Graham Wakefield

Canada Research Chair in Computational Worldmaking

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
York University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Coming to Canada From

KAIST, South Korea, University of California Santa Barbara, United States

Research involves

Developing computational arts and technologies to provide more meaningful interaction and intensify aesthetic experience in real and virtual spaces.

Research relevance

This research will lead to the development of new artworks and technologies for emerging art forms and creative industries.

Bringing Immersive Environments to Life

The excitement created by new immersive technologies that can generate life-like interactive experiences in virtual worlds—and can even blend them with our everyday reality—parallels the enthusiasm brought about by the birth of cinema. Yet these new technologies, and the content creation practices that go with them, are far from mature.

As Canada Research Chair in Computational Worldmaking, Dr. Graham Wakefield wants to help them grow by developing aesthetic practices and technologies that foster more meaningful and engaging experiences in blended real and artificial worlds.

Inspired by the creativity of nature, Wakefield and his research team are developing computational systems to create artificial worlds where participants can rewrite the rules while interacting within them. He and his team are also developing strategies to create meaningful interaction and intensify aesthetic experience by using collaborative, multi-sensory engagement that involves the whole body. They will share the resulting software products with digitally literate artists and “creative coders” to help exhibit, distribute and document new creative works of unprecedented complexity.

Interactive virtual worlds and mixed realities will be increasingly important forms of creative content in the future. Entertainment and software industries are already investing heavily in these areas while acknowledging the need for new software and aesthetic practices. Wakefield’s research will help meet the demand for more immersive, dynamic and open-ended interactive experiences in the arts and entertainment sectors.