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Curriculum Vitae

Farjana Ria Khan

farjanak[at]uci[dot]edu | |

I am a researcher, designer, game developer, and artist. My interests center around Human Computer Interaction where I express my passion for exploring embodied and disruptive play for 

intersectional inclusion of marginalized communities in technology.

2022 (current)

2018 - 2020

2013 - 2018



University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA
Advisors: Bo Ruberg and Aaron Trammell

Affiliated Labs: LUCI Lab, CATS Lab, Made with Play Lab, Connected Learning Lab

Ph.D. in Informatics 

University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO
Thesis Advisor: Shaz Zamore

Affiliated Labs: THING Lab, Living Matter Lab, BTU Lab

M.S. in Technology, Media and Society | CTD track 

University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO
B.A. in Art & Art History

Minor in Technology, Arts, and Media

Minor in Japanese Studies

Relevant Courses

Engineering       Creative Technologies, Object, Haptic Interfaces, Calculus for Engineering

C.S. / Science   Foundations of Computer Science, Game Prototyping, Game Development, Web Development, Qualitative                               Methods, Quantitative Methods

Design / HCI    Meaning of Technology, Digital Art I, Digital Art II, Art in Society, Advanced Perspectives in Contemporary                                  Art, Critical Perspectives, Design Studios, Design Thesis, Social Analysis in Computing, Introduction to HCI

2023 (current)

2023 (current)














Teaching Assistant | University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA

Instructor: Aaron Trammell | GDIM 49 (Games and Representation)

Holding office hours and grade assignments for the course. Helping undergraduate students understand theory on concepts about diversity and inclusion in games.

Visiting Researcher | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor | Remote

Principal Investigator: Oliver Haimson

NSF funded research to investigate speculative AR technologies designed for and by transgender communities. Helping with project management, designing, organizing, and facilitating participatory design workshops both in-person and online. Additional responsibilities include study data collection and analysis, and paper writing to submit for publication.

Teaching Assistant | University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA

Instructor: Theresa Jean Tanenbaum | GDIM 49 (Mixed Realities)

Held office hours and graded assignments for the course. Helped undergraduate students understand theory on concepts about mixed reality and developing pervasive games.

Teaching Assistant | University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA

Instructor: Kurt Squire | GDIM 129 (Games for Impact)

Held office hours and graded assignments for the course. Helped undergraduate students understand theory on concepts about game design and games for social change and education.

Graduate Student Researcher | University of California, Irvine | Irvine, CA

Advisor: Katie Salen-Tekinbas 

Funded by the JED Foundation, my collaborators and I compiled a literature review around mental health in youth in relation to the metaverse and social VR spaces. The literature review is now available on the Connected Learning Alliance site.

Game Design Mentor | Code Coven with Facebook Gaming | Remote
Mentored game designers from historically marginalized communities for the Summer Program 2021 about game design, production, team management, and UX/UI


Collaborating Artist & Team Lead/Producer | Meow Wolf Denver Convergence Station | Denver, CO

Meow Wolf is a nationally renowned art collective based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and have expanded to the city of Denver. As one of the local collaborating artists, I designed a permanent installation room for the Denver exhibit and built the installation with a nine-person team that I lead and managed.

Research Assistant | University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO

Advisor: Mirela Alistar

Funded by the University’s CHA small grants, I built and conducted research for the project, Nurturing Light, an escape-room style installation and living computing interface that embeds bioluminescent algae in the system. I digitally and physically fabricated the entire puzzle artifacts and interface, conducted user testing, and wrote on research findings as first author to submit for publication. 

Research Assistant | University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO
Advisor: Daniel Leithinger

Research project initially for the development of a AR/VR scanning application for the THING Lab in collaboration with Sony Ericsson. My task was to help with development while working with Unity 3D, Oculus Rift, and SR Works’ SDK.

Learning Assistant | University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO
Lecturer: Dan Rankin | ATLAS 2300 (TEXT)

Instructed two recitation sections to help students with UX/UI design and typeface using various Adobe Suite software and InVision, as well as review lecture and grade students’ homework.

Graphic Design Consultant | Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) | Boulder, CO
For the Open Hardware Summit (2018)

Contracted as a design consultant for OSHWA and made banners and signage for their Summit sponsors.

