Graduate students win international recognition from Association of Professional Futurists

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 3:30pm

Students from OCAD University’s Strategic Foresight & Innovation (SFI) graduate program picked up four awards at the Association of Professional Futurists (APF) 2014 Student Recognition Competition this month. Entries came from 26 universities around the world, including teams from Australia, India and Finland. The AFP represents professional futurists — people who study the future in order to help global corporations, small businesses, consultancies, education, non-profits and governments prepare for and gain advantage from coming changes.

The competition aims to recognize students who do outstanding work in futures studies. Associate Professor Suzanne Stein organized OCAD U’s student individual and team submissions, including work from both the SFI program and OCAD U’s Digital Futures program. The student work came out of the Foresight Studio, co-instructed by Stein and Assistant Professor Stuart Candy, as well as an Independent Study with Associate Professor Peter Jones. An international jury included OCAD U SFI graduate Zan Chandler (she was not permitted to review her Alma Mater submissions to avoid bias).

"A professional futurist studies possible, probable and preferable futures in order to help people understand, anticipate, prepare for and gain advantage from coming changes,” said Stein. “It is not the goal of a futurist to predict, but to assist others to understand their strategic options, in order to enable wiser decisions today."

Each student team was partnered with an industry ambassador or advisor to help ground the conversation in concerns, dilemmas and understandings that are critical to their industries today. Participation in this year’s competition builds on a new project in Foresight Studio called Time Machine, where students produce reports on possible future scenarios as well as create design-led, immersive simulations of selected stories for students, faculty, and community participants to explore.

APF Student Recognition Competition Achievements:

Graduate Individual:

Melissa Daly-Buajitti:
Towards a New Social Economy
(Second Prize)
Comparing the key functions driving social interaction within Twitter to exchanges of commodity and currency, Daly-Buajitti’s project proposes a framework by which to conceive of an emerging "social economy," and discusses the impacts such a format of socializing might have on our sense of self and interpersonal relationships.  

Graduate Team:

Zahra Ebrahim, Jonathan Hoss, Karen Maxwell and Shannah Segal:
Futures of Broadcast
(First Prize)
With the assistance of an industry ambassador from TVO, the team examined the potential evolution of Canadian public broadcasting over the next two decades.

Hilary Best, Jennifer Chan, Karen Oikonen and Lauren Snowball:
Futures of Foreign Aid (Second Prize)
With an ambassador from Engineers Without Borders, the team produced a detailed overview of possible futures for the foreign aid sector through the year 2040.

Alternative Format:

Melissa Daly-Buajitti, Mark Singh and Adam Starkman:
Futures of Affluence
(Second prize)
Core to this team’s project was “Nousopoly,” a new take on a well-known board game based on the dynamics of winner-takes-all capitalism, but redesigned to reflect a multiple-currency landscape in 2053. The team had ambassadorial input from Scotiabank.

“The Strategic Foresight & Innovation program has crafted a unique offering where design pedagogy and foresight practice meet. These awards demonstrate what a powerful combination that can be,” said Candy.

OCAD U to offer Master of Design in Inclusive Design; Graduate Program in Digital Futures

Monday, January 31, 2011 - 8:15pm

(Toronto — January 31, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) is now accepting applications for two new graduate programs: a Master of Design (MDes) in Inclusive Design* and a Graduate Program in Digital Futures (Graduate Diploma and MA, MDes, MFA)*. Applications for the 2011/2012 term will be accepted until Monday, May 2, 2011.

“These unique new programs address the Canadian digital economy’s ever-increasing demand for artists, designers, innovators and leaders in the fields of inclusive design, digital media and new technologies,” explained Dr. Helmut Reichenbächer, Associate Vice-President, Research and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at OCAD U. “The MDes in Inclusive Design, the first program of its kind in Canada and one of only two in the world, builds on and benefits from the recent addition of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute to our campus, led by world-renowned inclusive design expert Jutta Treviranus. It is the only program in Ontario directly building capacity needed to address Ontario's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The Graduate Program in Digital Futures features unique partnerships with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab and the University of Waterloo, and builds on OCAD U's demonstrated strengths in practice and research in the fields of digital art, design and media.”

