The Sim Centre works on a wide range of projects. Here are some of our recent highlights.

Centre for S3D Development

The SIM Centre has incubated the Centre for S3D Development in partnership with Kerner, a special effects powerhouse that was originally part of Industrial Light and Magic.  The Centre will be housed in Emily Carr’s Intersections Digital Studios (IDS), and will include Kerner’s advanced stereoscopic 3D enabling technologies, stereo camera rigs, and processing pipelines. Research will focus on live action cinematographic story-telling using the rapidly expanding 3D movie medium, and will support local filmmakers as well as work by Emily Carr faculty and students.  This Centre is expected to become a focal point for applied research, for training with Industry partners, and for students wanting to become more involved with the new medium.  


You don't have to be a rock star to want an engaged and attentive audience. So when ECUAD professor Glen Lowry saw deqq, a social media tool created by the Vancouver-based company Work at Play for rock stars like David Usher and Nelly Furtado, he recognized its potential for the classroom. Lowry and fellow professor Joy James have partnered with Work at Play to adapt deqq for use in their English 101 course and a graduate seminar, where it's supporting Twitter-like conversations among students. Through the deployment of deqq in the Emily Carr classroom, industry partner Work at Play has the opportunity to assess and develop deqq's potential for the post-secondary education sector and other markets.  Students are very comfortable with new ways of learning using social media tools, and to the extent that the tools can lead to better educational outcomes, there will be a market for the tools with universities.  

Hyperlocal mobile storytelling

Faculty members Maria Lantin and Suzi Webster have joined with the geo-targeting experts at Lat49 to explore the future of mobile storytelling. This research project marries neighbourhood public space, locally-relevant fiction and GPS enabled mobile devices to deliver audio narratives based on the listener's location. 
It examines ways in which narrative can be used to generate a culturally rich hyperlocal community, to raise awareness of residents about the invisible or ignored richness that emanates from distinct neighbourhoods and to encourage community engagement by creating the opportunity for listeners to generate geo tags, upload their own content and explore narratives that experiment with delivering culturally rich, sophisticated value-added advertising. The intention is to use mobile technologies to promote awareness and connectedness, rather than distraction and isolation, and to explore the relationship between the physical, the fictional and the virtual. It's a project that opens new markets and applications for Lat49, showcasing its geo-targeting tools to great effect.

Innovative design on display

Is it a laboratory or is it a retail store? It's a question that Dawn Whitworth, Emily Carr's Manager of Research, asked designers at lululemon lab. The lululemon lab is essentially a design studio and a retail store in one. And, with its commitment to sustainable design Whitworth recognized the potential for student led projects and designs. For the past three years Emily Carr students and grads have worked within lululemon's head office, lululemon lab and more recently lululemon's sister company ivivva. As part of a robust sustainability curriculum Prof Helene Day-Fraser has led research on lululemon's sustainabilty themes and displays, often teaching classes from lululemon lab. Offering a new pedagogical and applied research approach Day-Fraser and her students have designed and built traffic-stopping installations



Participedia is an open knowledge platform to create and share user-generated articles on participatory governance throughout the world. For instance, there will be articles on the British Columbia Citizens’ Assembly of 2004, consensus conferences in Denmark, participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre and other cities, local school council governance in Chicago, municipal evaluation meetings in China, the Panchayati Raj reforms in India, and the People’s Campaign for Democratic Decentralization (under the Panchayati Raj reforms) in Kerala, India. In addition, there will be articles on participatory methods, such as deliberative polling, citizens' assemblies, and participatory budgeting, as well as articles about the organizations that sponsor, implement, and study participatory governance. Over time, we hope Participedia will garner hundreds and perhaps thousands of such articles.

SIM Centre Director Alexandra Samuel is working with Participedia's creators, Archon Fung and Mark Warren, to develop the platform vision and online community strategy. The platform will draw on ECUAD's expertise in participatory design, curatorial practice and interface design, engaging a range of students, faculty and industry partners to create both the design and technical implementation.


Radio tags go to the hospital

Led by Prof. Jim Budd, ECUAD students are teaming up with local company GuardRFID to develop a tagging system using radio frequency identification (RFID) for BC Children's Hospital. They started off by evaluating a wide range of design opportunities, and then picking a few for prototype development.  Each prototype aims to improve patient experience, and reduce inefficiency and paperwork for clinicians.  The systems will be capable of tracking patients, clinicians, and equipment, and providing information for enterprise and mobile platforms.   This multiyear collaborative project will expand to other areas where the intelligent use of technology can lead to improvements in health care.  For GuardRFID, it is leading to redesigned RFID bracelets, to recommendations for a new generation of intermediate range RFID technology, and to redesigned user interfaces that can be deployed in their installations throughout the US.  

The personal floatation device gets a second look

Mustang is an international leader in flotation devices, serving consumer and professional markets.  In the consumer market, including sailors and boaters, they noted that most people involved in fatal accidents were not wearing a PFD.  Consumers feel PFDs are uncomfortable, restrict their movements, and are not the kind of clothing they like to wear.  They approached Emily Carr to see if novel approaches to design might extend their market, and get more people wearing safety equipment.  President Bob Askew said he wanted to look at the "cool factor" in PFDs.  Two classes of soft-product design students took up the challenge, and this led to two more graduating students taking promising designs through the product development phase.  PFDs, when viewed by an interaction designer, can end up looking and performing quite differently to products in the market today.