Dr. Alaa Algargoosh

Research Area
MIT Media Lab, Affective Computing Group
Fellowship date
August 15, 2022
University of Michigan
Rosalind Picard


Alaa Algargoosh is fascinated by the relationship between design and sound. Her previous work includes patented sound diffusers inspired by the cymatics phenomenon, and her current work is focused on advancing technologies that allow for analyzing the impact of acoustic environments on human experience, emotions, and well-being.

Algargoosh received her Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Michigan in addition to many prestigious awards, including the Innovators Under 35 Award by MIT Technology Review, MIT Research Slam, Dow Sustainability Fellowship, Barbour Scholarship, ArtsEngine Grant, Humanities Institute Fellowship, the Mellon Foundation Grant, and the ARCC King Medal for Excellence in Architectural and Environmental Research. Her projects were featured at International Innovation Exhibitions, including a sustainable sound-absorbing biomaterial—highlighted as one of the most promising inventions in the ArtScience workshop in Paris, and she has been invited to more than 20 guest lectures at Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University, and other international institutions.

Furthermore, Algargoosh is a founding member of the Architectural Acoustics Society in Saudi Arabia. She has been named an advisor on the WELL Sound Concept Advisory, working with experts and leaders worldwide to identify strategies to help shape the future of buildings that enhance health and well-being. Algargoosh joined the MIT Media Lab as a research fellow at Opera of the Future Group in 2022 and is currently working with the Affective Computing Group.

MIT Fellowship Research Abstract:

Her work during the fellowship consisted of two main projects:

Sonic Sculpting: Generative artificial intelligence design is an emerging field with great potential yet to be explored. Previous research on machine learning in design and acoustics includes predicting acoustic properties, such as the impulse response (sound signature) from visual features that include an image of a room. However, one application that can significantly transform the acoustic environment design process is reconstructing the room geometry based on its acoustic properties. This project explores applying machine learning in predicting space geometry from an impulse response and aims to provide a tool for designers to design a space based on the desired acoustic experience.

Sound(e)scape: This research aims to push the boundaries of technology to create immersive physical and virtual acoustic experiences by exploring unique acoustic conditions. This novel research area is inspired by the Attention Restoration Theory in environmental psychology that aims at enhancing human well-being through 'soft fascination.' Based on this theory, a stimulus that utilizes aesthetics can lead to restoration. Consequently, my research will involve designing acoustic experiences utilizing aesthetics to evoke awe and wonder as a restorative strategy. The impact of this work will extend beyond enhancing the public's well-being to providing a coping mechanism for neurodivergent individuals through acoustic experiences that allow them to thrive.

In addition, she has been collaborating with other researchers on the following projects:

  1. TeleAbsence: Interacting with a remote space in remote time (her contributions were related to acoustics).
  2. reMirrorFugue: Interacting with a virtual pianist. 
  3. Auditory Accessibility: Developing acoustics guidelines to accommodate the needs of neurodivergent individuals.
  4. Dynamic Sound Absorber: Developing a new metamaterial for acoustic solutions.


MIT Research Slam Competition, won two prizes at the competition

Elected as a full member by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

Please go to https://www.alaa-algargoosh.com/awards for a more comprehensive list of awards.

Guest/Invited Lectures, Talks, and Media Coverage

  • Mar. 2024 Responsible Acoustics Course: 4.431 – Architectural Acoustics, MIT Architecture
  • Mar. 2024 Responsible Acoustics School of Architecture, Virginia Tech
  • Nov. 2023 Aural Architecture School of Architecture, University of Maryland
  • May. 2023 Aural Architecture and Well-being Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University
  • Dec. 2022 The Impact of Acoustic Environments on Human Experience City Science Lab, MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Oct. 2022 Acoustic Environments and Human Experience​ Course:ARCH 3231/6531: Environmental Systems I, School of Architecture, The Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Oct. 2022 The Music of Space Invited talk by ArchiNet (a networking platform for architects)
  • Oct. 2022 Aural Architecture as Affect: Understanding the Impact of Acoustic Environments on Human Experience Course: (PAT 521) Advanced Psychoacoustics. Performing Arts & Technology department, University of Michigan
  • 05/22/2024 LiveSound: The Journal for Live Event Technology Professionals Special feature article about her research.
  • 02/16/2024 Hadith Tech Podcast Interviewed to talk about her research in architectural acoustics

Professional Development Activities at MIT:

  • Research Mentoring Certificate
  • Kaufman Teaching Certificate
  • Peer-reviewed manuscripts  for The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Computer Music Journal, Music Perception Journal, and The ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).
  • Selected as a Member of the MIT Intellectual Property Committee.
  • Participated as an external examiner for the PhD Dissertation of Andrea Giglio, Architecture, Politecnico di Milano.
  • Presented a sound piece that engages the public through utilizing resonance in meditation to enhance well-being as part of an event titled "Meditation, Art, and Neuroscience in Conversation" at the MIT Museum.
  • Organized a workshop named "Resonated with Me" as part of the Learning Festival at the MIT Media Lab.


  • Caldas, Fernanda; Underwood, Samuel; Algargoosh, Alaa; Davies, Bill; Wilson, Wayne; Masiero, Bruno; Rosas-Pérez, Carmen; Caniato, Marco; Bettarello, Federica; Tufvesson, Catrin; Manley, David; Sivakumar, AJ; Wang, Lily (2024) “Ten questions concerning autism and auditory accessibility in buildings” Building and Environment (Under Review).
  • Ishii, H., Pillis, D., Pataranutaporn, P., Xiao, X., Li, L., Algargoosh, A., Labrune, J. (2024). ”TeleAbsence: A vision of afterlife telepresence” (Under Review).
  • Algargoosh, Alaa; Astrom, Hector; Alrasheed, Hend (2024). "Psychoacoustic and affective response analysis of soundscapes" InterNoise 2024 Conference, Nantes France (Invited paper). 
  • Algargoosh, Alaa., (2024). " The link between the acoustic characteristics of worship spaces case studies to their emotional impact" The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 155 (5).
  • Algargoosh, A., Allam, A. (2023). "Parametric analysis of the impact of geometry on room modes at low frequencies using wave-based simulation," 184th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Chicago, USA. 
  • Algargoosh, A., Singh, N. (2023). "Using machine learning to reconstruct room geometry from an impulse response," 184th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Chicago, USA. 
  • Algargoosh, A. (2022). "Enhancing well-being through acoustic environments," 23rd  International Congress on Acoustics ICA2022, Acoustical Society of America, Gyeongju, Korea. (Invited Presentation).

Professional Affiliations:

Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU)

Online CV:

Fellowship Sponsored By: