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Hi, I am Qazi Fazli Azeem.

My MFA (Design) terminal degree is from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, USA, where I was a Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan

My graduate research was at the MIT Media Lab, where I researched Interaction Design, Creative Learning Technologies, and Entrepreneurship. 

I am a member of the international Interaction Design Foundation.

From 2008-2023, I was a full-time Assistant Professor of Design, Media and Advertising across Universities in Karachi, Pakistan. I am currently an independant contractor and looking for work and collaboration opportunities, especially in the use of generative AI for design services and design education.

I am also known internationally for my non-profit work as Pakistan's first and South Asia's only regional self-advocate for Autism spectrum of Disorders since 2006. I co-authored a book on this subject and spoke at the United Nations in New York on UN World Autism Awareness Day in 2013.

BIO/Profile

Till 6 Sep 2023, Qazi Fazli Azeem was an Assistant Professor and the Program Manager of Master of Advertising and Master of Media Science at the Media Science Department at SZABIST University, Karachi Campus. He is also the South Asian self-advocate for the Autism Spectrum, the first and only one from Pakistan and the entire South Asian countries since 2006. He received his MFA in Design from the Dynamic Media Institute, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2014 through the Fulbright Scholarship. His graduate electives were at the Lifelong Learning Group, MIT Media Lab which led to his thesis project Curious Learning being incubated at the Harvard Innovation Lab, winning the semi-finalist prize at the MIT $100K Graduate Entrepreneurship Competition, featured in a TEDx talk @TEDxBeaconstreet and exhibiting it at the US Department of Education’s Datapalooza event in 2014 on invitation from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). While in the USA, he co-authored the book “Been There. Done That. Try This!: An Aspie's Guide to Life on Earth”, the book was edited by acclaimed British Psychologist Dr. Tony Attwood. Qazi Fazli Azeem represented Pakistan and South Asia as a speaker in a Panel at the United Nations in New York, USA on 2nd April 2013 UN World Autism Awareness Day. In 2015, he was the only person from Pakistan invited to speak at the South Asian Autism regional conference in Delhi, India. The same year in 2015, he represented Pakistani entrepreneurs at the US State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya which was presided by US President Barack Obama. In 2017, he was the only person from Pakistan invited to speak at the UN/WHO International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Bhutan. Since returning to Pakistan in 2014, Qazi Fazli Azeem wrote the curriculum and designed the Bachelor of Design (B.Des) degree at the Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (KITE) and the Master of Media Science (MMS) degree at SZABIST University, both degrees received NOC from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and are offered to students in Pakistan.

Chronological History:

Qazi Fazli Azeem is the paternal grandson of Fazli Khalil, founder of Pakistan’s first Type Foundry (Karachi Type Foundry - KTF), which introduced locally manufactured typefaces and offset printing for the first time in East and West Pakistan, training the first generation of graphic designers and printing presses. Some of these designers learned how to design on Pakistan’s first Apple Computers (imported by KTF Systems) and became the first generation of Art directors in the advertising agencies that were established here. In this way, KTF directly influenced all Printing presses, publication houses, newspapers, and advertising agencies in Pakistan, before and after 1971.

With artistic potential shown by winning Art prizes during his education at the Karachi Grammar School, Fazli Azeem was trained in fine arts (sculpting) at the national school of art and then at studio art (under Visual artist Naheed Raza). This was followed by learning graphic design on the job on for over a decade at Karachi Type Foundries offshoot press Printing Impressions. In 2004 Fazli Azeem did an advanced diploma in multimedia from Arena Multimedia Defence Centre Karachi (Arena Multimedia was brought to Pakistan by KTF Systems) and over seven years taught hundreds of graphic designers, photographers, video editors, animators and artists who are now working at TV Channels, Advertising agencies and newspapers all over the world. In 2006 he completed his 4-year HEC recognized undergrad BS degree in Multimedia Design from the Newports Institute, Karachi. He then left Arena and became a fulltime lecturer of design at the Department of Communication Design at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture where he taught for four years, while teaching adjunct courses at the Media Science department at SZABIST. During these four years, Fazli Azeem created the ASIM JOFA brand and advertising campaigns for Movenpick of Switzerland Ice cream in Pakistan, and did projects for Aga Khan University, Lowe & Rauf Ad Agency (now MullenLowe group), PIA Inflight Duty-free catalog, Bay View Academy Annual yearbooks and many freelance clients.

