This is an ongoing dialogue between two colleagues who have worked at different ends of the spectrum of worldbuilding – one, a traditional Theme Park Experience Designer and “Proprioceptive Hacker™", the other, an Extended Reality, Creative Producer and “Tech Humanist”, both longstanding developers of immersive 360°experiences. While each has a distinct take in terms of IRL (in real life) theme parks and now the emerging metaverse, as they delve deeper, they find that they share similar intentions about ends, if not means. How do we envision, articulate and yes, even ship what can be described as an extension of our reality? And how do we make our new, merged environments “safe and happy”? (As both Amy & Kathleen were trained to design for when each worked for The Walt Disney Company.) We start by porting the principles and frameworks of traditional architecture, placemaking and gaming -- bringing best practices to bear.
Kathleen offers a new coinage — that we’re living through a “tribrid moment” —meaning that point of convergence where in real life, on digital screens, and in-world, virtual, all co-exist in parallel. How do we do so in a way – which Amy points out – offers authentic and proximate human engagement? For all the anxiety of AI’s becoming sentient, how can technology, in turn, facilitate a truly sentient humanity? A lively facilitated Q&A will follow.
Kathleen Cohen is "Tech Humanist" and an Extended Reality (XR) Experience Strategist and with over 25 years building both user and guest experiences. Kathleen’s background includes working as an Artist and Creative Producer for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Centers for Innovation and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Kathleen also was the former Vice President of Digital Innovation & Integration for the National Constitution Center helping to tell the contemporary story of the U.S. Constitution. Kathleen sits on the Advisory Board of holoride (Munich); a spinout of Audi innovation piloting passenger entertainment, think VR in your car. For the past four years, Kathleen also has been the Jury Chair and Keynote speaker for the AUREA Award, a dedicated conference on excellence in Location Based Entertainment, hosted by Europa-Park in Southern Germany.
Kathleen’s consultancy, the Collaboratorium focuses on XR Research, XR Strategy & Production and Public Engagement. Kathleen was recently speaking at the Milken Global Conference alongside Deepak Chopra taking a deeper look into the Metaverse. Her latest talks are Being Human, Becoming Human and Beyond Human, IRL vs. XR, The Future and Present Converge(s) and Meet Your Digital Twin, a talk about the land rush to recreating humans.
Kathleen recently completed the 1st immersive artist-in-residency project for a National Endowment For The Arts funded Arts Organization, Surel’s Place in the state of Idaho working alongside the University of Idaho's Virtual Technology & Design Research Lab, and BlackBox VR -- with key learnings from Indigenous Science and the Neurodivergent communities.
Amy Jupiter is a Creative Producer, Experience Designer, Visual FX Supervisor and Proprioceptive Hacker. During her many years at Walt Disney Imagineering, Amy Jupiter lead teams in developing and creating the next generation of award-winning immersive experiences and attractions for the Walt Disney theme parks. In her latest attraction, Amy and her team took on the design, creation and production of the real-time, interactive game media in the new attraction on the Avengers Campuses in California and Paris, Web Slingers: A Spider-man Adventure. Always pushing boundaries in immersive storytelling, Amy’s company, By Jove, most recently worked with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic as a Creative Producer and Experience Designer. Amy is currently working with a collective of world-renowned artists and idea makers creating more innovative and, well…kick ass projects.
Over the past twenty years, Jerry Weinstein’s work as a communicator/storyteller has been focused on curating ideas and people; connecting voices to audiences; while being agnostic about media platform. As an alum of NYC’s Civic Hall, a collaborative workspace for civic tech startups, he mentored and coached hundreds of founders in the civic tech space. Jerry has been working with KC and the Collaboratorium for nearly a decade, always advocating the urgency of “civic-ifying” IRL, the metaverse, and worlds not yet imagined. His substack, FOMO, is obsessed with the interplay between culture and civics.