christian g.

emerging media: art, design and tech


︎ clg236
︎ christiangrewell

christian grewell

emerging media: art, design and tech

Fundamentals of Information Technology

Spring 2023, NYU Stern

Digital technologies shape business, government and civil society. Over the last decades, they have transformed the economics of a wide range of industries, blurring the lines between firms and markets, reshaping consumer channels, creating new business models, inducing regulatory upheaval, and altering the language and “spaces” of consumer interaction. Some of the most valuable companies in the world are digital platforms: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Meta, as well as Tencent, Alibaba, Bytedance, Samsung, TSMC, Nvidia, Intel, Adobe, Oracle and Tesla (yes, Tesla). All indications are that the pace of change will only accelerate in the coming decades.

This course provides an initial fundamental understanding of digital technologies that lays the foundation for BTE students to intelligently create and shape a future that is increasingly digital. It is designed to educate students  by explicitly combining  top-down and bottom-up learning. In most weeks, the classroom will combine both approaches — lectures interleaved with complementary in-class hands-on work. This melding of approaches reinforces conceptual understanding through learning by doing, while also allowing students to experience the technology innovation process by working on challenging projects at the intersection of data science and physical computing.

Serious Games

Spring 2023, ITP

This course will introduce students to the Godot open-source game engine, and specifically ask them to learn how to use it to create online web experiences (games, apps, narrative, etc…). Topics covered will be the game design process, game programming patterns, 2D art tools, sound design and game publishing.

Each student will be asked to create a “serious” game, one that help players understand a topic or experience that is meaningful to the creator.

app lab

NYU Shanghai, multiple semesters

app lab is an intensive project-driven course where students explore current challenges and opportunities at the intersections of emerging media and innovation through the lenses of design, prototyping and innovation. The course seeks to help students understand how these high-level concepts intersect with skills to form the basis for new applications of technology in society.

Branding + Innovation

NYU Shanghai, Every Spring
Innovation is the process by which an organization generates creative new ideas and converts them into viable commercial products. Branding, on the other hand, is the process of creating a unique image for the product in the consumers’ mind. This perception reflects on the organization as a whole. Moreover, branding aims to establish a differentiated presence in the marketplace to attract and retain loyal customers. Thus, innovation and branding are inextricably linked for organizational success, or survival, in today’s hyper-competitive business landscape.

This course aims to equip students with knowledge in both the innovation and branding processes. By participating in the International L’Oreal Brandstorm Competition, students will gain practical experience in formulating an idea, develop branding around said idea, and then pitching said idea (innovation and branding) in a competitive forum. Students will also develop an understanding of the role of design and innovation as a collaborative, multidisciplinary group activity; and improve writing and presentation skills. The course incorporates multiple ways of learning including: lectures, case studies, ethnographic research, industry expert feedback on projects and guest presentations, and design activities in the interactive media lab. In essence, the course integrates a project- based learning approach.

The Technology Innovation Process

NYU Shanghai, Spring 2021
This course is for anyone who wants to be involved in technology innovations --- not only inventors, but everyone who is interested in initiating, implementing, translating, and commercializing technology innovations. It will introduce the full process for the identification, invention, and implementation of new technologies.


NYU Abu Dhabi, January 2019

We live today at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rapid progress and accessibility of disciplines and technologies such as programming, robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, nanotechnology, rapid prototyping and global communications networks are all building on and amplifying one another, making us superhuman. Smart systems - homes, factories, farms, grids or entire cities—will help tackle problems as diverse as climate change and waste management to human health and happiness. Alongside these technological advances are a set of broader socio economic, geopolitical and demographic disruptions with nearly equivalent impact to the technological factors. This course seeks to foster a broad range of skills and an awareness of what those skills can impact through agile challenged-based projects and thoughtful reflection on their disruptions.

Our living lab is provided by the course partner, one of the world's largest logstics companies, where small teams of students and mentors will design, develop and test technology-enhanced solutions to help realize human potential. Students will come away with a much better understanding of not just how to create interactive technology-enhanced prototypes and modern design practices, but also an appreciation for how to propose, enact and manage change across a multi-disciplinary and cultural modern organization.

