Artist Talk: Anouk Wipprecht, FASHIONTECH: Rethinking Fashion in the Age of Digitalisation

Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 1:00pm

Dutch FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht creates designs ahead of her time; combining the latest in science and technology to make fashion an experience that transcends mere appearances. She wants her garments to facilitate and augment the interactions we have with ourselves and our surroundings. Her Spider Dress is a perfect example of this aesthetic, where sensors and moveable arms on the dress help to create a more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fierce style. Partnering up with companies such as Intel, AutoDesk, Google, Arduino, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe, Adidas, Cirque Du Soleil, Audi, Disney, Swarovski, and 3D printing company Shapeways she researches how our future would look as we continue to embed technology into what we wear, and more importantly – how this will change our perspective on how we will interface with technology.

Lecture will be followed by a short Question and Answer.

Presented by the Digital Futures Graduate Program and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Venue & Address: 
Room 322 (3rd Floor) at 230 Richmond St. W. Toronto, M5V 1V3
The 3D printed Spider Dress by Anouk Wipprecht [Source: Anouk Wipprecht]

Meet the Digital Futures

Friday, April 5, 2019 - 10:30am to 12:30pm

Please join the Digital Futures Undergraduate Program for the Second Annual Meet the Digital Futures event!

Meet the Digital Futures is an opportunity for students and faculty from the Digital Futures program and the greater OCAD community to engage with the thesis projects created by this year’s graduating undergraduate cohort. This informal exhibition includes the launch of the websites created by each of the students and the works created as part of their thesis.

This event is co-hosted by the Digital Futures Undergraduate Program and the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers.

Venue & Address: 
Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, 115 McCaul St., 3rd Floor.
"Meet the Digital Futures" written to look like neon lights


Quipucamayoc is an interactive art and technology project that merges a range of contemporary art forms – including 3D gaming, electroacoustical music, dance, experimental theatre, and wearable design – to construct a prototype communication network. This network is not based in text or language but is instead embodied, performative, and sensorial.

The network joins two Andean communities: one in Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Incan empire, and another in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which has a large expatriate community of Peruvian Andean migrant workers. The network is activated through wearable technology inspired by quipucamayoc, the data keepers of the Incan court who recorded information about life in the empire using a complex string and knot notation system which they wore around their bodies. Body sensor arrays, which serve simultaneously as game controllers and musical instruments, are worn by movement artists to co-create live interactive generative narratives, imagery and music. The result is a public performance which reconnects two communities through interactive gameplay based in their common histories.

This project was inspired by the Huarochiri Manuscript, a 16th century written compilation of pre-colombian Andean religious rites, which offers a complex and fragmented narrative structure as well as rich visual and sound passages. Quipucamayoc was developed and presented by a collective of over 35 artists, historians, cultural theorists and technical experts in Peru, Argentina and Canada.

The audiovisual materials listed below are the result of a series of workshops held in Cusco and Buenos Aires between 2012 and 2016, and the final performance which was streamed live online in December 2016. The Quipucamayoc documentary can be viewed here.

Quipucamayoc also produced a series of 2D digital prints on canvas, adapted from 3D virtual environments. These prints were exhibited in a group show of the Faculty of Art Summer Institute from September 18 to 22nd, 2017 in the Ada Slaight Galleries at 100 McCaul. 


David McIntosh Receives SSHRC Funding for QUIPUCAMAYOC
Site-Specific Interview with David McIntosh

For more information please visit:

Quipucamayoc es una investigación de arte y tecnología que combina varios formatos artísticos contemporaneous – videojuego 3D, música electroacústica, danza, teatro experimental, diseño textil, sensores vestibles – con el objetivo de construir una red de comunicación que no es textual o linguística, sino corporal, performativa, sensorial. Esta red reune Cusco, Perú, y Buenos Aires, Argentina a través de artístas de movimiento usando trajes como controladores de juego e instrumentos musicales, por lo que los bailarines serán los cocreadores de música, de imágenes 3D y de una narrativa generativa/interactiva en vivo.
La inspiración de este proyecto es el manuscrito del Huarochirí, texto del siglo XVI que recopila ritos y mitología andina prehispánica, reconocido por su narrativa fragmentada, compleja, por sus pasajes riquísimos en imágenes visuales y sonoras. Quipucamayoc fue desarrollado y presentado por el colectivo de más de 35 artístas, teóricos y técnicos peruanos, argentinos y canadienses.
Los materiales audiovisuales presentados han sido producidos durante una serie de talleres en Cusco y Buenos Aires entre 2012 and 2016, y el performance final que fue transmitido en línea en vivo en Diciembre 2016.


