Mayor John Tory visits Winter Stations

Mark Tholen, Jason Wong, John Tory and Mary-Margaret McMahon
Group of students and professor inside Steam Canoe
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 5:00am

Environmental Design professor Mark Tholen and his students were applauded by the Toronto mayor and city councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon on Sunday during a visit to the Steam Canoe installation.

Part of the Winter Stations exhibition on the Toronto Beaches, the structure is made of laminated wood panels curved like the prow of a canoe. Solar tubes at the rear of the structure generate fog by turning snow into steam.

Students Curtis Ho, Jungyun Lee, Monifa Onca Charles, Reila Park, Hamid Shahi, Lambert St‐Cyr, Jaewon Kim and Jason Wong worked with Tholen to create and install the temporary shelter.  

The exhibition, themed Freeze/Thaw, consists of seven installations built over lifeguard towers which visitors can enter, climb and interact with. OCAD U, Ryerson and Laurentian University were invited to submit their designs, while international artists and designers were selected via juried submission.    

Freeze/Thaw runs on the waterfront from Woodbine to Victoria Park avenues and continues through March 20.

OCAD U and Ryerson students team up to win Red Bull Basement University Competition

Anna Pogossyan and Temirlan Toktabek. Photo courtesy: Red Bull/Michael Krosny
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 3:00pm

Anna Pogossyan, a fourth year OCAD U Environmental Design student and her collaborator, Temirlan Toktabek, a fourth year Ryerson University student, are the inaugural winners of the Red Bull Basement University competition. Held in Berlin, the duo competed against students from 16 countries and more than 800 entries.

Their winning creation, Vacant, is a system that allows students to get real-time information on available study spaces across campus. Based on a series of motion-sensitive sensors, Vacant is able to provide accurate data for desk and room availability on demand.

“Vacant allows for a stress-free, plan-ahead and waste-no-time student lifestyle, while providing insights for the universities about its facilities usage,” said Pogossyan. “We thought that implementing a design strategy that incorporates robotics, data collection and infographics is a way to solve this problem.”

Red Bull Basement University is a platform for students to challenge the status quo and co-create to drive change on campus through technology. The competition included four days of inspirational workshops, lectures, mentorship sessions and other activities, wrapping up in a final pitching competition.

The team's next moves are to meet with universities in Canada to run their first pilot and work out the technicalities of the prototypes.

Temirlan Toktabek and Anna Pogossyan. Photo courtesy: Red Bull/Michael Krosny.

Environmental Design Student Anna Pogassyan wins national competition

Anna Pogassyan from OCAD U and Temirlan Toktabek from Ryerson (team) are one of 15 winners of the International Competion organized by Red Bull Basement University and our project will represent Canada at the Global Summit in Berlin!

OCAD U Environmental Design Student Anna Pogossyan heads to Berlin!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 7:30am

The main goal of this competition was to come up with an idea that would benefit students and campuses around the world. All ideas were presented in short, 60 second long videos, outlining the main problem and a proposed solution in a form of a pitch.

Winning teams from each country are now presented with funding, mentorship, space, tools and materials to further develop their projects and create first prototypes. In our case, we are envisioning it to be an arduino-based motion sensor and an app, reading the information real-time. We understand that technical ins and outs might and will change, so a lot of issues will be resolved during the prototyping stage within the next 30 days.

All winners of Red Bull Basement University Challenge:

Youtube video about Vacant:

More about our project:

Little PDF book that we made:


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Student Designer – Design4 Program

Design4 logo
Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 8:30am

Note: Are you a current student who is looking to get paid work experience in design? See below for the link to the application form via the OCAD U Talent Network.
Design4 is a new externally funded initiative that introduces principles of experiential learning into the realm of paid professional opportunities for upper year students in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, at both the Undergraduate (BDES) and Masters (MDES) levels. Design4 is geared towards current students in the Faculty of Design.

45 students will be selected to participate in Design4 and placed in smaller multidisciplinary groups of 3-4. Each group will be paired with an employment partner in one of the following sectors:

· Start-up/ new ventures (a small business that has just been started)
· SME private enterprise (small and medium enterprises that employ fewer than 500 employees)
· Arts and cultural (social and economic activity that focuses on artistic production)
· Social innovation/ not-for-profit entities (dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view)

Summary of Responsibilities:

The work will include creating solutions to various design challenges set by the employer. Students will be working on a part-time basis for 10 hours each week per student. Students will have mentorship and support from the employment supervisor, a dedicated Faculty member and a staff member from the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers.

Where will the work happen?

On campus in the new Rosalie Sharp building (115 McCaul), as well as at the employer’s place of work.

Is this a paid opportunity?

Yes. You will be compensated for your time.

