OCAD University remembers Mark Goffin

Mark Goffin
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 5:00am

The OCAD University community is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Copy & Print Services Manager Mark Goffin this past weekend.

Mark Goffin started working at OCAD U in October 2004 as Document and Print Services Administrator, and was promoted to Manager, Copy & Print Services in 2007. Mark was directly responsible for the success and continued improvement of OCAD U copy and print services and was, in collaboration with other IT staff and managers, just preparing the launch of a new print and copy accounting system that will provide substantial improvements in service to students and faculty. Mark was looking forward to the planned relocation of Copy & Print Services to 51 McCaul Street and was working with Facilities, Planning & Management to finalize plans for the new space.

Mark was a thoughtful colleague, with tremendous expertise on copy and print, who everyone in IT and many other departments enjoyed working with and talking to about a wide range of topics. He was a dedicated father. He will be missed.

A memorial service will be held Friday, December 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Turner & Porter, 4933 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke. Read Mark's obitiuary and sign an online book of condolences.

OCAD U Writing in the Disciplines Fellows announced

Catherine Black, Nicole Collins and Saskia van Kampen
Friday, November 21, 2014 - 5:00am

A university-wide Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Initiative was launched this year at OCAD U following a year-long needs assessment and consultation process aimed at developing a comprehensive strategy to improve student writing outcomes. The initiative, which was approved by Senate in May 2013, facilitates the integration of writing throughout all undergraduate programs at OCAD U to support student academic success and foster a writing culture at the university that values and enriches the studio and professional practice of both students and faculty.

As part of the initiative, three faculty members have been appointed as Writing in the Disciplines Fellows. They are Assistant Professor Catherine Black in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Assistant Professor Nicole Collins in the Faculty of Art, and Assistant Professor Saskia van Kampen in the Faculty of Design. These roles, funded through the Vice-President, Academic office, are to be on-going and annual in nature.

The role of the Fellows is to guide WAC implementation, inform resource and curriculum development to integrate writing into disciplinary contexts and build support for the WAC initiative within their Faculties. In addition to doing Faculty-specific work, they are excited about the cross-Faculty engagement that the initiative is fostering.

“Teaching critical and creative writing in this academic context, I constantly see the natural connections between writing practice and the work students do in studio,” said Black. “I’m very enthusiastic about nurturing the development of a writing culture at OCAD U, and I feel this is an opportunity to reinforce for our students the value of writing in an art and design education.”

“Writing, which is an integral part of a professional studio practice, can be intimidating for visual thinkers and makers,” said Collins. “Journaling, note-taking, reading responses, titles, statements, proposals, CV and website maintenance, press releases, curatorial essays, reviews of other artists work: ALL of these contribute to the development and dissemination of my visual art practice. I want my students to have the same fluency and ability to communicate in as many ways as possible.”

“I am excited to represent the Design faculty in this initiative,” said van Kampen. “For me writing is a way to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Writing becomes a means for research that informs what I make. I hope to instill this practice in my students in order to help them articulate their intent and give words to their practice.”

In a recent message sent to their respective Faculties, the Fellows noted the Writing & Learning Centre’s work in preparing an instructors’ toolkit to share writing ideas and experiences, and asked their colleagues to consider the many ways of incorporating low- and no-stakes writing activities into courses. Some examples include freewriting, creative responses, reflection exercises, descriptive writing, research, brainstorming, lists, and generative wordplay.

MAAD Faculty Lecture Series

Image of a hallway with blue carpet and art lining the walls
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Material Art & Design program

Textile print designer and sessional faculty Ana Galindo will talk about her experience attending Surtex 2014, an industry focused event that takes place every year in New York City. Ana is well acquainted with the show, having had her industry start as winner of the student competition back in the day. She will share tidbits about the competition, the dramatic change industry has taken towards licensing, the actuality of digital versus hand-made designs, and the other shows happening simultaneously during SURTEX at the Javits Center.

Ana is a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio with a multidisciplinary background including surface design, fibre arts and book arts with keen interest in Mesoamerican textiles, having just returned from the First Mesoamerican Textiles Symposium in Oaxaca, México.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul Street Room 201 - Fibre Studio

Invasive Species: April Hickox

Image of a forest with hanging trees tied to branches
Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 5:00am


April Hickox is a lens-based artist, teacher, and independent curator who lives on the Toronto Islands. Her artwork includes: photography, film, video, installation, and site interactions. Hickox's work is based in narratives – the passage from one experience to another in the life process – that encompass history, memory, and place. She has been supported by all levels of funding throughout her career, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. As an active community leader, she is the founding director of the Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary Photography, as well as a founding member of Tenth Muse Studio and Artscape. Hickox is also a co-curator of the Art with Heart fundraiser for Casey House. She holds the position of Associate Professor of Photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U). Most recently, Hickox's work was featured in A Noble Line, curated by Marnie Fleming. Katzman Contemporary represents April Hickox.

