Journal Articles

[1]

Our Bodies in the Path of the Trolley; Or, why Self-driving Cars Must *not* Be Programmed to Kill.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Journal of Science, Technology, and Human Values. (Online First) [abstract]

The discourse around self-driving cars has been dominated by an emphasis on their potential to reduce the number of accidents. At the same time, proponents acknowledge that self-driving cars would inevitably be involved in fatal accidents where moral algorithms would decide the fate of those involved. This is a necessary trade-off, proponents suggest, in order to reap the benefits of this new technology. In this article, I engage this argument, demonstrating how an undue optimism and enthusiasm about this technology is obscuring our ability to see what is at stake and explaining how moving beyond the dominant utilitarian framings around this technology opens up a space for both ethical inquiry and innovative design. I suggest that a genuine caring concern for the many lives lost in car accidents now and in the future—a concern that transcends false binary trade-offs and that recognizes the systemic biases and power structures that make certain groups more vulnerable than others—could serve as a starting point to rethink mobility, as it connects to the design of our cities, the well-being of our communities, and the future of our planet.
[2]

Particle in a Box: An Experiential Environment for Learning Introductory Quantum Mechanics.
Aditya Anupam, Ridhima Gupta, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi | IEEE Transactions of Education. (In Process) [abstract]

Quantum mechanics (QM) is a foundational subject in many science and engineering fields. It is difficult to teach, however, as it requires a fundamental revision of the assumptions and laws of classical physics and probability. Furthermore, introductory QM courses and texts predominantly focus on the mathematical formulations of the subject and lay less emphasis on its conceptual understanding. Consequently, students struggle to build robust mental models of the concepts. This paper posits that games can provide an effective platform for an experiential and conceptual understanding of introductory QM. Games are particularly suitable for demonstrating QM characteristics because their repetitive nature is conducive to demonstrating probability concepts that form a core part of QM. Games can also immerse students in an engaging environment that motivates them to learn. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a digital game for learning introductory QM concepts. The evaluation of the game indicates an improvement in students’ conceptual understanding of probability. Students also reported an increase in comfort level with key concepts taught in the game.
[3]

MRx as a Participatory Platform.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Digital Creativity 26, no. 3-4 (2015): 207-220. [abstract]

Facilitating and supporting various modes of social interaction has been part of Mixed Reality (MRx)1 design experiments and discourse over the past twenty years. But what vision of social interaction is sought and advanced through Mixed Reality environments? In this paper, I identify two dominant ways that social interaction is envisioned in MRx designs, broadly construed as material and political, and illustrated through a series of examples. I further draw on them to highlight the potentials, boundaries, and limitations of each with regards to the kinds of social interactions that are sought and cultivated through the integration of digital media on physical space. I suggest that as MR becomes mainstream, it is important to go beyond these visions to consider whether and how MRx environments might connect with the economic, social, and cultural specificity of local sites to meaningfully serve the always evolving social needs and purposes of their communities.” [Download]
[4]

MRx: An Interdisciplinary Framework for Mixed Reality Experience Design and Criticism.
Rebecca Rouse, Maria Engberg, Nassim JafariNaimi, Jay Bolter | Digital Creativity 26, no. 3-4 (2015): 175-181. [abstract]

We explore design strategies for mixed reality (MR) in relation to Milgram's definition, which has been central to its development in the past 20 years. We argue for the need to rethink the technical focus of this definition in order to capture the experiential dimensions of MR and offer a humanistic framework for a growing class of experiences that we label MRx. We list three characteristics of MRx applications (esthetic, performative and social) and provide a context for the three subsequent articles in this special issue. [Download]
[5]

MRx Design and Criticism: The Confluence of Media Studies, Performance, and Social Interaction.
Rebecca Rouse, Maria Engberg, Nassim JafariNaimi, Jay Bolter | Digital Creativity 26, no. 3-4 (2015): 221-227. [abstract]

In this article, we bring together the lenses of media studies, performance studies and social interaction offered in the other essays in this special issue and discuss their collective contribution towards a more nuanced understanding of MRx. We illustrate this capacity by a brief critical review of a recent MRx environment: Mégaphone. We suggest how the lenses can also contribute to a design vocabulary for future MRx experiences. [Download]
[6]

Values as Hypotheses: The Service of Values and Design.
Nassim JafariNaimi, Lisa Nathan, and Ian Hargraves | Design Issues, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp. 90 - 103. [abstract]