Required documents

  • A 250-word statement explaining why this program would be beneficial to you and outline your design skills and interests
  • Resume (max. 3 pages)
  • Student e-mail, student ID number, program, year of study
  • Provide a link to your portfolio (included on CV or resume)
  • Where you are based (eg address, Etobicoke or downtown Toronto etc)
  • Due to low enrollment at OCAD University, priority will be given to students who identify as Indigenous and/or Black. Do you self-identify as a Black* person or as an Indigenous* person of North America? (Please see definitions below)



If you don't have a web-based portfolio, you can create one for free as a student on Format (

* Indigenous: those who self-identify as Indigenous Peoples of North America or Peoples of Turtle Island. This can include status and non-status First Nations, Métis, and Inuit as well as those with mixed/multi-racial/multi-national identities

* Black: a person who is of and/or a descendant of African peoples AND who experiences systematic racism based on that heritage.

Note: To apply for this job you need to have some documents uploaded to the Talent Network. 


Deadline to apply: September 13, 2018

Call for Submissions - Career Launcher: Come up To My Room 2019

The Gladstone Hotel and OCAD U Career Development are excited to announce the Come Up To My Room Career Launcher. Successful applicant(s) will transform a hotel room into a complete immersive, “otherworldly” environment art installation. In addition to the exhibition opportunity, the Career Launcher recipient will also receive a production grant from the CEAD.

Environment Design students place Third at the Canadian Specification Design Competition

CSC competition winners - third place
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 7:45am

Three Environmental Design students have placed third in the Canadian Specification Design Competition using their third year Core Design Hotel / Hospitality project " Dark Room" for submission.   



Team: Feeleng Leng, Lily Ni, Tory Wang 

OCAD U Environmental Design graduate Pedram Karimi

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 10:00am to Friday, January 19, 2018 - 5:00pm

Pedram Karimi's contribution to the current show at the McCormick Gallery of the Boston Architectural College. The exhibit, which includes architectural drawings, VR and interactive stations, as well as a display of museum objects, is about the aesthetics and architectonics of an abolitionist neighborhood in New Bedford, MA. The show is curated by faculty at UMass and was partially funded by Perkins and Will. It was just opened at the Boston Architectural College's McCormick Gallery (Nov 19-Jan 29). Pedram was responsible for several large-scale architectural panels and projects as well as a large urban model of the Abolitionist Row of New Bedford. I will be participating in the grand opening and panel discussion on Dec 1.

Venue & Address: 
McCormick Gallery of the Boston Architectural College

OCAD U congratulates Sergej Mileski, winner of Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship

Sergej Mileski
Friday, July 14, 2017 - 11:15am

For the second year in a row, an OCAD U Environmental Design student has been selected for the prestigious New York-based Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship. OCAD U student Sergej Mileski is one of thirteen winners of the 2017 scholarship program. Launched in 2002, the Angelo Donghia Foundation awards scholarships to deserving students who are entering their senior year in a Baccalaureate Degree Program in Interior Design.

This year, winners were selected from sixty-nine student projects submitted by accredited institutions. Each student winner will receive up to a $30,000.00 (CAD $28,000.00) scholarship to be applied to their senior year tuition, board, maintenance and books.

"The Donghia scholarship provides a platform that distinguishes potential interior designers,” says Mileski. “With that being said, receiving the Donghia Scholarship would be instrumental in creating a successful path towards a career in interior design, and will greatly assist in paying my tuition and expenses in my fourth year of study."

The Angelo Donghia Foundation, a privately held not-for-profit organization, provides support for two distinct fields: the advancement of education in the field of interior design; and initiatives pertaining to the discovery of causes of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and its related diseases and treatments. Since its launch, the Foundation has awarded in excess of $12,500,000 to the above causes.

OCAD U alumnus awarded Peter Prangnell Travelling Scholarship

Monday, April 3, 2017

Parham Karimi (BDes, Environmental Design, 2013), master’s student at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto, has been awarded a scholarship to fund a study trip to Morocco.

This scholarship will allow Karimi to travel and meet with stakeholders and conduct further research for his thesis project titled “Women’s multipurpose co-op program of Mesti (Morocco): space, power and difference.” The project examines the issue of space dichotomy in Islamic societies, craft and materials and women’s co-op programs in Iran and Morocco. The government of Morocco will collaborate with Karimi to complete the project. 

His brother, Pedram Karimi (BDes, Environmental Design, 2016) has also been admitted to U of T's Master of Architecture program. This term, five OCAD U students were admitted to the U of T Master of Architecture, an unprecedented number of OCAD U admissions to a single program.  

The Peter Prangnell Award provides travel funds to students enrolled in the Daniels faculty at the U of T. The award is given on the basis of financial need and the merit of the applicants’ proposals. The award funds travel to a specific location where the student will remain for a minimum of a week to study the way architecture, landscape, urban design, or some other aspect of the human-built modeled environment shapes and/or is shaped by everyday life.