These new programs promise to produce graduates with the highly sought after skills and expertise needed in Canada’s creative and digital economies and present a significant contribution to further diversify Ontario’s expanding postsecondary education system.

Master of Design in Inclusive Design

What is Inclusive Design?
Inclusive Design is design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference.

Inclusive design is important because:

  • An aging demographic with associated dramatic rise in incidence of disabilities makes accessibility an increasing concern;
  • Access to online services can no longer be considered optional — it is an essential part of daily life;
  • Exclusion and inequality have broad and devastating social and economic impacts for society as a whole, not only the excluded.

The focus of the MDes in Inclusive Design will be on building inclusive design expertise in digital media and information and communication technologies (ICT) and practices. This innovative program responds to the increasing demand for designers and developers with specialized knowledge in inclusive design principles and practices, and will produce graduates with the capacity to form, lead and sustain a much-needed community of expertise on digital inclusion, spanning multiple sectors. Graduates will apply their studies in all sectors that engage digital media and ICT systems, including government and education sectors, digital industries, entertainment, arts, culture, health, communication design, wayfinding, architectural systems design, mobile and interactive industries and many others.

The MDes in Inclusive Design is a low residency, two-year program with an executive style delivery format to accommodate the needs of working professionals and international students.

Key Features of the MDes in Inclusive Design:

  • The program is designed to be fully accessible to students and faculty with diverse needs, including students with disabilities and students for whom English is a second language.
  • Two on-site intensive summer sessions each year in which students will be engaged in intensive academic programming and collaborative experiences to familiarize them with fellow students, faculty members and researchers.
  • Innovative, engaging and interactive online courses which use highly interactive and engaging instructional design techniques. These include online collaborative group activities, discussion forums with guest experts, moderated synchronous chats, and guided online tours of both online and physical sites and examples.
  • Multidisciplinary seminars co-taught by world leaders in inclusive design and emerging information and communication technologies and practices.
  • Student engagement in successful, open source, open access international research projects addressing a rich diversity of issues and challenges related to inclusive design of ICT systems and practices.
  • A major culminating project relating to a real world issue that both develops and demonstrates the knowledge and skills gained during the course of the program.

Graduate Program in Digital Futures (MA, MDes, MFA and Diploma)

The Graduate Program in Digital Futures is a unique, practice-based program situated within the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD U, a set of new cross-disciplinary programs in practice, research and innovation related to digital media and its emergent developments. The program builds on OCAD U's historic strengths in practice and research in art, design and media, providing ongoing innovation and foresight in curriculum, teaching, and creative digital practice.

Graduates of the program will contribute to the development and application of new knowledge in creative digital technology practices, content, and experiences, providing insights into human needs and desires in a technologically dependent world.

The Graduate Program in Digital Futures offers both a part-time Graduate Diploma and a full-time Master’s (MA, MFA or MDes). The Graduate Diploma is a course-based program offered on a part-time basis in order to provide flexible study options for working professionals and practitioners. The Master’s is a full-time practice-based program offered over five semesters.

Key Features of the Graduate Program in Digital Futures:

  • 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. This unique collaboration will afford students the opportunity to engage in an Intensive Project/Prototyping Spring Institute held at the MaRS Discovery District;
  • A cohort-based Digital Media Immersion that kicks off the program with a full two-week grounding in digital futures, providing an introduction to the program and a foundation in the current state of digital practices, along with team building and leadership skills development in partnership with the University of Waterloo;
  • The opportunity for industry and research internships, a term placement with a local, national or international industrial media/technology industry or business. The internship provides students with industry and research opportunities to integrate the knowledge learned in first-year seminars with real world digital media business and production;
  • Participation in the annual Digital Media Producer-in-Residence program which brings internationally renowned practitioners in digital technologies and digital media production to OCAD U and the CFC Media Lab for a one-week residency during which they conduct seminars, and work directly with students on their projects;
  • International exchange opportunities with partner institutions in Europe, India, and South America.

