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Innovating learning through art and design

MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Award. M.D. Stanford University School of Medicine (July 2017). Doctor of Musical Arts Stony Brook University. Performance Diploma Johns Hopkins University.  I design, build things, make music, and climb on a regular basis.


I believe optimized learning is the ultimate preventative medicine. If learning is adapting to cognitive dissonance – a stressor - then doing so joyfully, with a sense of opportunity in challenge, is a life affirming practice and a root solution for health and wellness. I have collaborated on education products and systems for medical students, for musicians, for skaters, tennis players and climbers and as a daily practice, for myself.  I believe in the power of self-perpetuating loops of mindfulness, deliberate practice and high quality training set in learning environments optimized for personal and social growth, wonder and awe.


I also think that when a space is at the mysterious edge of knowledge, filled with the unknown, design thinking is a fantastic method to shine light and achieve big results. With its emphasis on empathy, its quick ability to unearth unspoken problems and iterate to useful human solutions, design is an enormously powerful tool for discovery, exploration and innovation. The scientific method with its methodical approach can then be used to fill in the gaps...


Selected writings and presentations

2017 Still Point Tour

2017 AME Infographic

2016 Montessori for Medical Education

2016 Design for a New Medical Education

2105 Flipped Classroom Design Seminar

2014 AAMC WGEA Presenter: Medical Education in the Time of Watson

2014 AAMC WGEA Presenter: Education Innovation in the Time of Watson


Selected accolades

2017 Shenson - Medicine and the Muse Grant

2016 Medical Scholars Grant to study and promote art-enabled mindfulness and practitioner wellness

2013- Graduate School of Business Venture Studio Membership

2013 Medical Scholars Grant to study Medical Education

2008 Winner MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Award

2008 Winner NYFA Grant for Gantry Park: A geometry of presence



Benjamin Robison is a designer, musician and producer. He has spent the last four years making things that inspire creative action and studying how adults learn. His passion is creating materials and environments that inspire playful engagement, deliberate practice and exploration. Prior to medical school, Ben founded and was the artistic director of the multimedia-for-stage ensemble Ardesco and was the co-founder of the Musicians' Alliance for Peace, a global organization that has produced over three hundred and fifty concerts in 26 countries. As a musician, Ben is currently exploring long-form digital-acoustic improvisation. Previously he wrote, collaborated on, and performed a diverse body of work from Bach to Bartok and from concertos for tape and solo violin to fugues for violin and dancer. He began studying the violin at age three and has performed as soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician in France, Italy, Greece, Canada and the United States. His first major prize was the grand prize at the Canadian National Music Festival. Since that time, he has won numerous competitions and collaborated with musicians such as Anton Kuerti, Laurence Lesser, Ani Kavafian, Luciano Pavarotti and David Finckel. Ben holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and Stony Brook University and is currently completing medical school at Stanford University while designing new games and environments for medical education.