OCAD University included among Top 50 Canadian Research Universities

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 4:00am

Institution grows research income by 2,317.5%

(Toronto — October 19, 2010) For the first time in its 134 years, OCAD University (OCADU) is featured among Canada’s top 50 research universities by Research Infosource Inc. Even more impressive, the institution has experienced a growth in research income of 2,317.5% between Fiscal 2008 and 2009, more than any other Canadian university.

“Our inclusion in the Top 50 Research Universities list for the first time is a testament to OCAD University’s importance as a research university,” said Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, Associate Vice-President, Research and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies. “A greater focus on research was a major objective of our strategic plan, Leading in the Age of Imagination 2006 – 2012. OCADU’s position on the list demonstrates that we have arrived as a major player amongst Canadian universities. Our research culture incorporates undergraduate and graduate students, enriching their experience at OCADU, and contributes to the knowledge and creative economy of Ontario, Canada and the world.”

Among dozens of faculty and graduate student research projects, OCAD University has several major ongoing research initiatives underway now. These include:

  • The addition of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) to its campus (the IDI is funded by an $18 million grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ministry of Research & Innovation;
  • The Centre for Innovation in Information Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV-DDD) led by York University in partnership with OCAD University, working to develop the next generation of data discovery, design, and visualization techniques by developing new computational tools, representational strategies, and interfaces ($11.5 million in combined funding from the Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Program, industry and institutional partnerships);
  • A multidisciplinary strategic foresight project called 2020 Media Futures, designed to understand and envision what media may look like by the year 2020 (funded by Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund, industry partners and OCADU, totaling $226,500);
  • The founding of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit organization that supports design leadership, innovation and applied research in Canada's mobile and wireless industries;
  • The Fluid Project, an initiative of the Inclusive Design Institute, creates web application building blocks that infuse accessibility and inclusive user experience design into the software ecosystem. Fluid components are part of the software toolkits broadly used to create interactive Web programs, thereby ensuring they are accessible to users with disabilities (funded at $1.26 million USD by The Andrew M. Mellon Foundation);
  • The Inclusive Design Institute’s Accessible Digital Office Document project, supported by UNESCO and the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, is developing international guidelines for creating accessible office documents including spreadsheets and presentations;
  • FLOE (Flexible Learning for Open Education), a project of the Inclusive Design Institute and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, is creating a global infrastructure to address the learning needs of learners, including learners with disabilities, by matching each learner's individual accessibility needs and preferences with a learning resource that meets those needs;
  • OCADU participates in the National Centres of Excellence-funded Graphics, Animation and New Media initiative (NCE-GRAND), a research program engaging fifty network investigators to understand underlying technologies from the new media, animation, and games sectors, and to make selective advances in a coordinated, multidisciplinary setting that lead to social, legal, economic, and cultural benefits for Canadians;
  • Biomapping: Mobile Experiments in Self-computation and Spatial Aesthetics, a project by OCADU Associate Professor Paula Gardner; and Exploring Urban Resistance: street vending and negotiations over public space livelihoods in the Philippines and Vietnam, a project by Professor B. Lynne Milgram, both funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

For more information about OCAD University’s ongoing research initiatives visit http://www.ocad.ca/research.htm. To read more about Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities, visit http://www.researchinfosource.com/top50.shtml.

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University receives $359,800 for research commercialization

Friday, January 14, 2011 - 5:00am

(Toronto — January 14, 2011) OCAD University has been granted $359,800 in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative. The funds support the commercialization of research projects with 12 distinct OCADU research partners and their private sector partners.

The announcement was made today by MP Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham), on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario.

“This investment will create jobs and sustain economic growth by helping small businesses get new ideas into the marketplace faster,” said MP Calandra. “Our government is committed to supporting families, businesses and communities of southern Ontario.”

“The projects funded through the FedDev Ontario program are game changers in their respective fields and reflect OCAD University's diverse design and digital learning and research environment,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. “OCADU is a proud incubator of student innovation and commercially viable faculty research. We have demonstrable links to the SME sector. By bringing this talent together with the help of FedDev Ontario, we are fostering the creation of innovative products and services in the fields of mobile, health, environmental and digital technologies. We thank the Government of Canada for their support.”

The projects are wide-ranging, involving the development of haptic holography technologies; gesture control technology to leverage interactivity between children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their peers; toys that teach children the fundamentals of digital technology; swimming devices that aid those who are physically challenged; social, mobile games encouraging pro-environmental behaviour; and more.

The projects are:

