Florence Contemporary

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

In May 2017, 8 graduate students joined Dr. Martha Ladly for a 4-week intensive course to contemplate the idea of the "contemporary" in Florence, Italy.

Venue & Address: 
Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond Street W
Florence Exhibition Poster

Chto Delat Artist's Talk & Workshop

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 4:00pm to 8:30pm

Sponsored by OCAD University's graduate program in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories.

205 Richmond St. W. Room 115, 1st floor

4:00 pm -- Presentation by the Artists

5:30-8:30 pm -- Workshop with the Artists

Please join us for a wide-ranging talk about art and politics by the members of the St. Petersburg-based collective Chto Delat. After the talk, the audience is invited to participate in a workshop to create posters that will be included in Chto Delat's installation in Toronto's Nuit Blanche (September 30-October 1, 2017, sunset to sunrise). Their project, 1968 through continents (Paris, Oakland, and elsewhere) (2017), is featured in curator Nato Thompson's exhibition "Monument to the Century of Revolutions."

The collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in 2003 by artists, critics, philosophers and writers from Russia with the goal of merging political theory, art and activism. The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian 19th century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and brings to mind the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his own publication, What Is to be Done? (1902). Chto Delat is an artistic cell and a community organizer for a variety of cultural activities intent on politicizing knowledge production.

Chto Delat's activity utilizes a range of media – from education practices to film, theater and radio programs, from publishing newspapers to creating murals, from seminars to public campaigns. Their works are characterized by the use of alienation effect, surreal scenery, typicality and analyses of concrete social and political struggles. The collective has been featured in recent exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Tate Liverpool, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), New Museum (New York), Moderna Galerija (Ljubljana), and Institute of Contemporary Art (London), as well as biennials in San Paulo and Gwangju.

Venue & Address: 
Room 115, 1st floor 205 Richmond St. West (at the corner of Duncan) Room 318, 3rd Floor 205 Richmond St. West (at the corner of Duncan) Graduate Studies Building OCAD University
For more information, contact Jim Drobnick, Director of CADN: jdrobnick@faculty.ocadu.ca
Free & open to the public
Chto Delat Artist's Talk and Workshop Poster

Grant Writing for Graduate Students

Grant Writing Workshop 2017 Promo Image
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

This hands-on workshop facilitated by Dr. Lynne Milgram will provide research proposal writing support for your upcoming CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) application(s). Please come prepared with specific questions related to your research projects.

Please RSVP to gradstudies@ocadu.ca. For further details about scholarships and funding please see our website here

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 510

External Funding Workshop for Graduate Students

External Funding Workshop Promo Image
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Interested in applying for CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and/or an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)? This session will provide students with further information about competitions, timelines and best practices. These are prestigious awards, and all full-time graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Please RSVP to gradstudies@ocadu.ca. For further details about scholarships and funding please see our website here

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond St. W., Room 510

Indigenous Methods & Knowledge Workshop with Kevin Myran

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Kevin Myran is the coordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre and runs “Little Embers,” a program which educates students on Anishnawbe culture and perspectives through the art and experience of storytelling. Drumming and storytelling will support the student creative process by deepening their self-awareness and connection to their own artistic voice, while fostering respect for ritual and community. Kevin is from the Dakota First Nation of Birdtail Manitoba. He is the father of seven children, and he has one grandchild. Kevin is a First Nations drummer, dancer, and pipe carrier.

Venue & Address: 
RM 510, 205 Richmond St. W.
Monday, September 18th 4:00-5:00pm, RM 510, 205 Richmond St. W. Kevin Myran is the coordinator at the Toronto Council Fire Nativ

Grad Studies welcomes new & returning Graduate Students!

Graduate Studies Orientation 2017
Friday, September 8, 2017 - 4:45pm

We are delighted to welcome the new and returning Graduate Students to OCAD University! On Tuesday, September 5th, new and returning students had the opportunity to learn more about the departments & services at OCAD U. The President, Dean, Graduate Program Directors, Faculty and Staff were able to introduce themselves and share important information from the Graduate Studies Office. Members across the OCAD U Community gave presentations about their respective departments and areas of service. Following the morning orientation, graduate program faculty and staff had an informal meet, greet and eat with new and returning students and exchanged research and practice interests, thesis projects, and faculty research. The day culminated in a welcome reception at the Open Gallery and featured appetizers, cash bar and live DJ. It was a huge success!

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the graduate school, we look forward to working with you as you advance your academic careers, deepen your practices and extend your research interests. Be sure to join us on September 21st for the first installment of Common Room; the monthly casual, comfortable & collegial social gathering for the graduate community, students and faculty, at OCAD University!

