• Kyle Li

    Assistant Professor of Communication Design and Technology


    Kyle Li is the program director of BFA Design & Technology. His has a diverse background in interactive/game design, American art history, and physical computing. Similar to many other Parsons Alumni, his design voice emerged while he was a MFADT candidate here in 2006. Design & Technology is built on a sustainable and customizable design process that enables designers to work, and continue working in the world of ever-changing technology. He pushes students out of their comfort zone. While they are in that foreign space, they learn new tool and explore new possibilities. They learn to design under and around various limitations by balancing software design and hardware engineering. They are also encouraged to strategically remix their own design with newly found interests for new, innovative opportunities.

    Recently, he helped build two new DT concentrations, Creative Technology and Game Design, for incoming BFADT sophomores. During the old to new curriculum transition, he implemented a new mentor pool system (code name: Power Rangers) that allows BFADT juniors and seniors to access technical advice and project assistance from an elite selection of five MFADT student mentors with diverse skill sets. This is a more resourceful and flexible system compared to the traditional isolated 1 teacher with 1 teaching assistant (TA) system. Each studio teacher can assign his/her students individually to any mentor in the group based on their needs. The Power Rangers group is designed to cover most, if not all areas of interests in the DT community. The MFADT mentors in the group were hired in based on the demographic of interests across the studios to fairly distribute the workload.

    When he is not maintaining crazy administration stuff, he loves to research and design new courses that bring old or new technology/tools/platforms to DT students. Realizing the powerful impact of hands-on learning in the beginning of his teaching career, Kyle taught various courses related to game design or physical computing using his sizable collection of games and electronic toys. Although his collection started out as a hobby, Kyle has built it with the intention to teach, as shown in Kyle's Embodied Play course where he utilizes his collection of gesture based game controllers to demonstrate the variety of technological solutions that can be found in the market for the same interaction. Recently, he co-taught the Recursive Reality course on virtual reality, and revived the famous 8-bit NES Game Production course, both drawing from his notorious collection.


    Research Interests:

    ===Kyle's research wraps around the affordance of play. He collaborates with teachers, curriculum designers, and assessment experts to create game-like learning packages (scenarios) in his other identity as the lead game developer at the Gaming SMALLab in Quest 2 Learn New York. These scenarios employ his research in play design, ludic technology, embodiment, and multimodality. He has designed and developed over 30 active learning scenarios since 2008 on science, math, biology, history, system thinking, and wellness.

    Awards And Honors:

    NSF International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge Finalist

    National Science Foundation October 2013

    This competition recognizes outstanding achievement by scientists, engineers, visualization specialists, and artists who are innovators in the use of visual media to promote understanding of research results and scientific phenomena. We submitted ProteinCraft, a SMALLab game we developed for living environment students on DNA translation. Unlike other NSF photo-realistic submissions, our game is made of simple and colorful geometric shapes. However, we made sure the design principles behind all the visuals and sound effects are true to the principles of DNA translation. In a way, our play experience is not just a rendering of the event, but a fun collaborative practice ground that reinforces the connection between the color coded diagrams and symbols they learned in the classroom and the learning contents.

    HASTAC Digital Media & Learning Competition 3

    May 2010 Game Changer Best in Class: Innovation winner & grantee

    In collaboration with President Obama’s Educate to Innovate initiative and National Lab Day, the third Competition (2010) challenged designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and researchers to create learning labs for the 21st century, digital environments that promote building and tinkering in new ways. Announced by Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, 19 winners were selected in two categories: 21st Century Learning Lab Designers ($30,000 to $200,000)* and Game Changers ($5,000 to $50,000)*. 21st Century Learning Lab Designer awards were given for learning environments and digital media experiences that allow young people to grapple with challenges through activities based on the social nature, contexts,and ideas of science, technology, engineering, and math.

    Motion Graphic Designer for U2 2005 concert

    One Dot Zero July 2004 – July 2005

    Chosen as one of six emerging designers worldwide to design motion graphics for the latest stage technology - a gigantic screen system made of 7 led curtains. The resolution of the screen is only 249 pixels x 64 pixels including 10 pixel gap between each curtain. It was a challenging but very fun and rewarding experience for non-screen display.