Hey, I’m Chris.

I care about using human-centred design and behavioural science to make people’s lives better.

Currently: Final Year Student at Minerva Schools at KGI majoring in Brand Management and Cognition, Brain and Behaviour
Previously: Research Assistant in the Gilbert Lab at Harvard University
Based: London, UK (soon to be Taipei, Taiwan) 

If you want to see the boring, professional version of me, my CV is a good place to start.

To say hello email me at: chrishagan@minerva.kgi.edu

If you want to learn a little more, keep reading.

I was born and raised in New Zealand and found my way across the oceans to attend university at Minerva Schools at KGI. This decision has meant I’ve lived in eight different countries in the last four years. I’m in my final year there, majoring in Brand Management and Cognition, Brain, and Behaviour.

I care about understanding how people think, in order to design things that make their lives more fulfilling.

The more we understand each other, the greater our ability to build products, services, communities, and spaces that serve us.

Sometimes I approach this from an academic perspective, doing research in Harvard’s Social Psychology Lab, learning about the fallacies we make every day in conversation, the unsuspected bias we have against non-profits, and how changing the order of asks can increase the amount people donate to charities. 

For T-KIDS, an education disruptor in Japan, I sat in the back of countless classrooms to learn what kept kids engaged and used that as a foundation for a redesigned business model.

At Edpuzzle, another education disruptor based in San Francisco, I emailed hundreds upon hundreds of our customers to better understand which parts of our product they found most value in. 

When founding New Zealand’s first sustainable entrepreneurship competition, NZEEC, I brought in local council environmental policy makers as advisors to make sure our teams were solving the right problems.

A big part of my desire to understand people better is manifested in exploration.

In each place I visit I seek to understand in some small way how people live and what they care about. My investigation into the atrocities that took place in Gwangju, South Korea in 1958, led me to pour countless hours into a podcast. Sometimes I write for Atlas Obscura about the unique places I find, like this surf beach at the 38th parallel in South Korea, or this hidden art district in Hyderabad. I love diving deep into new places and cultures so much that I started The Weekly Fives, a publication of places I’ve found that gets delivered to my entire university each week.

I’m a big believer in being multi-disciplinary, so that I can tackle problems without being constrained by the medium.

Writing is one medium that has always been near and dear to my heart. When I got frustrated with how difficult it is to stop scrolling through Instagram, I researched it for a month and wrote this article. A personal dissatisfaction with the quality of the time I was spending led me to writing this piece. My fascination with Japanese design and craftsmanship fueled this article.

Some stories aren’t best told through words.

Hitchiking with my brother through Thailand in between semesters felt better when told through film. As did my first visit to New York for a design conference, and my climb of Mt Fuji during my summer internship. This story, a collaboration with San Francisco Public Health to promote their new Food Pharmacy program was definitely best as a film.

Still images sometimes fit the bill too, like this photography work for Mas Palou, or this collection of images from the my week hiking through Patagonia with my Dad, or this series from the hills of Munnar in South India.

As I learn more about the world, I‘m driven to expand my capability to express myself, solve problems, and make ideas concrete.

The last year and a half has seen me dive headfirst into visual design, starting with a 30 day logo challenge to get my feet wet, moving onto a website design project for a vineyard in Spain, and most recently seeing me do branding work for two US-based non-profits, If Then, and Coding and Coffee. Oh yeah, I also made this and this.

If you can’t tell already, I like telling stories, so I decided to make my website one.

Made with love by Chris Hagan, 2019 ©