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Neil Potnis is an Indian American media artist researching the intersection of civic education and social science. He leads the Disruptve Studio -- an interdisciplinary think tank developing media technologies to alleviate civic apathy.

Potnis holds an MSc in Computational Design Practices from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, a BSc (Hons) in Arts & Entertainment Technologies from the University of Texas at Austin, and is an incoming PhD student in International and Comparative Education at Columbia University. Potnis’s current work studies the media influence of civic and climate action, particularly in the US and South Asian regions, and how the application of learning technologies can drive enduring change in local communities. 

He previously held positions as a Program Instructor for Columbia World Project's Social Impact Fellowship, Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University GSAPP, and Design Fellow at Columbia Entrepreneurship leading the Obama Foundation Scholars and Columbia’s MBA program through social impact workshops.

Click here to view selected artwork. 


Design Fellowship • Issued by Columbia University

Avery Scholarship • Issued by Columbia University GSAPP

World-Changing Students Distinction • Issued by the University of Texas

University Honors • Issued by the University of Texas

Special Honors, Arts and Entertainment Technologies • Issued by UT SDCT


Potnis, N., & Ben-Alon, L. (2024). Earthen Builder Simulation: Representing Natural Materials and Embodied Carbon With Computational Play. International Journal of Interaction Design and Architecture(s), 60, 168–193.

Potnis, Neil. “Beginning Texas Design Journal: Developing an Academia-Centered Pedagogy for Product Design.” Texas Design Journal 2 (May 8, 2022): 9–28.

Potnis, Neil. “Frolic Pedagogy In a Post-Fröbel Era.” UT School of Design and Creative Technologies (December 6, 2021).


Human-Centered Design for Social Impact (2023) • Undergraduate Seminar at Columbia World Projects

Computational Drawing (2023) • Graduate Course at Columbia University GSAPP


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