Opening November 22, 2014

Venue & Address: 
Katzman Contemporary 86 Miller St  Toronto
<p><a href="mailto:info@katzmancontemporary.com" target="_blank">info@katzmancontemporary.com</a></p>
<p>416 654 9515</p>

Faculty, staff present at COU Learning Outcomes Symposium

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 4:00am

On October 16 and 17, OCAD University’s Vice-President, Academic Christine Bovis-Cnossen led a delegation at the 2014 Learning Outcomes Symposium, presented by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

The two-day symposium focused on how learning outcomes can be used as tools at various levels across an institution. Topics included course and program assessment techniques, curriculum development and mapping, metrics and data collection, graduate and undergraduate assessments, faculty engagement, student success, and credit transfer.

Bovis-Cnossen chaired a workshop led by Faculty of Design Professors Job Rutgers and Paul Epp titled “Learning Outcomes of Design in Action.” The Writing & Learning Centre (WLC) also presented “A Learning Outcomes Based Approach to Writing Across the Curriculum” with Writing and Curriculum Specialist Cary DiPietro, Graphic Design Chair Roderick Grant and WLC Director Susan Ferguson.

David Altmejd Public Talk

Sculpture Work
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 10:30pm

Public Talk

Tuesday, March 25
6:30 p.m.

An opportunity to hear a prolific contemporary artist speak about his work

David Altmejd (b. 1974 in Montreal) is a sculptor fascinated with the extraordinary potential power of the object, and convinced that the act of making can generate meaning.

David has shown internationally, such as the Whitney Biennial, Gallery Met at The Metropolitan Opera House, the Istanbul Biennial, MOCA Cleveland, and in 2007 he was chosen to represent Canada in the 52nd Venice Bienale. His work is in public collections including: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; MOCA Los Angeles; The National Gallery of Canada; The AGO, Toronto. David lives and works in New York.

This event is sponsored by the Faculty of Art Innovation Fund

Detail of: The Flux and The Puddle, 2014, Photograph by James Ewing , © David Altmejd, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

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


Active design in action, image provided by Gayle Nicoll.
Gayle Nicoll. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. Image provided by Gayle Nicoll

Good design can improve health by encouraging physical activity. Dr. Gayle Nicoll, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD U, co-authored an important new publication research study, Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. The study looks at cost-effective strategies for incorporating active design principles in affordable housing developments, and these strategies are aimed primarily at increasing physical activity among children aged 3-18. 

The study builds on the award-winning Active Design Guidelines published by New York City in 2010, which Dr. Nicoll also co-authored.  

Gayle Nicoll. Photo by Christina Gapic.“Active design is an environmental design practice that aims to provide opportunities for people to achieve recommended levels of physical activity to promote health and avoid chronic disease within their daily lifestyle,” explains Nicoll. “Active design helps to address the critical health epidemic of our current time — obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

As a result of advancements in technology and lifestyle changes in work and entertainment North Americans have become increasingly sedentary, leading to higher rates of chronic diseases. But this surge does not affect everyone equally: research shows affluent people are less likely to be overweight or obese than people living in low-income households, in part due to the costs related to access to fresh produce, recreational facilities and programming. Nicoll’s research shows that active design strategies can be economically incorporated into urban, site and building design.

“It’s one of the rising issues of our times,” says Nicoll. “The next generation will likely be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents. It’s so important for us to incorporate opportunities within our public spaces, workplaces and home environments for people to achieve recommended levels of physical activity in our daily lives. This includes physically active recreation and active transportation, such as walking, cycling or using the stairs instead of the elevator.”

In her scholarship Nicoll works directly with health providers and architects. Her focus is on translating the substantial evidence from academic research and best practices related to influence of environment on human behaviour into design practice and public policy. Her new publication has the potential to become one of the most important references for affordable housing providers and designers across North America interested in the active design movement. 

Nicoll and her colleagues hope to continue developing this series of reference publications, delving further into how active design can be incorporated into suburban developments and across diverse populations, including the elderly and those with mobility issues.

Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. Image provided by Gayle Nicoll.
Nicoll co-authored the publication with Dr. Karen K. Lee of the Built Environment and Healthy Housing Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Jennifer Du Bose at the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Architecture. OCAD U played an important role in the production of the book: Environmental Design student Parham Karimi produced the graphics; and Graphic Design student Ansel Schmidt provided the graphic layout and production, under the supervision of the Graphic Design Co-chair, Roderick Grant. 

