Accessibility statement

Dr Alessandro Altavilla
Lecturer in Digital Creativity



I am a Lecturer in Digital Creativity, where I teach the Computational Thinking and Developing Interactive Media modules. on the BSc programme. I also supervise final year students on their Interactive Media Individual Projects.

I have a background in arts and computational technology (PhD Goldsmiths University), digital media theory and practice (MRes Newcastle University) and electronic music composition and live electronics (BMus Conservatory of Music "N. Piccinni", Bari, Italy). I am also a freelance artist, sound designer, composer and electronic music performer.

In 2018 I completed an European Research Council (ERC) funded PhD in Arts and Computational Technologies at Goldsmiths’ Department of Computing. My PhD focused on listening experience and embodied sonic interactions mediated by digital technology. I contributed to the design of pedagogical techniques and methods, which I have deployed through a series of participatory sonic interaction design workshops with a variety of creative arts, technology and design students.

As part of my PhD research I co-authored a toolkit for rapid prototyping of interactive sound systems based on gestural-sound mappings, machine learning and digital sound synthesis and sample manipulation.

My artistic practice spans across digital and interactive media, investigating topics such as sense of place, memory and mediation of listening experience. My projects have involved creating mobile sound installations, radio artworks broadcasting text-to-speech data streams, exploring issues within the film archives of British colonial history, interactive music using e-textiles and responsive sonic environments.

I led creative and interactive media workshops at Ircam (Paris), Parsons New School for Design (New York), KHiB (Bergen) and Zurich University of the Arts. My work has received ACE funding and premiered at various festivals in the UK and abroad, including the Format Festival (Derby), the Marrakech Biennale of Art, Invisible Architectures (Newcastle), Royal College of Art London, Goldsmiths (University of London), Papey Listskjul (Orkney, Scotland) and Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Hawick, Scotland).



I am interested in the intersection and clashing of different media practices and aesthetics. My research focuses on mediation and transformation of listening experience through the design of interactive artefacts, particularly regarding themes of sense of place and space. During my PhD, I investigated how retroactive listening and sonic memories can be used to generate interaction scenarios using body movement, digital sound processing and motion sensors.


Selected publications

Conference proceedings

Caramiaux, B., Altavilla, A., Pobiner, S., and Tanaka, A. (2015). Form Follows Sound: Designing Interactions from Sonic Memories. In Proc. of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).
Altavilla, A., Caramiaux, B., and Tanaka, A. (2013). Towards Gestural Sonic Affordances. In Proc. of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) (pp. 61–64).
Tanaka, A., Altavilla, A., and Spowage, N. (2012). Gestural Musical Affordances. In Proc. of Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC) (pp. 318–325).
Altavilla, A., and Tanaka, A. (2012). The Quiet Walk: Sonic Memories and Mobile Cartography. In Proc. of Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC) (pp. 157–162).

PhD thesis

Altavilla, A. (2018) Designing from listening: embodied experience and sonic interactions. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Contact details

Dr Alessandro Altavilla
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York
YO10 5GB

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 5220