Artist Talk: Priam Givord

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Priam GIVORD is a senior digital artist, designer & technologist. He was born in France and now lives in Toronto, Canada. Priam is an artist and interactive designer with a career focused to date on the digitally­-mediated spatial experience of things. This encompasses three intersecting, mutually­ reinforcing streams: Commercial, R&D and Academic. Since he graduated from the Applied Arts in Paris and obtained his DEA from Paris VIII University, he has designed and built large high-­end interactive installations, through his own company, for clients ranging from the “Daily Planet” TV show, Remington real­-estate developments, to the NFB in Canada. His works encompass interactive technologies ranging from large multi­touch surfaces, hardware, Google Glass, to VR and video-­game engine-­based applications. His work has been exhibited internationally, at venues such as the New York Museum of Moving image (see and the prestigious SIGGRAPH conference in California. Priam also teaches & writes curriculum for universities like NYU and OCADU. He currently works free-lance.

His current work includes the VR installation Small Wonders, which can be viewed on YouTube at,

This VR exhibit extension went on display internationally at the AGO ,the NYC MET Cloisters, Korea's National Museum of Contemporary Art and many other venues and has been awarded at the 2017 The American Alliance of Museums award.

Workshop Summary:

Priam Givord has been working and experimenting with videogame engine technology and real-time 3D graphics for over 15 years. In this talk he will first introduce 3D scanning and the integration of large scan data in real-time 3D Virtual Reality environments (here Unity 3D and Touch Designer), more precisely from a high-resolution micro CT scan and also from photogrammetry. Second, he will talk about the graphic treatment of these 3D objects inside the VR space and will showcase examples from a his artistic research on materiality in the VR space.

He is using and will share Touch Designer as a prototyping and exploratory platform which allows unrivalled flexibility and depth of control over the 3D data sets he is creating using various 3D scanning resources.

Priam is also going to demonstrate the award-winning VR installation "Small Wonders" to the audience during the workshop so the material discussed is available to experience first-hand.

Short workshop items list in dis-order:

- photogrammetry (scanning a 3D object or space using photographs) - maybe do a quick hand-on application

- 3D data structure of different scan sources and show how they are getting converted into VR assets

- manage massive 3D scan datasets and have them run at 90fps in VR, that will be the VR integration into two specific VR software platforms, namely Unity 3D and Touch Designer.

- artistic choices: how to shade (style) these dataset 3D objects in real-time environments (such as VR) using rendering techniques that are specific to real-time 3D graphics.

- why game engines VS Touch Designer-like have pros and cons, and why I prototype in Touch Designer and deliver in game engines mostly.

Venue & Address: 
Visual Analytics Lab 7th Floor of 205 Richmond St. W.
Priam Givord Talk

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:

5 questions for digital trailblazer Ana Serrano

Ana Serrano, adjunct professor in OCAD U’s Digital Futures graduate program, has won the Digital Media Trailblazing Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. She is also the Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997.


Congratulations on your Digital Media Trailblazing Award at the Canadian Screen Awards! How does it feel to be recognized like this?

It feels great and a little bit overwhelming. I feel quite honoured.


As Chief Digital Officer of the Canadian Film Centre and founder of the CFC Media Lab, what are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the past almost-20 years in the Canadian digital media scene?

The biggest change has to do with the adaptability, nimbleness and quick uptake of audiences. I didn’t expect the changes we’ve seen to be so constant.

I’ve also noticed the slowness of the rest of the industry to keep pace in relation to how quickly audiences have adopted to new digital media. 

The third thing that I’m just starting to notice with each new tech platform and perceived tech leapfrog is that there’s an initial stage when we think we’ve created something new, such as virtual reality.  We think we don’t have to look back. It’s true to a certain extent but there’s so much that’s happened in the past that informed it and we forget.


Photo of Ana Serrano


The CFC Media Lab is a partner with OCAD U’s Digital Futures program — why do you think this is an important partnership?

The CFC Media Lab always started with a mandate about talent — how do we help support and incubate the next generation of storytellers using whatever platform of the future. So, it seemed totally a no-brainer that as universities kept pace with changes in digital media that we’d partner with a university that can grant degrees.


Tell us about your IDEABOOST accelerator.

IDEABOOST is a digital entertainment accelerator. As talent, industry and audiences grow, the next phase is working with companies. IDEABOOST is focused on investment seeding and support for tech-based entertainment companies that are changing the face of entertainment in Canada.


What led you to working in digital media and why do you still love it?

I’ve always been interested in humanities and focused on storytelling. My first digital touchpoint was running a fiction and poetry magazine at McGill University. I started publishing the magazine digitally and I started to love the digital medium. I was later hired by Don Tapscott, with whomI learned a lot about the impact of the new medium.

I love digital media because it’s always new. I’m enamoured with taking risks, being first, doing something no one else has done, supporting underdogs and seeing difficult ideas come to life. Digital media is always changing and reinventing itself and I enjoy the complexity of it.





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CFC Media Lab Partners with OCAD University to offer unique graduate program in Digital Futures

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto — April 20, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) and CFC Media Lab (Canadian Film Centre) announce their partnership in the launch of a new and innovative Graduate Program in Digital Futures, with a part-time Graduate Diploma and full-time (MA, MDes, and MFA) Master's Degrees. The program received its final approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies last week. Applications for the 2011/2012 term will be accepted until Monday, May 2, 2011. Late applications may be considered depending on the availability of places in the program.

The graduate program is situated within the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) at OCAD University, a set of cross-disciplinary programs in practice-based research and innovation in digital media and emergent technologies. Having been at the forefront of incubating and accelerating Canadian digital media talent and companies for over a decade, CFC Media Lab is a uniquely positioned partner in this practiced-based graduate program aimed at future innovators, leaders and creators of digital media and new technologies.

"Students in the Graduate Program in Digital Futures will contribute to creative innovation and the application of new knowledge in digital technologies, practices, content, systems, and experiences, in addition providing insight into sustainable development in a technologically mediated world,” said Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, Associate Vice-President, Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, OCAD U.

"Together, OCAD U and CFC Media Lab have created one of Canada’s leading digital media partnerships, with highly experienced faculty, interdisciplinary teams, diversified industry and cultural partnerships, as well as key cross-sector expertise,” said Ana Serrano, Director, CFC Media Lab.

Complete program details, application information, program requirements and a list of faculty members for each program may be found on OCAD U’s Graduate Studies web pages at

A partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab, whose established, critically-acclaimed post-graduate residency in digital media production will be integrated into both the degree and diploma programs will afford students the opportunity to participate in an Intensive Project/Prototyping Spring Institute held at the MaRS Discovery District.

About Canadian Film Centre (CFC)
The Canadian Film Centre is Canada’s largest institution for advanced training in film, television and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada’s diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country’s most creative ideas and voices in film, television and new media to the world. Founded in 1997, the CFC Media Lab provides a unique collaborative training, acceleration and creative production think-tank environment for emerging new media content developers, practitioners and companies. An internationally acclaimed and award-winning facility, graduates of the CFC Media Lab emerge as leaders in the world of interactive media, produce innovative projects and start up 21st century companies.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

For more information contact:

Barry Patterson, Director, Marketing & Communications, Canadian Film Centre
416-445-1446 Ext 314

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)