Yanni Alexander Loukissas is a designer and ethnographer with a focus on the role of computation in cooperative practices of exploration and imagination. Before coming to Georgia Tech, he was a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he co-coordinated the Program in Art, Design and the Public Domain.
His research and teaching concentrate on the cultural dimensions of data, mapping, modeling, visualization, simulation and prototyping. Recent projects include: an institutional portrait of the Arnold Arboretum using metadata on 70,000 trees, vines and shrubs; a map of contributors to the Digital Public Library of America; and a visualization of human-machine interactions during the first lunar landing in 1969. He is a contributor to Simulation and its Discontents (MIT Press, 2009) and the author of Co-Designers: Cultures of Computer Simulation in Architecture (Routledge, 2012), an ethnographic study of design practice that explores ongoing social and technological transformations in professional life. He has also worked with Small Design Firm to develop information and way-finding systems for cultural institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Originally trained as an architect at Cornell University, he subsequently received a Master of Science and a PhD in Design and Computation at MIT. While at MIT, he worked with the Initiative on Technology and Self, the Media Lab, and the Center for Bits and Atoms. He also completed postdoctoral work at the MIT Program in Science, Technology and Society.