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.


Last day to vote Steam Canoe for Architizer award!

Image of a wooden structure on snowy beach with a man walking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Give OCAD U’s Steam Canoe the last push to win an Architizer + people’s choice award - voting closes March 30 and the installation, created for the 2016 Beach Winter Stations exhibition, is among the top in the category of Pavilion. Last check, it was in second position! 

Created by Environmental Design professor Mark Tholen and his students, the structure is made of laminated wood panels curved like the prow of a canoe.

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. 

Steam Canoe has won many kudos, including the Materialica award in Munich and was installed in the OMI Sculpture Park in Ghent, New York.

Technical details:

The shell of the canoe-inspired structure is composed of panels made of wood laminated by the use of Grip Metal™, a Metal Velcro Fastening System. The Grip Metal is an innovative bonding system with micro hooks allowing bonding mechanically without the use of adhesives. It creates a very strong and light-weighted panel that is cost-effective, easy and very fast to manufacture.


Material Innovation Centre Presents Lecture with Josh Beezemer from Corian

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Join us for a presentation on the material qualities, assembly and heat deformation properties of Corian at the MIC. 

Corian is often utilized for countertop surfaces, bathtubs, custom sinks and many other industrial and interior design applications. 

Product design with unilimited heat shaping and seamless joining capacity.

Venue & Address: 
Room 530, 100 McCaul Street
Corian Lecture

Paul Aloisi


Toronto-born, internationally-exhibiting artist, Paul Aloisi, works across several disciplines including mixed media/collage and sculpture/installation. His current work explores human interaction and communication through investigations of public space, architecture, text and their relationships. He frequently works in the public realm; his projects have engaged the public and required their participation. Through experience of his work he aims to reveal the participant's impact on and connection with public space and the social collective.

Roberto Chiotti's book contribution recently published

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 3:00pm

Environmental Design Sessional Instructor Roberto Chiotti has recently contributed with a chapter of the recently published book "A Living, Self-sustaining Spaceship" by Rachel Armstrong, Ed.

His chapter contribution is titled "The dream drives the action: toward a functional cosmology for interstellar travel". It was published by Springer-Praxis Books, Chichester, UK.  

Rachel Armstrong was a keynote speaker for the Urban Ecologies 2015 Conference at OCADU which Roberto Chiotti co-chaired with Bruce Hinds.


Star Ark

Student Lounge Re-Design

interior design
Thursday, April 24, 2008 - 4:00am to Friday, April 25, 2008 - 4:00am

The Jim Meekison Student Lounge (Room 274, Level 2, 100 McCaul Street) is being re-designed and decorated. And it’s being done BY students, FOR students!

As part of their winter semester curriculum, Environmental Design students in Doreen Balabanoff and Marco Jacob’s ENVR 2B15: Colour and Form course were asked to submit proposals for a new look for the student lounge. They were required to consider the following:

The profile of space users; what spaces are currently available to students; what currently takes place in the student lounge; what could take place on campus given the appropriate space;
how space encourages interaction between students; how a space can be multifunctional; how a design can be sturdy, practical, flexible and affordable

From all of the submitted proposals, top designs will be chosen by a panel of representatives from the Student Union (OCADSU), Campus Life & Career Services, Facilities Management, and Doreen Balabanoff and Marco Jacob. The projects will be on display in the Great Hall for two days. Input from the wider campus community is welcome and will be considered in the selection of the winner. Cast your vote between 11 am and 2:30 pm. The winning project proposal will be implemented over the summer months and the successful student will have the satisfaction of overseeing the project. A “grand opening” celebration of the redesigned and improved space will be planned for September 2008.

This pilot project is intended to be the first in an annual effort to improve student space throughout the campus. It will send a positive message about student-designed and student-focused space to the OCAD community.

The project is funded by OCADSU and will be led with assistance from the Student Life & Support Services Committee.

Venue & Address: 
Great Hall Level 2, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario

ED/3D: Models and Environmental Design

Friday, March 14, 2008 - 4:00am to Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 4:00am

These models (from second- and third-year environmental design studios at OCAD) represent only one aspect of the work within environmental design – that of three-dimensional model making. They are the tip of the iceberg. We are not seeing the research or the sketches, plans, sections, elevations or perspectives, let alone the virtual computer modeling of the building. The range, scale and complexity of our programs and our imagined worlds are vast, but models give us something material and measurable: they represent the physical manifestation of creative thought and creative process in the shaping of our built environments.

