Canadian Art Launch: Special Issue on Art Schools

Canadian Art
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 - 11:00pm to Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 1:00am

Join Canadian Art as we launch our first-ever education issue, featuring stories on major art schools across the country.

Included are reports on Emily Carr University in Vancouver, UQAM and Concordia in Montreal, NSCAD in Halifax and OCAD in Toronto. Plus: Art departments across Canada, new programs in curatorial studies worldwide and 10 of this year’s top art grads.

This issue is chock-full of topical lessons on the state of art education in Canada.

From Vancouver, Deborah Campbell looks at the Emily Carr University’s widely respected painting department, while, from Montreal, former Tate curator Christina Bagatavicius reports on how art programs at UQAM and Concordia are shaping that city’s vibrant art scene.

Writer Gary Michael Dault examines the future of the newly renovated Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and Winnipeg artist Paul Butler writes about his new residency at the Banff Centre that reimagines art training in terms of communal workshops.
In Toronto, Noah Richler discusses the impact of creative-economy theories on the Ontario College of Art and Design with president Sara Diamond and author Richard Florida, and University of Guelph fine art program director John Kissick offers his perspective on art departments at major Canadian universities, accompanied by a special artist project by Kristan Horton. For an international perspective, artist and writer Eldon Garnet reports from Italy on an international conference about new university programs in curatorial studies.

As a special addition to the issue, art columnist Leah Sandals surveys a cross-section of this year’s art school graduates on how their schools have influenced their art practices.

The winter 2008 issue of Canadian Art is on newsstands from December 15, 2008 to March 15, 2009.

Venue & Address: 
Elizabeth and Goulding Lambert Lounge (Rm 187) 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Sara Diamond: How much do we need to understand each other to work together?

Sara Diamond
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - 6:00pm

OCAD President Sara Diamond speaks at Colloquium at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.

"The boundary object is an ethnographic term that describes objects, processes, or words that cross between cultures or disciplines. Boundary objects are often the currency and the result of cross disciplinary practices. All manner of things, from software, to maps, to theories can provide a rich terrain for misunderstanding, tentative agreements or new insights. Case studies of cross-disciplinary art and science collaborations or design and engineering projects will provide examples."

Students enrolled at surrounding universities and institutes are welcome to attend. Transportation for groups can often be arranged and generally involves a ride via Perimeter Institute's Shuttle Van service.

For details contact Debbie Guenther at (519) 569-7600 x6151.

Venue & Address: 
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics 31 Caroline St. N, Waterloo, Ontario

Designs on the Economy

Sara Diamond
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - 3:45pm to 5:30pm

The Economic Club of Toronto presents a talk by OCAD President Sara Diamond entitled "Designs on the Economy".

Everything around us is designed. Design capability and ownership of the resulting intellectual property is the core competitive factor separating emerging and established economies. Excellent design is the factor that attracts consumers to new products in a media and consumer-driven global economy. Design is fundamental to technology transfer, new business processes and new manufacturing methods. Canada has core strengths in design, but we are increasingly challenged by India, China and other emerging nations who are investing to build capacity. To compete effectively, Canadian business needs to invest in design. Learn why, what and how.

Lunch will be served; advance registration is required – numbers are limited.

Venue & Address: 
Intercontinental Hotel 225 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario
$75 Individual with tables of 10 available

Adam Bly: “The 21st Century Scientific Revolution”

Adam Bly
Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 11:45pm

Sara Diamond, President of the Ontario College of Art & Design invites you to attend a free lecture by Adam Bly, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Seed Media Group. Bly is the first of three keynote speakers in the 2008–2009 President’s Speaker Series.
At the age of 16, Adam Bly became the youngest researcher at the National Research Council Canada (NRC), where he spent three years studying cell adhesion and cancer. While at the NRC, Bly identified a cultural shift in the making: Science is transforming business, politics, the arts and current affairs unlike ever before; today, science affects every single person on the planet and science literacy is essential to modern society.
“We are on the cusp of a 21st century scientific renaissance marked by accelerated advancement in neuroscience, theoretical physics and genetics, a culture war between science and religion, and the application of science as a tool for social change and economic development,” says Bly. “What is catalyzing this cultural shift, who is leading it, and where are we going from here?”
The President’s Speaker Series continues on February 5 with Lisa Jevbratt, new media artist and Associate Professor, University of California at Santa Barbara, and on March 5 with Marie Battiste, Professor and Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre (AERC) at the University of Saskatchewan and Co-director of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Advanced Visualization: A Boom with a View