  • The Haptic Holography Project, joining OCADU’s 30+ years of experience in innovation in holography with private sector partner Entact Robotics, will develop haptic holography technology, allowing users to interface with 3D displays that provide sensory feedback; this technology is foreseen to have many interesting future applications such as superior medical training technology (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Michael Page, Faculty of Art);
  • The Extend Project partners OCADU with marblemedia, a content creation company that specializes in broadcast television and interactive content, to leverage OCADU’s expertise in design thinking and independent game development with the aim to develop original IP, market opportunities and business models (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Emma Westecott, Faculty of Design);
  • With You, designed by OCADU alumni Haniyeh Khosravi Fard, is a social interactive experience product that has the potential to become a passive diagnostic tool and a significant contributor to therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); With You partners Khosravi Ford with GestureTek, a world leader in interactive gesture control technology (OCADU Faculty Leads: Professor Job Rutgers and Associate Professor Suzanne Stein, Faculty of Design);
  • Logic Blocks, designed by OCADU alumni Greg Crossley, is partnered with Nytric, an innovation consulting firm focused on turning innovative ideas into successful products; Logic Blocks are designed to teach children about the most fundamental concept in digital technology: boolean logic (OCADU Faculty Lead: Professor Job Rutgers, Faculty of Design);
  • OCADU has partnered with moulded and fabricated foam product supplier kristoFOAM to further develop swimming device prototype Mantiro, designed by OCADU alumni Farhad Shabani, with the goal of creating a device that will assist physically challenged people and the elderly to enable them to have a safe water experience (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Diane Croteau, Faculty of Design);
  • A partnership with DuROCK, called Visible Campus, will create pavement elements, street furniture and way finding that express the vibrancy and innovation going on at OCADU, as a means of linking the corridor of the 12-building campus (OCADU Faculty Lead: Professor Job Rutgers, Faculty of Design);
  • Albedo Informatics, a social games start-up company, will collaborate with OCADU to create My Green City, a cross-platform game/application for the iPhone and Facebook that will encourage players to engage in pro-environmental behaviour through a green rewards system (OCADU Faculty Lead: Assistant Professor Emma Westecott, Faculty of Design);
  • Info Viz pairs OCADU researchers with Echo Mobile to map contributions and conversations on social networks, using information visualization (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Judith Doyle, Faculty of Art);
  • OCADU will engage in research towards further commercialization of Media Lab Toronto's TXTris tangible social messaging platform (OCADU Faculty Lead: Associate Professor Judith Doyle, Faculty of Art);
  • The Neutral Carbon Product project pairs Zerofootprint with OCADU to develop a visualization aesthetic that communicates the carbon foot print of a product, for all its components, including the distance travelled, to give consumers information leading to greener choices and purchasing behaviours (OCADU Faculty Leads: Associate Professor Suzanne Stein, Faculty of Design, and Assistant Professor Barbara Rauch, Faculty of Art);
  • OCADU’s Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) is partnered with Guardly, a mobile personal/home alarm and monitoring security service, to broaden the number of supported devices that can run its mobile application, such as BlackBerry® Smartphones and/or Google Android Smartphones;
  • The Sousveiller Project, an initiative of OCADU MEIC partner and interaction design/research firm Normative Inc., is a web and mobile application focused on creating a publicly accessible data set of urban locations that contain visual surveillance technology; the resulting data set would be public as a research, design and technology resource for both private and public sector organizations and is expected to impact the field dedicated to “designing for data shade.”

For more information about these and OCADU’s other research initiatives, visit http://www.ocad.ca/research.htm.

Today's release from Federal Economic Development Agency of Southwestern Ontario (FedDev Ontario):
Government of Canada Supports Innovation at Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in Greater Toronto Area
Economic Action Plan invests in jobs and growth through research and development

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD U embarks on education mission to Brazil

Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 4:00am

AUCC Presidents’ mission to build research, innovation and higher education partnerships; OCAD U signs agreements with four major universities in Brazil

(Toronto—April 26, 2012) OCAD University has formed four new partnerships with universities in Brazil, including Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Universidade Anhenbi Morumbi (UAM) and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFGRS).

The partnerships include two-way faculty and student exchange opportunities, joint research collaborations and opportunities for jointly organized scientific events, conferences, workshops, and seminars. The announcement was made as part of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) Presidents' Mission to Brazil.

"We believe that growth and prosperity are hinged on our ability to be innovative and globally competitive," said OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond, who, with Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, OCAD U's Associate Vice-President, Research & Dean, Graduate Studies, is a member of the AUCC mission in Brazil. "These new partnerships pair OCAD U with leading institutions in the fields of information and communications technology research, data visualization, science, and art and design practice. These agreements create new pathways for students and faculty of both institutions to collaborate and represent a significant investment in Canada's knowledge economy. We have dedicated graduate scholarship funds to help to support Brazilian students who would choose to spend a semester at our university."

  • With PUC-Rio, OCAD U will explore design thinking, practice, mobile technologies and intersections between art and technology.
  • OCAD U will continue its biomedical visualization research and data analytics with UnB.
  • UFGRS and OCAD U are exploring multi-screen platforms for data visualization, text and social media analysis and visual analytics.
  • Finally, OCAD U will explore mobile and wearable technology design for health and for fashion with UAM.

"We will continue to link Canadian companies to our research partners through the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre, the Rio Content Market and other partnered events and conferences," said Diamond, who currently serves on the Canada/Brazil ICT Working Group with private industry and the Government of Canada.

The AUCC mission is the largest-ever education mission undertaken by Canadian university presidents. Key events include the AUCC Canada-Brazil University Presidents' Roundtable, the Canada-Brazil Innovation Forum and visits to universities across Brazil in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Campinas, and Brasilia. The mission is led by Canada's Governor General, His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, a former university president of two Canadian universities. President Diamond is moderator of the panel entitled, "How Canada-Brazil Academic-Private Sector Collaboration can drive Innovation for Commercialization" during the mission's upcoming Canada-Brazil Innovation Forum in São Paolo.


