avatar for Dylan Paré

Dylan Paré

Queer Code Collective
Director; Ph.D. Candidate in the Learning Sciences, University of Calgary
Calgary, AB, USA
Dylan Paré (they/them) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Learning Sciences at the University of Calgary, Werklund School of Education, and the Director of the Queer Code Collective (queercode.org), a design and research-based collective that designs, develops, and researches digital technologies and interactive art and storytelling with queer and trans experiences at the forefront.

Dylan 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. Within this overarching research project, Dylan researches multi-agent systems’ design to demonstrate how interacting and reasoning with multi-agent simulations of gender and sexuality-based marginalization can help us understand gender and sexuality experiences as complex, emergent, multi-level phenomena that involve dynamic interactions between individuals, groups, and institutions. This research also investigates how innovations in STEM, such as virtual reality and 3D sculpting, can be leveraged to queer learning environments and can offer emancipatory spaces and opportunities for supporting complex reasoning about social, scientific, and technological problems in society. The Queer Code Collective’s recently completed virtual reality project, Mementorium, extended 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 decide future actions.

Dylan’s collaborative work has been exhibited at ACM SIGGRAPH’s Immersive Pavilion (upcoming August 2021), the National Music Centre of Canada, Beakerhead science and technology festival, TEDx Calgary, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Calgary’s Spark Science Centre. Their work has been recognized through prestigious scholarships and project funding in Canada and the US, such as Alberta Innovates (Technology), a Paul D. Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Oculus Launch Pad, and TELUS Storyhive.

Dylan also runs a weekly live stream from VRChat with the Better Together VR crew, who explore virtual worlds and comment on artistic, technological, and societal aspects of design in social VR. The team also released an interactive, experiential learning, VRChat world called NASA Perseverance Rover on Mars, where visitors journey to Mars, the fourth planet from the sun, and experience its otherworldly, red terrain as they drive an accurate model of the NASA Perseverance Rover and discover information about the NASA Perseverance mission.