What the Futures? - Digital Futures Graduate Thesis Exhibition

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 6:00pm to Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 4:00pm

The Digital Futures (DF) graduate program at OCAD University invites you to "What the Futures?" - our annual graduate thesis exhibition. This exhibition features thesis projects (MA, MFA, and MDes) that explore a wide range of topics including audio alignment, augmented reality, colonialism, data visualization, ecosystems, experimental film, fashion, feminism, fetish, games, gaze, gender, horror, identity, immigration, internet of things, machine learning, neurodiversity, queer theory, sexual assault, speculative design, virtual reality, wayfinding, and more.

TMAC (Toronto Media Arts Centre)
32 Lisgar Street, Toronto, ON M6J 0C7

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 6PM - 9PM

Saturday, April 13, 2019,12PM - 5PM
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 12PM - 4PM

Chris Luginbuhl
David Foster
Dikla Revah Sinai
Emilia Mason
Emma Brito
Feng Yuan
Finlay Braithwaite
Jad Al Rabbaa
Kristy Boyce
Kylie Caraway
Max Lander
Orlando Bascuñán
Quinn Rockliff
Ramona Caprariu
Roxanne Henry
Sana Shepko
Savaya Shinkaruk
Sean Harkin
Tommy Ting
Yiyi Shao

"Our students don’t just make things with emerging technologies - they think creatively and critically about how, why, and when we should use and engage with these ideas and tools - and when we should not. The artworks, prototypes, demonstrations, and performances bring this research to life in a rich interactive format. We invite our colleagues from industry, fellow universities, art, design, and maker communities to come join us for this important and exciting exhibition."
- Kate Hartman, Graduate Program Director, Digital Futures

This event is presented by:
Graduate Studies at OCAD University and CFC Media Lab

Venue & Address: 
TMAC (Toronto Media Arts Centre) 32 Lisgar St. Toronto ON, m6j0c9
The Digital Futures (DF) graduate program at OCAD University invites you to "What the Futures?"

Michael Page

Michael is the Director of the PHASE Lab at OCAD U he considers himself privileged to work with Graduate students, undergraduates and industry professionals in learning and making change in the landscape of visualization and synthetic reality.

As an Associate Professor at OCAD U and a Visiting Professor at the U of T, Michael feels fortunate to work with emerging artists, physicist, engineers and computer scientists

“I call myself a maker of things”, says Page. “Some of the things are made to be seen in art galleries, others are developed to solve technological problems. Process can and should be thought of as a creative act along with object creation”.


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

Michael Page

Michael Page has been involved in research in the field of holography and 3D visualization for 30 years.

He teaches advanced 3D techniques including XR at OCAD U. He also team-teaches a course in 3D visualization and Holography at the University of Toronto, Victoria College.

He has exhibited his artworks, and presented invited papers at numerous conferences on art and technology, around the world.

Faculty member’s game launches with new Sony Playstation VR

Logo image: Super hyper cube
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 4:00am

A video game designed by Cindy Poremba, faculty member in the Digital Futures program, is accompanying the launch of the highly anticipated Sony PlayStation VR on October 13. Superhypercube is a creation of Kokoromi Collective, made up of Poremba, Heather Kelley, Phil Fish and Damien diFede.

PlayStation VR is a new virtual reality head-mounted gaming display that works with the PlayStation 4 video game console. Reviewers who have received advance access to the game are giving it high praise. As one writer put it “when I’m not playing Superhypercube, I’m wishing I were playing Superhypercube. It’s a deep, beautiful, and superbly crafted arcade puzzle experience.”

Game description from Kokoromi:

Superhypercube is a VR "first person puzzler" with classic controls and intuitive shape-matching gameplay. You control a group of cubes and rotate it to fit through a hole in a wall that is constantly moving toward you. Each time you fit through another wall without crashing, more cubes are added to your cluster. Head tracking is critical in the game – as your cluster of cubes gets bigger, you will need to lean around it to see the hole and quickly determine what rotations to make.




Digital Futures (DF) & CFC Media Lab Present: A Very VR Afternoon w/ Hector Garcia & Michael Naimark

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Digital Futures (DF), Graduate Studies (GS) in Partnership with CFC Media Lab Present… A Very VR Afternoon

Wednesday, October 12th

1:00PM – 4:00PM VA Lab,

Room 720, 205 Richmond St. W.

OCAD University

1:00PM – 2:30PM

Hector Centeno Garcia

Digital Futures graduate and researcher

"Sitting Under a Highway” VR Presentation and Demonstration

Sitting under a highway is a research-creation project by Hector Centeno Garcia and presented as an interactive audiovisual virtual and presential space. By wearing a head-mounted display (VR), a hand tracking device, headphones and an electroencephalography band, the audience experiences photorealistic 3D visuals and spatial audio that are the product of an artistic practice centred on the attentive aesthetic exploration of a physical place. - See more at: http://www.ocadu.ca/academics/graduate-studies/digital-futures.htm#sthash.Lq3htrWZ.J47zaAV7.dpuf

The virtual reality space that the user inhabits is activated through the combined measurement of concentration and relaxation through an EEG reader. A hand tracker allows the user to also physically interact in space. Through mindfulness we engage with the environment, in the hope that art created with such processes can contribute to a better understanding of the disconnect that exists between post-modern society and our inhabited places. Awarded Best Creative Work and Best Thesis Document, Digital Futures Graduate Program, OCAD University.


2:30PM – 3:00PM Break: social discussion and refreshments

3:00PM – 4:00PM

Michael Naimark 

Guest artist, inventor, scholar, and coach in emergent media and immersive experiences

Presentation and discussion on VR Cinematography

Michael Naimark is a media artist and researcher who often explores "place representation" and its impact on culture, and is actively engaged in understanding the dynamics between art and technology, with an uncanny track record of art projects presaging widespread adoption, often by decades. He is noted in the histories of Google Street ViewProjection Mapping, and Virtual Reality (and, some claim, the Facebook Like Button); and in ongoing work with cinematic crowdsourcinglive global video, and cultural heritage. Michael has directed projects with support from Apple, Disney, Atari, Panavision, Lucasfilm, Interval, and Google; and from National Geographic, UNESCO, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Exploratorium, the Banff Centre, Ars Electronica, the ZKM, and the Paris Metro. He occasionally serves as faculty at USC Cinema's Interactive Media Division, NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, and the MIT Media Lab.


Venue & Address: 
Wednesday, October 12th 1:00PM – 4:00PM VA Lab, Room 720, 205 Richmond St. W. OCAD University
416 977 6000 x423
VR Poster