TEDxDubai talk: Augmented Reality & The Power of Imagination

I’m very pleased to share video of my recent TEDxDubai talk! Naturally, I discussed Augmented Reality 🙂 but I also tied in my Tilt Shift photography to this year’s TEDx theme of “The Beauty of Small Things”.

Fighting a fever and a flu bug, I mustered all my might and was so happy to make it on that stage! Let’s say, it really was an out of body experience! 🙂

My talk featured my children’s AR pop-up book “Who’s Afraid of Bugs”. The book was created using AR software by Junaio. (You can also read more here in a recent interview I did.)

I spoke to the importance and power of imagination and make-believe, and how they pertain to AR at this critical junction in the medium’s evolution. When we make-believe and when we imagine, we are in two places simultaneously; make-believe is about projecting or layering our imagination on top of a current situation or circumstance. In many ways, this is what AR is too: layering imagined worlds on top of our existing reality.

As a designer/artist/PhD researcher I am both a practitioner and a researcher, a maker and a believer. As a practitioner, I do, create, design; as a researcher I dream, aspire, hope. I am a make-believer working with a technology that is about make-believe, about imagining possibilities atop actualities. Now, more than ever, we need more creative adventurers and make-believers to help AR continue to evolve and become a wondrous new medium, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

Make-believe is an extension of wonderment for me. In my previous TEDx talk, in 2010 at YorkU (embedded below) on wonderment and the creative process, I spoke to wonder guiding my work in AR, and the importance of developing wonderment in technology alongside compelling content/storytelling as the medium advances.

I am grateful to the superhuman TEDxDubai curators Giorgio Ungania and Natascia Radice, all of the wonderful volunteers, the mega talented fellow speakers and each of the incredibly engaging delegates for a truly stellar event. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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