Virtual Reality for Creating Empathy and Experiential Futures

Why am I excited by Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is a fascinating new medium that promises many interesting possibilities across many industries. Stepping into a virtual world allows one to experience a vast number of possibilities that can feel very real. 

Using immersive virtual reality, it becomes possible to experience the world as another person, an animal, or even a tree! You can share dreams and complex ideas, practice complex tasks, and visualize many possibilities that can seem remote in the future, or too abstract to comprehend in the real world. 

These simulations can be used by designers and planners to help clients, stakeholders and communities imagine future possibilities of what can be; build empathy and deepen connections with others; and used as educational tools to immerse people in a variety of learning possibilities.

I am personally very excited to continue explore how we may use Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality for deeper connections and understanding of one another; as well as helping us imagine all the various possibilities and what can be, in far away futures.

 

Burning Love Project

#BurningLove project is an immersive participatory installation designed to help people feel, participate in, and co-create the ritual of love through deep sensory experiences involving storytelling in virtual reality (VR), activity participation, and co-design.

The aim of this project is to teach that love is an active state, can be learned, practiced and shared through vulnerability, deep listening and communication. 

Users experience deep interaction with the exhibit through a Virtual Reality Cinematic experience; then participate in love-building activities, and finally co-design what love means to them - by building upon each other’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences through the act of creative expression.

You can see more about the Burning Love project here.


Virtual Reality Smart City Futures

I worked with the City of Edmonton develop a Virtual Reality app and to run citizen engagement sessions using the Smart City Virtual Reality engagement app. The VR app helped citizens have an immersive experience and walk through some of the new smart city technology that may be in Edmonton’s near future.

This is another possibility that excites me about working with Virtual Reality - helping making the invisible visible, engaging communities, and helping people explore what's possible.

You can read more about the Smart City Futures immersive project and download the app here.


Using VR for Conflict Resolution for Analog Astronauts in Isolated & Confined Environments

Living and working in space as well as future Mars settlements will put astronauts and settlers in isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) environments, subjecting individuals to difficult conditions. Teams from all over the world, with disparate cultures, disciplines, personalities and skills will need to collaborate for these missions and settlements to succeed. Understanding human factors, building trust, teaching conflict resolution strategies, and developing crew cohesion are paramount for both pre-simulation activities and during missions.

In collaboration with Mars Academy USA (MAU), we are working on a longitudinal study and developing and testing a suite of Virtual Reality conflict resolution and authentic relations tools that are being applied and tested during pre-simulation and analog mission simulations in low and mid fidelity settings. 

This research will be presented at the 70th International Astronautical Congress, October 2019, Washington, DC.

 


My Presentations about my Virtual Reality Work

This was a presentation that I gave at iCEE Fest, in Bucharest, Romania in 2018.

I was invited to speak at SFVR360 octo, at the River Ecosystem in San Francisco, October 2017. This was filmed with a 360 camera, so you can move around the video to get a 360 view.

Using Format