Designing Interactive Work for Social Advocacy

Special Event
Theater 7–8:30pm
  • Regular $15
  • Media Center Members FREE

Join us for a series of presentations with leading immersive designers and artists, and learn the ins-and-outs of creating compelling interactive work to address and bring awareness to social issues.

How do you co-design with communities and build strategic partnerships around specific issues? How do you launch and engage audiences to bring awareness to topics in a digestible and interactive way? What are the methodologies and hurdles?

Engage with some of the forerunners in this field, and get a glimpse at new and interesting works that promote social advocacy through augmented reality and other immersive storytelling techniques.


Developed at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP and launched in 2014, Priya’s Shakti was a first-of-its-kind fusion of augmented reality, comic books, and social engagement. The story of Priya, a rape survivor and modern-day superhero, shattered taboos that exist in India on the subject of violence against women.

The second volume of this ongoing series, Priya’s Mirror, sees the heroine joining forces with acid attack survivors to take on the demon king Ahankar. As with its predecessor, Priya’s Mirror makes use of augmented reality to bring the 2D world of the comic to vivid life and unlock a number of interactive story elements.

After the panel, you’ll have the chance to view scenes from Priya’s Mirror in our Gallery space.


Navid Khonsari: Founder and Creative Director, iNK Stories. Navid is widely known for having developed the cinematic look and feel for groundbreaking AAA video game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne, The Warriors, and more. He is the creator of the ground-breaking interactive game and experience, 1979 Revolution. Players control Reza Shirazi, an aspiring photojournalist, who returns to Iran amidst the Iranian Revolution. The game was nominated for a BAFTA and presented at Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals.

Heidi Boisvert: CEO and Creative Director, futurePerfect lab. Heidi is a new media artist, creative technologist, experience designer, researcher and writer. She founded the futurePerfect lab, a boutique creative agency that works with non-profits to develop imaginative applications of integrated media and emerging technology. Heidi was formerly the Media Director at Breakthrough where she designed, developed and promoted a range of viral, new media, and pop culture campaigns that helped raise awareness and instigate policy change on pressing social issues. She created the first 3D social change game, ICED I Can End Deportation, to shift the frame around unfair U.S. immigration policies. Heidi also designed America 2049, an alternative reality game on Facebook about pluralism, which was nominated for Games for Change and Katerva awards. Most recently, she co-founded, XTH, an open-source bio-creative technology start up, and was named a Harvestworks Creativity + Technology = Enterprise Fellow as well as a Media Impact Fellow at the Harmony Institute. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Emerging Media Technologies at New York City College of Technology (CUNY).

Ram Devineni: Producer / Creator, Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror. Ram produced The Russian Woodpecker, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. His most recent film, The Karma Killings, about the Nithari serial killings, is out exclusively on Netflix worldwide. He is the creator of the interactive social-activist comic books, Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror, which received the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from the Ford Foundation and supported by the World Bank, and honored by UN Women as a “gender equality champion.” Recently, he was named by Fast Company magazine as one of the “top creative people in business.” More info at www.priyashakti.com.

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