Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Media Studies and Film at the New School. His research, teaching and creative practice engages the critical role of technology, artistic interventions and DIY cultures among communities in contested spaces. He previously served as a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT). Nitin completed his doctoral degree at the MIT Media Lab, where he conducted research on networked collaboration for sustainable product design, ubiquitous and wearable computing, speech/auditory interfaces, and responsive media in urban community spaces. He co-founded Akaza Research, a startup software firm, to develop open source tools and online repositories for public biomedical research with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and directed new product development at Cytel, Inc. for statistical simulation tools to support adaptive clinical trials.
Nitin is a research affiliate with the MIT Center for Civic Media, where he co-founded the Department of Play, a research collaborative, to design participatory mobile video, mapping and pedagogical tools to support creative expression and civic agency among marginalized youth. He established the Voices Beyond Walls initiative to conduct digital storytelling and youth media workshops in Palestinian refugee camps since 2006. Nitin was awarded a Visionary Fellowship at MIT in 2008 with the Jerusalem 2050 Project at the Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning and the Center for International Studies, conducting research on urban renewal and civic engagement through the media arts in divided cities such as Belfast and Jerusalem. He recently began a pilot research study in the West Bank and Gaza on the role of participatory media for resilience and civic agency among children and adolescents living in conditions of conflict and crisis. Nitin is currently working on several documentary film projects including Flying Paper, a film about the participatory culture of kite making and flying among children in the Gaza Strip. The film was recently awarded a seed grant from the National Geographic All Roads Film Project.