Richard Fung wins prestigious Kessler Award

Image of Richard Fung
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 4:00am

Richard Fung has been named the recipient of the 2015 Kessler Award. This prestigious honour is given to an artist, scholar or community member whose body of work has had a powerful influence on LGBTQ studies. Fung will receive a monetary prize and, on December 16, 2015, deliver the annual Kessler Lecture in New York City.

In 1986, Fung made his first documentary, Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Asians. Fung’s new long-form film revisits seven of the 15 original participants three decades later. His Kessler Lecture — entitled “Re:Orientations” — will include clips from that documentary in progress.

Fung is a Trinidad-born, Toronto-based video artist and cultural critic. He joined the faculty of OCAD University in 2003 and teaches in Integrated Media and Art & Social Change. A former Rockefeller Fellow at the Center for Media, Culture and History at New York University, Fung has lectured across North America and in Europe, Asia and Australia. He served on the founding board of directors of the Images Festival, the first Racial Equality Committee of the Canada Council, the board of the Toronto Arts Council and was an editor and contributing editor to FUSE Magazine.

Congratulations to Richard Fung on this important recognition of his success in linking research, artistic practice and community engagement.


Imagination Catalyst company wins James Dyson Award for Canada

Image of the Drumi washing machine in a bathroom
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 4:00am

Drumi, the foot-powered washing machine designed by Yi Jiang (BDes, Industrial Design, 2013), has been awarded $3,500 from the James Dyson Foundation. Drumi came in first out of 65 Canadian applicants. Now, the ingenious device will move on to the international portion of the competition, along with 100 finalists from 20 countries.

Drumi started out as Jiang’s thesis project. It’s designed for small spaces such as RVs, apartments and off-grid living. Yirego, Jiang’s company, is being developed at the Imagination Catalyst incubator at OCAD U.

The James Dyson Award is an international design competition open to university students or recent graduates who studied product design, industrial design or engineering. It was established by James Dyson, a British inventor who developed the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner. This year's competition attracted 690 entries.

The international winner, to be announced in November, will receive $45,000 for the team and $7,500 for their university.

In addition to the James Dyson Award, the Drumi has won awards including the Rocket 12th 2013 Annual Design Competition: Best in Category, the 2014 Canadian Design Resource: Best Canadian Design of 2014, and the 2013 Sustainable Design Award: Grand Prize.


Drumi in the running for Dyson Award

Image of three Drumi washing machines
Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 4:00am

Imagination Catalyst entrepreneur Yi Jiang (BDes, Industrial Design, 2013) is once again in the spotlight for his foot-powered washing machine, the Drumi. Jiang’s environmentally-friendly invention has been highlighted as one of the best entrants in the prestigious James Dyson Award. The assignment: design something that solves a problem.

The Drumi is a small, lightweight washing machine that uses no electricity and only ten litres of water per load. It’s portable, takes up very little space in cramped quarters and has a much smaller carbon footprint than a conventional electric washing machine. It is designed for countries where water is scarce, but is also convenient for city dwellers, cottagers and campers.

The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates and inspires the next generation of design engineers. The award is open to current and recent product design, industrial design or engineering students. It’s run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust, as part of its mission to get young people excited about design engineering.

Designers from 20 countries are participating. The international winner will receive $45,000, with $7,500 going to the inventor’s university. The prize for international runners up is $7,500, while national winners will receive $3,500. All the winners will be announced in fall 2015. 

OCAD U alumnus named Best New Illustrator

Illustration by Hudson Christie of a male sitting on a toilet with genitals behind him
Monday, June 29, 2015 - 4:00am

At the 38th National Magazine Awards Gala, OCAD University 2014 Illustration Program Medal winner Hudson Christie was named Best New Illustrator in the Best New Creator category.

Hudson’s winning entry was an illustration for Maisonneuve’s article, A Portrait of the Artist with Testicles in Hand,” published mere months following graduation. Joining Hudson as one of the finalists shortlisted for the Best New Creator category was Min Gyo Chung (BDes, Illustration, 2014) for his illustration accompanying an article in Corporate Knights titled “Under the Climate," art directed by Jack Dylan (née Andrew Attard, BDes, Illustration, 2013).

In another category, Spot Illustration, the Silver Medal went to Joren Cull (BDes, Illustration, 2011), whose work was featured throughout the May issue of The Walrus magazine.  

The gala’s opening video features animations of Christie and Chung’s work.



OCAD University grads honoured with Governor General's Academic Medals

Dermot Patrick O'Brien receiving his Silver Medal from President Diamond
Doaa Khattab addressing her fellow graduates at convocation
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 9:15pm

OCAD University’s recent convocation ceremonies included the presentation of Governor General’s Academic Medals to two Class of 2015 students. The awards are given annually to the undergraduate and graduate students who achieved the highest academic standing.

The silver medal went to Drawing & Painting student Dermot Patrick O’Brien, who maintained a thriving career in the advertising industry while studying. In the words of Natalie Waldburger, the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, “the insights, experience and self-reflection that Dermot brings to his work and his writing are a model for artistic practice.”