2023 (current)

2019, 2023 (current)




Notable Research Projects


AR Trans Technology Workshops for "Designing Technologies for Marginalized Communities" | NSF Award No. 2210841

Principal Investigator: Oliver Haimson

Collaborators: Kat Brewster, Aloe DeGuia, Malaya Mañacop, Denny Starks
As part of a larger grant, My team and I have held participatory design workshops both virtually and in Oakland, CA and Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI. In these workshops, we facilitate designing speculative AR technologies for the transgender community through the expertise and participation of local trans folk. Our method of collection and analysis involved participants exploring their design process with “zine-making” or sketching and collage. This visual-ethnographic approach to design paired with group-led discussion and fieldnotes is meant not just to give us a holistic perspective of trans experiences, but to inform ourselves as researcher and designers of how we can best accommodate the nuanced desires and needs of the trans community. Software and fabrication tools used: Zine, Canva, Miro

Shouting Match: Fostering Emotion Self-Regulation in Fighting Games Through Embodied Play

Collaborators: Agnes Romhanyi (Co-Lead), Nathan Lacsamana, Zoi Meaders, Danny Shafik, Donny Shafik 
An alternative controller two-player 2D fighting game that uses shout commands as a core game mechanic. In games research, solving for toxicity in gaming often focus on investigating coping strategies for gamers to mitigate its harmful effects. Practices in emotion self-regulation, specifically in the context of team-based eSports, is centered. The fighting game community, however, has yet to be explored in current regarding toxic behavior and self-regulation. Shouting Match addresses this through novel methods of embodied play, utilizing expressive vocal culture of the fighting game community, and having players practice self-regulation through controlling their vocal expressions. Software and fabrication tools used: Arduino IDE, Python, Unity 3D, Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, Mixamo, Laser cutter, 3D printer

Nurturing Light: Sustaining Living Interfaces by Facilitating Post-Anthropocentric Design Through Play

Advisor: Mirela Alistar
An escape-room style installation/living computer interface where the user navigates a pitch-black puzzle environment and solely depends on dinoflagellates (bioluminescent algae) as guidance. Nurturing Light proposes an alternative design approach to better sustain living interfaces, or computing interfaces that are embedded with live organisms. Nurturing Light combines and utilizes post-anthropocentric and ludic design values in its design process. Software and fabrication tools used: Arduino IDE, Adobe Illustrator, Laser cutter, Woodshop


Planes: a Collaborative VR Puzzle Journey to Promote Social Unity
Advisor: Shaz Zamore

As my masters thesis project, Planes is a multi-user, networked VR experience that involves anonymous collaboration, digital paper puzzle-solving, and reflective zoom paper workshops to help intertwine digital and real-world collaboration and learning. In the game, users anonymously (as in without names, voice, or other identifiers) interact with others to quickly solve virtual origami puzzles. Motivated by a need to create a more cohesive gaming culture, this game uses non-discriminatory, anonymous participation to mitigate social exclusion caused by VR games, as well as challenge social barriers in online gaming culture with mindful interaction. Software and fabrication tools used: Unity 3D, Oculus Rift SDK, Photon, Paper prototyping

Mechamarkers: Untethered Haptic Inputs for 3D Physical Interfaces
Advisor: Ellen Yi-Luen Do
Mechamarkers is a toolkit and computer-vision based system for designers to help make and sense low-cost
physical actuator for 3D interfaces. I helped ACME lab members build inputs and 3D interfaces, construct
the computer vision system physically as well as the calculating the homography, conduct and transcribe user
studies, and write on research findings as third author to submit for publication. Software and fabrication tools
used: Processing, Python, Adobe Illustrator, JavaScript,, Laser cutter, 3D printer, Cardboard prototyping






CHI Play 2023 | Publication | Co-First Author | Stratford, ON, Canada | DOI 10.1145/3573382.3616072

Co-First Author: Agnes Romhanyi

“Controlling Your Voice in a Shouting Match: A Preliminary Study on Fostering Emotion Self-Regulation in Fighting Games Through Embodied Play

DIS 2023 | Workshop Attendee | Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Co-Author: Theresa Jean Tanenbaum

Workshop: Designing Tangible Interactive Artifacts for Religious and Spiritual Purposes
“'Dare You Approach The Mighty Oracle?': Building a Design Framework for Tangible Storytelling Artifacts That Evoke The Divine

Meaningful Play 2022 | Workshop | Co-First Author | East Lansing, MI, USA

Co-First Author/Co-Presenter: Erica Principe Cruz

“Recast & Replay: Critically Redesigning and Broadening Queer Experiences in Games Through the Lens of Less Visible Identities in the Community”

2023 (current)












AGS Council Member | Irvine, CA, USA

Elected representative in the Associate Graduate Student Council at UC Irvine. Representing the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science.

