Doug North Cook is an assistant professor at Chatham University, and he holds an immersive design residency at Fallingwater architectural landmark in Pittsburg. North Cook is trying to synthesize the many different design frameworks and principles ranging from industrial design, user-centered design, universal design, inclusive design, and architecture in order to come up with new frameworks that are uniquely suited for virtual reality. He’s also very much interested in accessibility and trying to break down some of the fundamental affordances of different types of VR input, and trying to figure out how to design VR for the most number of people.
North Cook and I also deconstruct different aspects of the keynote at Oculus Connect 6, especially around what wasn’t being talking about around the deeper ethical and privacy implications of where the technology is headed. He gets concerned over some of the somewhat religious zealotry language of being “true believers” of the technology without a broader conversation around the underlying business models that will sustain it, or some of the ethical design principles that could steer the technology more towards dystopic futures of surveillance, safety, or manipulation. We also talk about his efforts to be as inclusive as he can in empowering underrepresented minority artists and creators, and some of his recent experiences in the recently released Half + Half by Normal VR.
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