AZURE Talks – The Inclusive City

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Are our cities becoming a monoculture of the super rich? What can we do to ensure that housing and public space are available to all? And how do we maintain dynamic retail, restaurant and cultural scenes in the face of skyrocketing rents and taxes?

Don’t miss this mashup of ideas with our solutions-focused panel of urban thinkers, architects and designers:

Tickets are $25-35. Free for OCAD U community using promo code "OCAD"

This lecture qualifies for one ConEd structured learning hour (a certificate will be provided upon request, post-event, by email.)

This AZURE Talk is presented by Teknion and Velux in partnership with OCAD University.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Room 190 (Auditorium)
Azure talks poster

Design For Social Enterprise

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 6:30pm

The Faculty of Design invites you to join us for a lecture on Toronto-based social enterprise ME to WE by Associate Director and lead artisan designer Kessa Laxton.

Ms. Laxton's will talk about ME to WE as a model of a successful social enterprise, how they leverage the artisanal skills of over 1500 women in Kenya and Ecuador to design for a North American market, and the challenges and rewards of creating products intended for prominent retailers like Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and Fossil when your factory is a village. 


About ME to WE:

As an innovative social enterprise that provides products that make an impact, ME to WE empowers people to change the world with their everyday consumer choices. ME to WE measures the bottom line by the people empowered and the lives transformed. By creating options for consumers like you who want to make informed decisions about what you experience and buy, knowing your actions will help empower people and transform lives, making the world a better place.

About Kessa Laxton:

Kessa Laxton's creative genius drives ME to WE Artisans, from searching Nairobi markets for unique textiles to creating on-trend pieces at our atelier in partnership with mamas in Kenya and Ecuador. In a highly collaborative environment, every artisan is inspired to bring her own input and inspiration to the table. Kessa's eye for exclusivity and quality craftmanship continues to elevate each timeless collection. Aligned with the ME to WE philosophy, Kessa is also the founder of Patouche, a children's clothing company with a strong focus on great design and sustainability. Patouche has been featured in a number of publications including Canadian Family, Today's Parent and Eco Parent.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street Auditorium MCA190
Kessa Laxton Talks Design for Social Enterprise
Digital Screen: 

TODO Talks Symposium: Design and the pursuit of well-being

TO DO Talks Symposium: Design and the pursuit of well-being
Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 2:00pm to 6:00pm

TO DO’s second annual symposium brings 12 multi-disciplinary experts into one room to discuss design and the pursuit of well-being. The four-hour event features keynote speaker Jamer Hunt, three thematic sessions, and an opportunity for fulsome discussion among those in attendance.



Imagine a world where homes, neighbourhoods, and things make you feel good about yourself, where your lifestyle and workplace help you reach your full potential, where everything around you is designed to keep you healthy and safe, and enable you to be compassionate and reach a state of flow.

Multidisciplinary experts discuss how well-being is understood and created through design, innovation, and change at the second annual TO DO Talks Symposium on design and the pursuit of well-being.

Registration begins at 1:30pm on Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Ticket holders need to arrive by 2pm to guarantee their seat.



Keynote Speaker: Jamer Hunt

Session 1: Well-being in the workplace

The future of work and the powerful influence of design
Maggie Dempster, Workplace Consultant
John Roberts, Design Strategy Lead
Herman Miller

Play to Perform: Why Play is the Future of Work
Farzad Sedghipour, Futurist
Farzad Innovation

Designing a Culture: Experiments in rapid behavioural prototyping
Erika Bailey, Innovation Designer
The Moment



Session 2: Well-being and health

Designing beyond the health service
Robbie Bates, Design Director

Role of Design in Synthesizing Different Kinds of Truth about Health and Wellbeing
Dr. Kate Sellan, Director, Graduate Program in Design for Health
OCAD University

Designing for Health in a Connected World
Dr. Kamran Khan, CEO and Founder|
James Yoon, Director of Design



Session 3: Well-being and society

In Light of Dark Matter
Daniel Rossi, Visual Maker

The Art of Building Community: How JAYU builds safe spaces to share human rights stories through the arts.
Gilad Cohen, Founder & Executive Director

Designing for Meaning
Len Senator, Founder/Owner, The Depanneur & Co-founder, Newcomer Kitchen
The Depanneur


* For full session descriptions please visit the Toronto Design Offsite Festival website*


Funding generously provided by the Ontario Arts Council. Special thanks to our institutional partner OCAD University, and sponsor Gladstone Hotel.

TO DO Talks Symposium is a signature event organized by the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul Street Main Auditorium (Room 190) Toronto, ON M5T 1W1

SharcNet & OCAD's VizDay 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - 1:30pm to 8:00pm

Data visualisation allows invisible data to be made visible through the creation of meaningful images. At VizDay 2008, experts in data, information and scientific visualization will share examples of and insights into their work in order to introduce the benefits of visualization to academia and industry.

Speakers will provide case studies in the physical sciences, biological and science and the social sciences. The contributions of art, design and cognitive science to visualisation will be discussed.

VizDay provides an opportunity for participants to discuss the tools, techniques and technologies of data, information and scientific visualization.

VizDay 2008 is produced through a collaboration between the Ontario College of Art & Design and the SharcNET Collaboration and Visualization Committee. Supporters include ORION/ORANO; CANARIE, IBM.

For a complete list of speakers and to register, visit the website below.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284, Level 2 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario
Free (please register)

Jan Tumlir, Public Talk

Image of Jan Tumlir
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 10:30pm

This lecture concerns the relation of black and white monochrome painting to sound, and specifically noise music.