This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.




This is Research poster crop for Quipucamayoc, featuring project image (face)
Digital illustration of a distorted face
Photograph collage of dancers performing Quipucamayoc
Digital illustration, a screen grab from Quipucamayoc
Split screen photo of dancers performing while their in-game characters move
Digital image from Quipucamayoc - two figures dancing over clouds
Photograph of Quipucamayoc team in Cusco
Digital image from Quipucamayoc - Incan figures dancing
Friday, September 29, 2017 - 2:15pm
Lab Member: 
David Mcintosh
Judith Doyle
Emma Westecott

Marie O'Mahony

Marie O–Mahony is an academic, consultant, author, practitioner and curator. Her teaching, research and practice spans advanced textiles and fashion, wearable technology, sustainability and future trends. Marie is Professor of Digital Futures at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) and has been a Visiting Professor at The University of the Arts, London, for eight years. Marie was previously Professor of Advanced Textiles for Fashion Design at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Kate Hartman

Kate Hartman is an Associate Professor at OCAD University, where she is Graduate Program Director of Digital Futures and the founding Director of Social Body Lab - a research and development team dedicated to exploring body-centric technologies in the social context. She is also an Adjunct Instructor and Director of ITP Camp at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University.

Applications are open now for Murmur Land Studios 2017 events

Photo of tents glowing at dusk
Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 5:00am

Murmur Land Studios is an experimental school initiative offering event-based pedagogy in art, philosophy, movement, ecology and community for the post-anthropocene era. Our attempt is to curate spaces of creative inquiry which attract diverse makers, thinkers and doers together around thematic concerns relevant to the challenging times which lay before us. We are interested in exploring the varied human and more-than-human relations that weave and co-compose new possibilities for joy and survival.

Sean Smith is one of the three founding members of the Murmur Land Studios curatorial collective launching this program.  Sean teaches both Wearable Art and Site and Intervention in the First-Year Program in the Faculty of Art. He brings his art teaching experience at OCADU and PhD in Media Philosophy to his role as faculty of the MLS field schools.

Applications are open now for our 2017 events: "The City in Reverse: Diagramming Intelligent Systems" (July - Sherbrooke, NS) and "Wander Lines: Mythodological Escapism" (August - Saysutshun/Newcastle Island, BC). Deadline is December 15.

More information is available at:


Venue & Address: 
Sherbrooke, NS & Saysutshun/Newcastle Island, BC

When I Breathe the Ocean Curls

Lauren A.M. Scott performing When I Breathe the Ocean Curls (2015). Photographed by David Ballantine
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 12:00am to Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 9:00pm

InterAccess presents When I Breathe the Ocean Curls, a performative environment by Lauren A.M. Scott. Scott is the recipient of the 2015 InterAccess Media Arts Prize, awarded to an Integrated Media graduating student at OCAD University.

When I Breathe the Ocean Curls utilizes Scott’s physical body to extend her breath into space. The artist wears a stretch sensor around her torso, and as her chest rises and falls with breath, six small electronic fans produce the effect of wind as she exhales. Scott’s breath becomes the force that connects her to the audience as an invisible extension of touch.

Scott will perform this work four times throughout the exhibition period. In the intervening days, visitors to the gallery can view video documentation of her performance and engage with its physical trace.

An essay by Francisco-Fernando Granados accompanies the exhibition.

Opening reception:
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Additional performance dates:
Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

Venue & Address: 
InterAccess 9 Ossington Avenue, Toronto

Why isn’t fashion taking part in the wearable tech revolution?

By Robert Tu, founder of MeU, a wearable technology company

Wearable tech is a hot topic these days, especially with the release of the Apple Watch. Most devices on the market today, however, are focused on fitness, health or gaming, and most are not considered fashion pieces (with the exception of the Apple Watch). So what about fashionable clothing and wearable tech? When are we going to see that?

There are companies that are exploring fashion and wearable technology. Most of them are embedding LEDs in textiles, such as Cute Circuit in the UK, which makes video dresses for celebrities and other high-end clients. There’s also Switch Embassy, which is developing a social t-shirt whereby it can display tweets, photos and other social media data on your shirt. And, finally, there’s MeU, which has developed wearable digital signage for advertisers and experiential marketers.

