Strategic Foresight and Innovation Team Finalist in Cities of Tomorrow Competition

Citizen Foresight Logo
Friday, September 18, 2015 - 4:00am

A team composed of graduate students from the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) has been selected as finalists in the Financial Infrastructure category of Cities of Tomorrow competition. The competition was created by the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario to provide an opportunity for Ontario students to enter the policy making process with proposals for improving Ontario’s urban centres. Octavio Juarez,

Team member Octavio Juarez says of the proposal developped for the competition: "This has helped us put into practice many of the tools and methodologies of the SFI program in an urban-oriented setting, nurture the spirit of collaboration between cohorts (full-time and part-time) and also serves as the launching of our group-collective based on foresight methods Citizen Foresight.

The Citizen Foresight team will present their ideas in the Cities of Tomorrow showcase on October 27-29, 2015 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Citizen Foresight Team Members:
Christina Doyle
Eman El-Fayomi
Bergur Ebbi
Octavio Juarez
Michael Schaus

Cities of Tomorrow

Citizen Foresight

Strategic Foresight and Innovation Graduate Program


Alumna reaches finals in RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Graphite, oil and linen on panel depicting blue jug and leaf
Monday, July 6, 2015 - 4:00am

Claire Scherzinger (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2013) is one of 15 artists vying for the top prize of $25,000 in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

The finalists were chosen from a pool of 615 competitors from three regions of Canada — Western Canada, Central Canada and Eastern Canada.

Established in 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition is an initiative developed by RBC with the support of the Canadian Art Foundation (publisher of Canadian Art).

This year, the competition will award $85,000 in prize money. In addition to the top prize of $25,000, two honourable mentions will receive $15,000 while the remaining finalists will receive $2,500. The winner and two honourable mentions will be announced on November 16, 2015.

The top three works become part of the RBC Corporate Collection which holds more than 4,000 works of art collected over the past century.

The initiative nurtures and supports promising new artists in the early stages of their careers, offering financial empowerment and professional mentorship.

Another OCAD U alumna, Vanessa Maltese (BFA, Drawing & Painting, 2010) was named national winner of the competition in 2012.  

OCAD University designers take home top packaging prize

Photo of competition winners
Image of front and back of cleaner packaging
Monday, June 29, 2015 - 4:00am

Dora Poon (BDes, Industrial Design, 2015) and Zhi Gao (fourth-year Graphic Design student) emerged victorious at the 2015 student design competition organized by the Packaging Consortium (PAC), beating out rivals from Durham, Seneca, Humber, Mohawk and George Brown colleges. This is the second year in a row that an OCAD University team has scored first place.

Professor Stuart Werle offered the contest as a project option for his Packaging Design 2 students in winter 2015. The competition rules stipulated that each team design packaging for a 710 mL bottle of Walmart’s Great Value Eco toilet bowl cleaner. Werle encouraged participating students to demonstrate how their branding and packaging for that product could translate to other items in the Great Value Eco line.

With only one entry permitted for each institution, Werle formed a committee — including Mhairi Robertson, who won the 2014 competition — to select OCAD U’s entry. Members chose Poon’s effort as the top design; however, seeing great strength in Gao’s design, Werle encouraged the two to collaborate.

On June 17, Poon and Gao pitched their work in a seven-minute presentation to more than 200 packaging-industry leaders at the PACEX Toronto packaging show. After all the teams had spoken, the audience voted in real time, with Poon and Gao coming out on top. For Werle, “the key to their design was the blending of very strong branding, packaging graphics and bottle form with truly unique and innovative sustainable elements, including a 5X concentrate EcoPak® that would enable consumers to reuse each bottle without having to recycle them.”

Students chosen as semi-finalists in international design competition

A Hole in the Bucket
Ballet Noir
Friday, May 22, 2015 - 6:30pm

Three OCAD University students have been chosen as semi-finalists in the 2015 Adobe Design Achievement Awards competition.

  • Deshi Deng (Illustration) was selected for her work entitled A Hole in the Bucket. This series of quietly disturbing illustrations depicts several possible disappointing – and unexpected – outcomes of common “bucket list” items.
  • Danjie Jiessie Chen (Graphic Design) was picked for the evocative black-and-white Hometown photos taken on a trip to her own hometown in China.
  • Ashley Lo Russo (Integrated Media) got the nod for Ballet Noir – a short film that traces (partly through stop-motion animation) the bond formed between an animator and her puppet.