Resourcefulness: Ethiopia

NYU Abu Dhabi, January 2020

Innovation in the context of a low income society is the product of resourcefulness and necessity. These communities often lack what many take for granted, yet they are surviving and thriving in their own ways — by building schools, pursuing entrepreneurship, caring for the environment, turning waste to energy and many other activities. This course aims to help students appreciate just how resourceful these communities are and impact their innovations through a combination of case studies, solution design and on-the-ground project fieldwork with partner universities and schools in Ethiopia.


Summer 2022, IMA Low Res

Trust is a short 6 week survey of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications, focused on introducing students to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, their history, present and potential. Students create their own cryptocurrencies, interact with a variety of blockchains and learn about the communities that are behind the emergence of these exciting technologies.

Hello: Metaverse

NYU Shanghai, Fall 2021

Explore the relationship between the virtual self and environment and to assess both as a space for learning and collaboration. Every student gets their own mobile VR headset. The course takes place entirely in the black sun, a multi-user VR platform I've designed for the purpose of experimentation and collaboration. 

Interface Lab

IMA Low Res, Summer 2021

This production course will survey alternative interfaces with an emphasis towards embodied interactions. Incorporating aspects of physical and tangible computing, students will be exposed to the internal machinations of systems, networks and sensors that underlie these interfaces. Areas covered include microcontrollers, connected devices, computer vision, virtual reality and augmented reality amongst others.

Creating Immersive Worlds

NYU Shanghai, Spring 2018, Fall 2020

This introductory course will focus on building virtual worlds and understanding what makes them compelling experiences for others. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with critical concepts such as play testing and object-oriented programming in addition to developing proficiency in software tools such as Unity3D (Game Engine), Blender (3D modelling), Photoshop (Texturing) and Github (Source code control.) Students will work in collaborative teams to create interactive virtual worlds.

Made In China 中国制造

NYU Shanghai, Spring 2018

This course takes a hands-on critical look at the history and factors shaping China's reputation as the 'workshop of the world' and also it's emergence through economies of scale and scope as a hub for innovation through rapid prototyping and manufacturing. They will become experts on not just the techniques involved in conceptualizing and delivering innovation to a market, but also in the ways that China's unique online, offline and decentralized marketplaces for skills, talent and innovation enable a small team to accomplish what a large one cannot.

Students make the full use of China's rapid design and production infrastructure to conceptualize, prototype, design for manufacture and market a consumer electronics product. This is an intensive course that takes place across two of China's innovation hubs, Shanghai and Shenzhen, with conceptualization, design and rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing followed by a final presentation, user testing and documentation.



NYU Shanghai, Spring 2019

Video games are the largest and perhaps most influential form of mass interactive media humans have ever created. They are also one of the most controversial. The video game has at time been seen as a villain, responsible for a violent society, the corruption of children or their eyesight while at the same time video games help educate millions and can positively reflect and impact the lives of billions of people and society at large.

This introductory course focuses on giving students an appreciation and understanding of video games in a historical and modern context, as a $100 billion dollar business and as a reflection of society and the power of interactive media to improve livelihoods.

Students will play and make games of the past and present in order to understand how immersive interactive media can help create entirely new forms of compelling experiences and narratives. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with critical concepts such as iterative design, play testing, object-oriented programming, physically based rendering of light and sound, 3D modeling, logic and experience design. They will take a design-based approach to content creation, developing a proficiency in a variety of software tools, development methodologies and creation techniques. Students will work over 14 weeks in design teams to create interactive video games.

The Minimum Viable Product

NYU Shanghai, Fall, 2017

Increasing possibilities brought about by emerging forms of technology and decreasing costs of connecting people to things have not only enabled technological innovations, but have also opened the door to new applications, business models, products and services. Experimentation and calculated risk taking are keys to successfully harnessing the possibilities of today’s most cutting-edge technologies and innovative methods to first build, understand and then redefine how humans and products interact.

In this 7 week course, student ‘co-founders’ will conceive of and market a new media, physical or technology product designed to fit a market while also allowing them to accelerate and validate a sustainable business model. Students will ‘get out of the classroom’ and put these products into potential customers’ minds. The course will touch upon topics such as how to design a minimum viable product, design a business model, talk and work with customers, and develop a product community.