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 www.ocad.ca/gradstudies.

*pending approval from the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

 

Background Information:

About the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute
The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) is the reconstitution of the 16 year-old Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) of the University of Toronto at OCAD U. The IDRC, continuing the important international role of the ATRC, conducts multi-disciplinary, multi-sector research and development on the inclusive design of emerging information and communication systems and practices — or designing for diversity. IDRC research addresses the full lifecycle of information and communication systems and practices — from design to implementation to evaluation and policy. The IDRC research community values collaboration, broad participation, transparency, and openness. The Inclusive Design Institute (IDI) is a regional research hub, led by Jutta Treviranus, funded by both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation with 8 postsecondary institutions as core partners, namely OCAD U, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Sheridan, George Brown College and Seneca College. The IDI shares the research focus of the IDRC. Both IDI and IDRC research projects engage a range of collaborating organizations from around the world.

About the 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. CFC Media Lab is Canada’s acclaimed institute for digital media that provides a unique training, research and production think-tank environment for emerging new media artists, content developers and practitioners. CFC Media Lab has been experimenting with the interactive narrative form since 1997 and in the past ten years, have produced over 60 prototypes ranging from web-based interactive documentaries to “shuffle videos” — the creation of randomly generated movies on the iPod. For more information please visit www.cfccreates.com.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.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.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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 www.ocad.ca/gradstudies.

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 (www.ocad.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.

- 30 -

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)

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 5:15pm

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.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.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

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

New Digital Futures undergraduate major launches next fall at OCAD University

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 25, 2011) A new digital media undergraduate program allowing students to specialize in areas such as business innovation, data visualization, health and wellness and gaming is coming to OCAD University next fall.

The Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) undergraduate program links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

"The Digital Futures undergraduate program links multiple studio-based digital media concentrations in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design, augmenting our existing curriculum with new courses that reflect the expertise and skills of the university's new faculty engaged in research and digital practice," explained OCAD University President, Dr. Sara Diamond. "With the launch of our Digital Futures Masters program in September 2011, and our Digital Futures research program, this new undergraduate major represents the full realization of the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University."

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

BACKGROUND:

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocad.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.

- 30 -

Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

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

OCAD University appoints Tom Barker as Digital Futures Initiative Program Chair

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 5:00am

(Toronto—November 9, 2011) OCAD University announced today it has appointed British designer, technologist and entrepreneur Tom Barker as Chair of its Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) beginning in January 2012.

Barker has worked for 20 years in the built environment, in digital art, architecture and industrial design. Barker's philosophy is based on collaborative continuous learning and embraces innovation, digital space, technology and sustainability. He also has a focus on fusing methods and skills from different disciplines in academia, industry and art.

"Barker's professional practice in architecture, innovation, technology development and design, combined with his demonstrated academic leadership, research excellence and business savvy will guide the continued advancement of our Digital Futures Initiative," said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President. "We look forward to his joining our excellent team of DFI teaching staff and the contributions he'll bring to our new Digital Futures undergraduate and graduate programs and research initiatives."

Barker will be joined by his partner Marie O'Mahony, who has been appointed as a Professor in OCAD U's Faculty of Design. O'Mahony specializes in the impact of technology on textiles and its application in fashion, design and architecture, including explorations of tradition, the machine and the handmade to achieve performance with material aesthetic qualities. Sustainability, smart materials and systems, cyborgs, biomimicry and hybrid materials are areas of particular research that O'Mahony is developing through her books and a TechnoTextile Library. Industry collaboration is vitally important in all of her work.

