Nesli Hazal Oktay is a designer-researcher and educator focusing on the impacts and interactions the emerging technologies could deliver. She holds an MA in Interaction Design from the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn and a Communications BA from the Galatasaray University in Istanbul. Since the academic year 2019/20, she is working as a visiting lecturer and also as a curriculum developer of the Interaction Design MA at the Estonian Academy of Arts. As an educator, she has led several industry collaborations, and her subjects are shaped around interaction design and speculative design. While continuing her journey as a design educator she is also studying at the Academy as a doctoral student. Her research interests include embodied, participatory, and speculative approaches to design.

Research Activity

Associated Institutions and Positions

24.08.2020–… — Estonian Academy of Arts, Doctoral student (1,00)

01.09.2019–… — Estonian Academy of Arts, Visiting Lecturer (0,75) and MA Curriculum Developer (0,25)

Academic Degrees

PhD — Estonian Academy of Arts, Arts and Design Doctor’s Degree (24.08.2020–Expected end of studies: 24.08.2024)

MA — Estonian Academy of Arts, Interaction Design Master’s Degree (25.08.2017–20.06.2019)

BA — Bordeaux Montaigne University, Communications and Media, Dual Bachelor’s Degree (01.09.2013–15.06.2016)

BA — Galatasaray University, Communications, Bachelor’s Degree (01.09.2012–15.06.2016)


Oktay, N.H. (2022) Design placebos for the impossibility of empathy in videotelephony, in Lockton, D., Lloyd, P., Lenzi, S. (eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao, 25 June – 3 July, Bilbao, Spain. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2022.598

Kuusk, K.; Oktay, N.H.; Demir, A.D. (2022) Sensorial Design: Feel, Move, Interact!, in Design Journal Leida. https://leida.artun.ee/en/issues/technocriticism/sensorial-design-feel-move-interact

Design Research Projects

Research Grant — A6033UKKU (A6033UKKU) “Sensorial design” (1.07.2021−1.07.2023); Principal Researcher: Kristi Kuusk; Co-researchers: Nesli Hazal Oktay, Arife Dila Demir, Estonian Academy of Arts; Financier: Estonian Academy of Arts; Financing: 40 000 EUR.

Residency — “Gazing for Meaning” (18.12.2020–30.01.2021), STARTS.EE art-science resident. Residents: Nesli Hazal Akbulut, Mati Mõttus,; Organiser: Tallinn University School of Digital Technologies,eˉlektron and STARTS.EU. https://youtu.be/6DuAPnrgVwg.

Exhibitions and Talks

Exhibition — “Gazing for Meaning”, International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling 2021, Tallinn, Estonia. (Tallinn, Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives)

Exhibition — “Sensorial Design”, Disainiöö 2021, Tallinn, Estonia (Tallinn, Tallinn Design Festival)

Talk — “Speculative Design in Education: Speculating on the Future of Retirement in 2050”, Rethinking the Design Thinking, Design Experience Challenges 2020, Riga, Latvia. (Riga, University of Latvia)

Exhibition — “Empowering Connections Through Personal Touch”, TASE 2019, Tallinn, Estonia. (Tallinn, Estonian Academy of Arts)


Karolina Lehtma, Master’s Degree, 2022, (sup) Nesli Hazal Oktay; Kevin Crepin, Giving Creatives Control Over Their Creative Work, Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Design. Link to Work

Emilia Kagovere, Bachelor’s Degree, 2022 (sup) Nesli Hazal Oktay, User-Based Product Development for the Estonian Library for the Blind, Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Design. Link to Work

Jekaterina Suharenko, Master’s Degree, 2021, (sup) Nesli Hazal Akbulut, Conversations with the Water: Experiencing Life-Centered Design, Estonian Academy of Arts, Faculty of Design. Link to Work