Nicholls Assistant Professor of Art Delivers Presentation and Awarded for Virtual Reality Animation

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THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls Assistant Professor of Art Marjan Khatibi delivered a presentation at the SURFACE Educators Conference that was part of the larger AIGA National Conference in Seattle, Washington, on Oct. 20, 2022. Her presentation was entitled, “Intercultural Perspectives in the Design Process: Unforeseen Challenges and Opportunities.”

The session Khatibi participated in was an intercultural panel of educators from different universities that brought together insights about collaborative spaces and working with people in context. The panel reflected on the importance of working with people and learning from their lived experiences while collaborating with them. 

The ability to allow stakeholders to contribute equally before, during and after the process is one of the mindsets the panelists wanted to highlight. As Arab, Iranian, Mexican and Argentinian designers with different backgrounds, each shared how design practice in the U.S. has been transformed.

The mission of the AIGA Design Educators Community, is to improve design educators’ and educational institutions’ capacities to continue training designers for excellence in design practice, design theory and design writing.

Khatibi also received an Outstanding Achievement Award for a virtual reality animation entitled “Afghanistan Crisis” in June 2022 for the 32nd Season of the World Film Carnival – Singapore.

Khatibi notes, “On August 30, 2021, with the withdrawal of American soldiers from Afghanistan, the military and diplomatic evacuation and withdrawal operations of the United States ended. The ‘Afghanistan Crisis’ is a 360-degree immersive virtual reality animation. It tells the tale of hundreds of Afghans who tried to flee from Kabul Airport after the Taliban seized control of the city. Afghan citizens’ dead bodies were discovered in the landing gear of a military aircraft leaving Kabul Airport. Desperate Afghan women were seen throwing their babies over the razor wire of the Kabul airport compound. This experience put participants in the middle of a crisis, investigating whether participants would be silent if they were one of the victims in the middle of the tragedy or if they would have empathy for the victims.”

Marjan Khatibi is a visual designer, media artist, and Adobe Education Leader. Her artwork addresses gender equity using virtual and augmented reality and 2D animation. She specializes in design, animation and art direction.

The Nicholls Department of Art aims to provide quality studies in all visual media and the skills needed for employment or continued studies. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. To learn more about Nicholls Department of Art, visit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 8, 2022

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