Quesnel’s research focuses on immersive realities, specifically the creation and design of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) content and interfaces for these profound emotional shifts.
“We hope to move past VR’s reputation as a gaming environment, and show that there is so much more possible," says Quesnel, a PhD student in SFU’s iSpace Lab, directed by professor Bernhard Riecke.
Riecke gave a talk at TEDxEastVan earlier this fall, titled Could Virtual Reality Make Us More Human? He says VR is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, and offers a unique opportunity to provide first-hand and embodied experiences.
“Our research focuses on how we might use this potential to go beyond entertainment and gaming to create positive or even transformational experiences we might otherwise not be able to have,” he says.
Other questions include how to democratize the medium, and put the unprecedented potential of such technology into the creative hands of more people, which includes teaching courses on immersive environments at SFU-SIAT and mentoring graduate students.
Quesnel spent more than a decade in the film and VFX industry, and in 2015 launched the VR/AR program VR Village, which has become one of the most popular immersive programs globally.
A volunteer creator/chair at the SIGGRAPH VR Village, where she experienced nearly 1,000 VR installations over three years, she also mentors students, artists and practitioners.
Funding for the iSpace Lab study is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).