Sha Hwang, in conversation

Sha Hwang
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Sha is the COO and a co-founder of Nava, a public benefit corporation formed during efforts to help fix Nava partners with government agencies to improve critical public services, and now works across several projects in the US on programs including Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, and SNAP. Pairing a strong service design and user research centered approach with rigorous experience in building scalable and resilient public infrastructure, Nava has helped tens of millions of people enroll in and manage their benefits, streamlined processes to save decades of labour years, and saved government agencies hundreds of millions of dollars.

An architect by training and an entrepreneur by accident, previous to co-founding Nava Sha worked for clients including the New York Times, Harvard's Library Lab, CNN, Flickr, and Adobe. A frequent speaker, Sha has spoken at events and institutions around the world including the Eyeo Festival, Webstock, The Conference, Visualized, and the White House Datapalooza.

The event is co-presented by the Digital Futures Graduate Program at OCADU and Civic Hall Toronto

Please contact Josh Paglione ( if you require any accomodations.

Thanks to our community partners:



Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St. Room 190

IAMD MFA Alumna Morgan Sea designs CBC Arts profile pic for Transgender Awareness Month

November design by Toronto-based artist Morgan Sea. (Morgan Sea)
Monday, November 5, 2018 - 4:30pm

Excerpt from CBC Arts November 1. For full article, visit:

It's Transgender Awareness Month, a time for recognizing the issues facing transgender and gender non-conforming people and raising visibility of the community. For our November profile pic, artist Morgan Sea designed a CBC Arts logo that's teeming with references to trans history (and CBC history) — plus paintings, books and her personal heroes. (There's a lot to process, but she covers it all in this Q&A.)

But first, some quick notes about the artist: originally from Saskatoon, Sea recently arrived in Toronto to do a Masters at OCAD University. In addition to making comics, zines and radio, she's also an organizer of queer community events.

Says Sea via email: "Traditionally, Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20) isn't so much a celebration as it is a sombre acknowledgement of the death toll and violence towards trans people that escalates massively against trans women of colour, sex workers and the homeless."

"Activists claimed the week leading up to TDoR as Trans Week of Awareness, a time to promote activism and solidarity. So now that we have the whole month, maybe we can go beyond awareness and effect material change."

Learn more about Sea and the ideas that went into the design.

Name: Morgan Sea

Age: 34

Homebase: Toronto

Let's talk about your design! What inspired your take on the CBC Arts logo?

Primarily, I was trying to express that trans rights are human rights; that human rights are still important, and that we have a lot of work to do!

I was trying to figure out how to retroactively inject the CBC with 50 years of HRT (hormone replacement therapy).

In 1966, the CBC started using a rainbow butterfly logo (designed by Hubert Tison) for its colour TV broadcast.1966 was also the year of the Compton Cafeteria Riots, an important fight for trans liberation that is less known than 1969's Stonewall Riots. Coincidence, yes! But I'd like to imagine a parallel world where the CBC was always championing queer rights with its anachronistic rainbow butterfly. (The rainbow flag first debuted in 1978.)

Also, butterflies have been an obvious metaphor for transitioning folks for a long time. It is a bit dated, but I couldn't resist using it. I added a genderqueer butterfly in the back and a large trans flag-themed fuzzy moth.

What are some of the other symbols you chose to include in the design? What do they represent?

The image is based on Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People. I modelled Liberty's face off of artist/activist Mirha-Soleil Ross. The people are meant to symbolize marginalized groups coming together and they embody various virtues: truth, justice, labour, unity, tolerance, humility and mystery.

The foreground replaces the French Revolution with current struggles that we need to come together to deal with, primarily climate change, wealth inequality, corporatism and fascism. These are huge issues, and we need to embrace the diversity and knowledge of human experience if we want to survive.

Also, with the CBC logo, I added a three-pronged trans symbol for binary and non-binary genders. In the centre sits Claire Diane's "Sigil of peace, ending capitalism, healing trauma and hot trans makeouts," which I first encountered in the book Sea Witchby Moss Angel.

