My research activities (ORCID: encompass the multi-layered and multi-faceted social, technical, and aesthetic aspects of participatory media culture, along with its diverse modes and concepts of presentation and representation. Current research looks into the practices of mediation and education at memorial places. It investigates the potential of digital media as a means of multimodal communication to meet the expectations and needs of different target groups in this specific environment.

Research Areas: Participatory Media Practices, Interactive, and Mixed Media, Visual Culture, Media Design

My new monograph is out:
A Novel Approach at the Mauthausen Memorial Visitor Center

Publisher: transcript/Columbia University Press
ISBN: 978-3-8376-6733-2

In times of resurgence of ultra-nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies across Europe, education and awareness-raising for all age groups about the history of the Holocaust are paramount for agency and civil engagement. Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss examines commemorative culture and its transformation towards interactive and participatory experiences through a novel form of visitor engagement at the Mauthausen memorial visiting center. This unique space from an arts-based and media research project builds on human-centered design and individual and collective experiences of contributing to a living memory culture.

This book points to the current need for a participatory approach in a site devoted to commemoration, documentation, and education and the vital role of dialogue, discussion, and discourse.
Liat Steir-Livny, Sapir Academic College and The Open University, Israel, author of “Remaking Holocaust Memory: Documentary Cinema by Third Generation Survivors in Israel”

Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss makes a distinctive contribution to contemporary design practice for memorials and museums, deftly drawing together a range of recent insights from user experience design, environmental psychology, cognitive science, and theories of emotion. The book will be of interest to designers, curators, and scholars seeking to explore new ways of connecting the past with the present, personal with collective memory, and digital archives with embodied spatial experiences.
Quentin Stevens, RMIT University Melbourne, co-author of “Memorials as Spaces of Engagement"