Editors’ Note: "For all designers, no matter what methods or processes they use, values are essential. Nassim JafariNaimi, Lisa Nathan, and Ian Hargraves take on this crucial topic in their article “Values as Hypotheses: Design, Inquiry, and the Service of Values.” They refute the separation of values and action, arguing instead that values are to be discovered and affirmed within action. Following philosopher John Dewey’s ideas, the authors posit that values are hypothetical until they are confirmed through activity. They refute the belief that moral values are either unchangeable truths or “local expressions of individual and group preferences,” favoring instead a philoso- phy of plurality that lets values emerge from pragmatic encounters with situations. Their approach is an extremely helpful response to the sticky question of whether values that are pre-ordained and fixed can be integrated into design practice.” [Download]
[7]

Questioning the Center in Human-Centered Design: From Opportunity to Significance in Human Life and Living.
Ian Hargraves and Nassim JafariNaimi | Zoontechnica: The Journal of Redirective Design, Volume 1, Issue 2 (2012). [Read]


Refereed Conference Papers with Proceedings

[1]

Parental controls: reimagining technologies for parent-child interaction.
Marije Nouwen, Nassim JafariNaimi, and Bieke Zaman | in the 15th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW ‘17) Exploratory Papers, (Sheffield, UK) [abstract]

This article questions existing approachesin designing parental controls and puts forward a hypothesisto reimagine technologies tomediate parent-child interactions. First, we present an overview of the current parental controls. Second, we explain the gradual shift away from the idea of ‘harmful’ digital media in parental mediation studies and introduce previous work in CSCW and HCI that has proposed solutions to support discussionsabout digital media between parents and children. Then, we hypothesize that an emphasis on collaboration and mutual learning might help researchers and designers to rethink and reimagine technologies that support parent-child interactions with and through digital media. Finally, we share our findings of two co-creation workshops with children and parents on ways to instill parental involvement in children’s digital media use. The workshop yielded insights on the differing views between parents and children about how technologies might instill long-term negotiations based on parents’ and children’s experiences,enriched by real-use data.
[2]

Fostering Organizational Change through Co-Designing Collaborative Media.
Michelle Partogi and Nassim JafariNaimi | in the International Conference for Group Work (GROUP ‘16), (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA: ACM 2016). [abstract]

It is widely accepted within the fields of Design and Human-Computer Interaction that designing products in collaboration with end users can lead to more useful, usable, and desirable products. Less explored is the co-design process's potential to change organizational culture through introduction and illustration of its central principles at work: such as prioritizing participants needs and experiences; mutual learning; and sustainability into organizations' practices and processes. This poster presents a case study on how the process of co-designing a collaborative digital application introduced change within the processes and practices of an autism support service organization in the US towards a human-centered approach.
[3]

A Novel Interactive Paradigm for Teaching Quantum Mechanics.
Rose Peng, Mithila Tople, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, Nassim JafariNaimi | in the 11th annual Games+Learning+Society Conference (GLS11), (Wisconsin-Madison, USA). [abstract]

Quantum Mechanics (QM) is the foundation for science and engineering disciplines as diverse as physics, materials science, chemistry, and nanotechnology. However, educators face major challenges in teaching QM concepts to students given the abstract and non-experiential nature of QM. To address the above challenges we are creating a virtual environment governed by the laws of quantum mechanics as a way to engage alternative ways of teaching and learning QM. In our current prototype, the students begin in a classical world that is governed by laws found in our everyday experiences. Here, they encounter potential and kinetic energies, the conservation of energy, the predictability of position, and the continuous nature of energies allowed. They later move into a nanoscale environment in which energies are quantized, electrons can tunnel through potential barriers, and only probabilities are known. The juxtaposition of these two worlds enables students to compare classical and quantum mechanics.
[4]

Collective Intelligence or Group Think? Engaging Participation Patterns in World without Oil.
Nassim Jafarinaimi and Eric Meyers | in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work Conference (CSCW ‘15), (Vancouver, Candada: ACM 2015). [abstract] [download]

This article presents an analysis of participation patterns in an Alternate Reality Game, World Without Oil. This game aims to bring people together in an online environment to reflect on how an oil crisis might affect their lives and communities as a way to both counter such a crisis and to build collective intelligence about responding to it. We present a series of participation profiles based on a quantitative analysis of 1554 contributions to the game narrative made by 322 players. We further qualitatively analyze a sample of these contributions. We outline the dominant themes, the majority of which engage the global oil crisis for its effects on commute options and present micro-sustainability solutions in response. We further draw on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of this space to discuss how the design of the game, specifically its framing of the problem, feedback mechanism, and absence of subject-matter expertise, counter its aim of generating collective intelligence, making it conducive to groupthink.
[5]

