Hello! Welcome to my about page.

 

I enjoy my many facets, whether it be loving food, building worlds, discovering music, or being passionate about social change. I grew up a trained classical pianist who tinkered with computer software. I decided to pursue crafting digital media for my career after seeing how it could transform lives.

 

In the professional realm, I can be described as a design generalist who loves alternatives, acting as a shepherd of projects and people. To those ends, I have consulted with world-class faculty on projects that have improved the learning experience of thousands of students, managed digital products, oversaw the transformation of an art and design studio to fuse digital fabrication tools with traditional sculpture, and written a lengthy dissertation on individuality in the knowledge foundation of game design education as explored through civilization futures.

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On Alternatives

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Imagine you come across a dilemma. You aren’t sure how to approach it. You search and you scour for ideas but none come to you. That’s where alternatives come in.

Alternatives are not just used to solve problems, they are also used to detect and generate possibilities.  Alternatives are simply a way of looking at the world with a multiplicity of lenses and seeing more than what might immediately meet the eye.

 

My experience

The best way to encapsulate my background is my ability to offer, manage, and deliver on alternatives. I offer unique and variegated ways of thinking about designs and implementations.

Naturally, I think in terms of alternatives and possibilities, typically in the service of helping others and organizations, or trying to make small changes to how things are done to leave a positive impact on the world. Additionally, I can assess alternatives and come to decisions to best serve systemic and organizational goals. Through my general appreciation of alternatives, I similarly recognize the unique contributions and capacity of individuals, and enjoy nurturing how individuals unlock their inner voice or better contribute to a team.

Whether designing a workshop, managing a learning environment, creating a playful immersive world, or thinking about how games offer social impact, I aim to give agency to users and creators of products and experiences. I want people to explore more, gain insight, or be able to achieve what they need to achieve in a more pleasant and desirable way.

 

Significance

Alternatives stem from one’s ability to imagine counterfactuals. One can cultivate this ability by building a mental repertoire of possibilities from life experiences, through observation, reflection, and play. In the context of a task, goal, or project, recognizing alternatives often requires entertaining things (ideas, processes, etc.) in one’s mind that others might find silly, not relevant, or not purposeful on the surface. With a bit of analysis and insight, one can investigate, experiment, or collaborate with others to encounter which ideas are more relevant and which can be put aside.

Alternatives are also critical tool in the face of adversity. With counterfactual thinking, people can process possible, alternate pathways to a goal, and recognize what works and doesn’t work. ¬†Thus, people can use the existence of alternatives and the process of alternative-thinking to incite imagination and remind us that there’s always another way and perspective, another side of the coin.

 

Balancing alternatives

There can be downsides to generating and holding onto a multiplicity of alternatives: it can be overwhelming, spur doubt, or overemphasize idealistic rather than realistic scenarios. For example, if a group is faced with a dilemma, and they hold too closely to the idea that there is another way, they can be inhibited from moving forward.

However, these issues can be balanced with good management of alternatives and a simple re-orientation towards what can be achieved in the present moment.

  1. It’s important to channel possibility towards action, choosing the simplest, most reasonable option when a decision needs to be made. Heralding clear milestones and goals, and using possibilities to build a clearer vision helps clear pathways to proactivity.
  2. Additionally, it is important to have an appreciation for what is and what already has been accomplished, both before and after decisions are made. Often there is insufficient need to imagine differently, other than for the purpose of diversion or to prepare for future dynamics. While there are always better decisions in the pursuit of excellence or the optimum, that does not mean they always need to be pursued.
  3. Finally, having compassion for the imperfections of ones’ own work and actions and those of others can open up understanding, connection, and attention to why things are as they are. Simple states of dissatisfaction do not always need to be rectified. There is beauty in moving forward and using understanding to meet people where they are.

 

In summary

I encourage others to use alternatives to both build one’s internal world and connect with the world around them. Alternatives give people access to a richer swath of possibilities, from which they can pick and choose and lead their own way.

On the Role of a Shepherd

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A shepherd is someone who humbly guides and directs people towards a destination. On a program or project, a shepherd blends the visions, status, and mentality of stakeholders  into a coherent whole.

Interestingly, I have been described as a shepherd in professional situations. I take it as a reflection of my desire to see quality projects through from conception to launch while ensuring everyone feels respected and valued as much as possible.

As I have grown older, I have gained more experience collaborating with a wide variety of people. I aim to lift up myself and others, valuing everyone’s individual contributions, all the while maintaining a clear vision. I help define and reach project end goals, ensure task completion, and create space for play and flexibility.

I aspire to continue to create a better working situation for all.