Tom Barker
Mdes(Eng) RCA MSt(Cantab) BSc(Hons) DIC FRSA FRCA
Design Fellow Royal Commission of 1851

Prior to joining OCAD University, Tom Barker was appointed as the pan-faculty professor of Architecture, Innovation and Design in the faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Barker is currently the director of the research Centre for Contemporary Design Practices, the head of the UrbanAid research group, and runs a masters program in Sustainability, Design and Creative Enterprise. His work in academia has run in parallel to that of his practice, formalizing in 2002 with a Course Master appointment to the Architectural Association, followed by a professorship at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in 2005, and a visiting Fellowship at Melbourne's RMIT University in 2007.

Barker has extensive applied experience of business and intellectual property creation, fund raising, innovation development and commercialisation. His current academic research breaks down into three core themes: Design Enterprise - urban creative industries; Urban Digital Media - digital-physical space hybrids; NextGen - next generation affordable housing.

Along with his peers at the RCA, Barker's work contributed to the top UK university ranking for art and design for the 2008 government Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). His submissions included: the SmartSlab digital interactive display system for architectural use with over 15 patents; a hydraulic, composite Graz Austria Opera stage set with Zaha Hadid; Masterplanning software toolbox for JTC Government client in Singapore to help create a new creative industries masterplan; and intelligent low energy lighting with Richard Rogers Architects using advanced sensors and materials, and inspired by deep sea creatures.

As a designer / technologist / entrepreneur, Barker is well known for his organisational and leadership skills in building up academic design and commercial consortia to undertake challenging initiatives, his fund raising ability, and also his extensive commercial links - including Sony Playstation, Bank of America, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, 3 Mobile, O2 Mobile, B&Q, BenQ, Targetti Lighting, Dyson, McLaren, Sharp Solar, Lend Lease, Arup, and Siemens.

Barker's public profile includes appearances on CNN (USA), Channel 4 (UK), ABC TV and radio (Australia), along with over 100 newspaper and magazine articles.

Marie O'Mahony
BA, PostGradDip (Edinburgh)
Prior to joining OCAD University's faculty, Marie O'Mahony was appointed as Professor of Advanced Textiles at University Technology Sydney (UTS) and Visiting Professor at University of the Arts, London. Her role at UTS is divided between research and teaching in the fashion and textile department and across the design school. Her activities included setting up a new Masters course, creating a TechnoTextiles Library, supervision of PhD and Research Masters students, writing books, book chapters, papers and academic journals. A core priority is building links with industry, such as a fashion project on recycling with Rip Curl sportswear, and new uniforms with integrated technology for Telstra, Australia's main telco provider. She also is a member of the Australian Government's Textile, Clothing and Footwear Innovation Council (TCFIIC).

Prior to taking up the position at UTS O'Mahony was based in London and worked worldwide as a textile and technology consultant for fifteen years. She has worked as an advisor to a wide range of clients on new materials: providing reports on emerging technologies for specific market sectors; problem solving and finding the right materials, manufacturers or technologies for products or applications; organising brainstorming events and symposiums. She is also an author and curator. Books include Cyborg: The Man-Machine (2002) and SportsTech: Revolutionary Fabrics, Fashion and Design (2002) and Techno Textiles 2: Revolutionary Fabrics for Fashion and Design (2007), all published by Thames and Hudson with the forthcoming Advanced Textiles: Design for Wellness and Health scheduled for publication in 2011. Exhibitions curated include Cyborg for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Fabric of Fashion, an international touring exhibition for the British Council and TechnoThreads for Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin. Clients include Zaha M. Hadid, Seymour Powell, Ove Arup and Partners, NIKE and Hussein Chalayan.

BACKGROUND:

The Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University
The launch of OCAD University's Digital Futures Initiative in May of 2007 was made possible through a transformative $2 million annual investment by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that OCAD University leveraged with support from industrial partners and other provincial and federal ministries.

The Digital Futures Initiative supports student learners to become entrepreneurial and research leaders in a future world of ubiquitous digital technology and communication, as well as enabling them to master contemporary digital skills. Drawing on faculty from across the university and working in collaboration with a broad range of Canadian and international private and public sector partners, the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) is a set of new cross-disciplinary programs, research, and innovation activities. Minors, a major, a suite of graduate programs and continuing education offerings are providing learning opportunities in digital art, media and design, and ICT, linking this knowledge to emerging technologies with applications in fields such as art/design and science, sustainability, health and wellness, accessibility, diversity, and global innovation and business development.

