Renée Stevens


Renée Stevens is an interactive and immersive designer, educator, author, and speaker. Her creative work focuses on innovative ways that design can help overcome learning disabilities and create more accessible and inclusive learning environments. She is the founder of the XR tech startup tagAR. For more than a decade she has run her own design studio consulting and designing on XR projects and working as a motion designer for Forbes.

You can find her teaching at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she is the incoming Chair of the Visual Communications Department, overseeing the undergraduate and graduate design and photography programs.

She has been invited around the world to speak about her research and design work in XR, including TEDx (‘Never Forget a Name Again’), SXSW, Sundance, VR/AR Association, and AIGA. She is the author of the books Powered by Design: An Introduction to Problem Solving with Graphic Design and Designing Immersive 3D Experiences: A Designer’s Guide to Creating 3D Experiences for Extended Reality.


Looking forward, are you optimistic about the role of graphic design in business and society?

I am more optimistic about the role of graphic design influencing so many aspects of our daily life than ever before. From a growing number of design-first companies setting the bar high for the rest of the industry to the power of designing for social good to the potential of emerging technologies in XR, the future is bright.


Have the challenges of the past two years changed the way you approach your work?

As a working mother, an educator, a freelance designer, and author of two books, I have learned more about the importance of work-life balance and multi-tasking in the past two years than ever before. There was a moment during mandatory stay home orders when I was teaching an online class, while simultaneously homeschooling my daughter on the floor next to me just out of camera sight in a blanket fort. These crazy multi-tasking challenges have pushed me to be flexible with when, where, and how I work. I learned how to teach online and hybrid courses in a day’s notice. I learned to problem solve and be more empathetic to others. I also learned that it is more important than ever to take time to disconnect and focus on what matters most in life.