VSMM 2019- into the future of XR and Exponential Inclusive Tech

VSMM 2019: into the future of XR and Exponential Inclusive Tech
Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 1:30pm to 6:30pm

The International Society for Virtual Systems and Multimedia is a unique cross-disciplinary organization for the exchange of cutting edge research in new media and virtual and augmented reality applied to everything from art to architecture, medicine to engineering, and archaeology to cultural heritage. One of the oldest and most prestigious VR and multimedia conference,  proceedings are published with the IEEE.

This year we are holding 3 local VSMM events in Toronto, Dublin and Berlin.
Come learn about virtual reality, virtual worlds, accessibility in VR-AR and exponential technologies, and how inclusive design can be integrated for a diverse and inclusive virtual (and actual) reality.

Stay for discussions by leaders in the field. Network and find out how to engage, enrol in XR bootcamps with the SMARTlab INCLUDE XR Impact Labs (in partnership with VR First) including one coming soon to OCADU.

VSMM Toronto 2019 Agenda, 17 October

1:30-2:00 Black Box Theatre, 49 McCaul Street: Presentation
(note, seating in the black box is limited to the first 40 participants)

1:30        Colin Clark (Assistant Director, IDRC) Welcome from OCAD University
1:40        Dr Lynne Heller on The Technological Sublime

2:00-3:00 Open Gallery, M9 McCaul Street: Technology displays, Networking and refreshments

A chance for students to sign up to work with VSMM 2020 and opportunity to learn more about free certified Facebook training in Innovation, AI, Web, Social Media and Cyersecurity training with SMARTlab, and about a few new scholarships forthcoming in the SMARTlab global practice-based PhD in Inclusive Design and Creative Technology Innovation

3:00 -5:00 Black Box Theatre, 49 McCaul Street: Presentations
(note, seating in the black box is limited to the first 40 participants)

3:00        Prof Hal Thwaites (Previous President of VSMM- Sunway University & SMARTlab) Keynote on the Past, Present and Potential Future of VSMM  
3:30        Prof Martha Ladly and team: Decoding Origins: Approaching African Identities Through Data Collection and Visualisation
4:00        Dr Nina Czegledy (Leonardo) on Reporting on Disparity: Two events Oceans apart in Toronto and New Plymouth (New Zealand)
4:20        Dr Doreen Balabanoff (OCADU) on The Global Birth Environment Design Network: towards a virtual platform that can be a global resource for better birth environment design
4:45        Mohsen Mahjoobnia (OCADU + SMARTlab PhD candidate) on VR to provide access to nature to address isolation and mental health issues/accessibility issues in XR
5:10        Prof Lizbeth Goodman (Director SMARTlab, VSMM Vice President): VSMM 2019 Overview- events in 2019 + Introducing INCLUDE, Academy of the Future, and Be-Earth Experience (with Ylva Hansdotter and the UN Igo for Sustainability)
5:40        Prof Alonzo Addison (UC Berkeley & SMARTlab, VSMM President): Generational Planning and Publication: VSMM and Digital Cultural Heritage- next steps  
6pm       Prof Jutta Treviranus (Director, IDRC at OCADU, DEEP Chair & SMARTlab)-  Final wrap-up discussion, WELCOME to DEEP) & Last chance to sign up for VSMM, publications committee, scholarship and training opportunities etc.

6:30pm End & chance to wander with the team in the gorgeous city of Toronto!

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul Street

Jad Al Rabbaa (Digital Futures, MDes 2019) Presents his research project, "MRsive" at HCII

Jad Al Rabbaa MRsive
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - 3:45pm

Congratulations to Jad Al Rabbaa (Digital Futures, MDes 2019) who recently attended the HCII 2019 - (Human Computer Interaction International) held in Orlando, Florida. Jad was invited to present his extended abstract and poster submission co-written by OCAD U Faculty members Dr. Alexis Morris and Dr. Sowmya Somanath.

"It was a very humbling and insightful experience. I met a lot of people in the industry and discussed very interesting research initiatives that are currently happening in universities around the world." - Jad Al Rabba

Jad was one of eighteen students from around the world chosen to present at the conference; as part of the novel design ideas student competition. MRsive investigates, "How indoor wayfinding and visitor engagement in the museum might be improved through interactive augmented reality. We designed “MRsive”, a handheld Augmented Reality (AR) tool using a user-centered design approach. The ultimate goal is twofold: the first is to simplify the required cognitive effort in navigating the museum space, and the second goal is to boost visitor engagement with museum artifacts through multisensory interaction. MRsive uses computer vision tools to read visual features in the space and achieve accurate indoor positioning of the directions and virtual cues anchored in the physical space."

For more information about Jad's work, visit:



and ResearchGate.net:


ReBlink up for Webby award!

Circle with words webby awards vote for us
Friday, April 6, 2018

The app that brings art to life is in the running for a prestigious Webby award in the category Best Use of Augmented Reality. Designed by digital artist and faculty member Alex Mayhew with the participation of OCAD U alumni, ReBlink is an augmented reality experience. The app is currently available to experience the AGO in new ways: Visitors use their device’s camera to unlock Mayhew’s modern twists on historical works of art from the gallery’s Canadian and European Collections.

The app invites visitors to look at paintings such as Evisceration of a Roebuck with a Portrait of a Married Couple, Drawing Lots and Marchesa Casati through his unique 21st century lens. By looking at a selected work using a smartphone or tablet, visitors will see something unexpected – the painting’s subjects coming alive, reflecting a vision of our daily reality in the 21st century.

