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Dr Hanan Zakari PhD, MA, BA (Hons)


Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies


Hanan is an interdisciplinary artist, lecturer and researcher, with interests in art, science, technology and education.

She holds a PhD in Serious Game from the Glasgow School of Art, University of Glasgow. Her research has investigated the use of video games to desensitise autistic children with auditory hypersensitivity. As outcomes, she has created a mobile game Sinbad and the Magic Cure, a methodological and technical framework inspired on software engineering and graphical design practice.

Hanan completed her first (Hons) degree with a distinction at the Islamic Arts Education of King Abdulaziz University, KSA, in 2007. During her graduate study, she explored different art techniques and methods in drawing, printmaking, sculpture and textile. She was awarded scholarships from the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program, completing a master's in design innovation at De Montfort University, with additional studies at the University of the Arts, London.

Hanan's artworks have been displayed throughout the UK and Europe, notably Germany and Portugal, and in the Middle East, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. She has given a number of talks and guest lectures and presented at international conferences.

See Hanan's profile on Pure

Taught courses

Further information

Teaching experience

Hanan has taught at Solent University since 2018, and at other universities prior to this:

  • 2018: Visiting lecturer, Approach for the Design and Development of Serious Games for challenging target users: A case study with Autistic Children with audio hypersensitivity, School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, UK.
  • 2016-17: Graduate teaching assistant, The History of Islamic Art, School of Simulation and Visualisation, Glasgow School of Art, UK, postgraduate taught students.
  • 2015: Visiting lecturer, Serious Games for Children with ASD, Autism Journal Club, School of Psychology, Glasgow University, UK.
  • 2013: Visiting lecturer, The Art of Arabic Calligraphy and Arabic Typography, Department of Graphic Design and Digital Media, Princess Noura University, Riyadh, KSA.
  • 2007-08: Art technician, Department of Islamic Art Education, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA.

Research interests

Hanan's research interests lie in interdisciplinary creative practices and research exchanging between the creative arts, psychology, technology, and education.

She is presently undertaking research in the following areas:

  • Video games for therapeutic and educational purposes.
  • Therapeutic potential of commercial video games.
  • Serious games for cultural heritage.
  • Game based interactive media.
  • Serious games for behavioural change.

Recent publications

Zakari, H.M. (2019) A serious game for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Auditory Hypersensitivity, PhD thesis, The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK.

Zakari, H.M., Poyade, M. and Simmons, D., Sinbad and The Magic Cure: A Serious Game for Children with ADS and Auditory Hypersensitivity. In: Proceedings of the 5th Games and Learning Alliance Conference (Gala 2017), Lisbon, Portugal, December 2017.

Eszler Biro, Jacqueline Butler, Mirian Calvo, Ines Bento Coelho, Allyson Keehan, Fiona Jane MacLellan, Catherine M Weir, Dawn Worsley, Hanan Makki Zakari, Polina Zioga, Viviana Checchia (2016), Whereabouts you are, (show/exhibition)

Zakari, H.M, Ma, M. and Simmons M.A, Review of a Serious Game for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In: Proceedings of the 5th Serious Games Development and Applications, Berlin, Germany, October 2014.

Work in progress

Hanan is currently working on serious game interventions for healthcare.