OCAD & CPAR launch Foodprints exhibit at Canada Blooms

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto — March 17, 2010) From a unique partnership comes a uniquely placed installation, at this year’s Canada Blooms flower and garden festival. The Ontario College of Art & Design’s faculty and student design team ‘Frogpond’ and the non-profit organization Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) have teamed up to launch Foodprints: Edible Environments, Sustainable Gardens, a feature garden installation at Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, opening in Toronto this week.

The partnership originates from early discussions between the Sustainability Office at OCAD, which has a mandate to cultivate sustainability awareness through on-campus and outreach projects, and CPAR, which is committed to engaging the public on issues related to its international development work in Africa.

Frogpond is an interdisciplinary, hands-on extra-curricular forum that grew out of OCAD’s Think Tank program, bringing together students, alumni and faculty on real-life projects responding to the theme, “design for humanity.” Frogpond is lead by Keith Rushton, Chair of OCAD’s Graphic Design program, and Bruce Hinds Chair of OCAD’s Environmental Design program, and comprises of undergraduate students, recent graduates and OCAD Think Tank faculty members Zahra Ebrahim, Carl Hastrich and Andrew Nisker. The project provides students with a practical opportunity to consider sustainability issues in a context where scarce resources are often about survivability and making creative use of materials to enhance community livelihoods.

Foodprints draws inspiration from African farmers’ own design of edible gardens to generate sources of income, nutritious food for their families, and soil and water conservation measures that help small farmers remain resilient in the face of such challenges as climate change and HIV and AIDS. As a design challenge, Frogpond students and faculty embraced the stories, images and approaches employed by the farming communities that CPAR works with in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda to promote food security.

“We are thrilled to be undertaking this project with CPAR,” said Sheila Waite-Chuah, Coordinator of OCAD’s Sustainability Office. “Taking a concept through to implementation is a critical part of the learning process. Our students have contributed huge amounts of time and creativity to this project. They’re excited to be helping create awareness about the challenges and successes of farmers in Africa.”

The mobile exhibit challenges the public to examine the connections between the global and the local. With the growing interest in community gardens and locally sourced, organic food here in Canada, one of the important ‘lessons from the field’ promoted by the exhibit is that growing healthy food grows healthy communities, no matter where one lives.

Creatively employing savaged and renewable materials found at renovation sites throughout the city, and with an eye to a reusable and natural aesthetic for the exhibit, Frogpond students have generated a living, colourful and thought-provoking piece sure to attract interest at this year’s Canada Blooms festival. Foodprints will, post-Canada Blooms ‘go mobile’ — with plans to land at farmers markets, events and on the invitation of members of the public interested in issues of sustainability and local-global food security connections. The exhibit, and the real-life stories which inspire it, can be explored further on CPAR’s new website www.puttingfarmersfirst.ca. (launching Wednesday, March 17).

“This was really a dream collaboration in a lot of ways” notes Anna Miller, CPAR’s Director of Programs. “Not only did the Frogpond students and faculty approach this challenge with a trained eye to sustainable design, but they truly ran with the real life stories and approaches used in communities we work with in East and Southern Africa in such a sensitive and thought-provoking way.”

The CPAR-OCAD partnership was formed in early 2009, and will continue to engage students in practical projects focusing on real life, everyday design solutions faced and employed by the African communities with whom CPAR works.

Foodprints: Edible Environments, Sustainable Gardens will run at Feature Garden #9 at the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto from Wednesday March 17 to Sunday, March 21, daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday). For more information about Canada Blooms visit www.canadablooms.com.

About Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR)
CPAR (www.cpar.ca) is a non-profit organization that supports community efforts to ensure access to clean water, adequate food, primary health care services and a safe and healthy environment. Founded in 1984, and staffed at field level by a dynamic team of local African staff and specialists, CPAR works in partnership with vulnerable communities and diverse organizations to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda. CPAR’s latest project, a 5-year program entitled ‘Farmers First: Community-led Food Security’ and is funded by CPAR donors and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Putting Farmers First (www.puttingfarmersfirst.ca) will be launched on Wednesday, and will feature further information about the ‘Foodprints’ exhibit, the OCAD-CPAR collaboration and the farmers that inspired the exhibit.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD 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 and images please contact:

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

Anna Miller, Director of Programs, CPAR
416-369-0865 Ext. 27 (mobile: 647-241-8714)

OCAD welcomes 'environmental hero' Dr. Vandana Shiva for free public talk

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto — March 18, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) presents a free public talk by environmental activist and sustainable agriculture and biodiversity advocate Dr. Vandana Shiva as part of its President’s Speaker Series on Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

