Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member Nouf AljowaysirNew Media Artist + Senior Design Technologist at Medium
Nouf Aljowaysir is a Saudi new media artist and creative coder based in Brooklyn. Currently, she is working as a senior design technologist at Medium. Aljowaysir blends art and computation to examine how emerging technologies will shape our future—from branded environments to non-traditional interfaces. Her explorations focus on collaborating with Artificial Intelligence to design speculative futures and new modes of human-machine collaboration.
Nouf recently premiered Alexa, Call Mom!, an interactive installation that blends smart home technology and storytelling, at the Tribeca Film festival and CannesXR 2020. Alexa, Call Mom! was nominated for a Storyscapes award for new trends in digital media and technical and creative innovations in story creation.
She also previously worked as the lead researcher in Art & AI at creative agency Havas, algorithmically producing hundreds of images and videos for client ADP – making them the first major organization to incorporate a semi-generative brand identity. She was awarded a residency at ThoughtWorks Arts 2020 and currently serves as a dedicated mentor at NEW INC Incubator. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and festivals in the US and Europe, including the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and SXSW 2019. She studied computational architecture and human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her Masters from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).
Read our Q&A below to get to know Nouf!
How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?
The major shift in my work has occurred in finding creative ways to adapt my physical projects to digital ones. Asking questions such as: “How can you reconstruct in-person networking and connection through virtual means?”
What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?
I am proud of being a part of the global re-branding initiative for ADP at Havas. We re-branded ADP into an identity that strategically positioned it as Always Designing
for People. We created a flexible design system that uses AI as a signature element to communicate ADP as an influential HR leader.
As a creative technologist, I algorithmically generated hundreds of uniquely-branded images and videos for ADP’s new visual identity. Our innovative use of this emerging technology made them the first major organization to incorporate a semi-generative visual system created by Artificial Intelligence. Our creative process revolved around the question: “How can AI be the artist for ADP?”
What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?
I am a multidisciplinary creative individual that is passionate about the intersectionality of design and emerging technology. I believe that by breaking down these schools of thought, we can explore speculative futures and new modes of human-machine collaboration. From designing with industrial robotic arms to creating an Alexa that can contact the dead, my projects blend art and computation to search for innovation.
What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?
The global pandemic has paused the Location-Based distribution that many creators count on for audience cultivation. The most exciting moment right now is addressing these challenges and exploring different ways to adapt projects for at-home audiences. There is a drive for connectivity and collaborations that perhaps didn’t exist before. It is inspiring to watch how projects unfold in new and experimental ways.
What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?
I was deeply inspired by The Book of Distance, which premiered at the Tribeca Film
Festival earlier this year. It is a VR experience that joins director Randall Okita as he searches for his grandfather, Yonezo. The journey follows generations of Okitas as they migrated from 1930s Hiroshima, homesteaded in Canada, and were forced into a Japanese internment camp.
It is a moving exploration through the emotional geography of immigration and family archives to understand what it means to leave home.