Crafting Meaningful Participation: Analyzing Contribution Patterns in an Alternate Reality Game.
Nassim Jafarinaimi, Eric Meyers, Allison Trumble | in the International Conference for Group Work (GROUP ‘14), (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA: ACM 2014). [abstract] [download]

This article presents an analysis of participation patterns of an Alternate Reality game World Without Oil. This game aims to bring people together in an online environment to reflect and share insights about oil dependence. We present a series of participation profiles based on a quantitative analysis of 1554 contributions to the game narrative made by 322 players. We build on these profiles to suggest a preliminary outline of design challenges for building effective interactive learning environments that foster meaningful participation.
[6]

Interactive Visualizations for Teaching Quantum Mechanics and Semiconductor Physics.
Rose Peng, Bill Dorn, Azad Naeemi, and Nassim JafariNaimi | in the 2014 Frontiers in Education (FIE), (Madrid, Spain: IEEE 2014). [abstract]

The theory of Quantum Mechanics (QM) provides a foundation for many fields of science and engineering; however, its abstract nature and technical difficulty make QM a challenging subject for students to approach and grasp. This is partly because complex mathematical concepts involved in QM are difficult to visualize for students and the existing visualization are minimal and limited. We propose that many of these concepts can be communicated and experienced through interactive visualizations and games, drawing on the strengths and affordances of digital media. A game environment can make QM concepts more accessible and understandable by immersing students in nano-sized worlds governed by unique QM rules. Furthermore, replayability of games allows students to experience the probabilistic nature of QM concepts. In this paper, we present a game and a series of interactive visualizations that we are developing to provide students with an experiential environment to learn quantum mechanics. We will discuss how these visualizations and games can enable students to experiment with QM concepts, compare QM with classical physics, and get accustomed to the often counterintuitive laws of QM.
[7]

Exploring the Character of Participation in Social Media: The Case of Google Image Labeler.
Nassim JafariNaimi | in Proceedings of the 2012 iConference, (Toronto, Canada: ACM 2012), 72 –79. [abstract] [download]

Social media are transforming interpersonal and social interactions, enabling new forms of engagement and participation. However, we know little about how the specific design qualities of social media affect social interaction in these environments. Considering the diversity of social media today, there is a need to engage with specific cases to discern possible patterns of relationship between designed characteristics of social media and the character of participation in them. To illustrate, this paper draws on a case study of the game, "Google Image Labeler." The design of the game is studied through a close reading of arguments made by its designers followed by an Internet study of what users and critics say about their interactions with the game. These studies, in conjunction with theories of social interaction by John Dewey and Robert Putnam, provide a foundation for a critical stance toward the quality of participation in this game that informs design theory and practice.
[8]

Breakaway: An Ambient Display Designed to Change Human Behavior.
Nassim JafariNaimi, Jodi Forlizzi, Amy Hurst, and John Zimmerman | in Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’05), (Portland, OR, USA: ACM, 2005), 1945 – 48. [abstract] [download]

This article presents Breakaway, an ambient display that encourages people, whose job requires them to sit for long periods of time, to take breaks more frequently. Breakaway uses the information from sensors placed on an office chair to communicate in a non-obtrusive manner how long the user has been sitting. Breakaway is a small sculpture placed on the desk. Its design is inspired by animation arts and theater, which rely heavily on body language to express emotions. Its shape and movement reflect the form of the human body; an upright position reflecting the body's refreshed pose, and a slouching position reflecting the body's pose after sitting for a long time. An initial evaluation shows a correlation between the movement of the sculpture and when participants took breaks, suggesting that ambient displays that make use of aesthetic and lifelike form might be promising for making positive changes in human behavior.

Refereed Conference Presentations

[1]

Heart Time: Reflections on Physiology and Embodiment.
Nassim JafariNaimi and Anne Pollock | 2017 Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA), November 2017 (Tempe, Arizona).

[2]

Smart yet (in)Sensible? Feminist Critical Perspectives on “Smart Cities.”
Nassim JafariNaimi, Kathi Kittner, Beth Coleman | (Open Panel, 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), August 2017).

[3]

Communicating Evidence toward Policy Change: An Intervention Approach to Address the Science to Service Gap.
Kim Isett and Nassim JafariNaimi | International Research Society for Public Management Conference (Birmingham, England, 2015)

[4]

Seeing through time – The Sweet Auburn Digital Media Initiative.
Dean Baker, Jennifer Ball, Jeanne Cyriaque, Jay Bolter, Nassim JafariNaimi, and Colin Freeman | National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference (Savannah, GA 2014).

