Asreen Rostami

Asreen Rostami


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Works at Department of Computer and Systems Sciences
Telephone 08-16 16 49
Visiting address Nodhuset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12
Postal address Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap 164 07 Kista

About me

Asreen Rostami is a PhD candidate in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), within the ACT in Communication with Technology (ACT) group at the Stockholms University, Department of Computer and System Sciences (DSV).

Asreen's research focuses on Mixed-Reality Performances and how interactive technologies can be designed for interactive performance, audience participation as well as performers interaction. Her current research looks at the immersive performance, performers interaction with respect to technology such as VR, IoT, Bio-Data and mobile interface.

Asreen holds a Masters degree in Computer Science (Software Technology) with a focus on Social Media and Web Technologies from Linnaeus University, Sweden. Her thesis was part of an ICT for Development project on designing interactive mobile services to promote civic participation in Northern Uganda. She completed her Bachelor in Computer Science (Software Technology) from Azad University, Iran.

Awards and Funds

  • Collaboration grant between Stockholm University and Tokyo University on "Sketching with Frictions: Designing Mixed-Reality Experiences with VR", 100K SEK, Granted by Stockholm University, 2018-2019, Sweden
  • Travel grant, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2018.
  • Scholarship Recipient: The ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in computing: womENcourage 2018 
  • Development grant on ” Frictional Realities” in collaboration with artist Noah Hellwig, 100K SEK, Granted by Riksteatern, 2018, Sweden
  • Development grant on ” Frictional Realities” in collaboration with artist Noah Hellwig, 50K SEK, Granted by Stockholms Stad, 2018, Sweden
  • In collaboration with Bombina Bombast Research grant on “Critical Representation and Virtual Reality”, 0.9 Million SEK (~90000 EURO), Granted by Kulturbryggan, 2016, Sweden
  • Scholarship Recipient: Google’s Women Techmakers (Former Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship), EMEA 2016
  • Google Grace Hopper travel grant 2016
  • Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Finalist, EMEA 2013.
  • SPIDER student research and travel grant to Uganda, in the field of ICT4D, 2012 and 2013



Master level:

Supplementary Course In Computer And Systems Sciences, HCI Module

Scientific Communication and Research Methodology

Research Methodology for Computer and Systems Sciences

Bachelor level:

Vetenskaplig metodik och kommunikation inom data- och systemvetenskap; Lectures on Qualitative methods (in English)


Frictional Realities

In this project we will research and work on the notion of "frictions" to create a
Mixed-Reality Performance. We will explore how immersion can emerge from
props and technologies, the audience’s spatial and emotional engagement with the
scene, with the narratives, and with the characters. This project is funded by Riksteatern , and will be done in collaboration with two performing artists Noah Hellwig and Gabriel Widing. [In Progress]

Interactive Performance and Virtual Reality

In a collaborative project with artists’ groups Bombina Bombast, we will explore design opportunities with virtual reality, its performative aspects for interactive performance and audience participation. [In Progress]

Audience Study

In this project we focus on how performance audiences (theatre, concert, dance and etc.) use technology while they are watching the performance. Does it help them to get engaged with the performance, or it distracts them? [In Progress]

The Smart Guitar

In a collaborative project with Mind Music Lab, we will explore the interaction between audience and performer, performer and instrument, performer/audience and the performance through a smart and IoT guitar. [Finished]

Immersive and Interactive

In a collaborative project with the immersive and  site-specific performance Satan’s Democracy,  we will explore design challenges and methods on transforming a promenade theatre to the interactive one, with respect to interactive technology. [Finished]

Embodied Interaction with Movies for Children

The Location eXperience Lab at DSV, Stockholm University hosted ‘Move:ie.; movement based interaction with movies for children’ workshop for RATS Theatre. The purpose was to generate bodily movement interaction ideas for children to interact with movies. [Finished]

Other Activities

  • Art and Performance Chair, ACM TEI’18
  • Closing Plenary Designer, ACM CHI’16
  • Reviewer for: ACM-CHI, ACM-TEI, DIS, and others.


