ViewerCentric: Visualization engineering towards a tool for media discoverability

This ongoing project sees researchers from OCAD’s Visual Analytics Lab working closely with Magnify Digital. It applies data analytics strategies and visualization best practices to the development of ViewerCentric, a visualization dashboard that allows users in the film, television, and media distribution sectors to understand complex data sets.

The data sets include streaming social media data and static data related to consumer habits. Visualization of this complex data helps content creators to better understand their audiences, increasing their discoverability.

A key component of this research is finding ways of combining multiple data sets and presenting the results in an actionable way. The ViewerCentric interface provides its users with the means to develop effective and measurable, online marketing strategies; find and assess audiences, identify opportune channels for reaching these, and evaluate messaging, funding and advertising opportunities and reports that can be submitted to funders, broadcasters, sponsors, and stakeholders.

Researchers will extend the system to other cultural content that has or could have a digital component or tag such as visual art, live entertainment, music and publishing - supporting its discoverability and user analytics. Currently editors and independent producers rely on hunches and creative vision without understanding the varied demographic differences of their audiences into account, while advertising agencies and brands primarily consider data. The objective is to help cultural industries and not-for-profits monetize content and balance personalization, market drivers and editorial direction.



We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Cette recherche a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG).

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 1:30pm
Lab Member: 
Sana Shepko
Jad Rabbaa
Afrooz Samaei
Marcus A. Gordon
Dr. Steve Szigeti
Dr. Sara Diamond

Communication of Awareness and Intent in Autonomous Vehicle-Pedestrian Interaction

In this project, we explored how we can build interfaces to suitably replace driver cues which pedestrians are used to receiving but will no longer receive as a result of introducing autonomous vehicles on our roads in the not-so-distant future.

Current vehicle-pedestrian interactions involve the vehicle communicating cues through its physical movement and through nonverbal cues from the driver. Our work studies vehicle-pedestrian interactions at a crosswalk in the presence of autonomous vehicles (without a driver) facilitated by the deployment of interfaces intended to replace missing driver cues. We created four prototype interfaces based on different modalities (such as visual, auditory, and physical) and locations (on the vehicle, on street infrastructure, on the pedestrian, or on a combination of the vehicle, street infrastructure, and the pedestrian). Our findings from two user studies indicate that interfaces which communicate awareness and intent can help pedestrians attempting to cross. We also find that interfaces are not limited to existing only on the vehicle.

Video Preview: 

Link to Paper: 

Pedestrian AV Interface
Monday, January 22, 2018 - 11:45am
Lab Member: 
Karthik Mahadevan


Interactive Futures Lab is an interdisciplinary group at OCAD University in Toronto. This research group is focused on the design and use of technologies for creating meaningful physical and tangible user experiences. 

Sowmya Somanath

I am a Computer Scientist specializing in Human-Computer Interaction. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University and lead the Interactive Futures Lab.


Doug Back
Saturday, November 15, 2008 - 5:00am to Sunday, January 25, 2009 - 5:00am

Electrohype presents the fifth biennial for computer based- and technological art at Malmö konsthall in Sweden. The Electrohype biennial 2008 introduces 14 artworks from 10 different countries:
OCAD Professor Doug Back, CA
Ralf Baecker, DE _
Serina Erfjord, NO
Kerstin Ergenzinger, DE
Jessica Field, CA
Voldemars Johansons, LV _
Diane Morin, CA
Kristoffer Myskja, NO
Erik Olofsen, NL

For this years biennial we have chosen works that in a unique way are complex in their own small universes – and makes us think about what we often takes as given.

The biennial holds a common theme about time and ongoing processes. In the exhibition, the viewer is invited to experience works that are independent machines slowly working in a methodic way, alongside objects that are animated with, for example, motors and light. Yet others are controlled with mathematical rules. A number of the works play on a change in our perception of time or of our physical existence.

Venue & Address: 
Malmö Konsthall SE-200 10, Malmö, Sweden

Advanced Visualization: A Boom with a View

ORION summit
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

A session – leading up to a full-day workshop at co-hosted by OCAD and SHARCNET – exploring the impact of advanced visualization technologies in science and design. Advanced visualization is transforming the approach, implementation and outcomes of collaboration and research in such diverse fields as bioinformatics, human-computer interaction, geography, language visualization, environmental sciences, physics, as well as collaborative, interactive teaching and learning.

Note: There is a half-day workshop on this topic being held at OCAD on Wednesday, November 5. If you are interested in attending, please contact Hilary Krupa at for more details.