Diagrams of Power

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 7:00pm to Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 7:00am

Diagrams of Power
July 11 to September 29, 2018

Group exhibition featuring work by Joshua Akers, The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Josh Begley, Joseph Beuys, Vincent Brown, Bureau d'études, Department of Unusual Certainties, W. E. B. Du Bois, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Forensic Architecture, Iconoclasistas, Julie Mehretu, Lize Mogel, Ogimaa Mikana, Margaret Pearce, Laura Poitras, Philippe Rekacewicz and Visualizing Impact

Curated by Patricio Dávila

Diagrams of Power showcases art and design works using data, diagrams, maps and visualizations as ways of challenging dominant narratives and supporting the resilience of marginalized communities. The exhibition brochure is available online here.

Diagrams of Power


Joshua Akers
Joshua Akers is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is the founder and director of the Urban Praxis Workshop and member of the Property Praxis Research Collective. Akers’ research and writing examines the intersection of markets and policy and their material impacts on everyday life. This work has appeared in Environment and Planning A, Geoforum, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Geography, Derive and Guernica.

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
Erin McElroy is the cofounder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and the activist-based peer-reviewed Radical Housing Journal. She is a doctoral candidate in Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, focusing on techno imaginaries and postsocialist Romania and Silicon Valley. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project is a data visualization, data analysis, and digital storytelling collective documenting dispossession and resistance upon gentrifying US landscapes.

Josh Begley
Josh Begley is a data artist and app developer based in Brooklyn, New York. Begley is the director of two short films, Best of Luck with the Wall (2016) and Concussion Protocol (2018). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York Magazine, the Whitney, the Met Breuer, the Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Joseph Beuys
Joseph Beuys (12 May 1921 – 23 January 1986) was a German Fluxus, happening, and performance artist as well as a sculptor, installation artist, graphic artist, art theorist, and pedagogue. His extensive work is grounded in concepts of humanism, social philosophy and anthroposophy; it culminates in his "extended definition of art" and the idea of social sculpture as a gesamtkunstwerk, for which he claimed a creative, participatory role in shaping society and politics. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th century.

Vincent Brown
Vincent Brown is the Charles Warren Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies and Director of the History Design Studio at Harvard University. He is a multi-media historian with a keen interest in the political implications of cultural practice. Brown is the author of The Reaper's Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2008) and producer of an audiovisual documentary about the anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. He is currently writing a book about African diasporic warfare in the Americas.

Bureau d’études
Bureau d’études is an artist collective that lives and works in Saint Menoux, France. For 15 years, the group has developed research on the structures of power and capitalism. The group is currently working on a collective project on agriculture, commons and resymbolizing research:

Department of Unusual Certainties
The Department of Unusual Certainties' objective is to use thoughtful, research-driven design to inspire engagement and dialogue. They practice the tradition of pragmatism, strategically applying design in the physical world to affect the social good. In 2010, Department of Unusual Certainties started as a result of a shared need to ask questions about our everyday existence. This curiosity continues to grow and has manifested over the years through projects that traverse urban design, public art, education, cartography and social engagement.

W. E. B. Du Bois
Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Du Bois wrote extensively and was the best-known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) in 1909. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1963.

Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman
Teddy Cruz is a professor of Public Culture and Urbanization in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of Urban Research in the UCSD Center on Global Justice. Fonna Forman is a professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego.  

Cruz + Forman are principals in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego. Blurring conventional boundaries between theory and practice, and transgressing the fields of architecture and urbanism, political theory and urban policy, visual arts and public culture, Cruz + Forman lead a variety of urban research agendas and civic/public interventions in the San Diego-Tijuana border region and beyond. They will represent the United States in the 2018 Venice Architectural Biennale.

Forensic Architecture
Forensic Architecture is a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, consisting of architects, artists, filmmakers, journalists, software developers, scientists, lawyers, and an extended network of collaborators from a wide variety of fields and disciplines. Founded in 2010 by Eyal Weizman, Forensic Architecture is committed to the development and dissemination of new evidentiary techniques. It undertakes advanced architectural and media investigations on behalf of international prosecutors, human rights and civil society groups, as well as political and environmental justice organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’tselem, Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and the UN, among others.

