Queer Code Logo

The Queer Code Collective is a design and research-based collective that designs, develops, and researches new models of code and coding with queer and trans experiences at the forefront. We explore computing at the intersections of critical theory, virtual reality, complexity, computing education, and interactive art. Our work involves developing interactive and immersive computer simulations that integrate narrative storytelling with coding, computing, and digital art.

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Imagining new worlds and new possibilities.

What We Do

Queer coding can have multiple meanings and we explore these through our design and research work at the theoretical, practical, and aesthetic levels.

Queer coding has historically referred to the sub-textual representation of queer characterization and queer symbolism in media. It is sometimes used negatively to represent villains as queer (and queerness as villainous), but has also been used to secretly represent queerness in order to find queer community and representation when queer publicness has been suppressed.

Queer coding, for us, is about engaging with these social and historical meanings as well as present day issues while designing with technologies in order to bring conversations about justice and equity, and queer and trans experiences to the forefront.

Our Values

Playful, Critical Design

Our design work is guided by engagement with critical theory and justice and equity engaged learning through play. For more on how these can be combined, see our paper on “Queering Virtual Reality: A Prolegomenon”.

Public Computing

Building upon the work of Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan and Dr. Pratim Sengupta in the Mind, Matter and Media Lab (M3Lab), we aim to create public and virtual learning environments through public engagements with queer code. We take up the metaphors of the public sidewalk and publicness to re-imagine learning about computing. See Drs. Shanahan and Sengupta’s TEDx talk on Coding as Public Spaces for more on Public Computing.

Dr. Pratim Sengupta and Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan Speaking on “Coding as Public Spaces” at TEDxCalgary
Black Lives Matter – Go To Statement


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