These OCAD U projects are up against other semi-finalists from around the globe. Finalists will be decided in September, and the winners will be announced in October. There are many prizes to be won (they vary by category), including cash, registration for and travel to the Adobe MAX convention in Los Angeles, Adobe software and mentorships with creative pros.

OCAD University students win first place at provincial competition

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 4:30pm

Two OCAD University students have been honoured at CONNECT: EnAbling Change -- a province-wide post-secondary design competition.

  • Third-year Environmental Design student Xiaoyu Xu (Sherry Xu) won first place in the Architecture category.
  • Rickee Charbonneau, a student in the Master's of Inclusive Design program, won first place in the Industrial Design category.

CONNECT projects explore design that is accessible to the greatest number of people regardless of age or ability across all design disciplines.  

Open to all Ontario post-secondary design students, the competition called for “project ideas that remove barriers for people with disabilities and promote greater inclusion”.

The winners’ work will be on exhibit Friday, May 8, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., Toronto.


Incoming IAMD graduate student wins First Capital Realty Public Art competition

Image sculpture by David C. Salazar titled One-and-All, squirrel with giant acorn
Image sculpture by David C. Salazar titled One-and-All, tower of acorns
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 4:00am

David Constantino Salazar (BFA, 2007), a graduate of OCAD University’s Sculpture & Installation program, is the winner of the 2015 First Capital Realty Public Art Competition.

Salazar’s sculpture, One-and-All, is intended to be cast in bronze and will be installed in Georgetown, Ontario. Situated on the Credit River and part of the Niagara Escarpment, Georgetown has a thriving wildlife ecosystem. Salazar says he chose to represent the community conservation areas and diverse businesses by using symbols of local wildlife, a squirrel and dove alongside an enormous acorn (representing prosperity).

Twenty-one proposals were received from students in the Faculty of Art, the Faculty of Design, and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, as well as submissions from recent OCAD U graduates. All of the shortlisted submissions will be on display in the Transit space for the duration of OCAD U’s 100th Annual Graduate Exhibition (April 29 to May 3, 2015).

Members of the jury:

  • Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Outreach & Innovation, Faculty of Art
  • Alex Correia, Corporate Administrator, First Capital Realty
  • Erica Segal, owner of the Julie M. Gallery
  • Colette Whiten, Sculpture & Installation faculty, OCAD U (retired)
  • David Pelletier, Sculpture & Installation faculty, OCAD U (retired)

Associate Professor Francis LeBouthillier was the faculty coordinator for the competition, while Professor Eldon Garnet integrated this initiative into the curriculum of the Sculpture & Installation Public Art course.

In September, Salazar will begin his studies towards a Master’s of Fine Art in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design (IAMD) program in September 2015.

First Capital Realty, Canada’s leading owner, developer and operator of supermarket- and drugstore-anchored neighbourhood and community shopping centres, has made a substantial commitment to sponsoring this public sculpture competition which is open to third- and fourth-year OCAD U students as well as recent graduates. As this year’s winner, Salazar will receive a $5000 prize and First Capital Realty will cover the cost of fabrication, site preparation, transportation and installation of his sculpture. In addition, each of the shortlisted finalists will be awarded $350 for the production of a model, plus assistance from an OCAD U digital technician to create a professional 3D rendering of their models in situ for presentation.


OCAD U graduate student honoured for research on disposability

Jp King
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 4:00am

One of the defining features of industrialized societies is their astounding production and accumulation of material things (watch an episode of the disturbing “reality” series Hoarders for shocking pop-culture evidence). The flip side of that issue is, however, rampant disposal. Landfill sites are bursting with all the stuff we drag to the curb.

“Why do we throw out so much, and what becomes of the things we get rid of?” That’s the question guiding research by OCAD University student Jp King who, on 1 April 2015, was named one of the 25 finalists in phase 1 of the annual Storytellers competition organized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Navigating the mess

King is completing the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCAD U. A postdisciplinary artist, scholar and publisher (he operates the experimental publishing lab Paper Pusher), King admits, “I struggle with the tendency to hoard, and my practice-based research is akin to making a map to help me navigate the mess. I see contemporary culture as defined by excess and disorientation, and I have turned towards a type of archival thinking – informed by poetic logic – to understand the vast scale of global production, consumption and disposal.”

