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.
Ph.D. Candidate, Learning Sciences, University of Calgary
Designer & Researcher, Queer Code Collective
Dylan (they/them) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Learning Sciences at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education. They are the Founder and Director of the Queer Code Collective. Dylan co-designs virtual, immersive, and interactive computational environments for learning about complex systems, socio-political issues, and design justice. 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 national and international venues such as the National Music Centre of Canada, Beakerhead science and technology festival, TEDx Calgary, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Spark Science Centre, the Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories, and the ACM SIGGRAPH Immersive Pavilion. Dylan was a Fleck Fellow of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in 2019, a recipient of a 2021 Elizabeth Cannon Graduate Scholarship in Entrepreneurial Thinking, an Alberta Innovates Technology scholarship awardee in 2019, and an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 scholarship awardee.
Dylan led the design of the virtual reality project, Mementorium, which won a 2021 Rosie Award for Best Narrative Game or Interactive Project from the Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA). Mementorium extends previous research and design work on complex systems and embodied learning to the medium of interactive narrative and immersive, spatial exploration of objects in VR. Mementorium is designed to support learning about how STEM identity is shaped by moments of social biases and injustices that have cumulative effects and emphasizes our agency to recognize past harms and imagine more just futures. Their 2018 short film and companion 360° virtual reality art project, Creative Futures, engaged transgender youth artists in designing their desired futures in virtual reality and was a 2019 selected film of the National Screen Institute, Canada.
Dylan previously worked as an educational consultant in gender and sexuality for workplace and community settings, and in post-secondary student services for gender and sexual diversity, healthy relationships, and sexual health education. They hold a Master of Arts in Communication and Culture and a Bachelor of Arts 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 2021 International Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) Conference, 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.
MSc Student, Computational Media Design, University of Calgary
3D Artist and Designer, Queer Code Collective & Wakebold
Scout (she/her) is a 3D artist, game developer, and designer with the Queer Code Collective. She is currently an M.Sc. student in Computational Media Design at the University of Calgary, where she is researching and designing VR experiences that combine science education with embodied learning and projection in virtual environments. Driven by a fascination with surreal worlds, talking animals, and robots, she brings a bit of magic to each interactive project she creates. Her work has been featured by Oculus and Microsoft, and her collaborative work has been exhibited at TedX Calgary, Spark Science Centre, Beakerhead science and technology festival, and the 2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Immersive Pavilion. She is also an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 scholarship awardee.
Application Designer and Developer, Queer Code Collective
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, the 2021 ACM SIGGRAPH Immersive Pavilion 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 Ph.D. 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.