Teaching

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.


Upcoming: Fall 2022

Principles of Information Design

This course lays 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. Students learn the basic theoretical foundations of information design inclusive but not limited to the understanding the plural philosophical interpretations of the concept of information. Complementing theory, students work on a series of design projects that helps them learn how to manage and strategize information design projects through through various stages of ideation, form-giving (selection, organization and form-giving), and evaluation to create informational artifacts with an awareness of history, audience, and context.

Image Credit: Katerine Bennett

Courses Taught

Digital Media Studies 
(Philosophy of Knowledge, Research Methods)

Graduate Level (PhD only), Every Spring Semester since 2019

This PhD level required course lays a foundation for better understanding of digital media studies by tracing their grounding in philosophy of knowledge.


Project Studio: Social Justice and Design

Graduate Level, Last Taught: Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

What are the grounds for rethinking dominant trajectories of emerging technologies such as smart cities, image recognition apps, or algorithmic decision-making? Technology-centered and industry- driven, discourses around such technologies are techno-utopic, upholding ideals such as speed, efficiency, and control. But are we stuck with these values or are there alternative possibilities? If so, what might they look like? This course is centered on theoretical readings in philosophy, ethnography, STS, and design studies to critically engage the historical, social, and cultural grounding of emerging technologies while drawing on design-based practices and methods of inquiry to question their dominant logic and imagine alternate possibilities.


Project Studio: STS Studio

Graduate Level, Last taught: Spring 2021

How do critical perspectives within STS, design studies, and adjacent disciplines enable alternative formulations and engagements with science and technology? In this course we take values, theories, and methodologies of science and technology studies (STS) as starting points for thinking differently about making and making different things. Toward this aim, we will devote the first part of the course to familiarizing with STS and design studies as well as design thinking and design practice. Students will draw on this introduction to create experimental concepts and prototypes that reflect and advance the above critical perspectives as related to contemporary science and technology issues such as smart cities, robotics, or artificial intelligence, or biomedicine.


Discovery and Invention

Graduate Level, Last taught: Fall 2018

It is generally accepted that process and evaluation are important aspect of design. But what exactly is the process of design and how can we explain the plurality of approaches, justifications, and claims to accountability? Can this plurality be the grounds for creativity and innovation and a more nuanced understanding and criticism? The purpose of this course is to lay a foundation for better understanding of design and research methods.

Image Credit:

Visual Culture & Design

Graduate Level, Last taught: Fall 2017

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.


Project Studio: “Sweet Auburn, Birthplace of Ideas” +  
Critical Theory, Social Justice, and Philosophy of Design 
(6 Credits)

Mixed Levels, Last taught: Spring 2017

In the spring of 2016, I paired the STS advanced seminar course titled Critical Theory, Social Justice, and Philosophy of Design with a project studio titled, Sweet Auburn: Birthplace of Ideas as part of Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center initiative (DILAC).

The course was a great success especially in its integration of social justice theories and participatory design practices together with creation an interdisciplinary collaborative environment with students across various levels and colleges at Georgia Tech. The course and several projects that grew out of it have recieved awards. The philosophy and outcomes of the course were published in the book titled Bauhaus Futures (2019).


Project Studio: Designing Conversational Media

Graduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2016

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

Graduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2016

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 (with Dr. Jay Bolter)

Undergraduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2015

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.


Principles of Interaction Design

Undergraduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2014

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).


Principles of Visual Design

Undergraduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2017

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).


Communication and Culture

Undergraduate Course, Last taught: Fall 2017

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).


https://nassim.lmc.gatech.edu/course-schedule-syllabi/dm_studies2022/