Christo Sims

Institutional Affiliation 
Assistant Professor of Communication, UC San Diego
Professional Bio 

Christo Sims is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of California, San Diego. At UC San Diego He is also a founding member of the Studio for Ethnographic Design, a Co-Investigator for the University of California Collaboratory for Ethnographic Design, and a member of the Laboratory for Comparative Human Cognition. He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College in 2000 and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information in 2012. Between 2005 and 2008, he was a researcher for the Digital Youth Project, the largest qualitative study of young people and new media in the United States to date, and a co-author of the project’s final book, Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out (MIT Press 2010). Prior to graduate school he worked in new media design, primarily in collaboration with the design consultancy Tellart.

Area of Expertise 

My research focuses on relations between changing media technologies and the processes by which entrenched inequities are remade, reconfigured, or overcome in practice. Lately I have been examining the widespread assumption that the successes of “creative technologists” in places like Silicon Valley can and should be generalized through cutting-edge educational interventions. My research is primarily ethnographic and, as such, I direct attention toward the quotidian ways in which both social divisions and changing cultural forms and practices are made, altered, and sustained. I am currently working on a book for Princeton University Press about the design and launch of the first school in the United States to organize its entire curriculum to be “game-like.” The school, which opened in Manhattan in the fall of 2009, was founded by a team of highly qualified media-tech designers and progressive educational reformers who believed that games, the internet, and digital production technologies afforded exciting new opportunities for transforming public education. The book is scheduled to be released in early 2017.

Workshop Locations