Dr. Alexis Morris
Dr. Alexis Morris Principal Investigator

Dr. Morris is an assistant professor, and Canada Research Chair in the Internet of Things (Tier II), in the Digital Futures program at OCAD University. He conducts core research on adaptive interfaces and collaborative approaches to context awareness through mixed reality, for a host of domains, particularly the Internet of Things. He is a computer scientist, specializing in the overlapping research domain of software engineering for adaptive systems based on the incorporation of fuzzy human-factors in socio-technical systems. He is involved in research bridging a cross-section of approaches in artificial intelligence (i.e., soft-computing via neural networks and fuzzy logic), virtual and augmented reality, passive brain-computer interfaces, adaptive risk management, multi-agent systems modelling, organizational culture simulations, and pervasive technologies.

Profile picture of Arsalan Akhtar Arsalan Akhtar Thesis Student

Arsalan is a digital advertising and interactive installation artist interested in where the branded content, experiences and internet of things merge to tell a story. Previously, he has been pursuing digital marketing for CPG companies along with other advertising agencies.

He is currently pursuing an MDes in OCADU's Digital Futures program where his focus is on reflecting the status of people in terms of wellbeing, emotions and cultural aspects by using advertising, interactive installation and IoT.  By amalgamating creativity, culture and technology, his endeavor is to nurture policies of local city government toward reflecting a more close and tangible reflection of how its inhabitants feel.

Photograph of Tania. Tania De Gasperis Research Assistant

Tania De Gasperis is a multi-disciplinary designer and a member of the Adaptive Context Environments (ACE) Lab at OCAD where she completed her MDes thesis exploring an Agile, Foresight-Informed AI Governance Framework for Socially Responsible, Complex Adaptive Systems. Tania is also a research assistant in Extended IoT for ACE Lab. 

She also serves as a researcher and facilitator for the Montreal AI Ethics Institute and is the Co-Founder of OUIO, a Futures-Driven Innovation studio with an emphasis on responsible and inclusive practices for emerging tech. She is a graduate of the Y Combinator Startup School 2018 and alumni of the Imagination Catalyst Incubator. Tania was a 2017 Hult at OCAD U winner and regional representative. She has competed in the Reality Virtually Hackathon 2019 at MIT Media Lab where her team created Bodmo: a real-time motion capture app using computer vision in VR. In June 2019, she also competed in the CryptoChicks Blockchain + AI hackathon where her team won first place in the Business Track and XYO Network Bounty for their product Abstrakta: Empowering scholars by streamlining progress and innovation via an academic ledger.

Tania is passionate about Futures of responsible and inclusive emerging technology and strives to have her research knowledge applied to the practical world through her entrepreneurial work. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Futurists and a contributor to the CertNexus Certified Emerging Ethical Technologist Exam Blueprint and Courseware, a Coursera Instructor and an IEEE committee member.

Tania has been nominated for VentureBeat's Women in AI Award (2020 Leadership Awards) and Most Significant Futures Work Award 2020 for her work in Inclusive and Foresight-Driven Responsible AI.

Photograph of Georgina Yeboah Georgina Yeboah Research Assistant

Georgina Yeboah is a new media artist, designer, researcher and creative coder who works with projections, tangibles and a variety of input methods such as sensors to create interactive installations. She has experience in web-design and physical computing and uses her skill sets to bridge connections with her audience within physical and digital spaces. 

Yeboah was born and raised in Toronto Ontario, Canada. She graduated from Ryerson University in 2015 with a BFA in New Media. Soon after, she became an RA at the Synaesthetic Media Lab in downtown Toronto that specializes in designing many forms of interactive data visualizations and story telling methods. Yeboah works in a team that builds and designs hybrid virtual reality systems with physical object integrations that aims to help train cognitive spatial awareness in STEM learning practices. The lab is in collaboration with Ryerson, Georgia Tech and the University of Toronto.

Yeboah currently attends OCAD University in Toronto and is under-going her MDes in Digital Futures. She aspires to design interactive systems that create more intuitive and stronger communications between the user and the interactive system they are involved with to enhance meaningful experiences. Yeboah also enjoys photography, illustration and creates webcomics in her spare time. She is the author of her second webcomic  "Over 8 Miles" which is currently ongoing on Tapas and her the comic's main Wordpress site. 

Photograph of Jie Guan Jie Guan Research Assistant

Jie Guan is an graduate student in the Digital Futures program at OCAD University, and gained an undergraduate degree in Digital Painting & Expanded Animation at OCAD University. Since experimenting in making painting, animation, and visual effects using computer programs, he has considered that he needs to improve his computational skill as a future artist. Currently, he engages in making interactive installations, programming animations, and researching data transferred through the Internet of Things and represented in Mixed Reality systems.

Photograph of Amna Azhar Amna Azhar Research Assistant

As a graduate student in Inclusive Design at OCADU, Amna is interested in doing multidisciplinary projects for the design and development of novel applications focused on assistive technologies. She holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science with a focus on HCI and has previously developed extended reality immersive experiences in VR, AR and Hologram exhibits in Pakistan's National History Museum. Amna is also a self taught artist who enjoys photography and digital painting in her spare time.