Venue & Address: 
Urbanscape Gallery 2959 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario


Monday, March 3, 2008 - 5:00am to Friday, March 7, 2008 - 5:00am


models and environmental design

in environmental design we design environments. we make spaces that frame the experiences of daily life –

we start with concepts and move to diagrams, we develop these three dimensionally and then, gradually we develop the shape of space and

imagine its material aspects. every decision either layers the

central idea with complexity and harmony or incrementally diminishes the power and clarity of that idea. every decision carries with it the baggage of agenda – what are the political, ethical, social, ecological concerns we as designers bring with us and how are they challenged within the structure and perceived limitations of any program?

these models (from a variety of second and third year environmental design studios) represent only one aspect of the work within environmental design – that of three-dimensional model making. they are the tip of the iceberg. we are not seeing the research or the sketches, plans, sections, elevations and perspectives let alone the virtual computer modeling of the building.

the range, scale and complexity of our programs and our imagined worlds are vast but models give us something material and measurable.

they represent the physical manifestation of creative thought and creative process in the shaping of our built environments.

stuart m. reid curator
february 2008

Venue & Address: 
Great Hall 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

Environmental Design student earns Donghia Foundation Scholarship

Rendering of a kitchen of Path House concept
Rendering of a kitchen and bedroom of Path House concept
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - 4:00am

Simona Turco is the first OCAD University student to win the prestigious Angelo Donghia Foundation Senior Scholarship, given out annually to students in the field of interior design. Her project was one of 15 chosen from among of 68 submissions.

The $24,500 award will cover Turco’s tuition, books, materials and living expenses.

“Being able to have my work recognized on an international level by professionals in the industry is extremely exciting for me,” said Turco. “This award gives me the confidence and drive to continue producing innovative work that I am proud of.”

Angelo Donghia was an internationally known designer, entrepreneur and graduate of the Parsons School of Design in 1959. At the time of his passing in 1985, Donghia ventures involved furniture, textiles, showrooms and licensing. The Angelo Donghia Foundation provides support for the advancement of education in the field of interior design. The foundation also funds research into the causes and treatment of AIDS.

The Senior Student Scholarship Program in Interior Design was launched in 2002. Students submit their designs for a residential or commercial project for review by a blind jury consisting of interior design professionals, educators and editors.

The merit-based scholarship of up to U.S. $30,000 is to be applied to senior-year tuition, board, maintenance and books. 

Students from schools including Pratt, Parsons, the School of Visual Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design were among the 2016 scholarship applicants. OCAD U’s Turco was the only student to be honoured from a Canadian institution.

“Our students are honoured to be offered this wonderful opportunity by the trustees of the Foundation and to be considered alongside students from some of the most prestigious design schools in North America. We are extremely excited that this win has occurred after only participating in the competition for three years,” said Colleen Reid, Associate Dean, Faculty of Design.

Turco’s winning submission is called Path House. It is a residential project conceived for a client with a visual impairment. The home incorporates a contemporary aesthetic with components that cater to clients with any degree of visual disability. Features include custom millwork with braille or raised English details, contrasting materials and textures, anti-glare finishes, natural light for wayfinding and double-height spaces for variations in acoustics.

The scholarship shines a light on the incredible talent emerging from OCAD U’s Environmental Design program, which focuses on the design of expressive and humane interior and architectural space.

This year’s judges included the following designers, architects and members of the press: Amy Lau, Amy Lau Design; Arianne Nardo, freelance editor; Barry Richards, Rockwell Group; Carolyn Englefield, editor, Veranda Interiors; Frank de Biasi, Frank de Biasi Interiors LLC; Jamie Drake, Drake Anderson; John Ike, Ike Kligerman Barkley; Julie Noran, president, The Editor at Large; Kathleen Walsh, Kathleen Walsh Interiors; Sophie Donelson, editor-in-chief, House Beautiful; Stephanie Odegard, Stephanie Odegard Collection; Stephen Burks, Stephen Burks Man Made; Tony Freund, editor-in-chief, 1stdibs Introspective; and Vicente Wolf, Vicente Wolf Associates Inc.