Paper Reviewer | CHI 2024 | Honolulu, Hawaiʻi


Student Volunteer | CHI Play 2023 | Stratford, ON, Canada

Provocations and WIP Reviewer | DIS 2023 | Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Paper Reviewer | Creativity and Cognition 2023 | Online

Alt.CHI Reviewer | CHI 2023 | Hamburg, Germany

LBW Reviewer | CHI 2023 | Hamburg, Germany

BTU Lab Graduate Residency | Boulder, CO, USA
Lab Director: Alicia Gibb

The BTU Lab is a student hackerspace, classroom, and graduate residency located at CU Boulder. Grad residents help members on their creative technologies projects, help maintain the on-location laser cutter, and host various workshops.

Art & Art History SAB Undergraduate Representative | Boulder, CO, USA

Undergraduate representative in the Student Advisory Board for the Art & Art History department at CU Boulder. Represented Integrated, Media, and Inter-disciplinary Practices department.





2020, 2019,







Informal Workshops


"The Art of Soldering" | IGSA x CIG | Irvine, CA

Hosted a workshop to introduce soldering techniques to graduate students from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. Collaborative event between the Informatics Graduate Student Association and department affinity group "Creative Interfaces Group"

"Visualize Your Research!" Workshop Series | Living Matter Lab | Boulder, CO

Hosted a four-part weekly workshop series where I taught research masters and PhD students how to create figures, storyboards, flowcharts, etc. for research papers and proposals.

Electronics Sewing Workshop | BTU Lab | Boulder, CO

Hosted a workshop where I taught BTU lab members and students from CU Boulder how to use the lab’s communal sewing machine, sewing basics, and tips for wearable electronics and sewing.

Soldering Workshop | BTU Lab | Boulder, CO

Hosted regularly occurring workshops to teach fundamental soldering skills to beginners in electronics.

"Ins and Outs of Electronics" Workshop Series | ATLAS Institute | Boulder, CO

Hosted a three-part weekly workshop series where I taught incoming masters and PhD students the fundamentals of electronics, and object-oriented computing with Arduino (Arduino IDE and C++).

"So You Want to Make a Robot Fish?" Workshop Series | BTU Lab | Boulder, CO
Hosted a semester-long workshop series that teaches BTU Lab members and ATLAS students how to build animatronic robot fish, based on my work RoboFish. Was also useful for beginners in electronics.

Laser Cutter Prep Workshop | BTU Lab | Boulder, CO
Hosted workshop to teach proper Laser Cutter prep and technical tips on software such as Adobe Illustrator and Rhino.

Basic Electronics Workshop | BTU Lab | Boulder, CO
Hosted an intensive workshop to BTU members and ATLAS students on the fundamentals of electronics and Arduino, including Arduino IDE and C++.

Boulder POV Seminar | Boulder Public Library | Boulder, CO
Boulder Point of View is a grassroots team of artists, entrepreneurs, and creative technologists to help better public relations with local creatives through digital tools and methods. I took part in team seminars over the course of the summer in a leadership position.















2017 - 2018


2016 - 2017

Selected Invited Presentations


"Zine Catalog of Augmented Trans Futures" | Informatics Student Speaker Series | Irvine, CA & Remote | Talk

Part of graduate student speaker series for the Informatics department at UC Irvine. Talk discussed preliminary findings and methods breakdown of NSF funded research for participatory workshops to design AR trans technologies. Discussed motivations behind method of data collection and analysis through trans participants exploring their design process with “zine-making” or sketching and collage.


“The Game Researcher's Guide to the Multi-Verse” | UCI x GATI | Irvine, CA | Talk

In association with the Division of Undergraduate Education at the UC, Irvine, the Gifted and Talented Institute (GATI) is a program for academically advanced pre-college scholars from all around the world. I presented an interactive talk on my Meow Wolf installation, Galactic Autoquarium and how building immersive experiences inform game development and teamwork.


“How to Lead a Team at an Inter-Dimensional Space Station” | Killscreen | Los Angeles, CA | Virtual Talk

Killscreen is an arts and culture collective based in Los Angeles. I presented post-mortem of Galactic Autoquarium, as well as reflect on and speak to the lessons I learned in my leadership role, especially as a newer leader who's a queer PoC.


“Cooking with Mycelium” | Next Nature Network | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Article Interview
Did an interview alongside my colleague by NNN magazine where we reflected on our experience with the project, MyCo Domicilia, a DIY resource and recipe book for creating everyday domestic objects with mycelium.

"MyCo Domcilia" | 2020 Bio Design Challenge | New York City, NY | International Zoom Summit Presentation

BDC is an international competition for high school and university students to envision, create, and critique transformational applications in biotech. I was the team lead of the University of Colorado's first ever team and finalist team to compete. We presented our project MyCo Domicilia.


Boulder Experiments in Arts & Technology (B.E.A.T.) | Boulder, CO | Zoom Presentation
B.E.A.T. is a group of creative technologists, engineers, and artists that aim to foster and promote experiments in art and technology. Most recently, I presented MyCo Domicilia on behalf of my team. 

