Athina Papadopoulou, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Architecture, Health, and Design. Her recent research focuses on programmable material environments that enhance health and well-being through sensory interaction. In her work, she utilizes various aspects of computing—digital, physical, material, and affective—to create augmented perceptual and human-material interaction systems. Athina received her Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Design Computation with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a Presidential, a Vergottis, and a Leon Hyzen Fellow, in addition to being a member of the Computational Making Group, which focused on embodied processes of design and making, and the Self-Assembly Lab, which focused on programmable material and fabrication processes.

As part of her Ph.D. dissertation, "Affective Matter: A Haptic Material Modality for Emotion Regulation and Communication," she focused her research on therapeutic material systems that interact with the body by responding to physiology signals, such as one's breathing rate and skin conductance. Building on the research and technology she developed in her dissertation, she founded Affective Matter Inc. to explore wearable applications that aid in the therapy of mental health disorders. She has also worked closely with non-profit organizations to develop courses on inclusive design for individuals with sensory or mental disabilities. Prior to joining New York Tech, she taught design computation and inclusive design studios at MIT, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Boston Architectural College.

Before receiving her Ph.D. and M.S., Papadopoulou received a Diploma in Architecture Engineering and a Postgraduate Master's in Design Culture from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. She is a registered architect in Greece, where she had her own practice and worked at other firms before focusing her career on design and technology research. Her research has been published in science and design journals including Nature, Cognitive Science, and Architectural Design, as well as for computation and human-computer interaction conferences.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Papadopoulou Athina, Jaclyn Berry, Terry Knight, Rosalind Picard (2019). Affective Sleeve: Wearable Materials with Haptic Action for Promoting Calmness. Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCII). Orlando, Florida, USA, 26–31 July 2019.
  • Papadopoulou Athina (2019). Sensing creatures: tools for augmenting our sensory awareness of space. Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCII). Orlando, Florida, USA.
  • Papadopoulou Athina., Laucks Jared, and Tibbits Skylar (2017). Auxetic materials in design and architecture. Nature Reviews Materials, 2(12), 17078.
  • Papadopoulou Athina, Laucks Jared, and Tibbits Skylar (2017). "From Self-Assembly to Evolutionary Structures." Architectural Design 87, no. 4: 28–37. doi:10.1002/ad.2192.
  • Papadopoulou Athina, Lienhard Hannah, Laucks Jared, Tibbits Skylar (2017). "Heat-Active Auxetic Materials," in Active Matter (ed. Tibbits, S.) 173–178. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Papadopoulou Athina, Laucks Jared, and Tibbits Skylar (2017) "General Principles for Programming Material," in Active Matter (ed. Tibbits, S.) 125–142. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Papadopoulou Athina (2016). Objects-to-Sense-With: Computational Tools for Embodied Spatial Learning. In Herneoja, Aulikki; Toni Ă–sterlund and Piia Markkanen (eds.), Complexity & Simplicity – Proceedings of the 34th eCAADe Conference – Volume 1, pp. 367–376. Paper presented at Education and Research in Computer Aided Design in Europe (eCAADe) Conference, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland, 22–26 August 2016.
  • Papadopoulou Athina (2015) "The Architect's Perspective on the Tour and Map Perspective." Cognitive Processing, September 2015, Vol.16-1. doi 10.1007/s10339-015-0671-3, pp 331–336.
  • Correa David, Papadopoulou Athina (*Co-first authors), Guberan Christophe, Jhaveri Nynika, Reichert Steffen, Menges Achim, and Tibbits Skylar (2015), "3D-Printed Wood: Programming Hygroscopic Material Transformations." 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, September 2015, 2(3): 106–116. doi:10.1089/3dp.2015.0022.
  • Raviv Dan, Zhao Wei, McKnelly Carrie, Papadopoulou Athina, Kadambi Achuta, Shi Boxin, Hirsch Shai, Dikovsky Daniel, Zyracki Michael, Olguin Carlos, Raskar Ramesh, and Tibbits Skylar (2014), "Active Printed Materials for Complex Self-Evolving Deformations" Nature: Scientific Reports, 4, 7422 doi:10.1038/srep07422.

Courses Taught at New York Tech

  • Health and Design Studio (ARCH 701C)
  • Materials (ARCH 757)

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