Teaching Overview

My teaching spans theoretical and studio-based courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels as part of the Digital Media and Computational Media degree programs at Georgia Tech.

My teaching has received multiple recognitions inclusive of the campus-wide 2017 GATECH CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award; and the Ivan Allen College (IAC) Teacher of the Year award by the vote of IAC students.


Graduate Courses

 
Experimental Media (or STS Studio)

How do critical perspectives within STS, design studies, and adjacent disciplines enable alternative formulations and engagements with science and technology? In this course students are introduced to values, theories, and methodologies of science and technology studies (STS) as starting points for thinking differently about making and making different things. Students create experimental concepts and prototypes that reflect and advance the above critical perspectives as related to smart cities, robotics, or artificial intelligence, or biomedicine. This course is a combination of studio-based activities, close readings of contemporary experimental designs, accompanied with discussions of readings that contextualizes such experiments in relation to STS and design discourses.

 
 
Critical Theory, Social Justice, and Philosophy of Design

This course engages with philosophical theories of social justice as related the design of technologies both digital and non-digital. Students will discover how these debates live on in the 21st century and their relationship to the social and political issues of the time. In Spring 2017, I integrated this theoretical course with a studio titled Sweet Auburn: Birthplace of Ideas enabling students to put the theories to work in practices and methods of interaction design. Through specific projects in collaboration with community partners on Auburn Avenue such as the APEX museum, students engaged with social justice and its relationship to design practice and criticism.

Winner of 2017 Ivan Allen College (IAC) Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) Research Award
 
 
Visual Culture & Design

Visual design is concerned with the invention of useful and beautiful products that mediate and facilitate communication. At its full potential, it has the ability to teach, to please, and to move. Communication is not a problem newly discovered in our time. However, the understanding of the problems of communication and methods of inquiry for arriving at appropriate media strategies have become increasingly important in the contemporary culture. The need for effective communication is evident once we consider the wide presence and impact of digital and non-digital products in our everyday experiences. Examples span a wide range: from road signs to memes, product advertisements to political campaigns.

 

Designing Conversational Media

Can media applications support conversations in a meaningful and organic way? If so what is the appropriate form for these media that is responsive both to the content of conversation and the character and concerns of individuals participating? Can we design “conversational media,” media applications that turn with the organic flow of a conversation? The course engages the above questions through theoretical readings, criticism and reflection on contemporary digital media artifacts, a series of short experimental design exercises, and a semester-long project in collaboration with an external client to design and prototype a suite of digital artifacts.


Project Studio
Participatory Strategies in Design: Principles and Practices

This project-oriented course is aimed at theoretical and practical exploration of ethnographic and collaborative strategies such as participatory design and co-design. Students develop on experience of crafting, planning, and communicating such strategies in close collaboration with Center for Mental Health Policy and Service Research at Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.




Mixed Reality Experience Design (with Dr. Jay Bolter)

The goal of the course is to learn to design and critique locative media experiences in general and explore the potentials of Mixed and Augmented Reality in particular. In addition to various design exercises, students will work in small groups on a major semester long project. The project will concerning a locative media strategy centering on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta.


Undergraduate Courses


Principles of Interaction Design

This course lays a foundation for critical and creative approach toward designing products that are useful, meaningful, and appropriate in the context of use for their intended audience (Advanced Undergraduate Studio | Computational Media | Georgia Tech).

 

Principles of Information Design

The objective of this course is to lay a foundation for design of criticism of informational artifacts such as maps, menus, or visualizations as well as the methods of devising effective communication strategies.

 

Principles of Visual Design

This course explores visual design as a means of representation, expression, and deliberation, building a foundation for design and criticism of visual and informational media (Introductory Undergraduate Studio | Computational Media | Georgia Tech).

 

Communication and Culture

A seminar course that draws on a range of theories on communication and culture to better understand, critique, and (re)design networking technologies and participatory media. (Undergraduate Seminar | Computational Media; Science, Technology, and Culture | Georgia Tech)


© Nassim JafariNaimi