Trio of Design Innovators Join the School Faculty Team

Join us in welcoming these three distinguished scholars to the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design and to our design community as we continue to grow and push the boundaries of design education. All three newly appointed tenure-track faculty will join the School in August 2023. The arrival of Dr. Leandro Tonetto, Dr. Abigale Stangl, and Dr. Yixiao Wang will tremendously enrich design education at Georgia Tech.

Dr. Tonetto's background and dedication to strategic, systemic, and participatory design will infuse our curriculum with a more profound understanding of user behavior and needs, a critical aspect of effective and successful design. Dr. Stangl's expertise in inclusive design practices, with a special focus on disability-first innovation, will empower our students with the necessary knowledge and tools to design for accessibility and inclusivity, strengthening their proficiency in human-computer interaction and AI applications. Dr. Wang's visionary work on making our living and working spaces more socially intelligent will provide our students with new perspectives on interaction design, encouraging them to conceive built environments as lively, expressive entities.

Together, these distinguished scholars will push the boundaries of design education, fostering innovation, inclusivity, and a deeper understanding of design's role in improving the human condition.

Headshot of Dr. Tonetto.

Dr. Leandro Tonetto

Associate Professor

Dr. Leandro Tonetto is a design researcher with a background in cognitive psychology and business. Tonetto has 20 years of experience in human-centered design, specializing in design for emotion, well-being, and health. Additionally, he has applied design research to over 85 consultancy projects in areas such as user and consumer experience, branding, and digital technologies. While developing industry projects, he has worked to promote the well-being of vulnerable populations in Latin America and in academic administration. His work prioritizes strategic, systemic, and participatory design approaches to unveil and improve human experience.

Headshot of Dr. Stangl

Dr. Abigale Stangl

Assistant Professor

Dr. Abigale Stangl is a design researcher specializing in the development of systems that promote inclusive design practices and enhance the accessibility of products and information. With expertise in human-centered design, human-computer interaction, accessibility, and sensory AI, her interdisciplinary research encompasses universal design principles and prioritizes disability-first innovation. Abigale's current research goals focus on expanding tactile media availability through in-depth investigations of tactile design practices, interaction techniques, and the optimization of multimodal and multisensory systems. She actively collaborates with individuals with disabilities, ensuring their perspectives and needs drive innovation. Abigale also cultivates students' abilities as allies and co-designers, fostering an inclusive design community that embraces diverse perspectives.

Headshot of Dr. Wang.

Dr. Yixiao Wang

Assistant Professor

Dr. Yixiao Wang is an interaction design researcher who is especially interested in making the built environments socially intelligent and interactive. In his vision, our homes, offices, classrooms, public spaces, etc. could become socially intelligent “Space Agents” as if our friends, partners, companions, caregivers, etc. Thus, Yixiao has developed his expertise in human-centered design, engineering, and evaluation of smart machines (in various scales, both spatial and non-spatial), and in exploring how the socially expressive smart machines that seem to have emotions, personalities, and even a set of social roles, could improve and empower our everyday lives.

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