"This is Research" Poster: one and the same
"This is Research" Poster: Depth Clouds
Monday, January 28, 2019 - 2:00pm

The Office of Research & Innovation is excited to announce the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness about research at OCAD University: “THIS IS RESEARCH.”

OCAD University faculty are engaged in inclusive, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research that audaciously and responsibly pursues the questions of our time.

THIS IS RESEARCH features posters and media showcasing the many forms of research at the University. You can see the first set of these on the many screens across campus and our website.

In concert with provincial efforts being coordinated through the Council of Ontario Universities, “THIS IS RESEARCH” will help to raise the profile of research performed across faculties by the creative professionals, scholars, and strategic thinkers that make up our research community.

Please join us in celebrating research at OCADU!

If you would like your research to be profiled through “THIS IS RESEARCH” please contact our office at

"This is Research" Poster: Quipucamayoc
"This is Research" Poster: Monarch
"This is Research" Poster: INHABITAT
"This is Research" Poster: One Hundred Thousand Lousy Cats

Research Wednesdays: The Queer Publishing Project

Research Wednesdays, 1 to 2 pm in the Learning Zone. October 31: The Queer Publishing Project
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Join Shamina Chherawala and members of the Queer Publishing Project to learn about their process of creating Handbook: Supporting Queer and Trans Students in Art & Design Education, the first student-authored resource book of its kind. The guide draws from anti-oppressive education models to enable faculty to unlearn and critically address oppression on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality, and transform their understanding of how to support queer and transgender students in the studio, classroom, and beyond.

Handbook is a creation of the Queer Publishing Project, a research group of over 100 students, alumni, staff and faculty at OCAD University.

Research Wednesdays is a speaker series presented by the OCAD U Library. It's a forum for anyone (undergrad or graduate students, staff or faculty) to present in a supportive environment. Take a break over lunch to learn about new opportunities for Toronto creative researchers!

Interested in presenting at Research Wednesdays? We are currently programming our 2019 winter schedule (January to April). Send an email to Daniel Payne ( and include:

  • brief 250 word description of your talk
  • indication of which Wednesdays would be available for you
  • list of technological needs
  • ideal set up of the presentation seating arrangement
  • description of any participatory activities that may be used (NOTE: any focus groups or survey-type activities may need Research Ethics Board approval, so be prepared to include this in your proposal)
Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Library's Learning Zone, 113 McCaul Street, Level 1. Also accessible from 122 St. Patrick Street
416-977-6000 ext. 217

Kate Sellen

Dr Kate Sellen is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCADU and a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair nominee. She leads the Healthcare and Resilient Experience Research Group at OCAD U. She is also Director of the Health Design Master’s Program. At OCADU she has served on several program committees, as well as university wide committees and initiatives, and several hiring committees. Kate spent her early career as an interaction designer leading design research, digital strategy, and interaction design in the private sector.

Jason Goodman, UX Instructor

Jason Goodman is a Sessional Instructor at OCAD University, having taught UX Design & Prototyping at the Masters Level, Toy Design at the Undergraduate level, as well as corporate training with both continuing education and OCAD Co. (the corprate/business training division). 

We’re all misfit consumers — we need inclusive design

Photo credit: Christina Gapic
Friday, August 26, 2016

We’re all misfit consumers — we need inclusive design” — In her article, Jutta Treviranus, director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University, discusses a course titled Unlearning And Questioning, part of the two-year master’s study in Inclusive Design, intended to question assumptions, unlearn conformity and remove boundaries to thought. The students from very diverse backgrounds are challenged with unlearning the fear of “drawing outside the lines” — the compunction to label, sort, rank, filter and conform. They relearn the priceless value of mistake-making and failure. The ultimate learning outcome is a “radical form of inclusive design” that is seen as the next generation of design thinking. The inclusive-design students imagine scenarios of successful innovation agendas, stretching into several successive generations. They consider the potential impact on the complex adaptive system that is our global society. The class soon discovers that if we are rethinking innovation, we also need to rethink common assumptions about entangled factors such as markets, customers, employment, design, research and development. Invariably, our inclusive design students propose that the innovation race we should embark upon is not a race against other countries, but a race against escalating economic disparity and environmental deterioration. They conclude that collaboration and inclusion are good economic strategies – and challenges that Canada is uniquely prepared to accept.

Kate Sellen

"My research broadly addresses design thinking and human factors for challenges in healthcare with a focus on resilience and creativity in innovation for safety critical and distributed healthcare. My research aligns with healthcare system goals of enhancing the efficient delivery of healthcare, preventing iatrogenic events, and assisting patients and home caregivers to effectively manage home care.

Jana Macalik

Jana joined the Faculty of Design in 2014 as a tenured Associate Professor in the Environmental Design program from her previous position in the School of Interior Design at Ryerson University. She holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. She has received the NCIDQ certificate and is a member of IDEC and ARIDO.