Formed in 2006, Iconoclasistas is Pablo Ares and Julia Risler. Their projects combine graphic art, creative workshops and community-based research. Their works are offered online through Creative Commons licenses allowing free distribution and encouraging the creation of derivative works. Through the use of graphic devices and the design of several tools, Iconoclasistas fosters critical reflection that supports resistance and transformation.

Julie Mehretu
In the age of globalization, Julie Mehretu has created a new form of history painting whose themes include identity, cultural history, geography, and personal narrative. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in East Lansing, Michigan, educated in Rhode Island and Senegal, and she resides in New York City and Berlin. Her life experience is reflected in her visual vocabulary, which is drawn from maps, urban-planning grids, and architectural forms. These are combined to make dynamic, delicate paintings, drawings, and prints that blur the line between abstraction and figuration. Mehretu’s art embodies the interconnected and complex character of the world.

Lize Mogel
Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist and counter-cartographer. Her work intersects the fields of popular education, cultural production, public policy, and mapping. She creates maps and mappings that produce new understandings of social and political issues. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; future territorial disputes in the Arctic; and wastewater economies in New York City. She is co-editor of the book/map collection "An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism.

Ogimaa Mikana
Ogimaa Mikana is an artist collective founded by Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching) and Hayden King (Anishinaabe, Gchi’mnissing) in January 2013. Through public art, site-specific intervention, and social practice, Ogimaa Mikana asserts Anishinaabe self-determination on the land and in the public sphere.

Margaret Pearce
Margaret Pearce is a cartographer and writer based in Rockland, Maine. Since 2006, she has dedicated herself to exploring and developing the expressive capacities of cartographic language to represent human experience and dialogues across cultures to decolonize narratives and empower silenced voices. Pearce has eighteen years of experience teaching cartographic design, map history and Indigenous geographies at the university level, most recently as Associate Professor of Geography at University of Kansas. She is enrolled Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and former president of the North American Cartographic Information Society.

Laura Poitras
Laura Poitras is a filmmaker, journalist and artist. CITIZENFOUR, the third installment of her post-9/11 Trilogy, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, along with awards from the British Film Academy, Independent Spirit Awards, Director’s Guild of America and others. She recently presented a series of immersive installations and new work for her solo exhibition, ASTRO NOISE (2016), at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Her reporting on NSA mass surveillance based on Edward Snowden’s disclosures won the George Polk Award for national security journalism, and shared in the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She is on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and is co-creator of the visual journalism project Field of Vision.

Philippe Rekacewicz
Philippe Rekacewicz is a French geographer, cartographer and information designer and associate researcher at the University of Helsinki. With Philippe Rivière, he developed, a research website dedicated to “radical and experimental cartography and geography.” Rekacewicz follows issues such as demography, refugees and displaced persons, and migration and statelessness persons. He has worked on a number of projects bringing together cartography, art and politics, especially studying how communities and political or economic powers produce the cartographic vision of the territories on which they operate, and how they can manipulate those maps.

Visualizing Impact
Visualizing Impact is a laboratory for innovation at the intersection of data science, technology, and design. Visualizing Impact creates impactful tools highlighting critical social issues around the world.


Diagrams of Power is produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, OCAD University's Office of the Faculty of Design, Public Visualization Lab, Nexus Investments, Multi Touch Digital and Microsoft.

Diagram of Power's public workshops and research engagement events is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Onsite Gallery gratefully acknowledges that the new gallery construction project is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Canada Cultural Spaces Fund at Canadian Heritage, the City of Toronto through a Section 37 agreement and Aspen Ridge Homes; with gallery furniture by Nienkämper. Onsite Gallery logo by Dean Martin Design.


Image: Forensic Architecture, The Ayotzinapa Case: A Cartography of Violence (still), 2017. Video, 18 min. 24 sec.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery (199 Richmond St. W., Ground Floor)
416-977-6000 x456
 Image: Forensic Architecture, The Ayotzinapa Case: A Cartography of Violence (still), 2017. Video, 18 min. 24 sec.
Diagrams of Power Supporters

In Progress

In Progress
Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 7:00pm to Friday, April 13, 2018 - 7:00pm

Work from first-year graphic design students from the course Design Process 1 and 2.

Venue & Address: 
Ada Slaight Gallery