Hossein Najafi

profile image

Lecturer – Digital Design

Phone: +64 9 9219999 ext. 8802

Email: hossein.najafi@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:

WE 617
Department of Digital Design
City Campus

Postal Address:

School of Art and Design
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies
AUT University
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand


  • MFA (2008) – Cinema – University of Tehran – Tehran, Iran
  • BA (2005) – Business Management – IAU – Tehran, Iran

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Memory Lab, Cognitive Neuropsychological Research Group at the University of Auckland

Show reel

Hossein Najafi Demo Reel May 2018 from Hossein Najafi on Vimeo.


Hossein Najafi is a lecturer and Visual Effects Pathway leader in the Digital Design department. Hossein is a practicing artist and a film maker as well as a scholar who examines media language and aesthetics.

He is currently completing a PhD. His research project is a practice-led enquiry that negotiates bridges between identity theories and narrative form. In his inquiries he uses a variety of technologies including Motion Capture, Deep Learning, Virtual Human and Advanced Dynamic Simulations in his practice.

Hossein began his career as a design and animation artist in 1999 when he founded Didar Film, a small production studio where he produced and directed over 50 television commercials, managed numerous print campaigns and designed websites. While active in the advertising industry, he graduated in Cinema with a MFA from the University of Tehran. He then initiated a part time career as a casual lecturer in some of the leading universities in Iran, teaching animation, filmmaking, colour theory and design. Between 2009 and 2011, he worked with Touchwood Animation in London and then in 2011, he moved to Istanbul, where he worked as a creative media, animation and visual effects artist with companies including Ulkutay Productions, Cordoba Animations, Imaj Post Productions, CherryCherryVFX and Genius Park.

In Dec 2015, Hossein moved to New Zealand to undertake a doctoral thesis in Art and Design at AUT. In 2016 he began lecturing part time in the Digital Design department teaching animation, game and visual effects courses. From May 2016 to May 2017 he worked for Yukfoo Studio in Auckland as a senior animation artist.

Hossein was one of the major contributors to the Charles Darwin University’s television commercial campaign which won multiple awards including the Cannes Lion Prize in 2017. From May 2017 to February 2018, he worked for Toybox NZ as a CG Supervisor, undertaking a range of projects including television commercials, animated series and motion graphics. Based on his industry background and teaching profile, in 2018, he was appointed as a lecturer at the Yoobee Animation College and then, in February 2019, he joined AUT’s Digital Design department as a fulltime lecturer and visual effects pathway leader.

Teaching Areas:

  • Visual Effects
  • Animation
  • Filmmaking
  • Creative Practice and Research

Research Areas:

  • Film and Narrative
  • Creative Writing
  • Design Theories
  • Animation
  • Visual Effects
  • Virtual Reality
  • Cognitive Psychology in Film and Animation
  • The Pedagogy of Art Education
  • Creative Research and Heuristic Methodology


  • 2015 - Film on Faultline (Book Chapter). Edited by Alan Write – Chapter 16: Interview with Abbas Kiarostami. Intelect Books.
  • 2014 - Educational Use of Functional Elements in Designing Tablet Based Interactive E-Books and Its Application in Word Learning in Young Children – Koc University – Submitted to American Journal of Education.
  • 2014 - Mobile Interactive Digital Storytelling for Preschool Children – Koc University – Submitted to Educational Technology Research and Development.
  • 2014 - The Story that the Heart Tells for Children: Interactive Storytelling and Computational Algorithms of Blood Flow – Koc University – Submitted to Interaction Design and Children 2014.
  • 2012 - Motion Pictures, New Media and Philosophy of Science: Toward Authentic Scientific Theorizing for Motion Pictures – a personal survey on “Context of Discovery” and “Context of Justification” in the area of motion picture and how it may relate to philosophy of science.
  • 2008 - Aesthetics and Semiotics of Computer Generated Visual Effects in the Works of Denis Muren (Master's Thesis Submitted in for M.A. Degree in , University College of Fine Arts) – Tehran University.
  • 2006 - Evaluations of Global Institutions and Economic Conditions, Questionnaire and Methodology – BBC World Service Poll and International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland
  • 2006 - Global Poll Finds Diverse Economic Perceptions - BBC World Service Poll and International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland – accomplished by PARS Advanced Research Scholars.

Publications in progress:

  • 2016-2019 - Displacement of Self-Continuity: A Creative Inquiry into Identity Theories in a Narrative Short Film. AUT University – A practice-led research PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Welby Ings.


  • 2018 - Summer scholarship for a selected animation project, Auckland University of Technology Center for Learning and Teaching.
  • 2016 - Graduate assistantship PhD scholarship (Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology).
  • 2010 - Member of the advisory committee, The Global Contemporary, Karlsruhe Zentrum Fur Kunst, Germany
  • 2008 - Honorary trainee for Motion Capture Technology, Vicon Motion Systems, Oxford, UK
  • 2005 – Postgraduate Study Scholarship, University of Tehran, Iran
  • 2000 - Scholarship to study for a BA in Business Management, IAU, Iran
  • 1998 Awarded Proxime Accessit, Dehkhoda High School, Iran.