This month we invite you to join us for the opening of the Florence Summer Residency group exhibition. More details forthcoming.

Common Room September: Florence Summer Residency Exhibition

  • Thursday, September 21, 2017
  • Graduate Gallery, Ground Level, 205 Richmond Street West, (Level G)
  • Cash Bar & Light Refreshments


The Office of Graduate Studies

OCAD University

View our FLICKR photostream here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/151783696@N08/ks0s2Y

Digital Futures Graduate Students present digital media prototypes @CFCMediaLab

MDes student, Bijun Chen presenting her prototype to industry partners
Professor Immony Men and MDes Student, Shreeya Tyagi try a VR prototype
L to R: Dr. Emma Westecott welcomes Industry Partners, Dr. Martha Ladly & DF Students
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

As part of an eight-week project for CFC Media Lab and Prototyping summer course, Digital Futures Masters students developed an interactive digital project in their chosen specialty area, with feedback from faculty and industry partners at OCAD U and the CFC (Canadian Film Centre) Media Lab. The course culminated in a final critique and public exhibition of the students' digital media prototypes in which each student presented their work. Some highlights of the eighteen student projects included:

Master of Design student and visual artist Afaq Ahmed Karadia, designed a machine learning system which uses cognitive data and gesture technologies to recognize and interpret movements of the human body. Afaq’s performance uses a “virtual instrument” controlled by gesture-based movements that interacts with a musical interface to generate sound. The prototype is part of his larger research project that examines the non-functional characteristics of gesture, such as expressivity, which remains a challenge for computers.

Thoreau Bakker's project, "Sculpting with VR," uses Virtual Reality to both generate and visualize digital maquettes for future fabrication of digital sculptures at larger scales. This tool allows curators to visualize exhibitions and works before investing capital and resources into their production.

Sara Gazzaz's project, "Islamic Prayer Rituals," examines how Muslims cope, reflect, and explore spiritual seeking prayer rituals in new secular spaces. Her project emphasizes the importance of preserving cultural identity within Muslim immigrant communities in Canada. Sara created a prototype of a prayer mat equipped with sensors that trigger LED lights in sequence with prayer movements. The interactive mat will help to collect data for the creation of a documentation video of prayer rituals.

MA student Katie Micak presented, "The Alexa Experiment," which explores what it's like living with the artificial intelligence and home assistant, the Amazon Alexa. Footage was captured twenty-four hours a day via surveillance cameras in order to record discrete moments, changes in behaviour, and the evolution of the relationship between Micak and her Alexa. This will be a year long project which asks; what does the Alexa mean? 

Interestingly, many of the students’ prototypes involved technologies that limit or eliminate the need for human-to-human interaction. This was a common theme identified by the panel of industry experts; an area in the digital technology field where more research is needed to better understand new social realities.

Students began the prototyping process with the research and development stage, followed by model building, user trials, instantiations, and other forms of prototyping to help focus their primary research interests.

Dr. Emma Westecott, Associate Professor and instructor of the CFC Media Lab summer course, moderated the prototype presentations and panel discussions throughout the day: "I was thrilled to work with CFC Media Lab to enable our students to complete initial prototypes for their thesis projects. Feedback from CFC experts and industry advisors was invaluable in connecting student concepts to future application, offering them expertise central to ongoing work."

Students were also tasked with creating an “elevator pitch” to convey their prototypes in five minutes or less. After presenting their pitch, each student received feedback and advice from an expert panel of judges on how to improve the product's marketability, viability and revenue model.

View more CFC Media Lab Prototype Day pictures here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/151783696@N08/0EfMZ3

Want to know more About Canadian Film Centre Media Lab (CFC)? Visit: http://www.cfccreates.com/programs/media-lab

Want to know more about the Digital Futures Master’s Program? Visit: https://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/digital-futures.htm

Dr. Ashok Mathur named Dean of Graduate Studies

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

OCAD University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ashok Mathur as Dean of Graduate Studies, effective January 1, 2018. Dr. Mathur recently completed a term as Head of Creative Studies at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia, which began January, 2014.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Mathur join OCAD U,” said Dr. Gillian Siddall, Vice President Academic & Provost. “He brings with him tremendous administrative and teaching experience, as well as a significant record of research and creative practice. He is very well positioned to contribute to advancing the priorities of the academic plan.”

Before joining UBC, Dr. Mathur served as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC) at Thompson Rivers University. Prior to that, Dr. Mathur served as Head of Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (2001-05).

