S2E3 – Carl H Smith – Perceptual Evolution

9th October 2017
Carl H Smith - Perceptual Evolution

Thanks for tuning in to The Lumieres Podcast fellow humaniacs!

If you enjoy pondering how exactly technology and the evolution of human perception is really tied together then this episode will delight your imagination. I was lucky enough to sit down with a man who really does embody the phrase “a gentleman and a scholar” – I’m of course talking about Carl Smith, Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) at London’s Ravensbourne University.

Carl’s work helps pioneer technological experimentation and research for the advancement of human cognition, and he has an innate ability to discern both the benefits and potential problems inherent within these experimental technologies. What this means is that not only is he aware of how positive experiences of context engineering can be curated and the impacts they can have, he takes it further, envisioning the resolution of some of our current societal issues through new and innovative projects such as [WEKIT] Wearable Experience for Knowledge Intensive Training.

This is also a man who also has the honour of being one of the first people ever to be legally administered with LSD and DMT for two groundbreaking studies into the neuropsychopharmacology of psychedelic compounds at Imperial College in association with the Beckley Foundation. His resumé is pretty damn impressive!

I do hope you’ll find this episode illuminating and thought-provoking and I highly encourage you to check out the links to a few of Carl’s talks at Breaking Convention if you want to find out more about the way his mind works.

I felt to include a track by the Japanese electronic musician Susumu Yokota before my chat with Carl, completely forgetting that he very sadly passed away in 2015 at the age of 54. Much respect to Susumu  and thank you for all that you brought to the world. If you enjoyed this track, do go and check out some of his musical legacy, for he left the world with quite a wonderful back catalogue.

Until the next time, go well,



You can reach me via Facebook or Instagram, or send a message through the form on this website. If you enjoyed this episode, learned something or feel suitably inspired, then please consider sharing it with your friends and amongst your social networks. I’d be most grateful!


  • A typical day at the LTRC
  • Empathy engineering with Cyborg Nest – Moon Rebus & Neil Harbison
  • The North Sense project and intelligence amplification
  • Technological design problems and human visual perception
  • Fovography and the issues with linear perspective
  • The benefits of peripheral vision exercises
  • Moving beyond conventional Virtual Reality (VR) and inter-species umwelt
  • Augmented Reality (AR), experience capture and the preservation of abilities
  • Creating new forms of Art inside the AR space
  • Stacking VR technology with Psychedelics
  • Hacking the dream state for long-term lucidity
  • On participating in the first LSD and DMT clinical trials in the UK
  • Cyberdelics and the awakening of consciousness through unity experiences
  • The importance of creating context over content
  • Mixing the senses and developing new experiences
  • Using technology wisely to avoid losing our natural abilities
  • The future of technology, literacy and sensory augmentation
  • The Memory Palace and gaining inspiration from ancient technologies
  • Stories from the North Sense project and its potential applications
  • Are we prisoners of our own perception?


Carl H Smith is Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) and Principal Research Fellow at Ravensbourne. His background is in Computer Science and Architecture. He is an academic and developer with over 15 years experience conducting R+D into the application of hybrid technologies for perceptual and cognitive transformation. He is currently working on 4 EU projects including the newly funded Horizon 2020 project ‘[WEKIT] Wearable Experience for Knowledge Intensive Training’ which will use the latest in wearable and motion tracking technology to create ‘wearable experience’ – an entirely new form of media.

His research interests include Embodied Cognition, Spatial Literacy, Perceptual Technology and Human Centric Methodologies and Pedagogies. He specialises in using mixed reality methodologies and visualisation techniques to produce augmented spaces for the generation and transformation of learning. His earlier research involved the investigation of these augmented forms of learning from the point of view of their units of construction, to see across the whole range of constituent parts, schemas and key narratives involved in their successful design and development.

He has previously worked at the Computing departments at London Metropolitan University, Glasgow and Sheffield University. The Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) conducts design research into the application of information and communication technologies to augment, support and transform cognition.

 Additional research Interests include:

  • Reality hacking to create new forms of consciousness.
  • Examining how technology can transform the human condition.
  • Carrying out spatial experiments that are designed to turn images into objects and ideas into interfaces.
  • Attaching information to space in the pursuit of non-mediation via the multiple point of view.
  • Re-imagining what already exists by using perspective to shape reality instead of changing reality itself.
  • Mapping consciousness in order to interlocate between different dimensions.
  • Creating architectures of light within holoportals.
  • Using natural media to fix the problems caused by the technology of linear perspective.
  • Rewinding the construction of language in order to reveal the writer.


Carl Smith at Ravensbourne
Boundaries And Application Areas Of Perceptual Technologies To Create Non-Drug ACSs @ Breaking Convention 2017
Context Engineering Consciousness Using Hybrid Technologies @ Breaking Convention 2015
Carl H Smith – The Development of a Hybrid Ecology Framework for Psychedelic Technologies @ Breaking Convention 2015


Susumu Yokota
The Leaf Label
Six Organs of Admittance
Drag City Records


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