Postcard Memories

This research addresses the potential of mobile technologies for enabling creative and collaborative intergenerational activities between elders with early stage dementia, their peers, family, friends and/or caregivers. It also concerns aspects and barriers of use with mobile technologies for elder participants and their peers. We seek to gain a deeper understanding of narrative storytelling in general, and collaborative digital/physical artifact creation and collection alongside narrative arrangement in particular, with a specific population of caregivers, and associated geriatric outpatients who have mild to moderate dementia and memory loss of the Alzheimer's type.

This study is intended to extend understanding of the effects and benefits to memory, benefits to spoken language, and potential benefits to well-being, socialization and increased interactions with family members, friends, and caregivers, through use of our touchscreen tablet application. The application has both digital and physical outputs: a digital Postcard Memories gallery and book; physical postcards, which can be printed from within the application and mailed through Canada Post ; and a Postcard Memories book, which will allow collected postcards to be arranged and rearranged by the elder and their family members or caregivers into a pleasing narrative format.

GRAND 2014 Research Note Presentation

Designing the Postcard Memories Application
Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Bryn A. Ludlow
Ana Jofre
Laura Wright
Cathy Chen
David Green
Ruzette Tanyag
Pavika Chintraruck
Jessica Peter
Pei Zhou

The CBC Newsworld Holodeck

The CBC Newsworld Holodeck utilizes the GestureTek software system and Microsoft Kinect to sense the user’s gestures, enabling interaction with multi-screen video display. Video data communicates with the gesture-based library through an open-source C++ toolkit, which allows flexibility of video control, animation, and speed optimization. The Kinect searches for the user’s hand; upon detecting the gesture the system calls an action that corresponds to that gesture. The called action selects a video, plays that video, which initiates keywords to populate the screen, or hides them during video playback, enabling focused viewing.

Keyword/phrase selection takes the viewer directly to the selected video clip (enabled by natural language processing technologies), a novel interaction in video browsing, search and display. The Holodeck interface enables gestural interaction, and rich, context-aware browsing and search of the CBC Newsworld ‘big data’ video corpus.

Image of the CBC Newsworld Holodeck
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Martha Ladly
Gerald Penn
Cathy Chen
Bryn A. Ludlow
Ana Jofre
Siavash Kazemian


A series of artist profiles that explores the evolving nature of online, video publishing. 

Artland Image
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 3:00pm
Embed Video: 

Body Editing

Body Editing is a gesture and biosensor platform that returns feedback (in the form of music, sound and visuals) to users. Users can move, gesture or provide biometric data, for example, to paint a picture, form a fractal, create a sound scape or musical composition. It explores the relationship between the experience of movement, of biodata, and the generative production of data aesthetics. In this installation, users are tracked in the installation space, and as well, passersby are captured by a motion capture camera to contribute to the feedback; together they create a layered data visualization experience. 


Person waving their arms interacting with the work
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 4:00pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Hart Sturgeon
Katherine Meyer
Andrew Hicks

Mindfulness Technologies: The ACT App

Exploring the potential of mobile technology to aid acceptance and mindfulness therapy outside of the clinic, this interdisciplinary investigation empowers youth suffering from anxiety and depression by collaborating with them design sound and imaged-based applications for mobile devices.  These applications enable youth to externalize their personal sources of anxiety in a manner that reflects strategies they have found successful during acceptance and mindfulness therapy.  Participants will be able to use the applications to practice acceptance and mindfulness therapy during a moment of anxiety outside of therapy; a fresh a creative use of mobile technology to aid a complex and difficult healing process. 

An image from the Mindfulness Technologies: The ACT App
Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00pm
Lab Member: 
Paula Gardner
Marjan Verstappen
Lindy Wilkins
Dora Poon
Mike Lovas
Symon Olivier
Fareena Chanda
Heather Nicol

Neutral Carbon Products

‘The Neutral Carbon Product’ provides a pathway to intervention that conceptualizes how to match shopper behaviour to global warming considerations in a grocery setting. We demonstrate the process by expanding upon three interventions that could be adopted by our industry partner. By receiving funds from the Federal Development Grant our team has been able to:

  • identify shopper needs and opportunities
  • highlight three exemplary opportunities in the form of mock-ups that Industry use to align shopper values with shopper behavioural routines

As discussed above, in addition to these two project goals our team has pioneered a body of knowledge hat Zerofootprint and others will be able to reuse to create more shopper interventions to improve climate-friendly shopping (see resource toolkit section for more details):

  • Comparative Landscape of what tools are currently available
  • A process model for understanding the stages of a grocery shopping trip
  • Five distinct personae for grouping shopper behaviours
  • Method for filtering ideas based on persona needs and key learning’s (Idea Assessment Process)
Neutral Carbon Project : Climate friendly shopping Poster
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:30pm


Holograms you can feel and touch

Haptic Holography was perhaps, first proposed by workers at MIT in the 80s. The Media Lab, headed up by Dr. Stephen Benton, with published papers by Wendy Plesiak and Ravi Pappuh.

Recent developments in both the technology of digital holography and haptics have made it practical to conduct further investigations. Haptic holography is auto-stereoscopic and provides co-axial viewing for the user. Most existing haptic simulations are displayed on 2D computer screens. The user has difficulty navigating the 3D haptic environment due to uncertain spatial relationships. The holographic environment allows the user to grasp the spatial relationship of the haptic space.

Haptic holography may find application in medical & surgical training and as a new form of synthetic reality for artists and designers.

Michael Page, who is the Principal Investigator on the project. Michael has more than 30 years experience in holography, more than 20 years in digital holography. He is a Professor with the Faculty of Fine Art at OCAD U and a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Optical Sciences at the University of Toronto.




Image of Haptic Holography
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 6:45pm
Lab Member: 
Michael Page
Embed Video: 


What makes Thorncliffe Park a ‘magnet’ to new Canadians? What defines it as a ‘welcoming community’? Based on indicators provided by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the research intends to evaluate whether or not an urban neighbourhood is a welcoming community. The community of Thorncliffe Park was chosen as the case study for this project. Thorncliffe Park is an inner suburban neighbourhood in the City of Toronto and is one of the City;s most multicultural neighbourhoods. A review of the literature related to this topic indicates a lack of an empirical evaluation of a welcoming community.


WATCH: WELCOMING COMMUNITIES from job rutgers on Vimeo.

Bird's view satellite image of a Toronto neighbourhood with overlaid text reading: What makes Thorncliff Park a Welcoming Community?"
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:45pm


How might design of space-based sensorial experiences* help to create a better palliative care environment? OCAD University and Princess Margaret Hospital have agreed to initiate a pilot research project that will serve as a starting point to establish, develop and grow an academic research partnership. With this first research undertaking, the intention is to explore the relationship between sensorial experiences and end-of-life care. SFI Student Oksana Kachur is currently interviewing patients, their family and care givers.

Image of traditional assisted care room, with overlaid venn diagram of nursing care, psychosocial, Physical Environment and Atmosphere.
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:45pm

Comfort for Palliative Care

This Industrial Design Thesis Project by Researcher Evi Hui aims to improve patient experience of comfort in palliative care. As Canada’s baby boomers continue to age, palliative care for seniors with terminal illnesses is becoming a greater priority. Research activities like observation, interview, role play, shadowing and a structured experience journey led to the insight that none of the furniture was actually designed for patients.


WATCH: Designing Comfort in Palliative Care Video 1 of 3 from Evi K. Hui on Vimeo.

Photograph of project process work posted on a wall with overlaid text reading: Comfort & Bedside Furniture for Palliative Care
Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 6:30pm