New OCAD U research projects featured in Toronto Star

President Sara Diamond, left, and Dr. Alia Weston (photo courtesy: Toronto Star)
Friday, November 9, 2018

OCAD U is conducting research tied to Sidewalk Labs’ proposal for a “smart city” that would be built on a 12-acre site known as Quayside. In mid-September, ten research grants were made available to faculty members at post-secondary institutions and three of these grants were awarded to OCAD U researchers. The initiative is funded by Sidewalk Labs, Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Foundation.

One of the projects that received funding, Culture Creates Bonds, is being led by President Sara Diamond and Dr. Alia Weston. The project, which studies how people build community bonds in neighbourhoods. was featured in the Toronto Star.

The OCAD U teams will be working on projects that address a diverse range of topics including Canadian models of community governance, community bonds and Toronto housing innovation:

1. Smart Communities as Platform Co-operatives

The research team will explore the potential advantages/disadvantages and feasibility of applying the platform co-op model to the development of an online platform that is needed to organize a smart city. The research team has global expertise in platform cooperatives and inclusive design.  

Research team is led by Dr. Jutta Treviranus

2. Housing Typology Innovations

SystemCITY Research Group investigates innovative affordable housing projects, partnerships and possibilities, both locally and globally. This project interprets local affordable housing innovations within the larger context of innovative new global housing typologies and strategies.

Faculty: Jeremy Bowes, Maya Desai, Neal Prabhu

3. Culture Creates Bonds

From OCAD U's Visual Analytics Lab: The study will concentrate on defining a specific set of key drivers, scenarios, and conditions that create natural human bonds in a residential or immediate neighbourhood. The focus of this research is on arts and culture activity within communities.

Faculty: Dr. Sara Diamond, Dr. Alia Weston, Marcus Gordon

Reports are due in late November and the findings will feed into a master plan for the Sidewalk development, slated to be completed by the end of the year or early in 2019.

2018 Ontario Climate Change Consortium symposium

Poster with three circles, with same text as this listing
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 8:30am to Friday, October 12, 2018 - 4:00pm

OCAD University is hosting the 2018 Ontario Climate Symposium on October 11 and 12. The symposium will explore how the development of positive, innovative, interdisciplinary visions can facilitate a transformative cultural shift toward low-carbon communities, sustainable adaptation and the adoption of green infrastructure and design in cities.

The two-day event is open to all, with students receiving a discounted rate. Come participate in a wide range of activities including a neighbourhood tour, short films, interactive presentations, a guided tour of the AGO’s Anthropocene exhibition, workshops and other activities. OCAD U Associate Professors Selmin Kara and Alia Weston are among faculty speaking or leading workshops.

Programming aims to foster a collective discussion on urban landscapes and highlight the interconnection of policy, public health, urban planning, climate change adaptation and mitigation and urban growth.

Register online for this exciting and informative event.

Established in 2011, the OCC works collaboratively with university researchers and partners from the public, private and NGO sectors on projects aimed at answering specific questions related to climate change and creating the intelligence necessary to address climate risk. Its formal mission: To arm decision makers with “regionally-specific climate data, intelligence and adaptation services that enable effective policy and investment responses to climate uncertainty in Ontario.”


OCAD U celebrates launch of CBC’s new digital series This Art Works!

This Art Works! launch event
Friday, July 14, 2017 - 2:15pm

OCAD University celebrated the launch of This Art Works! along with Madeleine Co. and CBC at the Gardiner Museum on July 13.  A new digital CBC series, This Art Works! airing on the CBC Arts online platform, profiles many OCAD U students and recent alumni whose work deals with art and social change.

Dr. Alia Weston, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Zev Farber, Manager, Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers were instrumental in getting this project off the ground on behalf of OCAD University.

Hosted by Amanda Parris (host of CBC Arts’ Exhibitionists) the launch featured an exclusive screening of two episodes. The 10-episode series provides a peek into the curious and often magical behind-the scenes processes of socially innovative artists working today.