Part of King’s research took place during a “discursive” three-week road trip down the eastern seaboard of the United States to Washington, DC, and then back through the interior to Toronto. Along the way, King visited flea markets, recycling facilities, junk shops, museums and other material-culture repositories, documenting – through photos and videos – the “excess and decadence of contemporary America, the problem of garbage and the accumulated detritus that characterizes a society in decay.” In October 2014, King expanded his investigations to Shanghai, which enabled him to compare the problem of amassing and disposal in China and to collaborate with artists and scholars in that country.

For his MA thesis, supervised by Professor Michael Prokopow, King developed the Journal of Disposability and Ex-Possession. This biannual print publication – and its online supplement – is slated to launch in late summer and will be dedicated to interrogating the relationship between discarded matter and global/local culture. Meanwhile, he intends to exhibit a video (The Death of Everyday Objects) tied to his research and the journal in this year’s centennial Graduate Exhibition.

On to Ottawa

Having secured a spot in the Top 25, the next challenge for King will take place on 1 June, as part of the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa. That’s when he and 24 other finalists from across the country will make live presentations of their research; out of that group, a Final Five will be chosen. The entire OCAD U community will be rooting for our Storyteller King to triumph.

In good company

In addition to being a Top 25 Storyteller, King also recently received a SSHRC scholarship. Watch this video, in which King and three of his fellow scholarship recipients discuss their research and the importance of SSHRC funding to their investigations.

H&M and OCAD University Introduce ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!’, A Student Competition

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 7:30pm

H&M and OCAD University Introduce ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!’, A Student Competition

The Competition
Cutting edge international fashion retailer H&M and OCAD University’s Faculty of Art are pleased to announce an exciting new competition, ‘Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto!, a venture that will feature OCAD University’s fastest growing specialization in the vanguard art form of Digital Painting. H&M is looking for work from up to 8 artists to be displayed on the temporary construction hoarding in front of the H&M Toronto flagship store at Dundas and Yonge Streets. The winning students will each receive:
• $500 in cash or H&M gift certificates
• An exclusive invitation to H&M’s re-launch event
• Lots of public exposure through traditional press and social media

H&M is renovating its iconic location in the heart of Toronto in the Eaton Centre at Yonge and Dundas. During the renovation, the store will be covered with temporary walls (hoarding) and H&M wants to work with creative and talented individuals to help make this project unique and special, incorporating the worlds of art and fashion into a visual creation for people passing by Canada’s busiest intersection!

8 artworks will be chosen, each piece is to be a Digital Painting on vinyl output. The final dimensions of each artwork are to be: 3’ 6” x 6’. The artworks will be printed digitally on vinyl and will be treated for durability. Didactic panels will accompany the artworks and include information about OCAD U, the Digital Painting specialization, and information about each artist.

The competition is open to all 3rd and 4th year OCAD University students, as well as recent alumni.

Student Expectations
Please submit all of the following files electronically, via WeTransfer, Dropbox file share, another file sharing service or on a CD or zip drive by May 4th, to Tracy Buchanan in the Faculty of Art office or at Please use the phrase Toronto Loves Fashion! Fashion Loves Toronto! in the subject line of your email or as your folder name.

• A maximum of 2 digital images (350 dpi, at least 5” on smallest side) by May 4th (only one per student can be chosen)
• The Artist Participation Agreement
• Short Artist Statement (50-100 words) to present the artwork and its artist
• A brief bio (50-100 words)

Selection Process and Timeline
The jury will be comprised of 3 members from H&M and 2 members from OCAD University. The jury will meet to view submissions on May 6th. The winners will be contacted by email on May 6th.
The work is to be completed and delivered by the winning student by May 22nd.
H&M will install the temporary construction hoarding and all the artistic elements by May 29th.
The winners will meet with H&M and OCAD U to admire the pieces on the H&M store hoarding and will be rewarded with their $500 cash or gift cards on June 5th.

