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:

Want to know more About Canadian Film Centre Media Lab (CFC)? Visit:

Want to know more about the Digital Futures Master’s Program? Visit:

ED/3D: Models and Environmental Design

Friday, March 14, 2008 - 4:00am to Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 4:00am

These models (from second- and third-year environmental design studios at OCAD) represent only one aspect of the work within environmental design – that of three-dimensional model making. They are the tip of the iceberg. We are not seeing the research or the sketches, plans, sections, elevations or perspectives, let alone the virtual computer modeling of the building. The range, scale and complexity of our programs and our imagined worlds are vast, but models give us something material and measurable: they represent the physical manifestation of creative thought and creative process in the shaping of our built environments.

Venue & Address: 
Urbanscape Gallery 2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario


Monday, March 3, 2008 - 5:00am to Friday, March 7, 2008 - 5:00am


models and environmental design

in environmental design we design environments. we make spaces that frame the experiences of daily life –

we start with concepts and move to diagrams, we develop these three dimensionally and then, gradually we develop the shape of space and

imagine its material aspects. every decision either layers the

central idea with complexity and harmony or incrementally diminishes the power and clarity of that idea. every decision carries with it the baggage of agenda – what are the political, ethical, social, ecological concerns we as designers bring with us and how are they challenged within the structure and perceived limitations of any program?

these models (from a variety of second and third year environmental design studios) represent only one aspect of the work within environmental design – that of three-dimensional model making. they are the tip of the iceberg. we are not seeing the research or the sketches, plans, sections, elevations and perspectives let alone the virtual computer modeling of the building.

the range, scale and complexity of our programs and our imagined worlds are vast but models give us something material and measurable.

they represent the physical manifestation of creative thought and creative process in the shaping of our built environments.

stuart m. reid curator
february 2008

Venue & Address: 
Great Hall 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario


Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Emma Westecott: Critical Game Making

Digital games are an increasingly significant contemporary critical form in which makers express models of gameplay that make meaning beyond the context of pure entertainment. Game culture is pervasive and amidst a wider technological context that invites all our active participation provides one setting for the rise in creative expression evident across digital existence.

Starting from a feminist perspective situated in an art and design university, this talk explores a set of lenses to approach critical making practices in games. The hope is that the approaches discussed may offer frameworks applicable across the digital diaspora.

Angelika Seeschaaf Veres + Greg Sims: 3D Design – Digital and Material Interplay

This research explores current and future implications of 3D digital technologies in design processes as it redefines our relation to objects, experiences and environments. Product Designer Angelika Seeschaaf Veres and Jewellery Designer Greg Sims bring their unique perspectives on this topic by elaborating on the potential within the liminal space of the digital and the material. The research discourse will map new cultural and social trajectories considering: Usercentred design & product customization, digital fluency and meaningful making.


Venue & Address: 
205 RICHMOND ST. W. | Room 701K | DF SALON
Research Rendezvous March 24th Poster

B3D Design Conference at Ryerson University

Poster with a colourful cube
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 12:00pm to Saturday, October 24, 2015 - 9:00pm

B3D is a research discourse on 3D technology driven design across both the virtual and physical space with a focus on the impacts on society.

Angelika Seeschaaf Veres, Ala Roushan, and Greg Sims from OCAD will be speakers on Oct. 23rd and we'd like to invite OCAD students, faculty, staff, and alumni interested in 3D Design to attend. To attend on Oct. 23rd, they will need to register ahead of time.

We are also hoping to have OCAD students with readily available 3D design projects featured in the 3D Design exhibition on the evening of Oct. 23rd and Oct. 24th. This is an outside expert curated exhibition of 3D artistic and industrial design. B3D will be featuring high quality, innovative student projects along side top amateur and professional artists and designers work involving 3D virtual and physical space technologies.

We're reserving student tickets to the Oct. 24th main event (paid event) for student volunteers from Ryerson, U of Toronto, and OCAD.

Venue & Address: 
Ryerson University