Key milestones have included:

  • Enhancement and modernization of OCAD University's curriculum: minors, a major and a suite of graduate programs are now offered:
    Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA) - BFA, BDes;
    Master's in Inclusive Design (MDes); and
    Digital Futures Graduate program (MA, MDes, MFA, Graduate Diploma);
  • Hiring of six new faculty who are digital leaders and additional hiring of digital experts in other program areas;
  • OCAD University has established has launched successful research and commercialization partnerships, leveraging funding from MTCU (including an additional 7.5 in capital funding) and MRI (9 million) to create the Institute for Digital Media Research and Innovation;
  • Roll-out of Digital Infrastructure across the campus and integration of Digital Tools and teaching methods into all aspects of curriculum;
  • Launch of the Centre for Innovation in Arts & Design Education (CIADE);
  • The multi-institutional/multi-industry Inclusive Design Institute led by OCAD U's Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) of 25 researchers;
  • Launch of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), a public-private not-for-profit consortium that brings together students and faculty from OCAD U and other universities and colleges with industry leaders in the quest for groundbreaking digital mobile applications.
  • Acquisition of digital resources for teaching and learning
  • Acceleration of online and blended learning.

 

Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA)
New Undergraduate Major at OCAD U
On October 25, 2011, OCAD University announced the newest additon to its undergraduate programs, Digital Futures: Technology/Innovation/Design/Art (DF:TIDA), for which students can now register to begin in September 2012.

DF:TIDA links digital technology and innovation with Design and Art studio practice. Students will graduate with either a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Bachelor of Design (BDes), with a specialization in digital media and related technologies. Prospective students can apply for the program now through the Ontario Universities Application Centre for the 2012/13 academic year.

DF:TIDA students are able to specialize in one of five areas:

  • Physical Computing
  • Games
  • Data Visualisation
  • Inclusive Design
  • Business

Students in the DF:TIDA program will acquire skills in computation, physical computing, data visualization, screen-based media, gaming, and business, and will be well-positioned to work across the digital media sector from either art, design or critical perspectives.

A compete program overview and course guide is available on the OCAD University website.

Graduate Program in Digital Futures
(Graduate Diploma and MA, MDes, MFA)

OCAD University's graduate program in Digital Futures is a unique, practice-based program for future innovators, leaders, and creators of digital media and new technologies. The program is situated within the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) at OCAD University. Graduates of the program will contribute to the development and application of new knowledge in creative digital technology practices, content, and experiences, providing insights into human needs and desires in a technologically dependent world. Created in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre and University Waterloo at Stratford, the program provides unprecedented opportunities for networking and project development.

The Graduate Program in Digital Futures offers both a Graduate Diploma and Master's (MA, MFA or MDes). The Master's is a full-time practice-based program offered over five semesters. The Graduate Diploma is a course-based six-semester program offered on a part-time basis (with evening courses) in order to provide flexible study options for working professionals and practitioners.

A compete program overview is available on the OCAD University website.

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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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

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

Feminist digital initiative challenges universities’ race for MOOCs

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 4:00am

(Toronto—August 26, 2013) FemTechNet, a network of feminist scholars and educators, is launching a new model for online learning at 15 higher education institutions this fall, including OCAD University. The Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC), is a new approach to collaborative learning and an alternative to MOOCs, the massive open online course model that proponents claim will radicalize twenty-first century higher education. FemTechNet’sfirst DOCC course, “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology,” will launch fall 2013.

