Company History

SMALLab Learning 
was founded in 2010 with the mission of advancing embodied learning in schools and museums. Our flagship product is SMALLab, the Situated Multimedia Arts Learning Lab.  SMALLab was created by an interdisciplinary team of researchers and media experts at Arizona State University, led by Dr. David Birchfield. Numerous agencies supported the core research including the National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Intel Research, the Kauffman Foundation, and private donors. In 2010, ASU helped to create a new spin-off company, SMALLab Learning, LLC, founded by Drs. David Birchfield and Mina Johnson-Glenberg.

Why SMALLab?

SMALLab Learning research - Geology LayercakeCognitive scientists have discovered compelling evidence that nearly all of our experiences are in some way grounded in the body. This suggests that the embodied experiences can lead to more effective learning – learning that is kinesthetic, collaborative, and multimodal. SMALLab Learning is at the forefront of this exciting new field of embodied learning.

A number of studies, published in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, have demonstrated that SMALLab can have a positive impact on student learning when compared against traditional methods of classroom instruction. SMALLab has been demonstrated effective for these students and teachers, and it can work for your classroom too!

Who Created SMALLab?

SMALLab was developed over a period of several years by an interdisciplinary team of dedicated faculty and graduate students at Arizona State University’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering. SMALLab is a product of the collaborative vision of these designers, educators, researchers, artists, engineers, computer scientists, psychologists, musicians, and dancers.

Inventor and Co-Inventors:

David Birchfield (Lead), Mina Johnson-Glenberg, Colleen Megowan, Ellen Campana, Kelly Phillips, Loren Olson, Gang Qian, Christopher Martinez, Lisa Tolentino, Sarah Hatton


Wilhelmina Savenye, Aisling Kelliher, Harvey Thornburg, Assegid Kidane, Thomas Ciufo, Aaron Cuthbertson, Huan Jin, Gary Minyard, Philippos Savvides, Andreea Danielescu, Tatyana Koziupa, David Lorig