OCAD University's new partners in Brazil:

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) was established in 1914 as Brazil's first private, non-profit institution. The Brazilian Ministry of Education has consistently ranked PUC-Rio among the best universities in the country. Through its academic curriculum and research activities, PUC-Rio is committed to high-quality teaching, applied research and scientific development, in order to constantly contribute for the education of critical and conscious citizens. The Arts and Design department of PUC-Rio originated in the Department of Literature and was based on a group of theoretical disciplines such as art and artistic manifestations and history of art. In 1978, the Department of Arts was established as a result of the number of students who had graduated from the various arts-related disciplines. In later years, PUC-Rio launched a Masters in Design that drew on over 20 years of work in that field; in 2003, PUC-Rio added a PhD in Design to its offerings. Both programs are the first of their kind to be offered in Brazil and PUC-Rio is recognized as a leader in this field in South America.

The Universidade de Brasília (UnB) was founded in 1962 on the principle of providing high-quality education, research and outreach programs to the community-at-large. It is recognized as one of the largest and most prestigious public universities in Brazil. The University has four campuses spread throughout the Federal District of Brasilia. UnB is the ideal institution to combine the rigour of science with the boldness of art using its three-dimensional approach of teaching, research, and extension that is respectful of all forms of knowledge and committed to the public. UnB offers 61 undergraduate programs, 49 master's degrees and 27 doctoral programs. More than 260 formally constituted research-groups work in more than 400 different laboratories, investigating close to 890 different areas. As well, UnB runs 115 community outreach projects, offering a total of 438 courses and events that involve the direct participation of professors and students.

Universidade Anhenbi Morumbi (UAM) is a Brazilian private university located in São Paulo and owned by the Laureate Education Inc. It was established in 1970 with a Faculty of Social Communication and Tourism and in 1997, UAM was officially constituted as a university. In the years following its establishment, UAM quickly developed a number of degrees with the intent of providing students with innovative academic programs, leading-edge facilities and unique opportunities for academic advancement. UAM has four campuses in São Paulo which house state-of-the-art laboratories, training centers, and libraries for more than 32,000 students. It is currently ranked one of the top three private universities in São Paulo by the Guia do Estudante (Student's Guide).

In 2002, UAM created the Centre of Design and Fashion and subsequently offered Brazil's first bachelor's degree in Game Design. In 2005, UAM the University sealed an agreement with the International Network of Laureate Universities - a prestigious global network of universities which allows students to complete their studies through exclusive exchange programs at 55 higher education institutions in 28 countries. At UAM, students are encouraged to adopt the broad vision of becoming global citizens while exploring business opportunities and travelling the world to seek avant-garde research. Today, UAM continues to enjoy its reputation for pioneering as it promotes production and transmission of knowledge based on respect for human values and aimed at benefitting society.

The Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFGRS) is one of the largest federal universities in Brazil with four campuses in Port Alegre. UFRGS originated as a School of Pharmacy and Chemistry in 1895, expanded in 1896 with an engineering college and became the Universidade de Porto Alegre in 1934. In 1950, control of the university passed to the Federal Government at which time it was formally known as Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. As a public institution, UFRGS provides free education to students who pass its annual competitive exam.

UFRGS ranks among the best Brazilian universities. It has achieved national and international recognition for academic program quality, faculty excellence, the breadth of student assistance programs and constant investment in infrastructure. The university strongly supports the production of knowledge through high-quality research, community involvement and fostering diversity inspired in the ideals of freedom and solidarity. Since its inception, UFRGS has become a leader in terms of publications and scientific production.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University opens Inclusive Design Institute

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 4:00am

(Toronto—May 24, 2012) OCAD University celebrates the official opening of the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) today.

The Inclusive Design Institute is a leading applied research centre established to ensure that everyone can participate in our digitally transformed society. With eight postsecondary partner institutions and more than 100 multi-sector collaborators, this regional centre of expertise will prepare Ontario to respond to the increased demand worldwide for inclusive digital systems and practices, a demand that is intensified by an aging population and the adoption of accessibility legislation by all major trading partners.

Many essential activities today require going online whether it is finding a job, applying for government services, participating in education or communicating with friends. Many people face barriers to online access because systems are generally designed for the typical user. The number of people facing barriers due to a disability is increasing as our population ages. The IDI will ensure that the online systems and services we depend upon are designed to work for everyone.

Supported by both the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development and Innovation, the IDI will help train highly qualified personnel to fuel ongoing innovation in inclusive design and enable Ontario to take a leadership role globally.

"The Inclusive Design Institute is destined to be a world-class facility that will make technology accessible to everyone, everywhere," said Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. "With its core of accomplished researchers, this vibrant hub of innovation and training will create opportunities for working with industry to improve their products and processes."

"The McGuinty government has made real progress in ensuring the province maintains the highest standards of accessibility, and our investment in the Inclusive Design Institute is an important step towards making the province fully accessible," said Minister of Economic Development and Innovation Brad Duguid. "The work of this Institute will lead to greater inclusion in the digital world, and that means a higher standard of life, education and employment for all Ontarians."

"We're very proud to officially launch the Inclusive Design Institute, where we bring together a community that values collaboration, broad participation, transparency and openness," said OCAD University's Jutta Treviranus, Director of the IDI and the Institute's principal researcher. "Inclusion and diversity are Ontario's richest untapped resources. Research at the IDI will help Ontario sustain and develop this resource and foster the inherent potential to create a vibrant, productive generator of innovative, inclusively designed information and communication systems and services."

Inclusion and diversity are not only values or rights to be protected, but also catalysts for new ideas, design principles that lead to better design, business strategies that make good business sense and potential economic drivers with ubiquitous social benefits.

