Lafiya Watson Ramirez

It’s still pretty early in 2021, so if the year hasn’t quite gotten off to a good start, then let this week’s conversation with Lafiya Watson Ramirez be the permission you need to turn things around! Lafiya dabbles in several media — web, photography, augmented reality, mixed reality — and creates new projects for herself and for her clients through her company, Bad Chick Studios.

We talked about how she started her studio, and from there she shared the resources and programs she used to teach herself AR and XR. (Spoiler alert: a lot of these tools are free!) Lafiya also spoke on how her love for photography led her to web design and learning Flash, and how embracing becoming a generalist has changed her work and how she perceives herself as a creative.

Get a bit of inspiration from Lafiya and learn what you can!

Steven Christian

Steven Christian’s motto is “create and conquer”, and that’s exactly what he’s managed to do with his career. While he started out as an athlete, a sports injury cause him to discover visual art, and he has reinvented himself as a multitalented cartoonist, podcaster, animator, and AR mobile developer. Oh, and he’s studying to apply to medical school. Talk about Black excellence!

Steven shared with me how he balances all of this, and talked about how the current times helped kickstart his career. We also talked about some of his projects — including the popular Pokémon Twerk Team — and he reminisced on growing up in northern California and detailed how his injury helped open his eyes to the worlds of art, design, and tech. Steven also talked about his Skillshare courses, listed some of his inspirations, and spoke about his dream collab and the hope of building more of a community around his work. Steven is a prime example of turning what could be seen as a tragedy into an amazing triumph!

Ed Williams

We’re at an interesting crossroads right now because of this pandemic, and a lot of bleeding edge tech concepts are becoming available for consumers quicker than expected. To that end, data has become an important form of currency, and data governance is of paramount concern. Enter Noble Ackerson: a senior product manager for Ventera with a mission to make sure more Black people enter these new fields of emerging tech.

Noble shared his journey for getting into technology, including how he went from being interested in architecture to founding a startup to working in tech for the National Democratic Institute. From there, we explored Noble’s foray into wearables via Google Glass, talked about the uses of wearables in today’s society, and a lot more. Noble is equipped to help make sure that we are not left behind in this brave new world. How are you using your skills to build a more equitable future?

Next week: episode 350!

Sponsor

Facebook Design is a proud sponsor of Revision Path. The Facebook Design community is designing for human needs at unprecedented scale. Across Facebook’s family of apps and new product platforms, multi-disciplinary teams come together to create, build and shape communication experiences in service of the essential, universal human need for connection. To learn more, please visit facebook.design.

Games often emphasize player immersion, but AR games like Pokémon Go overlap with landscapes devoid of ludic context, so the ability for hypervisible marginalized people to lose themselves in the world of AR is significantly restricted — and often interrupted — by the presence of the real world. Let’s discuss the ways design influences access to AR games, and how Pokémon Go’s design could be improved to make the game safe and welcoming for a wider audience.