Guest Lecturer | University of Colorado, Boulder | Boulder, CO

Instructor: Maria Deslis | ATLAS 2300 (Process of Design)

Invited to be a guest lecturer to discuss principles of design with a focus on Gestalt Theory and unity principles.

Boulder Experiments in Arts & Technology (B.E.A.T.) | Boulder, CO | Demo

Demoed alternative controller video game, OctaOut, where players control the limbs of an octopus, with flex sensor-wired gloves, in order to escape a sushi restaurant (Unity and Arduino-based).


ATLAS Research Showcase ‘19 | Boulder, CO | Showcase
The ATLAS institute is a interdisciplinary department for radical creativity and invention, based at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since 2018, ATLAS has been hosting their annual showcase for the research being developed in the department. My colleagues and I showcased research work, MechaMarkers, for the ACME lab, directed by Prof. Ellen Do.
Whaaat!? Festival ‘19 | Boulder, CO | Showcase
The Whaaat!? Festival is a one-day experimental games festival where students and experts alike may showcase and demo their gaming works. For their 2nd annual festival, funded by the Engineering Excellence Funds, I volunteered to demo a game for the student showcase. The demo was for Key Change, a multiplayer, competitive typing game where the keys run away from the players (Unity, computer vision, bespoke 3D printed keys, sound propulsion).

ATLAS Expo ‘19 | Boulder, CO | Expo
ATLAS also hosts an annual exposition for student and faculty projects. For my 3rd time exhibiting work, I showcased SynistHeels, wearable tech shoes that visualize sound and different frequencies through an LED grid based on the heels (Arduino and FFT-based). I also presented Cosmic Kiddos, a finals project for the course Design Studios), which is a kinetic mirror where physical objects on a black surface move away from the user to create a silhouette within the piece (Arduino, Processing, and Xbox Kinect-based). 

Boulder Experiments in Arts & Technology (B.E.A.T.) | Boulder, CO | Gallery
First time presenting at B.E.A.T. I presented my work RoboFish, an animatronic fish that swims in “water” (Arduino-based).

ATLAS Expo ‘18 | Boulder, CO | Expo
Second appearance at the ATLAS Expo, showcased Laser Harp and Truth, which were Arduino-based light sculptures.

Art of Data | Boulder, CO | Exhibition
Housed in the Canyon Gallery at the Boulder Public Library, Art of Data was a professional design, art, craft, and engineering exhibition that accepted works that incorporated data from the City of Boulder Data Catalogs. I showcased Trails, an interactive map that illustrates the hiking paths of the city of Boulder (Laser-cut wood, and engrave acrylic).

ATLAS Expo ‘17 | Boulder, CO | Expo
First Appearance at the ATLAS Expo, Showcased kinectic, wood sculpture, The First Cosmic Kiddo (Arduino and laser-cut wood and acrylic-based).

MakerMade | Boulder, CO | Exhibition
Housed in the Canyon Gallery at the Boulder Public Library, MakerMade was a professional design, art, craft, and engineering gallery showcase. I showcased The First Cosmic Kiddo.







Chair’s Award | $2,500

" recognize the exceptional promise you hold in making strong contributions to the research being conducted in the Informatics community."


Graduate Dean’s Recruitment Fellowship | $2,500


CHA Small Grant Reward | $2,000

Advising Faculty: Mirela Alistar

Dean’s List | Academic Honors | Awarded 2x
“Each semester the College of Arts and Sciences publishes the Dean’s List to recognize students who have demonstrated
academic excellence.” 






Additional Writings/Informal Publications

Youth, Mental Health, and the Metaverse: Reviewing the Literature | Author | Connect Learning Alliance

Additional Authors: Katie Salen Tekinbas, Madison E. Taylor, Andre Adame, Stephen M. Schueller


MyCo Domicilia | Main Author, Editor, Designer | Amazon Kindle
Additional Authors: Fiona Bell, Theresa Matick, Malika Rakhminova, Arva Syed, and Shenali Uragoda

 FRiaK Wearables | Blog
Blog about wearable and textile electronics prototypes at:

Laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC routing, woodworking, welding, digital embroidery, resin casting

Arduino, Raspberry Pi

Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere, AfterEffects, Figma, InVision


Eagle Fusion 360, Blender, KiCAD, EasyEDA, Rhino, Unity3D, Processing, P5

C++, C sharp, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, LaTex

Critical Thinking, Self-Motivation, Teamwork/Collaboration, Project Management, Leadership, Creativity, Communication, Empathy, Networking, Flexibility/Adaptability, I think I’m funny

Relevant Skills

Machine Shop   


Design Tools 

Other Software 


Soft Skills

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