The Institute's work is focused into four research clusters:

  • Design and Development: creating tools, strategies, resources and exemplars that proactively address the early stages of application development;
  • Business Case, Policies, Standards & Legislation: exploring the role of policies, standards, and legislation in promoting digital inclusion and examining the economic impact of inclusive design and new emerging markets addressing digital inclusion;
  • Mobile & Pervasive Computing: focusing on the potential of mobile, context-aware and location-aware technologies, pervasive computing and ambient intelligence; and
  • Information & Implementation Practices: examining the role of information and communications technology and inclusive design in four sectoral domains: education, health, culture and civic engagement.

The Institute's eight postsecondary partners are OCAD University, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Sheridan College, George Brown College and Seneca College.

Some of the multi-sector, international projects using the IDI facilities include:

  • Fluid, an open-source software community that designs user interfaces, builds Web tools, teaches inclusive design and integrates interface components into open source applications;
  • FLOE, flexible learning for open education;
  • AEGIS, which works towards integrating accessibility into emerging information and communication technology;
  • Cloud4All, which aims to develop a complete new paradigm in accessibility by replacing adaptation of individual products and services for a person with automatic-personalization of any mainstream product or service using cloud technologies;
  • IDRC Mobile research consists of open-ended research and development on accessible, usable, intelligent, context- and location-aware mobile technologies; and
  • Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII), a software and service enhancement to ensure broadband infrastructure is barrier free.

In addition to many cloud-delivered accessible research applications and collaboration tools, the IDI infrastructure includes several central research labs, including the:

  • Distributed Collaboration Network;
  • Participatory Inclusive Design Lab;
  • Cross-platform testing facility;
  • Mobile and Pervasive Computing research platform;
  • Accessible Gaming Platform;
  • Sensory Mode Translation and Media Access Facility;
  • Accessible Performance Lab; and the
  • Experimental Inclusive Meeting Facility.

The IDI's laboratories and collaboration spaces are located in three main areas on the OCAD University campus, with additional laboratories located at IDI partner facilities. At OCAD U, the IDI spans the Distributed Collaboration Network and Cross Platform Testing Facility at 205 Richmond Street West, the Experimental Inclusive Meeting Facility and Sensory Mode Translation and Media Access Facility (including captioning and description) at 230 Richmond Street West and the Participatory Inclusive Design Lab and Accessible Performance Lab at 49 McCaul Street.

20120524_IDI_opening_releaseAbout OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

Media are invited to attend. To RSVP or for more information, please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD University partners with Mitacs to offer funded Internships

Monday, October 15, 2012 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 15, 2012) OCAD University and Mitacs, a not-for-profit research organization, have signed an agreement that will give OCAD University's graduates and current graduate students access to a federally funded internship program.

Mitacs Enterprise is funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and provides substantial subsidies to companies for six-month internships in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields.

"We're thrilled to be working with Mitacs to provide access for our student to these career-boosting opportunities," said Deanne Fisher, Associate Vice-President, Students at OCAD U. "The Enterprise Internship Program is just one of the latest additions to our Career Development offerings at OCAD U. We'll be working toward developing even more opportunities in industries and companies related to our programs as part of our commitment to building Ontario's economic and cultural prosperity."

"In order to build a strong, knowledge-based economy, we must provide opportunities for recent university and college graduates to work with companies and gain on-the-ground experience right here in southern Ontario," said Dr. Arvind Gupta, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Director of Mitacs. "OCAD U's agreement with Mitacs Enterprise will enable future innovators to gain new skills and connect with potential employers."

Graduates and students are eligible to apply for existing opportunities through Mitacs, or can encourage potential employers to apply for the FedDev subsidy through Mitacs.

The program is expected to benefit primarily students and graduates of OCAD U's Digital Futures, Inclusive Design, Industrial Design and Environmental Design programs, though other students may be eligible if they meet the requirements.

Through the Mitacs agreement, up to 15 graduates (undergraduate or graduate alumni within five years of graduating) and 11 current graduate students will be placed in the funded internships between now and March 31, 2014.

Eligible companies receive up to $15,000 in funding for each internship, to be matched by the company. "We encourage potential employers to get in touch with us about the program," said Fisher. "We will work with them to develop a partnership that benefits both our alumni and students that will also contribute valuable talent to their enterprises."

The program is a competitive six-month internship and business mentorship program that gives graduates of STEM disciplines an opportunity to work with small to medium-sized companies (SME) operating in a STEM sector throughout Southern Ontario. In addition to the valuable employment opportunity, interns also receive three days of business and management training, a peer support network, and progress monitoring to encourage skill and knowledge transfer to the SME.

Companies interested in offering an internship opportunity, and recent undergraduate alumni or graduate students who wish to submit an application should contact Zev Farber, Career Development Coordinator, Student Success Programs at OCAD U at 416-977-6000 x3843. Visit www.ocadu.ca/careerdevelopment for more information.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

Through unique research and training programs, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills. In partnership with companies, government and academia, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada's most valuable resource — its people. For more information visit http://www.mitacs.ca/.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 x327 (mobile x1327)

Graduate School: Options, Applications and More

Graduate School: Options, Applications and More
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:00pm

A Career Development Info Session

This session will provide a practical overview of how to effectively research and prepare yourself for putting forward an application to pursue a Graduate degree within Canada or elsewhere.







Venue & Address: 
Room 240 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Research Rendezvous

Research Rendezvous
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 4:00pm to Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 4:00pm

A monthly lunchtime series for faculty and students to share and learn about research at OCAD U.