[5]

Experience and Conversation in Making (Critical Making: Material Practices, Design, and STS I: Experiences and Experiments).
Nassim JafariNaimi | Paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), 2013. San Diego, USA. October 2013.

[6]

World Without Oil and the Challenge of Cultivating Educational Experiences.
Nassim JafariNaimi and Eric Meyres | Paper presented at the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA 2013). Atlanta, Georgia. August 2013.

[7]

Entertained but Misinformed? Play and Prevarication in Alternate Reality Games..
Nassim JafariNaimi, Eric Meyres, and Lisa Nathan | Paper presented at the 41st Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of Information Science: Tales from the Edge: Narrative Voices in Information Research and Practice (CAIS-ACSI 2013). Victoria, British Columbia. June 2013).

[8]

Writing, Performance, Design: Frameworks for Understanding & Creating New Narratives in Augmented Reality.
Rebecca Rouse, Nassim JafariNaimi, Maria Engberg, and Jay Bolter | Paper presented at HASTAC 2013 – The Storm of Progress: New Horizions, New Narratives, New Codes. York University, Toronto, Canada. April 2013.

[9]

Civic Logon: Exploring Technologies for Civic Engagement.
Ingrid Erickson and Nassim JafariNaimi | 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).

[10]

Design Theory and Ethics: Affinities and Connections.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Paper presented at the AAAS Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference: Science and Technology in Society, Washington, D.C., April 2008.

[11]

Design Principles and Experiences of Use.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Paper presented at the AAAS Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference: Science and Technology in Society, Washington, D.C., March 2007.


Invited Presentations and Panels

[1]

Moral Algorithms: the New Media of Mobility.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden, November 2016.

[2]

Exposing the Myth of Algorithmic Morality or, why self-driving cars should *not* be programmed to kill.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Value Sensitive Design: Charting the Next Decade, Lorentz International center for scientific workshops, The Netherlands, November 2016.

[3]

Probing Design and Democracy through the Lens of Participatory Media.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, June 2016.

[4]

The Data of Experience and the Experience of Data: A Design 
Perspective on Digital Scholarship.
Nassim JafariNaimi (Invited Panelist) | Doing Sport History in the Digital Present Workshop, School of History and Sociology, Georgia Tech, May 2016.

[5]

Participatory Media and Democracy: a Critical Perspective.
Nassim JafariNaimi | IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, November 2015.

[6]

Tracing the Challenges and Opportunities of Locative Participatory Media.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Centre for User Experience Research (CUO) Institute for Media Studies, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, May 2015.

[7]

Feminism and Feminist Approaches in Social Computing Workshop.
Nassim JafariNaimi (Invited Panelist) | Computer Supported Cooperative Work Conference (CSCW ‘15), Vancouver, Canada: ACM 2015.

[8]

Participatory Media and Democracy: a Critical Perspective.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Centre for User Experience Research (CUO) Institute for Media Studies, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, July 2014.

[9]

Engaging the Concept and Ideal of Democracy in Contemporary Design Discourse.
Nassim JafariNaimi | UBC iSchool, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 2014.

[10]

Examining the Quality of Social Interaction in Participatory Media.
Nassim JafariNaimi | GVU Invited Talks, Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA, Nov 2103.

[11]

Design and Democracy: Expression, Participation, and Community in Contemporary Products.
Nassim JafariNaimi | MIT Civic Media, Cambridge, MA, Oct. 2013.

[12]

The Social Dimension of Augmented Reality.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Qualcomm Inc. San Diego, CA, July 2010.

[13]

Organizations and Social Media: Hypotheses for Organizing.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, OH, June 18–19, 2010.

[14]

The Idea of Liberty and the Form of Social Interaction.
Nassim JafariNaimi | Weatherhead School of Management and The Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH, March 27–29, 2009.


Magazine Articles

[1]

Play It Seriously: Engaging the Sustainability Agenda with Alternate Reality Games.
Nassim JafariNaimi and Eric Meyers | Interactions. ACM Press, New York, NY, USA. Volume 22, Issue 1, 2015.

[2]

Meta-making: Crafting the Conversation of Values and Design.
Ingrid Erickson, Lisa Nathan, Nassim JafariNaimi, Cory Knobel, Matthew Ratto | Interactions. ACM Press, New York, NY, USA. Volume 19, Issue 3, 2012.