A renowned environmental activist, philosopher, eco-feminist and interdisciplinary researcher, Dr. Shiva is celebrated for her work supporting people-centred, participatory processes towards sustainable agriculture and genetic resources. Trained as a physicist at the University of Western Ontario, Shiva is now based in Delhi, India. After leaving Canada, she became a researcher working in the fields of science, technology and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India. In 1982, she formed the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, an informal network of researchers working to articulate the knowledge and environmental struggles of Indian farmers. Through this foundation, Shiva established Navdanya, India’s largest network of seed keepers and organic producers aiming to conserve indigenous seeds, biodiversity and food sovereignty.

For more than 15 years, Shiva has campaigned on the ethical and ecological impacts of genetic engineering. She has also organized campaigns on bio-safety and helped to formulate a citizens’ response to the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. Shiva, who started her work on biodiversity with the Chipko Movement in the 1970s, sees biodiversity as intimately linked to cultural diversity and knowledge diversity. To that end, she has campaigned nationally and internationally against “biopiracy” — the patenting of indigenous knowledge. Her book on the subject, Biopiracy, deals with the emerging corporate monopolies on the living resources of the poor.

Shiva has been instrumental in her work to exert pressure on the World Bank. She represented “Nature” at the People's Tribunal on the World Bank and IMF in Berlin in 1988 and was on the steering group of the People's Forum, which coincided with World Bank meetings in 1991. Shiva has also initiated major movements in India on World Trade Organization (WTO) issues, especially those concerning intellectual property and agriculture. She is a founding Board member of the International Forum on Globalization, the citizens' group dedicated to monitoring and intervening on the impact of globalization. She is also currently leading the International Campaign on Food Rights, which represents the collective right to knowledge and food security.

Shiva’s book Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival (Zed, 1989) has had an international impact. She was a co-chair of the 1991 World Congress on Women and Environment, and she edited “Women, Ecology and Health: Rebuilding Connections,” in Development Dialogue (1993), the publication of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation. Shiva has also launched a global movement called Diverse Women for Diversity, for the defence of biological and cultural diversity.

Shiva has written extensively, both to form and address the agenda of development debate and action. Her most recent publications include Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (South End Press, 2005); Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed (Ed., South End Press, 2007) and Soil Not Oil (South End Press, 2008).

In 2003, Time magazine called Shiva an environmental hero, and Asia Week described her as one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia. Among her many awards are the Right Livelihood Award, the Order of the Golden Ark, the United Nations Global 500 Award and Earth Day International Award (1993), the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace (2008), and the Save The World Award (2009). She serves on the boards of many organizations, including the World Future Council, the International Forum on Globalization and Slow Food International.

President’s Speaker Series:
Dr. Vandana Shiva: "Soil not Oil: Earth's design in times of climate change"
Tuesday, April 6, 7 p.m.

Ontario College of Art & Design
Auditorium (Rm 190), 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
416-977-6000 | www.ocad.ca

All are welcome; admission is free. Limited seating available; guests are advised to arrive early.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD 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 please contact:

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

OCAD U celebrates green design in the student-run Sustainable Design Awards

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 4:00am

Green Space App, Sustainable Library and Public Transit Food System designs take top honours

(Toronto—April 23, 2012) Three projects have shared top prize in the 2012 Sustainable Design Awards, a student-conceived and led design competition that challenges young designers to approach their projects through the lens of ecological sustainability and social consciousness.

The competition, the brainchild of Industrial Design student Mike Lovas and now in its second year, has attracted the attention of artists and designers as well as environmental organizations across North America. This year's competition, presented by SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building, included an inspirational talk by Allan Chochinov, Editor-in-Chief of the leading online design magazine Core77. Chochinov, who teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, also participated as a juror.

The awards drew a three-way tie for the $2,000 purse, plus an honourable mention and a student-choice award from the 51 submissions. The winners are:

Three-way tie for the top prize:

  • Green Space App by third-year Environmental Design student Hannah Smith;
    Concept: To empower the green movement from the ground up by harnessing the power of networking and community to help plan community gardens and improve parks.
  • Public Transit Food System by third-year Graphic Design student Laura Headley and first-year Environmental Design student Ian Brako;
    Concept: To leverage existing public transportation such as GO Transit and the TTC to get locally grown food into the city.
  • Sustainable Library by Benjamin Gagneux, a Spatial Design major on exchange from L'École de Design Nantes Atlantique in Nantes, France;
    Concept: The Library, built out of recycled wooden shipping pallets, created a space for students to have access to resources about sustainable and socially responsible design.