Alexander Manu

Alexander Manu is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author.

Public Presentation: Patty Johnson,Tenure Track Candidate, Faculty of Design

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - 3:00pm

Patty Johnson has 16 years of professional experience as a designer, curator, lecturer and teacher. Patty is currently working on two research projects that has relevance to OCAD. The first is a research initiative with the Rotman School of Management, the Designworks Centre and the North–South Project. The Second is the creation of a new design program for the interior space of the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Office in Toronto that will be rolled out in all offices across Ontario. Since 1998, Patty has taught at a variety of institutions including Sheridan Institute, School of Animation, Art and Design, the Royal Ontario Museum, and OCAD.

Venue & Address: 
Room 669, Level 6 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario


The Data Materialization Lab engages with the portrayal of human emotions and emotional gestures in autistic people, bringing together artists, designers and scientists concerned with emotion research.  The Autism and Emotion (e-Motion) research includes the study of facial expressions, bodily emotions, sequential gestures of emotions and artificial emotions.  e-Motion examines the intersections between art production and emotion studies by utilizing affective 3D visualization techniques. These objectives create a unique hub for research into emotions employing leading edge technologies in a creative studio/ lab setting, attracting psychologists and others to make use of the setting to improve the lives of autistic people.

Autism Society Canada advocates research in to the development of better outcomes for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).   By better understanding ASD’s and encouraging understanding of emotional development and artistic production in autistic people, the e_Motion Research Lab engages with research that is on the leading edge of emotion research, research of ASD’s, and data visualization.

Researchers seek to enable and connect autistic persons with an awareness of their emotional responses.  In autistic people, communication and emotion regulation can be difficult, and interpersonal interactions become overwhelming, stressful or frustrating.  Communication difficulties combined with atypical visual and auditory perception in ASD makes traditional learning challenging, and suggests that independent, spontaneous and sensory-based learning comes more naturally to persons with ASD.

Autism and Art

One of the most well known advocates for understanding ASD, as well as the ethical treatment of animals, is Dr. Temple Grandin.  Dr. Grandin writes in her book Thinking in Pictures how as a child she learned and accepted that visualization for her is automatic – to translate words in to pictures.  Where autistic people tend to be poor communicators they excel at visual and spatial skills.  With this in mind, it is important that the research done in the e_Motion lab engages with the visual through data visualization.  By drawing on the strong set of visual spatial skills of the autistic person and through the research done and resultant production of artwork through 3D technology, Dr. Rauch will be able to provide insight to understanding the emotional and communication elements of a person with ASD.

Context of e_Motion

Within the overall autism spectrum, a person may range from very low to very high on empathetic and emotional responses. Therefore autism can exemplify more general views of emotions, e.g. the ability to read and understand facial expressions of emotions in social situations. Often autistic people do not recognize emotional facial expression or body gesture in others, as eye contact is avoided. The autistic child learns differently from non-autistic peers (Matsumoto, 2007) and studies have shown that emotion plays a role in learning (Ekman, 2003).  Therefore e_Motion research combines the study of autistic emotions with emotional creation. The relationship between art creation and emotion has a long history – as seen for example, in the work of international contemporary artists Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler and Bill Viola, (Paul, 2008) who use electronic and digital media to express their ideas – but the study of creation and autism is not developed and the application of emerging technologies in this context is also novel.

Dr. Rauch will introduce in to this research the field of art and design, and establish arts-based research with artistic and non-artistic autistic subjects.  Drawing upon the emergent methodologies of art-based research, Dr. Rauch will approach this research project in order to benefit autistic people in understanding emotion and communication as well as the way in which data visualization and 3D printing can be used in research with human participants.  Arts-based research with human participants is an emergent and developing field of research and research ethics, where exciting and engaging dialogue has been introduced in the international research community.


Why e_Motion is innovative and critical:

1)    To engage in critical research of understanding ASDs; to benefit people with ASDs in order to better understand emotion, communication, and artistic or creative impulse to communicate; to provide a forum for people with ASDs to engage in arts-based research, production, and exhibition.

2)    To utilize a 3D environment, and manipulate emotional expressions and gestures with haptic devices, to produce 2D and 3D representations (e.g. digital animation, holographic images, and rapidform processed sculptural works) for artistic and scientific analyses.

3)    To examine the intersections between art production and emotion studies by utilizing affective 3D visualization techniques. To provide the opportunity for artistic practice to play a major role in empathy and emotion research and embodies art-led practice-based interdisciplinary research.

4)    To engage in interdisciplinary research across the disciplines of art, design, cognitive science and emergent technologies.

5)    To be on the leading edge of emergent technologies in data visualization: to contribute to an expanding scholarship of emotion research in autistic subjects to art-based research and technology.

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 9:15pm