This month’s Research Rendezvous will showcase three extraordinary research projects funded through FedDev Ontario's Applied Research and Commercialization (ARC) Initiative:

Bright Riders Bike Lights
(PI: Kate Hartman, Assistant Professor and Director, Social Body Lab)

The Nudgeables Accessory Kit
(PI: Kate Hartman, Assistant Professor and Director, Social Body Lab)

Hot Wood
(PI: Paul Epp, Chair, Industrial Design)

Come share your ideas, connect with potential collaborators and find out how you can get involved in research!






Venue & Address: 
Room 187 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

SSHRC and OGS Workshop

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 7:30pm

SSHRC and OGS Workshop for Graduate Students, and students applying to Graduate Studies at OCAD U for 2014.

Please be advised that an information session on SSHRC and OGS awards is scheduled for Monday, October 7, 3:00 – 4:30 pm in room 7401, 4th floor of 205 Richmond Street West.

You are encouraged to attend and if eligible, to apply for these funding opportunities and are going into your second year of your graduate program or considering applying to Graduate Studies at OCAD U for 2014.

• Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
The Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) seeks to develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students in the social sciences and humanities who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. These scholarships are valued at $17,500 over 12 months (non-renewable) and are open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents only.

OCAD U has a limited allocation of applications that we may submit to SSHRC. Details will be provided at the information session, including application deadlines.

• Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)
The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program encourages excellence in graduate studies at the master’s and doctoral levels. The scholarship is valued at $5,000 per academic term for either two or three consecutive terms.
OCAD U has a limited allocation of applications that we may submit to OGS – one of which may be allocated to an international student.

For more information please contact:


T 416 977 6000 x4367
E abrummell@ocadu.ca



Venue & Address: 
7401, 4th Floor 205 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario

Social Media & Creative Research

Social Media & Creative Research
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 11:00pm

A Panel Discussion Between Artists and Information Professionals

How can social media best serve the interests of practicing artists, art historians, curators, students, art enthusiasts, and general audiences? Can the boundaries of social media technology be expanded to facilitate creative research as practiced by these constituents? ARLIS-ON asks information professionals, artists, and social media experts to weigh in on how these new technologies are utilized by information institutions, and how they can further benefit researchers in the arts.

The discussion will be moderated by Mark Pompelia (Rhode Island School of Design). Featured Panelists include Heather Saunders (Nipissing University), Stephen Spong (OCAD University), Eva Stepanian (University of Toronto), and Marsha E. Taichman (Cornell University). For a full biography of the participants, please visit the following link: http://goo.gl/OFDR0A

The cost for the session will be $5.00 for ARLIS/NA members and $10.00 for non-members. Student members can attend for free. If you’re a student but not a member? No problem! Get a membership and admission for $10.00.

Pay in advance using the secure Paypal payment form.

Refreshments will be served.

This event has been generously sponsored by the Dorothy H. Hoover Library, OCAD University.






$5.00 for ARLIS/NA members/$10.00 for non-members/Free for student members

Venue & Address: 
Central Hall, Room 230 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Lighting Talks Virtual Graduate Symposium

Lighting Talks Virtual Graduate Symposium
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 1:00pm

OCAD University, Toronto + Goldsmiths, University of London

The Goldsmiths Digital Studios and the Department of Design, University of London, and the Graduate Programs at OCAD University, represent vibrant international centres of interdisciplinary research and practice, experimentation, and scholarly creation.
Inspired by our Memorandum of Agreement, Goldsmiths and OCAD U Graduate faculty and students are invited to share their research and research-creation practices in a virtual symposium, featuring short panel presentations and discussions from PhD and Masters students, participating remotely from both universities.

This virtual conference is being organized jointly by faculty at Goldsmiths and OCAD University: Professor Janis Jefferies, artist, writer, and curator, and Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London; William Gaver, Director of the Interaction Research Studio and Professor of Design at Goldsmiths, University of London; Dr. Martha Ladly, interdisciplinary artist, Professor of Design and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, OCAD University; and Dr. Kate Sellen, Professor of Design, OCAD University.

A special guest will be visiting Goldsmiths Fellow Dr. Ernest Edmonds, of the School of Engineering and Information Technology, UTS Sydney. Professor Edmonds has a PhD in logic from Nottingham University, is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and a Charted Engineer. He is a practicing artist in the constructivist tradition with a worldwide exhibition record, and has used computers in his art practice since 1968.

We look forward to your participation in this important international graduate research encounter and opportunity for international educational exchange, cooperation and collaboration.

Lighting Talks Aims, Goals and Thematics:
The goal is to both renew and revitalise the MOA between Goldsmiths and OCAD U, and for us to get to know each other, through the talks and discussions with students and faculty about each other's research and scholarship. The general thematics are research creation and scholarly practices of making in the arts, cultural, humanities, sciences, and technology fields, as exemplified by the presentations of graduate practice and models of collaboration and supervision, from students and faculty at both Universities.

Format: Panelists will make a 10-minute presentation to include visuals, in a panel format with a moderator. A moderated discussion with both groups will then follow.