Honourable Mention:

  • International Non-Consumptive Currency by fourth-year Graphic Design student Elliot Vredenburg;
    Concept: A jewellery-based carbon-credit micro-trading currency system that enables autonomy, stigmatizes unsustain­able habits, and rewards non-consumptive practices within the current para­digms of society, industry and politics.

Student-Choice Award:

  • Obot (The Robot) by fourth-year Industrial Design student Matthew Del Degan;
    Concept: a low production run non-toxic toy with five opposable parts made out of a transparent soybean resin called EcoPoxy.

 

View work by all the winners online.

In addition to Chochinov, the jury included local furniture designer Jason Dressler of Brothers Dressler, Graeme Stewart of ERA Architects, Partner and Co-Founder of Public Displays of Affection Katherine Ngui, and Susan Spencer Lewin, Principal and Director of Sustainable Strategies at CS&P Architects.

Organizers of the Sustainable Design Awards extend their thanks to their generous sponsors: SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building; OCAD University and its Faculty of Design; the Ontario Association of Architects; Vans; CS&P Architects; Engineered Assemblies; 608 Designs; Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario; the Ontario Crafts Council; the Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario; the OCAD Student Union; ERA Architects Inc.; Public Displays of Affection; archiTEXT; the Interior Design Show; the David Suzuki Foundation; the Design Exchange and Angell Gallery.

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 and smart Canada Challenge Students to Design smart City Project: Motion

Friday, June 21, 2013 - 4:00am

Winner Announced at Urban Ecologies 2013 Conference

June 21, 2013 (Toronto) – OCAD University and smart Canada today announced the winner of the smart City Project: Motion competition. Through the competition, students in art and design were challenged to envision smart City: Motion, a place where the movement between home and work aspires to meet twenty-first century design demands for healthy living and intelligent travel.

The winner of the competition is Maximillian Wessman, whose project, entitled “Thought Velocity”, outlined an adaptive road infrastructure “for a city that thinks on its feet”. Second and third place awards were given to Calvin Kuo for his project “Smart Swarm” and Patrick Kroetsch for “The Hub”. Finalists for the competition displayed posters of their projects at Urban Ecologies 2013, where academics and practitioners in a various fields are meeting to further the practice of urban design.

“smart Canada is proud to partner with OCAD University to challenge the next generation of urban designers to envision a more sustainable and intelligent way to move people and goods around Canada’s cities in the future,” said Nicole Israng, Head of smart Marketing. “We were thrilled with the quality of submissions by the students, congratulate the winners and thank each one of the participants for their creative and insightful submissions.”

“Sustainability will only be achieved through excellent design. smart Canada has provided an excellent opportunity for OCAD University students to provide solutions that can solve the grand challenge of urban transportation and energy efficiency through excellent user experience design,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor of OCAD University.

Mr. Wessman received $5,000 as the Grand Prize winner of the competition. Mr. Kuo and Mr. Kroetsch received $1,000 and $500 respectively. Projects were reviewed by a panel of judges, including Lisa Rochon, Architecture Critic, The Globe and Mail; Matt Blackett, Co-Founder, Publisher, Creative Director, Spacing Magazine; Matthew Browning, Transportation Consultant, ARUP; Beth Kapusta, Executive Technical Advisor - Design Excellence, Metrolinx; and Nicole Israng, Head of Marketing, smart Canada.

About the competition
Can you imagine a city where movement in any direction is a seamless, timely, efficient human experience?

As the scale of cities grow exponentially, so do transportation systems and the dependency on energy to drive the economy. Is it possible to work with what we have and reinvent better ways to move people and goods more efficiently and more enjoyably? How would you envision the thresholds, the movement, the interconnectivity, and the user experience of transportation in the city? What connections would you make? What new experiences of motion could you design?

About OCAD University
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.

About smart Canada
smart Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service for the smart brand in Canada. Produced in one of the most modern and environmentally friendly plants in the world in Hambach, France, the smart fortwo is a safe, comfortable and extremely versatile vehicle. Since its launch in Canada in the fall of 2004, smart Canada's nationwide network of 53 dealers across the country have sold over 23,000 smart fortwos. Further information about the smart can be found online at http://www.thesmart.ca/, facebook.com/smartCanada and twitter.com/smartCanada.

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Media Contact
Betsy Chaly
Tableau
betsy@tableauinc.com
416-578-2617

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