Doaa Khattab – a graduate of the Inclusive Design master’s program – received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. For her research project she designed an inclusive and innovative wayfinding system in grocery stores for visually impaired shoppers. “The Inclusive Design program urged us to think differently,” Doaa says, “so that we would understand users’ needs in order to proceed with the holistic thinking, ideating and creating process.”

Drawing & Painting student honoured for "artistic alchemy"

Spiritual Warrior by Isaac Narciso Weber
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 5:00pm

A work entitled Spiritual Warrior – by Drawing & Painting student “Nodinamaad” Isaac Narciso Weber – was recently declared the Art Winner in the 2015 Aboriginal Arts & Stories competition. Sponsored by Historica Canada, this is the largest and most recognized competition for art and creative writing by Aboriginal youth in Canada. The award was presented to Isaac on June 9, 2015, at a ceremony held at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Isaac says Spiritual Warrior was the result of a “contemporary artistic alchemical process.” Reflecting on his practice, he notes that, “as an aspiring visual artist, I use the tools available within my environment like my ancestors did, from carving petroglyphs to graffiti on a train or wall.”

A member of the Turtle Clan Nation, whose traditional territories are called the Henvy Inlet First Nations (near French River, Ontario), as an OCAD University student Isaac has focused much of his work on narrative strategies and the “decolonization of picture making.” In this process, he has found significant support and inspiration from his professors Bonnie Devine and Julie Nagam.

Beyond completing his formal studies, Isaac’s longer-term goal is “to create a platform in Toronto for indigenous people to have longer-running arts exhibitions, creative workshops and seminars surrounding imagine-making and indigenous visual culture.”

OCAD University staff member honoured for volunteer contributions

Evan Tapper
Friday, April 10, 2015 - 4:00am

Congratulations to Evan Tapper for his receipt of a 2015 Legacy Award from Volunteer Toronto. Tapper is best known to the OCAD University community as the director of the Office of Continuing Studies. Outside the university, Tapper is also a dedicated volunteer with The Redwood, a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. In fact, he is one of the longest-serving male volunteers at the facility, helping women and children explore and express their experiences using art. Each December, for instance, Tapper – an award-winning visual artist and art educator – draws caricatures of mothers and their children, which he then gives to them as happy reminders of the distance they have travelled.

Tapper was among the 25 volunteers selected from a field of nearly 100 nominations. A private ceremony will take place on April 13 – during National Volunteer Week – with Tapper and his fellow award recipients, nominators and special guests.

Robert Houle wins Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts

Image of rtist Robert Houle
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 4:00am

Painter, curator, writer and former OCAD U faculty member Robert Houle is one of eight winners of the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, announced Tuesday.  

Houle is among three Torontonians to take home the $25,000 prize, alongside multimedia artist Micah Lexier and jeweller Paul McClure.

A faculty member for more than 15 years, Houle is a member of the Saulteaux First Nation. His recent works include an installation in the AGO’s Walker Court entitled Seven Grandfathers.

The awards are sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts. A reception will be held April 8th at Rideau Hall in Ottawa hosted by Governor General David Johnson.

Read more about the 2015 winners of the awards at the Canada Council for the Arts website.

Honorary Degree nominations close January 30

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 5:00am

OCAD U will close nominations for its 2015 Honorary Degrees this Friday, January 30.

All members of the OCAD U community, including alumni, students, faculty and administrative staff were invited earlier this month to submit nominations for this, the highest award conferred by the university. Now as the deadline approaches, community members are reminded of the opportunity to nominate individuals who have made a significant contribution to the fields of art, design and culture.

Notable past recipients have included Will Alsop (2004), Margaret Atwood (2009), Adrienne Clarkson (2006), Douglas Coupland (2013), Karim Rashid (2006) and Buffy Saint Marie (2011).

Organized by the Office of the Vice-President, Academic, the recipient will be announced in advance of OCAD University’s Spring Convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall on June 11, 2015.

Get more information and download the nomination form.

Urban & Co. wins Canadian Agri-Marketing Association recognition

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 5:00am

Associate Professor Ann Urban’s consultancy company, Urban & Co., has been recognized with multiple merit awards and wins, including best campaign, by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association (CAMA), a network of agricultural marketing and business professionals.

The annual Best of CAMA awards program celebrates excellence in agriculture marketing in Canada. Urban & Co. were named as finalists 19 times in 14 categories, receiving 8 merit awards, and winning three categories: Total campaign $100,000 - $250,000 for their DEKALB Electric Wing Brand Campaign; Special events for the 2014 AALP Dream Auction; and Newsletters – internal or external for their DEKALB ‘UPDATE’ Newsletter Series.

Ann Urban teaches in OCAD U’s Advertising program. For more than 25 years, she has worked in the highest levels of Canadian advertising. As an Associate Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, she helped build major Multi-national brands for American Express, Campbells, Duracell, Unilever, Kraft General Foods and many more. After graduating from OCAD U with scholarships in both design and advertising, she quickly moved on to senior positions at several major multi-national agencies, including McCann-Erickson and J. Walter Thompson. In 1991 she formed Urban & Co., where she has built profitable brands for over a hundred blue-chip companies, winning dozens of national and international awards.