  • Design Fiction for Mixed-Reality Performances, CHI’17, USA [Link]
  • Tomorrow Today: Envisioning Equality in Computer Science, Stockholm 2016 [Link]

Talks on Radio Sweden (Sveriges Radio):

  • Gender equality in Computer Science (in Farsi) [Link]
  • Online identity (in Farsi) [Link]


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2018. Chiara Rossitto (et al.). Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 13-24

    This paper presents a case study of a fully working prototype of the Sensus smart guitar. Eleven professional guitar players were interviewed after a prototype test session. The smartness of the guitar was perceived as enabling the integration of a range of equipment into a single device, and the proactive exploration of novel expressions. The results draw attention to the musicians' sense-making of the smart qualities, and to the perceived impact on their artistic practices. The themes highlight how smartness was experienced in relation to the guitar's agency and the skills it requires, the tension between explicit (e.g. playing a string) and implicit (e.g. keeping rhythm) body movements, and to performing and producing music. Understanding this felt sense of smartness is relevant to how contemporary HCI research conceptualizes mundane artefacts enhanced with smart technologies, and to how such discourse can inform related design issues.

  • 2018. Asreen Rostami, Chiara Rossitto, Annika Waern.

    Mixed-Reality Performances that employ immersive technology, do not need to rely on its presumed immersive nature to make the performance an engaging or coherent experience. Immersion in such performances emerges from the audience’ transition towards a more active role in the performance and by creating different realities through frictions.

  • 2017. Asreen Rostami (et al.). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 197-208

    Designing for interactive performances is challenging both in terms of technology design, and of understanding the interplay between technology, narration, and audience interactions. Bio-sensors and bodily tracking technologies afford new ways for artists to engage with audiences, and for audiences to become part of the artwork. Their deployment raises a number of issues for designers of interactive performances. This paper explores such issues by presenting five design ideas for interactive performance afforded by bio-sensing and bodily tracking (i.e. Microsoft Kinect) developed during two design workshops. We use these ideas, and the related scenarios to discuss three emerging issues namely: temporality of input, autonomy and control, and visibility of input in relation to the deployment of bio-sensors and bodily tracking technologies in the context of interactive performances.

  • 2017. Asreen Rostami (et al.). Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 498-505

    Designing for mixed-reality performances is challenging both in terms of technology design, and in terms of understanding the interplay between technology, narration, and (the outcomes of) audience interactions. This complexity also stems from the variety of roles in the creative team often entailing technology designers, artists, directors, producers, set-designers and performers. In this multidisciplinary, one-day workshop, we seek to bring together HCI scholars, designers, artists, and curators to explore the potential provided by Design Fiction as a method to generate ideas for Mixed-Reality Performance (MRP) through various archetypes including scripts, programs, and posters. By drawing attention to novel interactive technologies, such as bio-sensors and environmental IoT, we seek to generate design fiction scenarios capturing the aesthetic and interactive potential for mixed-reality performances, as well as the challenges to gain access to audience members' data -- i.e. physiological states, daily routines, conversations, etc.

  • 2018. Asreen Rostami (et al.). interactions 25 (1), 46-61
  • 2018. Asreen Rostami, Emma Bexell, Stefan Stanisic. Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 511-516

    The Shared Individual is a live collaborative Mixed-Reality Performance in which a group of audience members can observe themselves from an individual's point of view. In this performance, a performer shares her view with audience members by wearing a head-mounted camera and steaming live video. By wearing a head-mounted display audience members can see themselves and follow performer's instruction to 'occupy' her body and become her. This instruction, in the form of performance, is designed to help the audience to sync with the performer in three different stages: visual synchronization, physical synchronization and emotional synchronization.

