Enacting the Metaverse: Generative Worldmaking and Virtual Reality

man using a VR headset
Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 4:20 PM
Course Number
Number of Units
Instructor Name
Diarmid Flatley
Scholarship/s Available

Enacting the Metaverse studies the imminent integration of real and virtual worlds. Recent advancements in parallel computation have fueled the growth of transformative new technologies. Artificial intelligence performs tasks at a level that exceeds human ability. Blockchain technology enables virtual ownership of digital assets. Extended reality augments and reconfigures our experience of the world. The metaverse is the outgrowth of these technologies. It is a shared virtual 3D world that intermeshes with the real. These technologies will bring profound change, but their impact on society is uncertain. It is our responsibility to confront these developments from technical and critical perspectives. This course develops the knowledge and skill needed to play a role in enacting the metaverse, focusing on two key components. First, computational generativity, which encompasses parametric design, algorithmic composition, and recent developments in machine learning. Second, we will study principles of design in Virtual Reality through experimental digital mediations. These include digital objects, sounds, architectures, entities, and environments that populate virtual space. Although this course emphasizes computation and the use of digital tools, it does not require previous knowledge of computer science or programming.

This course is part of the Creative Computing Initiative, and offers scholarships of $1,000 to help offset the unit fees, with the potential for more for those students in need. To apply, please prepare a 300-500 word essay explaining why are you interested in a course, specifically, and/or the Creative Computing Initiative, generally. You may also share any information about pressing financial need, though this is optional. Use your UCSB NetID to log in to the scholarship application portal and upload your essay for consideration. Scholarship applications will be accepted until May 15 (for Session A courses) or July 24 (for Session B courses). Award decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Students may also be eligible to receive more than one scholarship when taking more than one Creative Computing course.