Venue & Address: 
H&M Toronto flagship store at Dundas and Yonge Streets
416-977-6000 x 330

OCAD U’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation students reach regional finals for million-dollar Hult Prize

Photo of M-sana team members
Photo of Yogya team members
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 4:00am

Two teams from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Master’s program will compete the regional finals of the prestigious Hult Prize Challenge, known as “the Nobel Prize for students.” The annual event is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good with some 20,000 applicants from around the world.

In partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the competition identifies and launches social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on providing sustainable, high-quality early education solutions to ten million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond.

The regional finals take place March 13 and 14 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. One winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship as well as advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set up to launch and scale their new ventures. A final round of competition will be hosted by former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September where the $1 million winning team will be selected.  

OCAD U’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation teams:


M-Sasa is a mobile phone-based solution using voicemail messages to connect working mothers who earn less than $3 a day with local community members who are able to provide early childhood education. Derived from the Swahili saying for “in the moment”, M-Sasa empowers mothers with unreliable incomes to find child care when they need it and for a fraction of the cost of current education offerings.

Team members:

  • Julie Sommerfreund: Policy specialist at Toronto Public Health with a background in environmental sciences and chemical engineering
  • Marta Scythes: Medical illustrator and educator
  • Kevin Morris: Strategic planning manager for a global manufacturer of sustainable building materials
  • Lorraine Randell: Visual communications designer with experience in education, graphic design, communications and environmental design
  • Sean Molloy: Director of Quality, Safety and Enterprise Risk at St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto

M-Sasa placed first at the official “Hult at OCAD U” competition, which the university hosted last fall. The team will go on to compete in the regional finals in Shanghai.


Yogya, the Sanskrit word for “worthy”, is a social enterprise shaped by the fundamental principle that every child is worthy of an education. It empowers young women from urban slums to educate children under age four, a critical stage in a child’s development before entering primary school.

Team members:

  • Ahmed Alazem: Certified Project Management professional
  • Christina Muia: Environmental consultant with experience in renewable energy, climate change, sustainable agriculture and source water protection
  • Jennifer McDougall: Leadership facilitator and public speaker with international business administration background
  • Mithula Naik: Ethnographer and industrial designer with an interest in developing products and services for specific cultural contexts while identifying unmet needs
  • Patrick Robinson: Community-focused design thinker with the goal of working with industry and educational leaders for social good

Yogya made it to the regional finals in San Francisco through online submission of their project.

The annual Hult Prize Challenge is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good. The Hult Prize Foundation has been funded by the Hult family since it was founded in 2009 by current CEO, Ahmad Ashkar. To learn more, visit

The Clinton Global Initiative 
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.

Top image: Team M-Sasa

Lower image: Team Yogya

Photos by George Wang and Greg Van Alstyne

1D3NT1TY CR1515: Digital Security Student Competition

logo for Identity Crisis contest
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 5:00am

OCAD U has launched the first-ever student competition to raise awareness of digital security in an increasingly digital world. Students were challenged to create a campaign centered on any form of cybersecurity, ranging from hacking and malware prevention to data back-up and privacy. 

Students’ submissions will be on display for two weeks beginning March 6 at 4 p.m., in the North end of the sixth floor hallway at 100 McCaul. OCAD U students will be given the opportunity to vote for the Students’ Choice Award by joining the 1D3NT1TY CR1515 Canvas course.  Students wishing to vote will need to submit their ballot by March 9 at 1:00 p.m.

The Awards:

  • First Place: $2000
  • Second Place: $1000
  • Student Choice: $100

The Jury:

  • Nora Young, host of CBC’s radio show Spark, which reflects life steeped in technology and culture
  • Brian Lesser, the Director of Computing and Communications Services at Ryerson University 
  • Jim Babbage, Solutions Consultant for Adobe Systems and professional photographer, web designer and teacher
  • Richard Hunt, Assistant Professor of Design at OCAD U, with an expertise in typography, information design and research methods.
  • Simone Jones, a multidisciplinary artist working in film, video, sculpture and electronics as well as a faculty member at OCAD U.

Winners will be announced at 4 p.m. Monday, March 9 at 49 McCaul St. at an event hosted by Andrew McAllister, Manager, Academic Computing. Submissions will be displayed on digital screens. All are invited to attend, refreshments provided. This event is sponsored by OCAD U Copy & Print Services.

For more information please contact:

Alea Drain, Assistant, IT Services

OCAD University, 416-977-6000 ext. 212