The DOCC model for 21st-century higher education recognizes and is built on the understanding that expertise is distributed throughout a network, among participants in diverse institutional contexts. This model explicitly departs from the typical MOOC approach organized around the delivery of information from an “expert” faculty (or a pair of instructors) to the uninformed "masses." The organization of a DOCC emphasizes learning collaboratively in a digital age by enabling the active participation of all kinds of learners (as teachers, as students, as media-makers, as activists, as trainers, as members of various publics and/or social groups). By virtue of its reach across institutions and learning sites, the DOCC also enables the extension of classroom experience beyond the walls, physical or virtual, of a single institution.

The participating institutions range from small liberal arts colleges to major research institutions. They include: Bowling Green State University, Brown University, California Polytechnic State University, Colby-Sawyer College, The CUNY Graduate Center, Macaulay Honors College and Lehman College (CUNY), The New School, Ohio State University, OCAD University, Pennsylvania State University, Pitzer College, Rutgers University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Yale University.

Faculty members at each institution (working singly or in teams) have developed courses within their specific educational setting. Both faculty and students will share ideas, resources, and assignments as a feminist network: the faculty as they develop curricula, and deliver the course in real time; and the students as they work collaboratively with faculty and with each other at their institutions and beyond. Participants may engage as onsite or online students enrolled in a course, or as "at-large" or "drop-in" learners.

At OCAD University, the Digital Futures Initiative will offer “Dialogues in Feminism and Technology” (DIGF 5B90), taught by Dr. Maria-Belén Ordóñez, to graduate and senior undergraduate students. This project has been realized and initiated through the ongoing collaboration of FemTechNet scholars at OCAD U including Dr. Paula Gardner, Dr. Caroline Langill and Dr. Sara Diamond.  Feminist scholars whose research is in media, technology and science at OCAD U will be collaborating through organized discussions that will ultimately facilitate the development of FemTechNet initiatives. A public panel discussion and two video dialogues featuring feminist scholars will be recorded live at OCAD U on September 27: 

Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
September 27, 6 to 8 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Introductions:

  • Dr. Sara Diamond, President, OCAD University
  • Dr. Paula Gardner, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Graduate Studies; Co-Director, Mobile Experience Lab

Moderator:

  • Dr. Anne Balsamo, Dean of the School of Media Studies and Professor of Media Studies, The New School

Participants:

  • Dr. Brenda Laurel, Chair and Professor at the California College of the Arts Graduate Program of Design
  • Dr. Janet Murray, Professor, Graduate Program in Digital Media, School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Kim Sawchuk, Professor, Concordia University
  • Shu Lea Cheang, multimedia artist

Generously supported by a Connection Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

These dialogues are also anchored by video curriculum produced by FemTechNet. “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology” are currently twelve recorded video dialogues featuring pairs of scholars and artists from around the world who think and reimaginetechnology through a feminist lens. Participants in the DOCC — indeed, anyone with a connection to the web — can access the video dialogues, and are invited to discuss them by means of blogs, voice threads and other electronic media. As the course meets, students and teachers can plug in and join the conversation. Through the exchanges and the participants’ input, course content for the DOCC will continue to grow. From this process emerges a dynamic and self-reflective educational model.

The DOCC’s feminist focus highlights the interactions of art, science and technology as foundational knowledge areas for the twenty-first century and aspires to create innovative learning contexts that value the voices and expertise of both students and faculty.

While the DOCC initiative will be piloted primarily in North America, international participation in future projects ensures the kind of challenging dialogue and stakeholder inclusiveness necessary to imagine, and then create, more equitable and socially just educational models in the digital world.

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) 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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For more information please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, OCAD U Marketing & Communications
416 977 6000 x327
mobile: x1327

TALKxTALK: Andrea Di Marco

TALKxTALK: Andrea Di Marco
Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 8:30pm

Service Design: Designing the Invisible

The main goal of service design is to explore the many ways in which communities of people, interested in many different fields, ranging from art, design, product and digital development, and innovation, are merging and influencing each other in the world of material culture, to create great new experiences, both for themselves and the larger society. What makes an experience great? What is the role of design in all this, and how is the role of design changing nowadays? What accounts for success? How are the processes of design and innovation changing?

