creative.

Contact us to open a dialogue on how we could help your organisation transform itself for the digital future.

We enjoy hearing from any enterprise - small, large, commercial, social...