ORION summit
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

A session – leading up to a full-day workshop at co-hosted by OCAD and SHARCNET – exploring the impact of advanced visualization technologies in science and design. Advanced visualization is transforming the approach, implementation and outcomes of collaboration and research in such diverse fields as bioinformatics, human-computer interaction, geography, language visualization, environmental sciences, physics, as well as collaborative, interactive teaching and learning.

Note: There is a half-day workshop on this topic being held at OCAD on Wednesday, November 5. If you are interested in attending, please contact Hilary Krupa at for more details.

Session Chair: Sara Diamond, President, Ontario College of Art & Design
President of OCAD University (Ontario College of Art & Design), Canada's largest and most diverse art and design university. Diamond is building OCAD's capacities in undergraduate learning, research and graduate studies, as well as building links with medical and scientific research. Before moving to OCAD in 2005, she was the award-winning Director of Research at The Banff Centre and Artistic Director of Media and Visual Arts for fourteen years. She founded the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and since then, with her team at Banff and a number of national and international partners, has built the BNMI into a globally recognized content incubator, workshop and think tank. Diamond's network reaches from Asia to Eastern Europe, Brazil, and the Arctic; from research labs to Silicon Valley; from television to software development. She is currently co-principle investigator on the Mobile Digital Commons Network. Her research and publications explore software visualization and the history of media art.

Pierre Boulanager, Professor, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

Dr. Boulanger graduated from Laval University in Engineering Physics. He also received his Masters in Physics from the same university and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Montreal. He worked for 18 years at the National Research Council of Canada as a senior research officer where his primary research interests were 3D computer vision, rapid product development, and virtualized reality systems. Since 2001, he has been a professor at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta doing research and teaching on virtualized reality systems. He is also an adjunct scientist and principal investigator for new media at TRLabs and at the Banff Centre. In 2004, Dr. Boulanger was awarded an iCORE industrial chair in Collaborative Virtual Environment. He is also the Director of the Advanced Man-Machine Interface Laboratory. On the commercial side, Dr Boulanger is the president of PROTEUS Consulting Inc., an Alberta-based consulting firm specializing in Virtual Reality Applications.

Chaomei Chen, Associate Professor, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University
Dr. Chaomei Chen is associate professor in the College of Information Science and Technology at Drexel University and a visiting professor at Brunel University in the United Kingdom since 2002. He received his bachelor degree in mathematics from Nankai University, China, his master's degree in computation from the University of Oxford and his doctorate in computer science from the University of Liverpool. His research interests include information visualization, knowledge domain visualization and mapping scientific frontiers. Dr. Chen is the author of Information Visualization: Beyond the Horizon and Mapping Scientific Frontiers: The Quest for Knowledge Visualization. He is the founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Information Visualization. He received the 2002 ASIST/ISI Citation Research Award. He is a member of the Thomson Scientific Strategic Advisory Board and the principal investigator of research grants from NSF and other sponsors. Dr. Chen created the widely used software CiteSpace for visualizing and analyzing emerging trends in scientific literature.

Venue & Address: 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 255 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario

CFI Open Discussion

Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 1:30pm

President Sara Diamond and VP Research & Graduate Studies Michael Owen invite you to brainstorm on CFI possibilities and funding opportunities.
An open discussion shall be held on March 20,
from 9:30-10:30am
at the Beal Institute, Rm 600, Level 6, 100 McCaul.
If you would like to attend, RSVP by email to

Venue & Address: 
Beal Institute, Rm. 600, Level 6 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Back to Basics: Preserving Traditional Art & Design Practices in the Digital Age

Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 10:00pm to 11:30pm

The OCAD Student Union presents the forum "Back to Basics: Preserving Traditional Art and Design Practices in the Digital Age". All faculty, technicians, managers, staff and students are invited to attend.


