What it takes to become a car designer

Catch up with Martin Uhlarik, UK head of design at Tata Motors and an OCAD U alum!

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2017 Alumni of Influence Awards Ceremony & Reception

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Friday, November 17, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join us for the third annual gala reception celebrating 5 outstanding alumni. Mix and mingle with other alumni, the recipients, faculty members, and students! 

Anita Kunz - Distinguished Alumni Award
Hugh Mackenzie - Distinguished Educator Award
Natalyn Tremblay - World Builder Award
Carly McAskill - Trailblazer Award
Don Watt - Legacy Award

Ticket includes live entertainment, host bar and delectable hors d’oeuvres.

Emcee TV host Ajay Fry

Presenting Sponsor: TD Insurance


Learn more about our 2017 recipients

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Auditorium, Room 190, Main Floor

Alumni Guest Speaker: Richard St. John

Richard St. John
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 7:30pm

Back by popular demand! Richard St. John on "8 Secrets of Success"

Richard St. John's (AOCA, Industrial Design, 1969) TED Talks on success have over 15-million views on the web, and his book The 8 Traits Successful People Have In Common is a bestseller.

For 15 years he researched why people succeed, and did face-to-face interviews with Bill Gates, the Google founders, Jane Goodall, Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, Frank Gehry, six Nobel Prize winners, and 1,000 other successful people. He discovered what leads to success in any career—from art, architecture, and design, to business, science, and sports—and he’s excited to share it with us.

So please join Richard for a fast, factual, funny and inspiring ride along the road to success.

Doors open 7:00 p.m.
Presentation: 7:30 p.m.
Question & Answer: 8:30 p.m.

This is a complimentary ticketed event. Please RSVP here to reserve your seat(s).

Presented by OCAD U Alumni Relations in partnership with OCAD U Student Success Programs.


Venue & Address: 
Central Hall, Room 230 (Level 2) 100 McCaul Street Toronto, ON
416-977-6000 x4021
Complimentary. Hosted by OCAD U Alumni Relations

Unmasking Omar Badrin

Omar Badrin
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We caught up with artist and OCAD U alum Omar Badrin to chat about his work. He graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program in 2015 and was the program’s year-end medal winner.

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Can you tell us about Unmasking Otherness, your current show in Corner Brook, Newfoundland?

Unmasking Otherness is an exhibition that is showing at the Grenfell Campus Art Gallery until September 17. The show is made up of large, exaggerated, brightly colored crocheted masks that convey a sense of the grotesque and otherness. The masks vary in size and range from approximately five to fifteen feet in length. I wanted them to be large and take up as much space as possible, so it feels like they’re hovering over the viewer. They’re claiming the space rather than being off to the side.

On a personal note, it was important to me to exhibit this work in Newfoundland because I was raised there and go back frequently to visit family and friends. My artwork is biographical and reflects my upbringing as a visual minority in a province that, racially, remains quite homogenous. I’m hoping this show will contribute to the dialogue on the (slowly) increasing diversity in Newfoundland culture.

Image of Omar's work

In Due Time 2016, Industrial fishing twine, Mason’s line and flagging tape


How did your Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design help your practice?

Before joining the IAMD program, I felt that my art practice had become stunted. In fact, I had stopped pursuing art-making for five years before applying to OCAD U. When I moved to Toronto, I decided to get back into it and put together a portfolio with works that gave a sense of the direction and ideas I hoped to develop if accepted.

As a student at OCAD U, I was encouraged to experiment with other media, which really helped me get over my slump. During my first year, I started to explore the craft of net-making because of its connection to Newfoundland’s fishing tradition. However, it didn’t feel authentic to me, because I don’t have a direct relationship to the fishing industry. I opted for crotchet instead, because there were commonalities with net-making, and it I did feel a personal connection to it. For my independent summer study, I went to Port Union and learned crotchet from my mom. I hit it off with this medium and, conceptually, it was a better fit with my thesis topic.

Image of Omar's work 2

Sickly 2016,  Industrial fishing twine and Mason’s line


What do you love about crocheting and why is it an important medium for you?

Crochet is a way for me to think and reflect because the repetitive process of the medium lends itself to this. I have to say, though, that I don’t get personal enjoyment out of crochet. I use it because it allows me to convey the ideas I want to get at in my work. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother crochet, so I’m familiar with it, and it has deeper meaning for me. It’s a tradition that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother. However, I only started learning it two years ago, so it’s very new to me.

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Installation view of Unmasking Otherness, Grenfell Campus Art Gallery, Corner Brook, Newfoundland 


We’ve been seeing more artists and young people take up crocheting — is it becoming cool again?

I don’t know if it is becoming cool again. I think you have to be cool to answer that question and I’m not that person. I do like to see the bridge between ‘craft’ and ‘fine art,’ but that’s a discussion for another time. My personal feeling is that artists have to use the media that they feel most comfortable using for a given project. They [the media] should fit the conceptual framework and enhance the work. For now, crochet is something that interests me and it fits the ideas I’m presently exploring. However, I might give it up for something else in the future.

Check out more of Omar’s work.

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