Designing for Compassion with Universal Design

Event Link:

This April 11th at 7pm (Mountain) on Zoom for CivicTechYYC we are hosting Barry Pendergast with an open and welcoming discussion focused on aspects of universal design across industries, considering and integrating compassion for into the design process.

No matter what your background there are always things to consider when we are designing any system, such as Architecture, UI and UX, urban planning, human technology interfaces and more. Come and engage with us in an open discussion and feel free to bring your own unique experience and perspectives.

Speaker Bio:

Barry is a retired architect who is passionate about rethinking how new technologies can be harnessed. His experience includes working from the early ideas of the fully electronic architectural design projects with Apple Canada in the mid 1980’s, to experiments with 3D photography, to the start of investigating virtual reality in 2016 using  the first model off Oculus headset with a local group working with children on the Autism spectrum as well as those who live with Aspergers.

In 2018 Barry joined the local Dementia Friendly Community group to explore how VR can comfort and connect patients and their families. This led to testing the approach at Wentworth Manor run by the Brenda Stafford Foundation.

Early 2020 Barry approached the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary to build a virtual version of the Memory Lane project from the UK. It is anticipated testing with five families, each experiencing dementia will commence shortly.

Barry has given lectures and demonstrations to the Faculties of Nursing, Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, along with numerous community and business groups. Showcasing how ageing-in-place to take can be improved with technology.

He has formed strong relationships with all the major seniors groups in Calgary area. These connections helped recruitment for a recent testing of autonomous vehicles by seniors for the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. Using a Quest headset the seniors were shown various scenarios of what it would feel like to ride in a vehicle without a driver.

Barry’s current ambition is to use what he’s learned to support projects that promote the use of VR among seniors. In 2021 Barry posed that idea to UBC (O) to equip a number of seniors across Canada with VR headsets and connections to students in the Faculties of Computer Science and the Arts, working together exploring VR concepts like the MetaVerse.

Barry also has held a position as an adjunct professor in the faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary and served six years on the University senate. He recently joined the Alberta Association of Gerontology Board.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s