We are a small team of talented and passionate people. As an agile, learning-oriented team, we work together in dynamic groups across projects. This means that we take on various roles for different projects and our work is never fully encompassed by our titles. We value collaborative, iterative, learning-oriented design and practice.
PhD Candidate in the Learning Sciences; Designer & Researcher; Director of the Queer Code Collective
Dylan (they/them) co-designs virtual, immersive, and interactive computational environments for learning about complex systems, computational thinking, and technology design. Their primary research project reimagines computational and technoscientific literacies by interweaving complexity studies, scholarship on embodiment, and queer and trans phenomenology. Their collaborative work has been exhibited at the National Music Centre of Canada, Beakerhead science and technology festival, TEDx Calgary, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Spark Science Centre. Dylan co-directed Creative Futures 360º in 2018, was a Fleck Fellow of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2019, an Alberta Innovates (Technology) scholarship awardee in 2019, and an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 scholarship awardee. Dylan holds an MA in Communication and Culture and a BA with distinction in Women’s Studies, in which they were also awarded the Governor General’s Silver Medallion in Women’s Studies.
Dylan was an invited speaker at the 2019 Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Story Studio panel on Cultural Diversity and Creative Storytelling, as well as an invited speaker at the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit where they presented on gender and sexual diversity in virtual reality.
3D Artist and Designer
Scout (she/her) is a 3D/VR artist, game developer, filmmaker, and vegan cinnamon bun aficionado. Her designs are influenced by a fascination with speculative fiction, talking animals, and surreal worlds. Scout shared a look into her VR sculpting process on Medium’s August 2017 livestream and spoke at the 2018 DesignerCon virtual reality sculpting and 3D printing panel. Scout co-directed Creative Futures 360º in 2018, and is an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 alumni and scholarship awardee.
Application Designer and Developer
John (he/him) is an application developer and student research associate at the University of Calgary. He is interested in the intersections of computer science, education, and social issues learning, especially UI/UX design, accessibility in technology, and VR for education. He was funded through a 2020 University of Calgary PURE Award to research interactions in VR for collaborative learning and developing interactive, computer simulations of socioscientific issues. John’s work was also supported by a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and he is an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 scholarship awardee. His collaborative work has been displayed in public spaces such as the National Music Centre of Canada, Spark Science Centre, the University of Calgary and more, and John is also an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 alumni and scholarship awardee.
Musician, Composer, Visual Artist, Designer and Researcher
Sophia is a musician, singer, and visual artist who has written and produced original music for Queer Code’s Mementorium and Creative Futures. Sophia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is also a trained expressive arts therapist with 5 years experience working with individuals, groups, and communities, across diverse marginalized groups, and with people of various ages from elementary to elderly, to design and facilitate interventional activities and arts-based activities for educational settings, community engagement, and public symposiums. As a designer and researcher, Sophia explores integrating expressive arts and embodied modeling as a phenomenological mode of inquiry. She began this work during a 2019 University of Calgary PURE Award independent research project, and she is continuing her research as a Master’s student in the Learning Sciences at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education.
The Queer Code Collective grew out of the Mind, Matter & Media Lab (M3Lab) through Dylan Paré’s PhD research. Faculty members, Dr. Pratim Sengupta and Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan, of the M3Lab have contributed as advisors/collaborators in the development of the projects, Queer and Trans Narratives in VR and Flocking QT Stories, and they continue to support the ongoing work of Queer Code in its many forms.
Dr. Pratim Sengupta
Pratim Sengupta is a Professor of Learning Sciences and STEM Education at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. Until Oct 2019, he also held the Research Chair of STEM education. He co-directs the Mind, Matter & Media Lab along with Dr. Marie Claire Shanahan.
Pratim’s research sits at the intersection of modelling complex systems, multi-agent programming languages, art and social justice. This work involves building immersive, interactive and public computational systems for modelling complex phenomena, drawing upon, and contributing to, literatures on complex systems, computer science, critical theories, learning sciences, science education, and social justice. Across the different projects, we are developing critical phenomenological approaches for integrating computing in public education, in justice-oriented ways.
Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan
Marie-Claire Shanahan is an Associate Professor of Science in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She studies identity, language, media and gender and their influence on participation and engagement with science by people of all ages.
Marie-Claire’s research focuses on personal interactions between insiders and outsiders in science contexts. She examines student-teacher interactions and their impact on student identity development including motivation and interest in pursuing careers and further studies in science. She also has a special interest in informal science education and outreach, studying mentorship programs and public outreach events. Her interest in insider-outsider interactions is especially prominent in her research of online science communication, where she examines science blogs and online commenting communities to understand the judgments participants make about each other’s expertise and how and why they engage in arguments and collaborations.