OCAD University
Karin Von ompteda
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Design, Graduate Studies

Area(s) of Expertise

Data Visualisation, Typography, Graphic Design


Karin von Ompteda is a designer/researcher/educator working in areas where disciplines converge. Her background is in both science and design, having undertaken an MSc Biology, BDes Graphic Design, and currently completing a PhD Visual Communication. Karin's doctoral research is focused on integrating scientific and design approaches to typeface legibility, with a particular interest in low vision readers. Working with data plays a central role in her research, practice, and teaching. She has been running –data manifestation"workshops internationally since 2010 with students, professionals, and the public, as well as teaching at the Royal College of Art in London, UK. Her work has been presented internationally through conferences (TYPO London, ATypI), exhibitions (Brno Biennial, BIO Biennial), publications (Laurence King, RotoVision), and press (BBC's The Forum, China Daily). Projects have been funded through research councils in both Canada and the United Kingdom, and clients have included Brody Associates and BBC Research and Development.


BSc Biology Major, Environmental Studies Minor, McGill University MSc Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto BDes Graphic Design, OCAD University PhD Candidate, Visual Communication, Royal College of Art

Selected Exhibitions

2015 Gr–ficosRCA: 50 and Beyond. Brasilia: National Museum of the Republic. 2014 GraphicsRCA 50 Years. London: Royal College of Art. 2014 Stereohype 2004-2014. London: London College of Communication. 2014 BIO 50 "24th Biennial of Design. Ljubljana: Museum of Architecture and Design. 2013 Disruption "RCA Biennial Exhibition. London: Royal College of Art. 2012 BIO.23 Biennial of Design. Ljubljana: Museum of Architecture and Design. 2010 Research RCA New Knowledge. London: Royal College of Art. 2010 BIO.22 Biennial of Industrial Design. Ljubljana: Museum of Architecture and Design. 2010 International Biennial of Graphic Design. Brno: Moravian Gallery.

Awards \ Grants

AcrossRCA Funding, Royal College of Art (–3500) Institute of Physics, Public Engagement Scheme (with Kevin Walker) (–2500) Sustainable Society Network+ (Imperial College London), Pilot Study (–20,000) Student Work Award, BIO.23 Biennial of Design PhD Student Award, Royal College of Art (–4000) Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund (–3000) SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship ($40,000) Commonwealth Scholarship United Kingdom (–70,000) Governor General's Academic Medal Graphic Design Medal, OCAD University NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship ($35,000)

Selected Publications

Von Ompteda, K. (2016), –Data Manifestation–, in T. Triggs and L. Atzmon (eds), The Graphic Design Reader, London: Bloomsbury Press. Von Ompteda, K. and Walker, K. (2015), –Translating the Quantum World to Human Scale: An Art-Science Collaboration–, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 35(3): 74-81. Von Ompteda, K. (2011), –Type Transparencies–, Grafik, 192: 82-87.