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I'm a second year PhD student in Digital Media at Georgia Institute of Technology and am being advised by Prof. Carl DiSalvo. My research examines the ways in which interaction design and digital media construct and support civic life. I build new modes of technologically mediated interactions that support learning and participation in communities. Using participatory and co-design methods of research, I have designed interactions, services and experiences that allow community members to link their interests or learnings to academic achievement, career success or civic engagement.

Areas of Research

Design Research, Interaction Design, Social Innovation and Service Design.


Georgia Institute of Technology

PhD in Digital Media 2013 - Present

Research examines the ways in which interaction design and digital media construct and support civic life. Projects and research in this area include the use of information design for public argument, the development of participatory and co-design methods for community engagement, and new modes of public interaction mediated by technology.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Masters in Human Computer Interaction - Graduated: 2011

Research focused the interaction design of wearable technologies and tangible interfaces that support learning. Published a paper on "Evaluating technology that makes physical games for children more engaging" as part of my masters thesis.

Bangalore Institute of Technology

Bachelors in Computer Science & Engineering - Graduated: 2005

Research focused understanding the workings of Linux based operating systems. Electives included Linux Internals, Operating Systems, Game Theory and Computer Systems Design and Architecture.


Part prototyper, part design researcher, I bring ideas to life.

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Visual Design
  • Design Research
  • Interaction Design
  • Service Design
  • HTML5, CSS & Javascript
  • Electronics, Microcontrollers & Sensors
  • 3D Printer, Laser Cutter

My Work

Community Recipes as Stories
Medellin: Urban Interaction Design Concept
Mapping Edible Weeds
Exertion Interface
Electronic Puppets
emBodied Digital Creativity
Liquid Text: Interaction Design
Crimes Against Children: InfoViz
Sonoscape: Playspace for children



Firaz Peer, Michael Nitsche, and Lauren Schaffer. 2014. ‘Power puppet: science and technology education through puppet building' . In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '14, Aarhus, Denmark). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 221-224.


Mazalek, Ali, Michael Nitsche, Sanjay Chandrasekharan, Tim Welsh, Paul Clifton, Andrew Quitmeyer, Firaz Peer, Friedrich Kirschner. ‘Recognizing Your Self in Virtual Avatars’ International Journal of Art and Technology (IJART) 2013, 6, 1, 83-105.


Firaz Peer, Ali Mazalek, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller and Anne Friedlander. 2011. ‘Evaluating technology that makes physical games for children more engaging’ . In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '11, Ann Arbor, USA). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 193-196.

Mueller, F, Peer, F, Agamanolis, S, Sheridan, J, 'Gamification and exertion' , in Proceedings of the Workshop on Gamification at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems SIGCHI, United States, 07-12 May 2011, pp. 1-4.

Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Chandrasekharan, S., Welsh, T., Clifton, P., Quitmeyer, A., Peer, F., and Kirschner, F. 'I'm in the Game: Embodied Puppet Interface Improves Avatar Control' accepted at the Fifth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction 2011, Funchal, Portugal.

Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Rebola, C., Wu, A., Clifton, P., Peer, F., Drake, M. ‘Pictures at an Exhibition: A Physical/Digital Puppetry Performance Piece’ . In proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, 2011, ACM, New York, NY.


Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Chandrasekharan, S., Welsh, T., Clifton, P., Quitmeyer, A.,Peer, F., and Kirschner, F. 'Recognizing self in puppet controlled virtual avatars' . In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Fun and Games, 2010, Leuven, Belgium.



Principles of Visual Design (Spring) - Primary Instructor


Principles of Visual Design (Fall) - Primary Instructor

Visual Culture and Design (Spring) - Led by Prof. Nassim JaffariNaimi


Experimental Media, (Spring) - Led by Prof. Ali Mazalek

Other Fun Stuff

I participated in the Stitchfest Hackathon at Upenn in the Spring of 2014, with Andrew Quitmeyer. We had a great time building an Arduino powered stimulating toy, and also managed to get a lot of press for it.

Curbb was another fun little project I hacked together with some other friends at Atlanta's first Govathon, where we won third place.


I've been teaching myself photography for some time now.

Contact me

Email is the best way to get in touch with me, but if you don't have it, drop a line here and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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Atlanta, GA