Getting the average consumer to adopt this kind of clothing has proven difficult. One of the major reasons is social acceptance. People are not yet ready to wear flashing lights as a fashion statement. And even if they were, the price of these products is not accessible to the average person.

This is because the fashion industry and the tech industry are from two completely different worlds. Getting them to collaborate to make an affordable product will take time because they need to learn each other’s cultures, customs and processes. Another major challenge is the product life cycle of the two industries. The fashion life cycle is seasonal, whereas hardware electronics is annual and we haven’t found a way to resolve these two differences.

That being said, a recent announcement by Google and Levi’s sounds promising. Google recently announced a partnership with the iconic jean company: Levi's will make clothing out of Google’s new smart-fabric material. The possibilities are interesting. You could answer your phone by swiping on your sleeve, or take a selfie by touching your pocket.

It will be a while before you see fashionable clothing with embedded technology at your local clothing store. But it will happen. It’s just a matter of when.

You can learn more about wearable tech — and make your own — by registering for Robert Tu’s Introduction to Wearable Media course through OCAD University’s Continuing Studies.



Robert Tu is a graduate of OCAD University from the Graphic Design program. He also has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, and worked as an engineer for a number of years before transitioning into business development at IBM. Since graduating from OCAD U, he founded MeU, a wearable technology company that is developing socially interactive clothing. As a designer, entrepreneur and engineer, Robert is interested in exploring the way we perceive clothing and how wearable technology can change our behaviours and interactions with each other and our environments.

Five things I learned in OCAD University's experiential learning program that I couldn't have in a classroom

Christine Lieu
Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 8:45pm

Christine Lieu graduated from OCAD University in spring 2015, after studying graphic design. She participated in OCAD U’s experiential learning program and worked with MeU (a wearable-tech company) through the Imagination Catalyst. Christine’s experience there helped her land a position as a social media designer for Walmart Live Better through Rogers' M-School program.

Here are Christine’s five things she learned in experiential learning that she couldn’t have in a classroom:

1. How to create connections and evolve my network

Because I was given the opportunity to work within a lot of events and shows, I was constantly exposed to meeting new people. Being able to leave a lasting impression and to be able to follow up with these contacts really grew my network and led to potential freelance clients as well as to what made the best fit for my current position.

2. Getting out of my comfort zone

Being at OCAD U, I felt you were generally in the same classes with the same people from year to year, which is great to create a tight-knit support group, but it didn’t give me the chance to challenge my social comfort zone. Experiential learning really challenged me to put myself out there and to try new things and to meet new people that I wouldn’t have normally had the chance to meet.

3. Learning what I love and what I hate 

The well-rounded role that I had really exposed me to a variety of duties from social media and sales/marketing to production and everything in-between. Through this process, you really figure out what you really enjoy and find new passions, while realizing what you don’t enjoy so much.

4. Gain industry experience 

As much as school and theory can prepare you with the background knowledge to do something, there’s no better way to hit the ground running than to be put right within the industry. 

5. Learn and to be able to find what I enjoy to do 

Being exposed to and given the responsibility to try a wide array of roles really gave me the opportunity to experiment and find a passion for design. I appreciated that Robert from MeU believed in me enough to let me take on these roles, and that's where I found my love for social media design. That’s led me to doing social media for Walmart Live Better through the Rogers' M-School program.

Learn more about OCAD U’s experiential learning program

Make Your Own Wearable Workshop by Imagination Catalyst

Image of a dress with a digital Twitter bird across the front
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Want to learn more about wearables? Interested in working with conductive thread and fabrics? OCAD University is proud to present a Maker Festival satellite event in making your own wearables. In this workshop participants will learn the basics of electronic circuits, sewing with conductive thread and working with conductive fabric. At the end of the session, participants will make a light up electronic cuffs that they can then take home and light up the night with!

This workshop will be led and facilitated by: Robert Tu

Robert Tu is a graduate of OCAD University from the graphic design program. He also has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. He then worked as an engineer for a number of years before transitioning into business development at IBM. Since graduating from OCADU he founded MeU, a wearable technology company that is developing socially interactive clothing. As a designer, entrepreneur and engineer, Robert is interested in exploring the way we perceive clothing and how wearable technology can change our behaviours and interactions with each other and our environment.

Questions? Email:
This workshop has limited seating - RSVP before seats run out!

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1W1 Room 284 (Up the spiral stairs, to your left)
416-977-6000 ext. 4364