Nassim Parvin

Associate Director

Member Of:
  • School of Literature, Media, and Communication
  • Center for Urban Innovation
  • Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center
Email Address:
Office Location:
TSRB 320
Related Links:


Personal Pronouns:

Dr. Parvin (JafariNaimi) is an Associate Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Design and Social Interaction Studio. Parvin’s research explores the ethical and political dimensions of design and technology, especially as related to values of democratic participation and social justice. Integrating methods of humanistic scholarship and design-based inquiry, her research answers pressing questions about the influence of digital technologies on the future of social and collective interactions. Her papers have appeared in premier publication venues in design studies, science and technology studies, and human-computer interaction. She is an award-winning educator and serves as one of the lead editors of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Dr. Parvin received her PhD in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. She holds an MS in Information Design and Technology from Georgia Tech and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran.

  • PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
  • MS, Georgia Tech
Awards and
  • 2017 Georgia Tech CETL/BP Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2016 Ivan Allen College Teacher of the Year Award


Research Fields:
  • Digital Media
  • Media Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Inequality and Social Justice
  • Community engagement
  • Digital and Mixed Media
  • Philosophy
  • Science and Technology


  • LCC-3206: Communication & Culture
  • LCC-3710: Prin-Interaction Design
  • LCC-6311: Visual Culture & Design
  • LCC-6340: Mixed Reality Exp Design
  • LCC-6650: Project Studio
  • LMC-3705: Prin Information Design
  • LMC-3710: Prin Interaction Design
  • LMC-3833: Special Topics in STAC
  • LMC-4102: Senior Thesis
  • LMC-6311: Visual Culture and Desi
  • LMC-6318: Experimental Media
  • LMC-6399: Discovery & Invention
  • LMC-6650: Project Studio
  • LMC-6748: Social Justice & Design
  • LMC-6800: DM MS Project Course
  • LMC-8001: Digital Media Studies
  • LMC-8801: Special Topics

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • Look Up and Smile! Seeing through Alexa's Algorithmic Gaze
    In: Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: 2019

    View All Details about Look Up and Smile! Seeing through Alexa's Algorithmic Gaze

  • Doing Justice to Stories: On Ethics and Politics of Digital Storytelling
    In: Engaging Science, Technology, and Society [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: 2018

    View All Details about Doing Justice to Stories: On Ethics and Politics of Digital Storytelling

  • Our Bodies in the Trolley’s Path, or Why Self-driving Cars Must *Not* Be Programmed to Kill
    In: Science, Technology, & Human Values [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: July 2017

    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.

    View All Details about Our Bodies in the Trolley’s Path, or Why Self-driving Cars Must *Not* Be Programmed to Kill

  • Values as hypotheses: design, inquiry, and the service of values
    In: Design Issues [Peer Reviewed]
    Date: October 2015

    Editors’ Summary: "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 design actions. They refute the belief that moral values are either unchangeable truths or “local expressions of individual and group preferences,” favoring instead a philosophy 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.”

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Recent Publications

Journal Articles