Session Chair: Sara Diamond, President, Ontario College of Art & Design
President of OCAD University (Ontario College of Art & Design), Canada's largest and most diverse art and design university. Diamond is building OCAD's capacities in undergraduate learning, research and graduate studies, as well as building links with medical and scientific research. Before moving to OCAD in 2005, she was the award-winning Director of Research at The Banff Centre and Artistic Director of Media and Visual Arts for fourteen years. She founded the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and since then, with her team at Banff and a number of national and international partners, has built the BNMI into a globally recognized content incubator, workshop and think tank. Diamond's network reaches from Asia to Eastern Europe, Brazil, and the Arctic; from research labs to Silicon Valley; from television to software development. She is currently co-principle investigator on the Mobile Digital Commons Network. Her research and publications explore software visualization and the history of media art.

Pierre Boulanager, Professor, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

Dr. Boulanger graduated from Laval University in Engineering Physics. He also received his Masters in Physics from the same university and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Montreal. He worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interests were 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. Since 2001, he has been a professor at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta doing research and teaching on virtualized reality systems. He is also an adjunct scientist and principal investigator for new media at TRLabs and at the Banff Centre. In 2004, Dr. Boulanger was awarded an iCORE industrial chair in Collaborative Virtual Environment. He is also the Director of the Advanced Man-Machine Interface Laboratory. On the commercial side, Dr Boulanger is the president of PROTEUS Consulting Inc., an Alberta-based consulting firm specializing in Virtual Reality Applications.

Chaomei Chen, Associate Professor, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University
Dr. Chaomei Chen is associate professor in the College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University and a visiting professor at Brunel University in the United Kingdom since 2002. He received his bachelor degree in mathematics from Nankai University, China, his master's degree in computation from the University of Oxford and his doctorate in computer science from the University of Liverpool. His research interests include information visualization, knowledge domain visualization and mapping scientific frontiers. Dr. Chen is the author of Information Visualization: Beyond the Horizon and Mapping Scientific Frontiers: The Quest for Knowledge Visualization. He is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Information Visualization. He received the 2002 ASIST/ISI Citation Research Award. He is a member of the Thomson Scientific Strategic Advisory Board and the principal investigator of research grants from NSF and other sponsors. Dr. Chen created the widely used software CiteSpace for visualizing and analyzing emerging trends in scientific literature.

Venue & Address: 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 255 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario

EMBEDDED SCRIPT an exhibition by Richard Williams

OCADu Graduate Gallery, April 4-7, 2016 from 12-5pm daily. Opening reception April 7 from 7-10
Monday, April 4, 2016 - 4:00pm to Friday, April 8, 2016 - 2:00am

Embedded Script an exhibition by Richard Williams

Reception: April 7th, 7:00 – 10:00pm


Exhibition Dates: April 4th – April 7th, 12:00 – 5:00pm daily

Embedded Script is an exhibition of recent works, including interactive/immersive installations, experimental web art and a multi-day machine performance. These works each represent both an exploration of and an experimentation with the Human/Computer relationship. While addressed in its full, globalized context, the selected works will engage this relationship at the scale of the individual user and device. Global infrastructures, intersections between technology and nature, the role(s) of digital mapping and other contemporary themes will be explored, presented always as they relate to the daily lived experience of our post-internet world.

Venue & Address: 
OCADU Graduate Gallery 205 Richmond St. W, Ground Floor
OCADu Graduate Gallery, April 4-7, 2016 from 12-5pm daily. Opening reception April 7 from 7-10


Mobile HCI logo


Mobile HCI logo
This fall OCAD U is hosting Mobile HCI, an international conference on designing the future of mobile. It’s the first time the conference will be held in Canada (and only the second time in North America), and its distinguished team of organizers includes Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president. Registration for the event, which will take place at Toronto’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, September 23 to 26, is now open.

Mobile HCI, which stands for human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services, is a high profile forum for innovations in mobile, portable and personal devices, and the services to which they enable access. Now in its 16th year, the conference will bring together academics, hardware and software developers, designers and practitioners from around the world.

The conference includes a wide array of keynote talks, workshops, tutorials and a doctoral consortium. There will also be a papers program, demonstrations, a design competition and industrial case studies presentations.

Keynote talks include:

Amahl Hazelton, Producer, Urban Spaces 2.0, Moment Factory

Mark Vanderbeeken, CEO, Experientia

Workshops include:

People, Places and Things: A Mobile Locative Mapping Workshop

Enhancing Self-Reflection with Wearable Sensors

Socio-Technical Practices and Work-Home Boundaries

Re-imagining Commonly Used Mobile Interfaces for Oder Adults

Workshop on Designing the Future of Mobile Healthcare Support

Tutorials include:

Mobile-based Tangible Interaction Design for Shared Displays

Mobile Health: Beyond Consumer Apps

Wearable Computing: A Human-centred View of Key Concepts, Application Domains and Quality Factors

Speech-based Interaction: Myths, Challenges and Opportunities

Learn more

Mobile HCI website



Keep checking the website for program updates, and/or follow the conference on Twitter: @ACMMobileHC