Lighting Talks Schedule (EST / GMT):
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EST

8:00 – 8:45 Tech check in for all presenters

9:00 – 9:15 Brief introductions from the organisers and moderators

9:15 – 10:15 Panel 1: Future / Values / Inclusivity / Translations
Moderator: Bill Gaver / Janis Jefferies
Trevor Haldenby (OCAD U) Bringing the Future to Life
Melissa Coleman (Goldsmiths) Religious Tools for a Secular World
Sarah Crosskey (OCAD U)Appropriate technologies for
communication support for seniors with memory loss

Tobie Kerridge(Goldsmiths)Designing Debate – Speculative
Design and Public Engagement with Science and Technology

Discussion: Panelists and audience

10:15 – 10:30 Break and change over

10:30 - 11:00 Panel 2: Artistic Evaluation / Typographic Accessibility
Moderators: Janis Jefferies / Martha Ladly
Participants: Ernest Edmonds (UTS Sydney)Evaluation in Public Art: an Artist’s

Kate Sellen (OCAD U)Design Strategies for Misreadings:
interdisciplinary opportunity from theory to practice

Discussion: Panelists and audience

11:00 - 11:15 Break and change over

11:15 - 12:15 Panel 3: Urban Frontiers
Moderator: Kate Sellen / Martha Ladly
Bianca Elzenbaumer (Goldsmiths)Designing Economic Cultures -
cultivating socially and politically engaged design practices against procedures of precarisation

Marc de Pape (OCAD U)The Chime
Bill Psarras (Goldsmiths)Emotive Terrains: A practice-based
research on flaneur, senses and city of 21st century city

12:15 - 12:30 Final Discussion and Moderator’s summaries

12:30 Close

Participant Bios and Abstracts

Trevor Haldenby (OCAD U)
Trevor is an imaginative thinker who focuses emerging technologies on exciting ideas. He is a graduate of the CFC Media Lab (Interactive Art and Entertainment Program, 2005) and OCAD University (MDes, Strategic Foresight & Innovation, 2013). As interactive producer and design consultant he has overseen innovative projects and programs including the popular virtual world Habbo Hotel, Earth Rangers’ Bring Back the Wild campaign, the open-source record label Snakes+Ladders, and the TELUS Innovation Fund.

In 2012 Trevor co-founded The Mission Business, a Toronto-based transmedia design firm that brings stories about the future to life. Award-winning projects include ZED.TO: ByoLogyc, a pervasive simulation of a biotechnological apocalypse, and Visitations, a ghost story for the internet of things set within Toronto’s Drake Hotel.

Bringing the Future to Life

A hybrid technique is described for applying design processes associated with transmedia storytelling to the materialization of speculative future scenarios.

How could this technique could be used to engage mass audiences in experiences and decision-making processes simulating different possible futures? How could interactive and immersive storytelling make critical engagement with speculative futures an activity for non-specialists? What new business models does this technique offer that could increase the sustainability of strategic foresight practice?

A case study demonstrates how an interdisciplinary team led by Trevor Haldenby called The Mission Business used this hybrid technique to create an engaging nine-month dystopian story about the future of the biotechnology industry called ZED.TO: ByoLogyc. This pervasive transmedia scenario spread across numerous narrative channels, engaged thousands of active participants from the general public, and won diverse awards and acclaim. The performance of ZED.TO: ByoLogyc is explored in qualitative and quantitative terms, and the project’s form and content are contrasted against the practices of contemporary designers, futurists, and storytellers.

Melissa Coleman (Goldsmiths)

Melissa Coleman is a new media artist, lecturer, blogger and curator of smart textiles exhibitions. Melissa’s works are critical explorations of the body in relation to technology. She writes for Fashioning Technology and has taught at art and design schools in The Hague, Rotterdam, Tilburg and Eindhoven. Together with Piem Wirtz she founded the V2_ E-Textile Workspace, a monthly expert meeting for artists and designers working with textiles and electronics. The travelling exhibition Pretty Smart Textiles has been on show in The Netherlands, Denmark, Vienna and Belgium. Her current fashiontech exhibition Hybrid Skins will be on display until 24 November at Tetem in Enschede, The Netherlands. She's currently based in London where she teaches with Codasign and creates connected toys at Made By Many. She conducts her PhD research at Goldsmiths at the computational arts department with Janis Jefferies and Bill Gaver.

Religious Tools for a Secular World

In this research I intend to design for user groups, environments and purposes that are commonly underexposed in Human Computer Interaction research. Rather than focusing on systems that improve productivity I plan to design intelligent systems and services that support reflection on value systems (i.e. the values that a person would use to evaluate if his life was meaningful).

Traditionally religions have provided people with a structure for meaning making. Some research has been done on how ICT can be used to create tools for religious activities but little research has been done on how ICT can create tools to support meaning making in contexts in which religion has become obsolete. Alain de Botton’s concept of Atheism 2.0 suggests that society has secularised badly and could benefit from a re-examination of the relevance of religions after the dismissal of the central dogmas. By extension: research into ICT tools for religious life could potentially support research into meaning making tools for secular society.

strong>Sarah Crosskey (OCAD U)
Sarah Crosskey is a second year graduate student in the Inclusive Design program at OCAD University. Before moving to Toronto she worked for the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour as an Executive Assistant advocating for International Disability Rights. As a Fine Arts undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, she created multi-media sculpture and installation that evoked community conversation around social and environmental issues.
Since beginning her Masters program, Sarah has gained experience in designing and conducting inclusive usability testing, prototyping, and data analysis. Her primary research focus at OCAD University is working with seniors who are living with chronic pain and other complex health conditions, as well as their family and caregivers, to develop online tools that improve wellbeing. Her most recent research utilizes co-design and inclusive research methods to develop tangible objects that interface with mobile computing devices for communication.