6:05 pm: Vladimir Spicanovic
Vladimir Spicanovic, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Art, will discuss the way in which he sees his work as a painter as a commentary on contemporary media and the ways the addresses issues of contemporary and non-contemporary in his painting.

6:10 pm: Doreen Balabanoff
Doreen Balabanoff, Assistant Dean, First Year in the Faculty of Design will discuss her own design practice.

6:15 pm: Charles Reeve
Charles Reeve, Curator, explores our understanding of the words "tradition" and "traditional," observing the constantly shifting meanings attributed to them. Reinforcing the importance of these concepts, he will highlight their complexity.

6:20 pm: Sara Diamond
President Sara Diamond, taking a perhaps less theoretical approach to the issues before the forum, will comment on such matters as a perceived decline in studio time and concrete measures being undertaken to address them such as the recently announced pilot project of Saturday evening extended hours and the permanent move to extend hours Sunday-Friday for the last six weeks of term. To discuss the specific ways in which the DFI will be implemented.

6:25 pm: Jessica Kamphorst
Jessica Kamphorst will speak from her dual position as President of the OCAD Foundation and Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations; to discuss efforts to raise funds to improve the student experience at OCAD such as the current campaign to raise OTSS funds; and to discuss the importance of fostering alumni relations – to raise the profile of OCAD, to generate concrete support, to generate respect and good will that results in referral of prospective students by satisfied alumni and to generate a network of ambassadors for the university.

Venue & Address: 
Auditorium 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

By Design - OCAD University/Report on Business series continues

Data visualization depicting comments related to sections of the Globe and Mail newspaper
Monday, August 22, 2016 - 4:00am

Sara Diamond, Patricio Davila and Steve Szigeti have collaborated on an op-ed titled There's no Big Data without intelligent interface . The piece is part of the OCAD U/Globe and Mail summer series “By Design" highlighting design thinking, issues and innovation.


Research addressed RBC need for tools to help identify the emotional response of clients regarding bank services in order to improve their customer services. As of date, they are interested in a software solution to help them visualize networks of subsidiaries, in order to analyse money flow between different counterparts (borrowers and lenders)



To develop visualization analysis tools which can be used (internally) by RBC to better understand existing data.



Gali, G., Oliver, S., Diamond, S. & Chevalier, F. (2012). Visualizing Sentiments in Business--Customer Relations with Metaphors, in ACM Proceedings  of the SIGCHI conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12), pp. 1493—1498.

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 3:45pm
Lab Member: 
Dr. Sara Diamond
Dr. Steve Szigeti
Dr. Fanny Chevalier



This project intends to develop tools to support media companies in transition from print to digital through addressing the following research questions:

1) How do subscribers and non-subscribers consume print and/or online media – what is similar and what different?

2) How can social media data be leveraged to build and retain readers, and to inform a sophisticated next generation personalized recommendation system?  


The Globe & Mail


Dr Sara Diamond and Dr Steve Szigeti


Diamond, S. & Szigeti, S. (2013). Social Media Data Visualization Case Study: Globe and Mail. Workshop: CIVDDD Collaborative Research in Big Data Analytics and Visualization. At CASCON 2013, November 18-20, 2013. Toronto, ON.conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’12), pp. 1493--1498.

Oliver, S., Gali, G., Chevalier, F. & Diamond, S. (2012). Discursive Navigation  of Online  News,  in ACM  Proceedings  of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS’12), pp. 82—85.

Research Paper image
Monday, August 11, 2014 - 3:45pm
Lab Member: 
Dr. Sara Diamond
Dr. Fanny Chevalier
Symon Olivier