Businesses are increasingly thinking about services as possible alternatives to the manufacturing driven model of consumption, based on purchase, disposal and replacement. Service design is being developed out of the environmental management literature as an area concerning the investigation of alternative means and possible solutions to balance the need for competitiveness of the many businesses operating in the markets, with the imperative environmental concern. Newly created solutions, also referred to as product-service systems, are designed and combined so that they jointly are capable of fulfilling unmet people needs, in ways that are capable of spiraling up and unveil new synergies and opportunities.

Presented by the Digital Futures Initiative.
The Digital Futures Initiative is a collection of research laboratories, graduate and undergraduate degrees at OCAD University.

 

www.facebook.com/TALKxTALK

 

 

Free

Venue & Address: 
BlackBox 49 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

ENCOUNTER! Digital Futures Graduate Colloquium

ENCOUNTER! Digital Futures Graduate Colloquium
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 1:00pm to Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 6:15pm

The Digital Futures second year Masters candidates will be presenting their research to their advisors, fellow students and the OCAD University Community at large.

The presentations begin at 9am. There will be a chance to ask questions after each presentation.

Please join us!

 

akeeley@ocadu.ca

 

 

Free

Venue & Address: 
Lounge Rm. 187 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

*Grad Studies Info Night @ 205 Richmond

Grad Studies Info Night @ 205 Richmond
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 11:00pm

Programs: Art, Design & New Media Histories / Digital Futures / Interdisciplinary Masters

November 5:
- Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Histories (MA)
- Digital Futures (MDes, MFA, MA and Graduate Diploma)
- Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (MDes, MFA, MA)

Are you willing to embrace a creative future? Then you're ready to consider Graduate Studies at OCAD University — the university of the imagination, in the heart of Canada’s most culturally vibrant city.
We give ideas a place and a space. Our ability to offer graduate students a unique experience is solidly rooted in our 137-year history of delivering uncompromising art and design education. Grounded in practice, theory, research and professionalism, with an eye on experimentation and change, we deliver advanced experiential learning. Our graduate students enjoy unrivalled opportunities to practice with expert faculty, in studios, labs and through exceptional internships.

At OCAD U, we attract curious and creative students who expect something more from their education and are willing to challenge themselves to achieve it. Are you ready to explore, enrich and expand your horizons?
Join us at our Information Nights to learn more about Graduate Studies at OCAD U!

WATCH (video):

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Histories (MA):

Digital Futures (MDes, MFA, MA and Graduate Diploma):

Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (MDes, MFA, MA):

Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes):

More OCAD University Graduate Studies Info Nights:

Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Histories (MA)
Tuesday, November 5, 6 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, November 27,6 to 8 p.m.

Criticism & Curatorial Practice (MFA)
Monday, November 4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Digital Futures (MDes, MFA, MA and Graduate Diploma)
Tuesday, November 5,6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Inclusive Design (MDes)
Monday, November 4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, November 27, 6 to 8 p.m.

Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (MDes, MFA, MA)
Tuesday, November 5, 6 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, November 28, 6 to 8 p.m.

Strategic Foresight and Innovation (MDes)
Monday, November 4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, November 27, 6 to 8 p.m.

All Graduate Studies Information Nights are held at OCAD University, 205 Richmond Street West.

If you are unable to attend the information sessions in person, please email us with any questions about our graduate programs gradstudies@ocadu.ca

Twitter Ask Me Anything:
December 4, 2013 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. sessions
Follow @OCADUgrad

* The Application Deadline for all programs is Monday, January 13, 2014 *

Graduate Studies at OCAD University
205 Richmond Street West
Toronto, Ontario
http://www.ocadu.ca/programs/graduate_studies.htm

For more information, contact:
Office of Graduate Studies
416-977-6000 Ext. 423 or gradstudies@ocadu.ca

 

416 977 6000 x 423

 

www.ocadu.ca/graduate-studies.htm

gradstudies@ocadu.ca

Free

Venue & Address: 
5th Floor 205 Richmond St. Toronto, Ontario

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