Profile picture of Tara Tsang Tara Tsang Research Assistant

Tara is currently completing her Master of Information at the University of Toronto, focusing on using speculative design practices and foresight to enhance student-led engagement in engineering education. With a background in UX, participatory, and service design, along with experience working in research and public sectors, she believes that the power of designers, engineers, and makers in developing technologies should be continually studied and expanded for the construction and evaluation for a more civic future.

Profile picture of Tanner Serson Tanner Serson Thesis Student

Tanner holds a BA in Art History and Economics. He is a graduate student in New Media Art History at OCAD U. His research interests focus around cultural policy, transnational popular content, and predictive data analytics. He is interested in integrating system dynamics modeling with Python data analysis to describe and understand complex nonlinear systems.

Past Members

Photograph of Nadine Lessio. Nadine Lessio Team Member

Nadine is an artist and technologist interested in where context and criticism overlap with the internet of things. She is currently an MDes candidate in OCADU's Digital Futures program, where her focus has been on personal assistants, and how our expectations of consumer devices can be directly oppositional to our lived experiences concerning these products. By mixing programming, humour, and critique Nadine’s work considers the interplay between our everyday behaviours and how they relate to the technology we bring into our lives, sometimes with amusing or unexpected results.

Jad Rabbaa Jad Rabbaa Thesis Student

Jad Rabbaa is a multidisciplinary digital designer, multimedia strategist, and editor. His interdisciplinary background is the combination of his passion for communication aesthetics and his interest in digital technology.
Jad’s exposure to different fields keeps expanding, spanning over three different continents, two majors, and five languages. Over the past decade, he has worked for a wide array of clients around the world, ranging from TV channels to SMEs and even the public sector. Lately, he has been involved with the United Nations working as a UX designer and strategist at the peacekeeping mission UNIFIL. His experience covers interactive design through web and mobile, incorporating illustrations, animations, and video to serve a seamless user experience and communication.
Jad’s research at the Masters of Digital Futures at OCAD focuses on the use of the state-of-the-art Augmented Reality HMDs as a futuristic wayfinding tool within complex spaces and how the User Interface and User Experience will develop within the realm of MR and AR.

Roxanne Rachelle Henry Roxanne Rachelle Henry Thesis Student

Roxanne is interested in researching human-computer interaction from both a developer's perspective and as a user. What ways can computers adapt to users' needs and what are those needs anyways? Recently, Roxanne has been focused on making sense of 3D virtual environment interactions, in both artificial and virtual reality.

Yiyi Yiyi Shao Research Assistant

Yiyi Shao considers herself as a young and promising digital artist who is looking to promote Chinese culture as part of her proud heritage through merging traditional Chinese arts with current technology. Her initial forte was in oil painting and graphic design, however, she ventured into interactive and digital arts during her stint as a student in the United Kingdom. Her current research intent at OCAD is to venture into areas of wearable technology and IoT to improve the shared social awareness in mixed reality experiences. 

Savaya Shinkaruk Savaya Shinkaruk Thesis Student

Savaya Shinkaruk is a grad student in the Digital Futures program. Savaya's research is focused towards AR, AI, UX/UI, and interactive installations in all things fashion. Specifically looking to work with research questions revolving around body image in the fashion industry, and how the technology Savaya is looking to create can help and assist anyone to dress comfortably. Interested in potential collaborative projects!

Photograph of Maryam Maryam Mohamedali Thesis Student

Maryam is a grad student in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program. Her former training in philosophy and bioethics left her looking to ground those theories and concepts in the practicalities of human experience. Her general research interests are in the role technology plays in impacting that experience. She is currently researching how collaborative VR platforms impact how we make and what we make in order to understand how we might meaningfully design those platforms. She has additional experience teaching 2D game creation to Toronto’s youth and designing interfaces. 

Photo of Olivia Prior Olivia Prior Research Assistant

Prior is a first year graduate student in OCADU’s Digital Futures program. She is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and web developer currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. Her work focuses on the intersections of public and virtual interactions in public space. Her research goals involve creating interactive public spaces through participatory design methodologies that engage with communities.

Headshot of Peiheng Zhao wearing a black jacket and white shirt. Peiheng Zhao Thesis Student

Peiheng is a designer, writer and curator. He graduated with a bachelor of visual and communication design (user experience design).  He has worked in the publishing company, magazine and contemporary art museum in Shanghai for the last several years. As a first year graduate student in Digital Futures program, his research field is to explore the digital experience design on museum, and try to eliminate the barrier of art education for people by digital tools such as mixed reality experience design.  

Photograph of Jingpo Li Jingpo Li Thesis Student

Jingpo is an advertising art director and a profit driven designer. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree at Syracuse University in 2018. She and her copywriter, Emily, become first undergraduate university advertising students to win a Cannes Future Lion in 2018 at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in Cannes. There were over 2,000 competition participants from 386 schools across 55 countries in 2018, but only five Future Lions are awarded worldwide each year. She also won Graphis New Talent Annual Gold Award in 2018. As an art director, she has many ideas; as a Digital Futures student in OCAD University, She aims to make them work.

She is very interested in environmental sustainability. As companies and advertising encourage people to spend, governments stimulate economic growth, overconsumption should be revisited in the context of sustainable development. The increase of per capita consumption will increase the impact on the environment. She is currently working on an AR sustainability project that can give people options to rent, tell them how maintain to use longer, and educate them how to recycle.