Appropriate technologies for communication support for seniors with memory loss

Currently, there is a lack of appropriate technology that supports communication for seniors with memory loss and other complex health conditions. The design of current communication technology is fairly complex and requires a person’s ability to rely on their memory. Very little is being developed to address the specific needs of the aging population, in particular, seniors with early stage memory loss and complex health conditions.
In my Masters research, I will explore communication and connection for this particular group of seniors, as well as their friends and family. Through interviews, observations, and co-creation exercises I will prototype tangible objects that could offer another means of interfacing with communication technology, specifically mobile communication devices.
Incorporating the participatory and interactive aspects utilized in my art practice, I will invite seniors with early stage memory loss and complex health conditions to engage in a series of co-design activities in which they will play a major role in the exploration and design of these communication tools. The co-design process may uncover latent knowledge about this unique group of seniors’ communication habits and behaviours. This may or may not provide insight into what is appropriate for or desired by this group of people to enhance their connections with friends and family. If insight is offered, it could allow for the maximum opportunity to create multiple modalities that aim to meet the diverse needs of this particular group.

Tobie Kerridge (Goldsmiths)

Tobie is a Lecturer in Design and a Research Fellow associated with the Interaction Research Studio. Over the past ten years Tobie has been developing an innovative and mixed method approach to practice-led design research, with a recent focus on community and energy-demand reduction. Previously, Tobie has taught design at Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, and the Industrial Design faculty at Technical University Eindhoven. Here, his teaching focused on practice-based research notably featuring modes of collaboration between designers, scientists and technologists. Tobie’s design research has been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Design Triennial in Beijing.

Designing Debate – Speculative Design and Public Engagement with Science and

This thesis takes a design project called Material Beliefs as a case for discussing the mixing of speculative design and upstream forms of public engagement with science and technology (PEST). Initially I discuss labs as sites where designers, scientists, and non-experts come together to discuss and problematize accounts of biotechnology research. Next, I discuss the process of making speculative designs, and here I emphasise the ways in which issues, materials and practices become compiled as prototypes. Finally I discuss the circulation and reception of these designs in public settings, including exhibitions, workshops, and online formats. I argue that speculative designs’ move into upstream PEST leads to an entanglement of the practice and accountability of the designer with a broad and contested set of interests from researchers, policymakers, educators, curators and promoters. Ultimately, I argue such mixings are an opportunity not only for speculative designers to foster reflexive accounts of their practice, but also for designers to engage in a critical discussion of the organisations that support their approach.

Ernest Edmonds (UTS Sydney)

Ernest Edmonds is a pioneering Digital Artist and international expert on creative human-computer interaction, currently working both in the UK and Australia. He has exhibited computer-based art around the world since 1970. He has published extensively and been an invited speaker at many international events. His recent books include On New Constructs in Art, Artists Bookworks, UK, 2005 and (edited with Linda Candy) Interacting: Art, Research and the Creative Practitioner, Libri Press, UK, 2011. He co-founded the ACM Creativity and Cognition conference series. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Transactions, the fast track section of the leading MIT Press journal Leonardo.

Evaluation in Public Art: an Artist’s Perspective

The presentation provides an artist’s perspective on evaluation with a particular focus on Light Logic at Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, an exhibition of my drawings, paintings and interactive digital works. The evaluation exercise was conducted partly as a response to a requirement set down by the Arts Council of England, which supported the work. Evaluation can be viewed as a structured way of thinking about what has happened during the process of making works and after completion and the exhibition of them. It is a consciously reflective way of working that can help make choices, shape future activities and show what happens as a result of taking certain actions.

Kate Sellen (OCAD U)

Kate Sellen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCADU. Her research interests address understanding human factors in innovation and ways to support positive change in healthcare. She works on a number of topics that includes social connection as a health intervention, adaptation to and appropriation of new technology, design strategies and methodologies for risk reduction and cognitive support, and developing tools for practitioners of human computer interaction design and evaluation. She completed her Master’s degree in Information Design (now Digital Media) from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and holds a Masters of Research and a Bachelor’s of Science from University College London. She has also been a practitioner of Human Computer Interaction since 1998 working in many different industry and government settings.

Design Strategies for Misreadings: interdisciplinary opportunity from theory to practice

Many opportunities exist for design to positively address challenges associated with ageing populations, chronic and complex disease, increasing costs of healthcare, and the growth of distributed care and self-care. Safefont is an interdisciplinary design research project that aims to create a real time dynamic ‘safefont’ to reduce misreadings. The project illustrates a collaboration between interaction design, typography, human factors, evaluation and implementation science, and computer science. Interdisciplinarity comes with unique challenges but also provides insight into the intersection between the structure and characteristics of scientific evidence, the role of the designer, and the role of aesthetics in interdisciplinary design projects.

Bianca Elzenbaumer (Goldsmiths)

Bianca Elzenbaumer has been collaborating with Fabio Franz under the name Brave New Alps since 2005. Brave New Alps’ practice is focused upon developing an evaluation of the cultural, social, political and economic conditions surrounding a given project. Their resulting design process aims at creating a situation or a product, which sets off a change in modes of thinking about, and operating within the identified conditions. Bianca holds an MA in Communication Art and Design from the Royal College of Art and an MA in Mediation and International Peacebuilding from the University of Bologna. Since 2011, she is working on her PhD in Design at Goldsmiths College.