  • 2016. Elena Márquez Segura, Laia Turmo Vidal, Asreen Rostami. Human Technology 12 (2), 193-251

    After a decade of movement-based interaction in human–computer interaction, designing for the moving body still remains a challenge. Research in this field requires methods to help access, articulate, and harness embodied experiences in ways that can inform the design process. To address this challenge, this article appropriates bodystorming, an embodied ideation method for movement-based interaction design. The proposed method allows for early consideration of the physical, collocated, and social aspects of a designed activity as illustrated with two explorative workshops in different application domains: interactive body games and interactive performances. Using a qualitative methods approach, we used video material from the workshops, feedback from participants, and our own experience as participants and facilitators to outline important characteristics of the bodystorming method in the domain of movement-based interaction. The proposed method is compared with previous ones and application implications are discussed.

  • Conference Embodied Sketching
    2016. Elena Márquez Segura (et al.). Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 6014-6027

    Designing bodily experiences is challenging. In this paper, we propose embodied sketching as a way of practicing design that involves understanding and designing for bodily experiences early in the design process. Embodied sketching encompasses ideation methods that are grounded in, and inspired by, the lived experience and includes the social and spatial settings as design resources in the sketching. Embodied sketching is also based on harnessing play and playfulness as the principal way to elicit creative physical engagement. We present three different ways to implement and use embodied sketching in the application domain of co-located social play. These include bodystorming of ideas, co-designing with users, and sensitizing designers. The latter helps to uncover and articulate significant, as well as novel embodied experiences, whilst the first two are useful for developing a better understanding of possible design resources.

  • 2017. Asreen Rostami, Christoffer Cialec, Gabriel Werlinder. HCI International 2017 – Posters' Extended Abstracts

    While audience members of theatre productions are generally discouraged from using their mobile devices, as mobile technology is interwoven into our daily lives use in theatres still goes on. Some of this use is encouraged by the artists and built into the performance, however the furtive use by audience members during non-interactive performances has not been studied. In this poster we report on our work-in-progress consisting of preliminary analysis of in-situ observation and video analysis of four out of seven performances currently recorded to understand when and how mobile devices are used. This analysis is supported by interviews of selected audience members to better understand why and for what purpose these devices are used in this setting. These preliminary results draw attention to the correlations between (i) the audience’s distance from the stage, (ii) the engagement of the current scene, and (iii) the audience’s personal connection to the art work or the performers, and frequency of mobile phone use.

  • 2017. Asreen Rostami. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, 721-723

    This research explores the use of technology in Mixed-Reality Performance, and how novel interactive technologies (VR, IoT, Bio-Data) can be used in designing such performances. Additionally, I explore the potential of these technologies to increase audience' interaction with the performance. The studies presented in this paper are still under development and mainly focus on three novel technologies within performances; Virtual Reality, Bio-Data and environmental IoT.

  • 2016. Barry Brown (et al.). Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Supporting Group Work, 335-344

    This paper is an introduction to the “Future IKEA Catalogue”, enclosed here as an example of a design fiction produced from a long standing industrial-academic collaboration. We introduce the catalogue here by discussing some of our experiences using design fictionwith companies and public sector bodies, giving some background to the catalogue and the collaboration which produced it.

  • 2015. Asreen Rostami, Valeriy Savinov, Louise Barkhuus. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1061-1066

    In developing countries where Internet is not readily accessible and literacy sometimes low, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems have been shown to provide opportunities in a variety of civic activities. In this way, such systems can give the opportunity to more easily influence and participate in public affairs. However the lack of an efficient system of administration can delay delivering the collected reports to the relevant organizations or authorities. This paper presents a study of a citizen reporting system that was developed, implemented and tested in Uganda. This was done in collaboration with the Women of Uganda Network an organization to empower women using ICT. We studied an IVR system called U-Call that allows administrators to easily publish and tag audio reports over the Web (reported by citizen) using low generation mobile devices. We highlight a number of issues, including multiple authentication process that needs to be taken into account for future development. We emphasize the importance of field studies in understanding and designing for this user group and understanding the reality of the technical infrastructure available.

  • Article Demo Hour
    2018. Robyn Taylor (et al.). interactions 25 (5), 10-13
Show all publications by Asreen Rostami at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 6, 2019

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