Our latest VRLA School educational speaker session, brought to you by Super Architects, will focus on how interdisciplinary design can go hand in hand with VR and AR. We will explore how design thinking, from the lens of architecture and world building, can be applied to the creation of mixed reality experiences. We will also examine how VR and AR tools can be utilized by designers to achieve something that has alluded the architectural profession forever: designing at 1:1 scale in real time. This event applies to designers, artists, architects, storytellers, developers, filmmakers, engineers, and other creators interested in VR and AR. Speakers will discuss how architects (and designers of a similar form) are utilizing the spectrum of mixed reality to move out of physical construction and into the realm of world building – a process that unlocks a number of possibilities, including the door for storytelling in VR and AR. How can creators of all kinds utilize these new tools and processes in disruptive and imaginative ways? This event will paint a picture of a possible future that is in development now – where the line between designer and participant is exploding in all directions.
2PM | Snacks, Music, + Networking
2:30PM-3PM | Micro-Presentations
3PM-4PM | Panel Discussion
4PM-4:30PM | Q&A
4:30PM-5:30PM | More Snacks, Music, + Networking
Devin Gharakhanian is a creative director, environmental designer, and an artist. He is the co-founder of the emerging architecture publication/media platform Super Architects and is currently sponsored by Sci-Arc Edge Program (fiction and entertainment) to develop his research + design work in world building/speculative narratives experienced through virtual reality (VR). The experimental lab he founded, QUARC, is focused on rethinking spatial atmospheres and experiences, through performing interdisciplinary projects in balance between architecture, media, and technology. Their most recent ongoing work is called Room XYZ, where his collective formulate immersive narratives that directly link to VR installations and experiences. In result, simultaneously question what VR/AR/MR might mean for the future of architecture? Los Angeles based, Devin's work is being produced out of The RUE, a think tank and incubator space supporting 7 particular creatives working both independently and in parallel.
Laura Cechanowicz is a designer, a researcher, and a collector. She works across mediums, including animation, film and virtual reality, production design, and sound design. Thematically and formally she explores embodiment through identity and neuroscience, spatial design, and worldbuilding. She is a member of the USC World Building Institute where she has studied with Alex McDowell since 2014, learning worldbuilding through practice and as McDowell’s iMAP Teaching Assistant.Laura received her MFA in Animation from the University of Southern California; her MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa; her BA with honors from the University of Michigan majoring in Film & Video, Psychology and German; and she began her PhD in Media Arts and Practice at USC in 2013.
Guvenc Ozel is an architect, artist and researcher. He is the principal of Ozel Office, and is currently one of the lead design faculty members in the Suprastudio program of UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, where he also holds the IDEAS Program Advisor position. His firm, Ozel Office is an interdisciplinary design practice creating spaces, objects and experiences at the intersection of architecture, technology and media. The current work of Ozel Office ranges from institutional buildings and private residences to experimental installations that merge new technologies with architecture.Ozel’s current research explores technologically enhanced environments as a synthesis of digital and physical worlds. Artificial intelligence, interactivity, robotics, cybernetics, technological singularity and virtual/mixed reality are reoccurring themes and applications that yield to experimentation on creating spaces where the user and the environment merge in continuous feedback loops.
Nels Long is a Los Angeles based designer, programmer and entrepreneur. He received masters in Emerging Systems Technology and Media from SCI-Arc in 2014 and his B.Arch from Mississippi State University in 2013. Since graduating SCI-Arc, Nels has been a member of the RoTo Architects design team where he works to introduce game logic and play into contemporary design workflows. Nels is a Co-Founder of RotoLab, a design innovation lab built to overcome epic challenges facing future enterprise in how we work, play, learn and care. In 2016 he Co-Founded and became CEO of Second Studio, a blockchain based virtual reality platform built to provide virtual studios for collaboration in design, physical science and medical research. Currently he teaches seminars in programming virtual reality and robots while assisting Michael Rotondi with his design studios at SCI-Arc.
Antonio Pacheco (moderator)
Antonio is a designer who employs architecture, historic preservation, intersectional urbanism, and writing to engage with and affect the built environment. He is the West Editor at The Architect’s Newspaper and currently holds a design fellowship with LA-Más. In the past, Antonio has had writing published by VICE Media, Failed Architecture, and eVolo, among others. Antonio earned an M.Arch I and Masters of Preservation Studies from Tulane University in 2014 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.
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