OCAD University partners with Bell Trinity Square to showcase student and graduate work

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 26, 2011) Students and graduates from OCAD University's Faculty of Art will get an exclusive career boost this academic year through a competition that will result in the purchase of their work and permanent display in the common spaces of a prominent Bay Street office building in downtown Toronto.

Sponsored by Union Investment Real Estate GmbH based in Hamburg, Germany, owner of Bell Trinity Square building located at 483 Bay Street in Toronto, the Bell Trinity Square Imagination Zone Student Competition will lead to a purchase  of several large works of art that will be permanently displayed throughout  the newly renovated common public areas of Bell Trinity Square.

"The competition recognizes and celebrates the talent and skill that has emerged out of OCAD University over its 135 year history," said Dr. Vladimir Spicanovic, Dean of the Faculty of Art. "We're thrilled to collaborate with Union Investment  in a partnership that will showcase the work of our students and recent graduates in a way that enriches and energizes an important architectural and business landmark in our city."

The Bell Trinity Square Imagination Zone Student Competition is open to students and 2011 graduates nominated by the Faculty of Art's program chairs based on artistic merit. The nominees will be invited to submit art work that considers themes of:

  • Spaces of Nature: illuminating, unexpected encounters of natural phenomena, the sublime and landscape;
  • Light and Architecture: instigating viewer's reengagement with the poetics of space and intersections of light in built environments;
  • and Cross Cultures: evoking the capacity of art to interpret the iconography and values of a multicultural world.

The art works will be selected by a jury comprised of representatives from the sponsoring institution, a representative of OCAD U's Faculty of Art and an invited expert in contemporary art from the Toronto community.  The Bell Trinity Square Imagination Zone will be open to public in January 2012.

About Bell Trinity Square
Designed by John Parkin and Associates Bell Trinity Square is a million square foot office building located in the heart of downtown Toronto with direct access to PATH. Home to major telecommunication, banking, finance and power distribution firms, the building has been broadly recognized as a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency. Certified as LEED EB Gold in 2009 and voted BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) Outstanding Building of the Year in Canada in 2011, the building is an ideal location to host the Imagination Zone Student Competition.

About  Union Investment
Union Investment is a leading international property investment company specializing in open-ended real estate funds for private and institutional investors. Union Investment has assets under management of some €19 billion in eight real estate funds. The portfolios of Union Investment's open-ended real estate funds comprise some 300 properties and projects in Germany and other European countries, the Americas and Asia. Within the commercial real estate sector, Union Investment is active as an institutional investor, developer and landlord.

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) 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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For more information contact:

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

Fabian Hellbusch, Head of Real Estate Marketing, Communication
Union Investment Real Estate GmbH
Tel: +49 40 3491 94160, fax: +49 40 3491 95160 
www.union-investment.com/realestate   

OCAD U students design strategies to address Canada’s homelessness crisis

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 26, 2012) How do you design a solution with the power to lift Canada's 300,000 homeless and at-risk people out of poverty? What can be done to shift the perception that the condition of homelessness is "normal"?

OCAD University students were challenged with these very questions in the university's annual Design Competition, Four by Six. Over a four-day period, 19 student teams researched, consulted experts in the field and collaborated to develop solutions that challenge the status quo and change the lives of the homeless.

The first place submission, Revolution, suggests an amendment to Canada's Constitution Act and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect social welfare funding. In second place, Toronto Beyond Homeless, a concept to give people a virtual home on the web that helps them develop social connections, which in turn could lead to employment opportunities. Other winning concepts suggest awareness campaigns paired with matched donations online towards housing, or mentoring solutions that bring the homeless and those with past experience together to form a community of support.

"This competition challenges students to get outside their comfort zone and expand their thought and design processes to address large systemic social issues through the collaborative efforts of interdisciplinary teams," said Gayle Nicoll, Dean of the Faculty of Design. "Designers from every discipline have something to contribute to resolving a real-world problem - the catch being for this competition, we want them to do it in record time."

OCAD University congratulates the winning teams:

First Place, $2000: Revolution
Revolution proposes to amend Canada's Constitution Act, which contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, to "make adequate funding for social welfare in Canada inexorable, and untouchable by the Canadian political climate." The team expressed that social welfare is too much at the whim of political powers, and should be made immune from shifting political policy.
Team members: Reid Langille, Sarah Crossley, Mary Bulnes Velez, and Maximillian Wessman in third-year Industrial Design, and Fiorella Martinez, third-year Advertising.

Revolution (video)

Second Place, $1000: Toronto Beyond Homelessness
Toronto Beyond Homelessness is designed to "take you through the footsteps of an individual left without a home, from the moment they are forced out onto the street, up until their moment in front of you now." The campaign includes a website that gives homeless people a virtual address, where they can tell their stories and create new networks that can lead to opportunities.
Team members: Nikoli Berda, Mandad Tabrizi, Daniel Sookdeo and Sina Afshani in fourth-year (thesis) Industrial Design.

Third Place, $500: home=x
home=x is an awareness campaign that makes use of 12 by 12 inch sheets of white paper that symbolize a square foot of space. Coupled with the formation of a charitable organization called blueprint and a website, people are encouraged to consider the meaning of the word home and confront traditionally held views. Donations through the website towards providing housing solutions are matched by the organization.
Team members: Brad MacDonald, third-year Advertising, and Jen DeVera and Sarah Lever in third-year Industrial Design.

Honourable Mention: On the Dot Mentors
On the Dot Mentors is a network designed to give people at risk or homeless individuals a real, live human resource. The system pairs an individual with past experience with mentees in transition, to help provide access to services and support. In addition to linking a community full-circle, the system is designed to elevate stereotypical perception and help at risk individuals maintain dignity.
Team members: Daria Yurchenko, Jurgis Mikens and Dimitry Galamiyev in second-year Industrial Design, Luiza Kazi in fourth-year Graphic Design, Emily Pop Paulauskas in second-year Environmental Design and Jane Lee in second-year Material Art and Design.

Concepts by all of the student teams are on exhibit until Friday, November 2 in OCAD University's Great Hall (Level 2, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto). For more information on the competition and the exhibit, visit www.ocadu.ca/designcompetition.  

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University is Canada's "university of 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.

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 x327 (mobile x1327)

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