Designing Economic Cultures - cultivating socially and politically engaged design practices against procedures of precarisation

This practice-based research sets out to investigate and intervene in the tense relation between the production of socially as well as politically relevant design works and the socio-economic precariousness many designers experience. The aim of the research is to contribute a series of conceptual and practical tools to contemporary design practice that support designers when wanting to intervene in the creation of economic cultures that defy procedures of precarisation within and beyond the field of their own profession. The research moves forward through collective inhabitations of experimental support structures for socially and politically engaged design practitioners. By drawing on Foucauldian, autonomist Marxist and feminist Marxist theory, the research attempts not only to overcome the blockages encountered in these settings, but also to strengthen the openings for other ways of doing that these settings generate.

Marc de Pape (OCAD U)

Marc De Pape is a creative technologist, an artist/designer/thinker with a Master’s in Design in Digital Futures from OCADU and a BFA in Digital Image and Sound in the Fine Arts from Concordia University. Between his undergrad and his Master’s, he worked at the Royal Ontario Museum as an Audio/Video Producer while also freelancing as a director/editor, primarily for music videos. His Master’s thesis project, titled The Chime, was an assemblage of sensors that translated environmental data into music. The project - featured on Mashable, IQ by Intel, PopSci, Designboom and Creative Applications, among others - attempts to harmoniously address his current interests in the intersection of technology and creativity, the cultural significance of code and data, and the embedding of situated technologies in the routines of everyday life.

The Chime

With the majority of the world now living in cities, the intersecting and interdependent systems that converge upon the metropolis are only gaining in complexity. Technology, it seems, is increasingly responsible for helping facilitate the navigation of these urban networks, be it spatially, socially, politically or financially. While network technologies have effectively reduced perceived and real distances and reshaped notions of time, they have done so predominantly in the name of modern efficiency and at the expense of individuality. Of course standards ensure the whole network is reliable and routine, yet on street level, no citizen directly experiences standards and protocols in the everyday. The city is built to work for its citizens, but why must its technology, embedded and mobile, personal and public, merely function? Can it not generate delight? I will argue it can through a process of poetic translation, where discrete digital sensing meets the environment of the everyday. Inspired by Georg Simmel’s notion of the blasé and Mark Weiser’s vision for calm technology, The Chime is an instrument for sensing environmental difference that poetically translates data collected from its 18 inherently agnostic sensors into a musical sonification. A generative instrument, such as The Chime, takes external impulses and translates them into a form that naturally casts attention back upon the initial gust. In the built environment such treatment of discrete sensing could help engender a greater awareness of one’s environment by using data to draw attention away from abstract didactic information and towards more experience based representations.

Calliope Gazetas (OCAD U)

Originally from Vancouver, I relocated from San Francisco to Toronto in 2011 to attend OCADU's Interdisciplinary Master's of Art, Media & Design. I have a BFA from UBC (photography & printmaking) and a BDes (interaction & typography) from Emily Carr University. I bring with me an unceasing curiosity and desire for learning. Combined with my broad experiences in publishing, project management, print and digital design, my intent with my studies at OCAD U is to explore current and future connections between design and natural sciences to further our interactions with the natural world.

Design, Technology and Urban Wildlife

My thesis work examines our relationship to wildlife within urban Canadian environments. Through different research methodologies of observation and inquiry, I am investigating the emotional stories behind our interactions with the animals that share our urban neighbourhoods. Specifically, I am looking at how we relate to coyotes, as human/coyote conflicts tend to be deeply emotional and seem to embody our own personal understanding of our roles and responsibilities as humans. By reviewing post-humanism writings and working with human-centred design theory as a starting point, I am testing new ways of using compassionate design to encourage co-existence between ourselves and our wild neighbours. At the same time, I seek to acknowledging our desire for connection with our natural world, and give space for both humans and non-humans to be heard and hopefully be understood.

Bill Psarras (Goldsmiths)

Bill Psarras is a Greek artist and musician. After BA (Greece) and MA studies in audiovisual & digital arts (University of the Arts London), he is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths University of London, doing research on the urban emotional geographies through walking as art and media arts. He works on different media forms including installations, walking, video art, soundscapes and music; mainly inspired by the emotional and sensorial experience of the city, in-between spaces and the notions of flaneur and psychogeography. He has exhibited in international festivals (Europe, USA, Australia) and group exhibitions highlighted by the ROOMS 2013, Visual Dialogues 2013 of Onassis Cultural Centre and Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2010. Goethe Institut has also selected his work for the database of Greek artists in the media art project Art Up. Bill also contributes in international conferences (ISEA 19th, Hybrid City, Emotional Geographies etc.)
Website: http://billpsarras.tumblr.com/

Emotive Terrains: A practice-based research on flaneur, senses and city of 21st century city

The city throughout 20th century has been an ever-changing terrain of multiple social, cultural, spatial and even emotional qualities. Such richness of the city in stimuli, situations and data seems to form a potential palette for the artist. This talk will present a personal background, the main reasons that impacted on the decision to initiate such research as well as a brief trajectory of my art practice and research during my PhD.

The presentation will touch on three main theoretical pylons of this research: i) the urban walking, ii) senses and iii) public space. Special focus will be given on key concepts and fields that had an impact on both research and practice such as the ones of ‘flaneur’ (Benjamin, 1920’s), ‘non-place’ (Augé, 1992) and ‘emotional geographies’ (Anderson & Smith, 2001). Through selected practical steps during this research, this talk will also describe how a personal methodological framework of actions, metaphors and senses was gradually shaped. Finally, the talk will draw connections between this research and contemporary artists who use urban walking and different media and technological elements in their practice.

Venue & Address: 
Room 7220, 2nd Floor 205 Richmond Street West Toronto, Ontario