It will touch on the origins of both forms within the work of the Russian Avant-Gardes at the start of the twentieth century, and then track its development into the present. A crucial alliance is formed at Black Mountain College in the early fifties between Robert Rauschenberg and John Cage, between the former's seminal White Paintings and the latter's emblematic anti-composition, 4'33". The effects of their exchange are registered at the more experimental end of popular music--in everything from The Beatles' White Album to the Black and White albums of bands like Sunn 0))--as well as the works of Steven Parrino and those that follow his example. From here on in, the monochrome, once associated with reductionist positivism, is instead dispatched into the maximalist realm of chance, automatism, the unintended and aleatory. The void of the monochrome, whether it is conceived as a gateway to the absolute, as with Kazimir Malevich, or an absolute impasse, as with Aleksandr Rodchenko, becomes instead a space to be filled with the mutating feedback of its own history.

Jan Tumlir is an art-writer, teacher and curator who lives in Los Angeles. He is a contributing editor for the local art journal X-TRA; his articles appear regularly in Artforum, Aperture, Flash Art and occasionally in Art Review and Frieze. Tumlir is a member of the humanities and sciences faculty at Art Center College of Design.

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

Alex Kisilevich New Works

Image of a Paint Bucket hanging o a wall
Friday, June 13, 2014 - 4:00am to Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 4:00am

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Alex Kisilevich: BFA with Distinction, Photography, 2009

ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present 'New Works', a solo exhibition by photo-based artist Alex Kisilevich. The exhibition runs in the west gallery and the project room from June 13 to July 5, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Friday, June 13, 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

The photographs of Alex Kisilevich abound in clever reconfigurings of everyday objects to produce new and often absurd meanings. Playfully blending medium and materiality, in his latest work Kisilevich extends his photographic practice, exploring the ideas of photograph as painting, photograph as sculpture and photograph as video.

Kisilevich reveals the beautiful and the quirky in the mundane. Carpet under padding, used in previous works as a backdrop, moves to the foreground in a series of photographs that reveal the painterly quality of this literally downtrodden material. From a distance the series appears to be painting on canvas, and this confounding of boundaries is a thread that runs throughout the exhibition. A photo-sculpture "sits" on a gallery bench. An electrical receptacle in the gallery's wall becomes part of a photograph. These strange behaviors recall the dark humour of that most philosophical of surrealists, René Magritte.

In a new video work, Kisilevich uses the simplest of means and materials to achieve startlingly poetic results. What appears to be a still photograph of a swath of radiant material slowly comes to life as an unseen current activates the subject, causing it to "breath" and change colour and texture, like a chameleon.

In another video, Walker, the protagonist is a medical aide, a class of objects Kisilevich calls upon to evoke the vulnerable body. An abandoned walker, shimmering in its own prepared costume, performs a solo dance with all the grace its ungainly form can muster. The music, Saint Saens's The Swan, is performed on a theremin, adding an anachronistic element to the strangely touching proceedings. In Kisilevich's world, absurd is beautiful.

Alex Kisilevich has an MFA in Visual arts from York University and BFAs in Music (York University) and Photographic Arts (OCAD). He was the 2009 national winner of the BMO 1'st Art Invitational, and his work has been featured in publications such as Magenta Foundation's Flash Forward, BlackFlash Magazine and Canadian Art. He has had solo exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre, Angell Gallery, Lianzhou in China, and has been in group shows in Boston, Portland, London (UK), and Kiyosato in Japan.

Image: Paint Can, 2014, C-print, 16" x 16"

Venue & Address: 
Angell Gallery 12 Ossington Ave. Toronto, Ontario


Lindy Wilkins speaks. View more photos by Mark Bennett and Stacey Croucher on the TEDxOCADU website.
Patricia Kambitsch's graphic recording of Britt Wray's TEDxOCADU's talk.
Sacha Chua's sketchnote of Sara Diamond's TEDxOCADU's talk.

Miss the inaugural TEDxOCADU? The sold-out event, held January 19 in the auditorium at 100 McCaul, can be viewed as a series of visual recaps on theTEDxOCADU website. Sketchnote artist Sacha Chua summarized each speaker’s talk in hand-drawn synopses, while Patricia Kambitsch captured the talks as graphic recordings. Videos of the talks will be added soon.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, the independently organized TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event was curated by Medina Abdelkader, an OCAD U MDes candidate in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, together with a hard-working team of 25 other coordinators.

“It was phenomenal to see everything come together the way it did,” says Abdelkader. “I’m so inspired by this group of people – the speakers, performers, emcees, visual recorders, organizers – who dedicated hours and hours of their time to put this together."

TEDxOCADU featured talks by Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s President, along with: Eric Boyd, Zahra Ebrahim, Trevor Haldenby, Alex Leitch, David Lewis-Peart, Mike Lovas, Andrew Lovett-Barron, Arianne Shaffer, Lukas Stark, Lindy Wilkins and Britt Wray. Abdelkader’s team worked with the speakers, workshopping their talks well in advance to prepare. “The amount of work the speakers put in to build their talks was nothing short of incredible,” she says

This year’s theme was “simplexity,” the delicate tango between simplicity and complexity representing the vulnerabilities and strengths born from increasingly diverse circumstances. Speakers were selected for proposals of big ideas with the potential to change the world. According to Abdelkader, these ideas reflect a shared human experience and resonate with audiences.

Delegates also had to prove themselves by applying to attend. To choose, Abdelkader’s team blacked out names and based decisions on thoughtful, meaningful answers. It came down to what each person said, not who they were, or their position in the university.

Along with the talks, the event featured performances by Melanon (musicians Lodewijk Vos and Joseph Murray together with singer Little Scream) and spoken word artist Quentin Vercetty.

TED is an international non-profit organization that started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago. It invites the world’s leading thinkers to speak for 18 minutes and broadcasts the talks free at

The TEDxOCADU team is already discussing how to build on their successes (and lessons learned) in coordinating another event for next year.