In was during this time 2006-2012 that Fazli Azeem’s non-profit Autism awareness and advocacy programs started which led to interviews on all major Pakistani Tv Channels’ morning shows, major newspapers and radio stations (including an interview on ZabFM by my SZABIST Media science student Hammad Sarfaraz). This also led to being national keynote speaker at Autism research conferences in South Asian Countries (India and Bangladesh, and later in Bhutan) and the US.

In 2012, while at IVS, Fazli Azeem won the US State Department’s Fulbright scholarship and completed his two year terminal degree MFA in Design from the Dynamic Media Institute, Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston USA) with his electives and thesis completed at the MIT Media Lab (Cambridge USA) under LEGO MIT Professor Mitch Resnick. His graduate-level startup Curious learning was incubated at the Harvard Innovation Lab and exhibited his ed-tech designs at an educational conference for the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in Washington DC. He also did product design work at the MIT Media lab for the internationally acclaimed Artist and Design Olafur Eliasson, which was the subject of a short documentary by MIT and exhibited at the MIT Museum. His designs were also featured in a TEDx talk (now on YouTube) by his graduate co-founder Aya Sakaguchi at TEDxBeaconstreet in Boston in 2014.

While in the US for his Fulbright scholarship, Fazli Azeem also co-authored a book with American self-advocates of the Autism spectrum of disorders and researchers “Been there, done that, try this! An Aspies guide to life on earth” which was published by Jessica Kingsley Press UK in 2014. He also represented Pakistan as a speaker at the 2nd April 2013 United Nations Autism awareness day event in New York at the UN Plaza, the video of which can be seen on the UN videos website.

After graduating with an MFA in Design in 2014, Fazli Azeem returned to Karachi, Pakistan as per his agreement with the US State Department to serve Pakistan. His first project was as the designer and advertising campaign manager of the IAM Karachi Film Festival 2015 (funded by Creative Associates/USAID). In 2017 he was nominated by NOWPDP (AKDN) for the IAM Karachi Ardeshir Cowasjee award for Inclusion for his Autism awareness and advocacy work.

A bench designed by Qazi Fazli Azeem is permanently installed at the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station which was part of the 2014 Pursukoon Karachi exhibition of hand-crafted benches donated to the city by prominent artists.

In 2015, Qazi Fazli Azeem became the founding Head of Department of the Department of Design (B.Des undergrad degree) at the Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (KITE), a newly-established Sindh-HEC chartered undergraduate university in Korangi. For nearly five years, he created the course outlines, hired and evaluated faculty, taught courses and workshops, created the universities advertising materials, managed social media accounts and participated in the Sindh-HEC evaluation meetings.

Qazi Fazli Azeem was one of the few people selected from Pakistan to attend the US State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya which was presided by US President Barack Obama. During the next two years 2015-2016 Qazi Fazli Azeem trained two batches of Acumen Pakistan social entrepreneurship fellows in lean startup methodologies and design thinking.

In 2017, he completed a two week certificate in advanced documentary production from the Centre for Excellence in Journalism at IBA Karachi, taught by Professor Brent Huffman of the Medill School of Journalism, North Western university USA and Oscar and Emmy award winning film-maker Asad Faruqi (Alum of Media Sciences Department at Szabist). Fazli Azeem’s name is featured in the list of CEJ Alumni on their website. The same year, Fazli Azeem was Design mentor and judge along with faculty of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture at the PTCL LIVE Design Challenge during the 2017 National Digital Design Conference (N2DC) in Islamabad. The same year, he represented Pakistan as National speaker at the 2017 International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Bhutan where he was invited by the Government of Bangladesh and the UN World Health Organization.

A poster designed by Qazi Fazli Azeem was displayed at the MIT Campus in Cambridge, MA USA on 18 October 2019

In December 2019, Qazi Fazli Azeem co-authored an international paper "An Expert Discussion on Autism in Adulthood in Low- and Middle-Income Countries" -in a journal "Autism in Adulthood Vol. 1, No. 4, 2019"

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Last updated Nov 17, 2023 

A video summary of my non-profit Autism advocacy work in Pakistan and South Asia and my Fulbright Scholarship to the USA (2012-2014) and interaction with American disability advocacy organizations. 

A short documentary of the design work I did for a project with Dutch-Icelandic Artist Olafur Eliasson at the MIT Media Lab during 2014. I can be seen in the video.

An interview of me by the US State Department during my Fulbright scholarship in the US, this was recorded during the Social Entrepreneurship workshop at American University DC, USA (2014)

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