Homebase: Berlin, Germany
Job title: Interaction Designer, Artist, Design Researcher
Nushin Isabelle Yazdani is an interaction and transformation designer, artist and AI researcher. In her work, she examines the interconnectedness of digital technologies and social justice, artificial intelligence and discrimination, from an intersectional feminist perspective. With the communities that are directly impacted by the designed outcomes, she seeks to create and explore design processes that dismantle oppressive structures. At the Education Innovation Lab, Nushin works on transforming the education system and creating innovative learning methods. She is a lecturer at different universities, and a member of the Design Justice Network and dgtl fmnsm, an interdisciplinary collective dealing with the emancipatory opportunities offered by technology and feminism. Apart from teaching, Nushin also curates and organizes community events at the intersection of technology, art, and design.
Nushin would like to create a digital think tank around the topics of artificial intelligence, technology, and society. Ideally, it will become a space to create visionary fiction and speculative art, conduct scholarly activities, organize community events, and become a resource for the ‘design justice’ movement.
At the core, the collaborative platform will provide a space to critically and constructively evaluate the evolution of technologies such as artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence technologies are one of the most groundbreaking innovations within our society. However, these technologies often pose a fundamental danger to marginalized people. Decision-making processes are increasingly being outsourced to algorithmic systems. For example, this is already occurring within the police, courtrooms, schools, job application procedures, government offices, and even at border crossings. Again and again, we have witnessed how these algorithmic decision-making systems reproduce and reinforce structural discrimination in our society. In Germany, there is an urgent necessity to discuss why their design is normative rather than neutral, and to look at the existing power relations from an intersectional feminist point of view.
There is the necessity for more People of Color, for more Black and indigenous folks, and/as well as more queer women and non-binary people, and our/their perspectives in spaces addressing AI, especially in Germany. There is a need to question what counts as legitimate knowledge and knowledge-making. There is a need for visions to inspire and work together towards social change.
This project was inspired by Octavia Butler, who said that “All that you touch you change. All that you change changes you.” The idea of a “think and make tank” would challenge and redefine this technology not just with papers, but also with artistic visions, writing, media-making, and collaborative teaching. A just future is one that’s built collectively.