November 1-3, 2022


EdMedia + Innovate Learning Online Speakers 2022

Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes
Akka Architects

Tuesday, November 1

Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes

Founding Director & Lead Architect, AKKA Architects, The Netherlands

Regenerative Innovation: How to Systematically Innovate Using Interactions

Abstract: “The misconception […] is the notion of ‘independent existence.’ There is no such mode of existence; every entity is to be understood in terms of the way it is interwoven with the rest of the universe.” Alfred Whitehead. 

The global challenges we are facing today may not all be new. They are however of a magnitude and complexity we have never faced before. They are what we call interdependent problems. Interdependent problems can’t be solved in isolation; Instead we need to solve them in constellation. The knowledge needed to deal with global but also local development problems cannot originate from a single entity or a single discipline. Instead we need to shift from an approach of fragmented solutions to one of sustained innovation. Hughes believes that what she calls ‘sustained innovation’ calls for coordinated trans-disciplinary and trans-continental interactions. She defines Sustained innovation as a systematic approach to a process of innovation, that can sustain itself across time, meaning a sustained innovation.  In her speech, Hughes will share the three principles and the four steps process we can all adopt now in order to shift from fragmented solutions to sustained innovation.

Bio: Born and raised in the tumultuous city of Beirut, Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes was awarded her professional degree in Architecture with high honours at the American University of Beirut. In 2007, she joined the world renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) where she spent 5 years practicing. During her time at OMA Stephanie built a deepened knowledge of the architecture profession leading major projects from design to completion; namely: the Qatar Foundation Headquarters, the Strategic Studies Center and the National Library of Qatar (

In 2012, driven by her vision to practice architecture differently than the mainstream custom, Stephanie founded AKKA Architects, an architecture studio based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands ( AKKA Architects are driven by a vision called Architecting Interaction. Based on Stephanie’s belief that interactions are the seeds of innovation, Architecting Interaction explores how spaces can foster interactions and nurture values. AKKA Architects’ clients include The Royal Institute of the Tropics, Triodos Bank, Hitachi Energy, DHL, The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure, and The European Commission, among others.

Beyond the world of architecture, Stephanie is often invited to speak and consult with a large number of varied audiences including social entrepreneurs, corporations, governmental, and educational bodies to share her vision of Architecting Interaction, and empower others to adapt it to their own specific situations. ( While it was developed for architecture, the vision and process of Architecting Interaction resonated with industries well beyond architecture because everyone can benefit from better interactions.

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