Nicoll and Lee will be conducting a workshop on Active Design as part of the Urban Ecologies Conference at OCAD U in Toronto, June 20-21, 2013.

Download the publication:

Active Design: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing. 

Read more:

News release 

Active Design Guidelines


Associate Professor Maria Gabankova is retiring this spring. Photo: Sarah Mulholland.
Assistant Professor Ananda Chakrabarty.
Assistant Professor Shannon Gerard, Instructor Michael Antkowiak, and Instructor Spencer Harrison.

The accomplishments and careers of OCAD University’s talented faculty members were celebrated last week at the university’s annual Faculty Appreciation Event. 

Retiring faculty members Associate Professors Maria GabankovaDavid ChavelDavid Pellettier and Shirley Yanover, all of the Faculty of Art, were recognized and thanked for their many years of service and dedication to OCAD U students. 

Faculty members who have completed terms as academic administrators were also recognized for their important service:

  • Assistant Professor Ananda Chakrabarty as Associate Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Assistant Professor Luke Painter as Chair, Contemporary Painting and Print Media
  • Associate Professor Simon Glass as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Art

Several faculty members were recognized for their many years of service. Celebrating their 20 year milestone are Professors Paul Epp and Helen Kerr, and Integrated Media Technician Almerinda Travassos. Marking 25 years are Assistant Professor Ted Hunter, Professor Stuart Reid and Associate ProfessorCathy Daley. At 30 years of service are Assistant Professor Bentley Jarvis, and Associate Professors Stan Krzyzanowski and Bill Leeming. Associate Professor Wendy Cain and Associate Professor Paul Dempsey are celebrating 35 years of service. Finally, celebrating 40 years at OCAD University are Professors Keith Rushton and Assistant Professor Michael Page

The Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) recognized nominated faculty members with the Inspired Teaching Awards, which acknowledge faculty members, administrators, tutors, technicians, teaching assistants or librarians whose passion for art and design education has enhanced learning and influenced artistic practice. This year’s recipients are:

Associate Professor Bonnie Devine and Instructor Spencer Harrison were both recognized with BLG Faculty Equity Awards this year, which celebrates successes of faculty in their promotion of an inclusive work and learning environment. 

Faculty of Art Instructor Michael Antkowiak was recognized with a Non-Tenured Faculty Teaching Award, cited in his nomination for always being well prepared for class, and encouraging students by recognizing and drawing out their strengths, while also challenging students conceptually, stimulating growth and perspective. 

The Price Award for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Assistant Professor Shannon Gerard in the Faculty of Art. Gerard was recognized for her instrumental work in developing OCAD U’s new Publications Cross-Disciplinary Art specialization, in which she is the sole teaching faculty member, and for her unbridled enthusiasm and passionate commitment to the discipline and her students.


Call for Faculty Nominations for OCAD University Senate

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 4:30pm

Nominations are now being accepted for faculty positions on the OCAD University Senate.

Eligible candidates may submit a nomination for these positions until Friday, April 25, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

Please visit the Senate Elections web page for information on the positions, nomination and election process. Questions about Senate elections may be directed to Natalie Nanton, Coordinator (Academic Governance), Office of the Vice-President, Academic at 416-977-6000 Ext. 2856.

National Magazine Awards highlight OCAD University alumni and faculty

Old Wounds by Selena Wong, published in Maisonneuve magazine
The Elite Yellow Peril by Gracia Lam, published in Maisonneuve magazine
Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 3:45pm

OCAD U alumni and instructors impressed judges at the at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6, picking up numerous awards for excellence in their work. 

Selena Wong (BDes, 2009) won her second NMA Gold for Illustration and Gracia Lam (BDes, 2009) picked up the Gold and Silver awards for Spot Illustration. Both illustrators’ work was published in the magazine Maisonneuve. Student Petra Collins took the top prize in the Fashion Photography category with her images for Flare magazine.  

OCAD U’s faculty were also celebrated at the awards. Walrus Magazine’s 10th anniversary issue won the Gold for Best Single Issue, with OCAD U Sessional Instructor Brian Morgan as Art Director. Morgan also won Honourable Mention for Art Direction of an Entire Issue. 

Sessional Instructor Michèle Champagne won the Silver in Art Direction for an Entire Issue for Flare magazine’s November, 2013 issue. 

This year, from nearly 2000 individual entries received nationwide, the National Magazine Awards Foundation’s 238 volunteer judges nominated a total of 376 submissions from 92 different Canadian magazines for awards in 47 written, visual, integrated and special categories. 

To see a full list of winners visit the National Magazine Awards website.