Rafael A. Fajardo

Associate Professor; Undergraduate Director for Emergent Digital Practices

Emergent Digital Practices

What I do

I make: games and interactive experiences; toys and other interactive objects; in the contexts of design and art; that are both virtual and tangible; that are both interactive and playful; that are both smart and accessible.


design, games, art, Science Fiction

Professional Biography

Rafael Fajardo has been exploring the expressive potential of the medium of videogames through his creative work, his research, and his teaching since the year 2000. He is the founder of SWEAT, a loose collaborative that pioneered the creation of socially conscious videogames. Rafael’s game projects have been featured at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Caixa Forum in Barcelona and various other museums and festivals. Fajardo has been engaging in collaborative interdisciplinary research in the field of games and education, concentrating on learning through game-making. His projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the Colorado Council on the Arts, in excess of one million dollars. Rafael and his collaborators have conducted lectures and workshops at OCAD, Parsons, ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM SIGCSE, ISTE, and the Games for Change Festival. I.D. Magazine named Fajardo among the top fifty designers in the country in 2004. Fajardo has served on the board of AIGA Colorado, and was one of the founders of the AIGA Center for Cross Cultural Design. He has served on the Board of Advisors of the International Digital Media and Arts Association, and on the Board of Advisors of Games for Change. His course areas include historical design methods, typography and book design, and emerging design methods, participatory and collaborative design, game design, and the emerging theoretical area of critical game studies.

Rafael received an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1993, a BFA and a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Design from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a Michener Fellow in Publishing at the University of Texas Press in 1991. Rafael’s research areas include design methods, design education, design pedagogy, ludology, meaningful play, and semiotics.


  • MFA, Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design, 1993
  • BA, Art, University of Texas at Austin, 1990
  • BFA, Design, University of Texas at Austin, 1990

Professional Affiliations

  • New Media Caucus
  • International Digital Media & Arts Association

Key Projects

  • Kids, Art, and Games: Workshop and Game Camp at the University of Denver


Fajardo, R. A., GauthierDickey, C. J., & Leutenegger, S. T. (2020). Ars Electronica/Garden del Rio Grande.
Fajardo, R. A., Ortega, F., Tarango, M., Molloy, R., Ortega, M., Escobar, C., & Márquez, T. (2019). Crosser (2000) & La Migra (2001) / Stadstriënnale Screen It. Hasselt & Genk, Belgium.
Fajardo, R. A., GauthierDickey, C. J., & Fajardo, E. (2017). "Migraciones" v.1.0 / Deep Roots: an intersection of borders. SWEAT 5.0. San Antonio, TX, USA.
Fajardo, R. A. (2018). Crosser & La Migra included in NextNewGames at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art. San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA, USA.
Fajardo, R. A. (2017). Rafael Fajardo: Crossings. Emmanuel Gallery, Denver, Colorado, USA.


  • I.D. Fifty, I.D. The International Magazine of Design