Derek Ham

Derek Ham

Derek Ham is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Affiliate Assistant Research Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State’s College of Design. His research interest spans the areas of game-based learning, algorithmic thinking, and immersive media. He completed his doctoral work in Design Computation from MIT, holds a Master’s in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University. In his research, he continues to investigate both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology to find ways these tools can expand the possibilities of interaction design. Derek has taught previously at Florida A&M School of Architecture, MIT’s School of Architecture, Harvard GSD, the Graduate School of Design, and RISD the Rhode Island School of Design. 

In 2017, Derek was awarded a scholarship from the Oculus Launchpad Program and received funding to complete a VR project called “I Am A Man.”  This VR project centers on the Civil Rights, the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Worker’s Strike, and last days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The VR experience has been broadly celebrated for its achievement in the use of this new technology to communicate history in a meaningful way. The project has been shown in film festivals nationally and internationally including the SIGGRAPH 2018 Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Program. “I Am A Man” won the Perspectives Award for Immersive Storytelling at the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival and won VR Best of Show at the 2108 Nashville Film Festival, and was the winner of the 2018 FoST Prize for the category, “Bridging the Divide.” The project is contracted for installation as a part of a permanent exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN at a later date.
Derek’s next venture Logic Grip Inc. is a NC State University sponsored startup company that looks to continue the production of VR content as it develops new VR hardware and peripheral devices.