Dr. Mathur has produced five books and numerous projects, both creative and critical, that focus on and feature the intersections of artistic engagement. His most recent book is a long poem entitled The First Black White Man, which, supported by a Canada Council writing grant, was incorporated into a ‘living arts’ space revolving around one of Kamloops’s early Black immigrants and his role in developing the city. Dr. Mathur is a long-time advocate of critical race theory as it pertains to the postsecondary institution, and works continuously to address radical forms of equity and Indigenous knowledge.

"I am thrilled to join the diverse and progressive environment of OCAD U, and keen to work with students, faculty, and administration to continue to develop excellent graduate level programming in the years to come," said Dr. Mathur.

Dr. Mathur holds a Ph.D. in Postcolonial Literature from the University of Calgary. As Dean, reporting to the Vice-President Academic & Provost, Dr. Mathur will be responsible for the educational and research leadership, development and supervision of Graduate Studies and its alignment with the academic plan and integration into the larger strategic plan of the university.

IAMD MFA thesis exhibition by Jill Price: LAND as Archive

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 4:00pm

Jill Price is an OCADU MFA IAMD candidate whose practice investigates the environmental realities of the Anthropocene.  Embracing that land serves as a museum for human behaviour, Price’s research argues that even the seen and unseen shadows of material “things” have agency upon our globally networked landscapes.  Utilizing both environmental data and narratives embedded within ready-made objects, Price presents drawings and sculptures that collectively examine social and ecological traumas woven into global economies.  These artworks are accompanied by a growing archive of hand-drawn shadows that document personal habits of consumption  acknowledging her position of privilege and the irony of her own production within this inquiry.

Conceptually exploring what constitutes a shadow, Price invites the audience to join her in asking what a “real” shadow might look like and how we all might go about drastically reducing shadows of production, exchange and disposal in the future. 

Jill Price is a recipient of the 2015 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 2016 SSHRC Research Scholarship and the 2017 Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.

Opening Night: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 7 - 10 pm

Public Defense:  Thursday, August 3 (Time TBA)


Hours of Operation:

Saturday August 5, 12—5

Wednesday, August 9, 12 - 5

Thursday August 10, 12 - 5, 7 - 10

Friday, August 11, 12 - 5

Saturday, August 12, 12—5


Thank yous to:

Advisors: Professors Geoffrey Shea & Colette Laliberté (OCADU), Janis Jeffries (Goldsmiths)

Mentors: Ted Fullerton, Frances Thomas, Jennifer Wigmore

OCAD U Jewellery and Textile Studio Technicians (Greg Bauer & Laurie Wassink)

YYZ Artists' Outlet and Ana Barajas: Gallery Rental

U of T Art Museum: Lending of Museum Vitrines

Artists: Fiona Pegg, Liz Menard, Tracey and Derek Martin

Venue & Address: 
YYZ Artists' Outlet 401 Richmond St. W. Unit 140 Toronto, ON
Land as Archive

Congratulations to our Masters Graduands!

Graduate students at convocation 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 10:30am

The Office of Graduate Studies congratulates our 2017 Graduands!

We are delighted to celebrate your incredible achievements and the culmination of years of hard work, determination, creation and discoveries. As well, we’d like to thank the friends and family of our students/alumni for their support.

Now that you are representing OCAD U, we hope you keep in touch by joining the Alumni Association. We invite you to visit and participate in future OCAD U events!


The Office of Graduate Studies

OCAD University


This year, the Graduate Studies community at OCAD University is once again fortunate to be able to acknowledge & recognize particular individuals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their studies through their research and creative practice.

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

Cydney Langill Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories Award for Outstanding Writing

Criticism & Curatorial Practice

Justine Hartlieb-Power Criticism and Curatorial Practice Award for Outstanding Thesis ExhibitionValentynaOniskoCriticism and Curatorial Practice Award for Outstanding Exhibition

Digital Futures

Egill Vidarsson Digital Futures Award for Best Thesis Defence Presentation

Fusun Uzun Digital Futures Futures Award for Best Thesis Document and Award for Best Social Innovation

Jordan Shaw Digital Futures Award for Best Exhibited Thesis Work

Ling Ding Digital Futures Award for Best Thesis Defence Presentation

Marcelo Muller Luft Digital Futures Award for Best Social Innovation

Inclusive Design

Chad Lesch Inclusive Design Award of Excellence

Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design

Eli Schwanz Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Media Experimentation and Excellent Execution

Iveta Karpathyova Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Interdisciplinary Excellence

Mariam Magsi Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Achievement in Local and International Artistic Recognition

Thomas Haskell Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design Award for Rigor in Material Investigation

Strategic Foresight and Innovation

AdriennePacini Strategic Foresight and Innovation Award for Best Major Research Paper