Vote for ReBlink online, voting closes April 20.

Creative Director and Concept
Alex Mayhew (OCAD U faculty member)

Developer and technical artist
Hector Centeno (OCAD U alum)

Lead Production Artist
Saffron BOldUc-Chiong (OCAD U alum)

Production Artist
Emma Burkeitt (OCAD U alum)

3D Art
David Mc Kenna
Yifat Shaik (OCAD U alum)

Max Mezzowave
Christian Chuquihuara

Creative & Business Consultant
Ian Kelso


image of a person using their phone to look at a painting
Older man looking at a painting

DIVERGE - Digital Futures Graduate Exhibition 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 6:00pm to Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 6:00pm

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Friday, April 13th to Sunday, April 15th |  12PM-6PM


  1. To develop in a different direction.
  2. The evolution of different forms or structures in related species as they adapt to different environments.
  3. In a series, increasing indefinitely as more of its terms are added.

The Digital Futures Graduate Exhibition is an annual event, hosted by Graduate Studies at OCADU and our partners at the CFC Media Lab. The show features Master of Design, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Arts thesis projects that encompasses a wide range of topics, including: augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and communicative domains, civic media, digital and electronic fabrication, digital art, educational video games, gesture technologies, information visualization, immersive audio-visual environments, participatory multimedia, performances, post-physical sculpture, therapeutic devices, video and more!

"Our students don’t just make things with emerging technologies - they think creatively and critically about how, why, and when we should use and engage with these ideas and tools- and when we should not. The artworks, prototypes, demonstrations, and performances in Diverge bring this research to life in a rich interactive format. We invite our colleagues from industry, fellow universities, art, design, and maker communities to come join us for this important and exciting exhibition." -Kate Hartman, Graduate Program Director, Digital Futures.


Samaa Ahmed

Thoreau Bakker

Bijun Chen

Mudit Ganguly

Sara Gazzaz

Yawen Guo

Afaq Ahmed Karadia

Mahsa Karimi

Nadine Lessio

Ania Medrek

Katie Micak

Natasha Mody

Afrooz Samaei

Shreeya Tyagi

April Xie

Rana Zandi

Hammadullah Syed

Manik Perera Gunatilleke

DIVERGE is presented by:

CFC Media Lab and OCAD University

Venue & Address: 
49 McCaul St. Open Gallery

"The Last Days of Reality" talk & Q/A with guest speaker Mark Pesce

Balloon Dog
Monday, October 30, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

On the 3rd of October, Snapchat released an augmented reality ‘collaboration’ with artist Jeff Koons. Plopped in the middle of New York’s Central Park, Balloon Dog heralded a new form of presentation - and appropriation. Within 24 hours, artist Sebastian Errazuriz had ‘tagged’ the work (again, entirely virtually), in a “symbolic stance against imminent AR corporate invasion.”

That invasion is already here, marking ‘The Last Days of Reality’, when the boundaries between authentic and manipulated experience collapse into a newly-emerging ‘post-real’ era. What are the rules of the post-real? Who controls our senses - and, by extension, what we think and believe? What other sorts of interventions, appropriations and responses would undermine this latest assault of public space?


Mark Pesce is an inventor, author, educator, broadcaster and entrepreneur.  In 1991 he founded pioneering consumer VR startup Ono-Sendai, inventing a orientation sensor (US Patent 5,526,022) licensed to Sega Corporation for Virtua VR. In 1994, Pesce co-invented the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), the standard for interactive 3D graphics on the Web, and went on to found BlitCom, delivering streaming VRML entertainment into the browser. Last year Pesce announced plans for the Mixed Realtiy Service (mixedrealitysystem.org), an open-source Internet-scale system to arbitrate and annotate augmented realities. Pesce founded postgraduate programs at both University of Southern California’s Lucas School of Cinematic Arts, and the Australian Film, Television & Radio School. He currently holds appointments as Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney, and Honorary Adjunct at the Animal Logic Academy of the University of Technology, Sydney. Pesce writes fortnightly a column for The Register, and hosts podcast The Next Billion Seconds.

Presented by the CFC Media Lab, Strategic Foresight & Innovation & Digital Futures Graduate Programs


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 205 Richmond St. W. 410 sLab
Presented by:

OCAD University showcases Virtual Reality at VRTO 2017

Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 10:00am to Monday, June 26, 2017 - 6:00pm

OCAD University students and faculty are showcasing their work in virtual reality and augmented reality at VRTO 2017, with workshops, keynotes, and experiences in virtual and augmented reality, spanning the breath of technology and techniques that have contributed to the success of virtual and mixed reality technologies today.

OCAD U staff and students receive a discount of 45% off when they use the code OCAD2017 on Eventbrite.

President, Dr. Sarah Diamond will be delivering the keynote address.

OCAD U participants:

  • Michael Page will be speaking about Holography, and showing some of his work in the Multimodal Experience Pavilion
  • Alex Mayhew is showcasing his AR work in the Multimodal Experience Pavilion
  • Claire Brunet will be speaking about her work on 3D scanning, and demonstrating in the Innovation Room.
  • Hector Centeno Garcia will demonstrate spatial audio and physical interactions in a virtual reality
  • Fasun Uzun is showing her short film experience in VR.

Date: June 25th and 26th

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily.



Venue & Address: 
Rogers Communications Centre, 80 Gould St., Toronto, Ontario