OCAD University students win first place at provincial competition

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 4:30pm

Two OCAD University students have been honoured at CONNECT: EnAbling Change -- a province-wide post-secondary design competition.

  • Third-year Environmental Design student Xiaoyu Xu (Sherry Xu) won first place in the Architecture category.
  • Rickee Charbonneau, a student in the Master's of Inclusive Design program, won first place in the Industrial Design category.

CONNECT projects explore design that is accessible to the greatest number of people regardless of age or ability across all design disciplines.  

Open to all Ontario post-secondary design students, the competition called for “project ideas that remove barriers for people with disabilities and promote greater inclusion”.

The winners’ work will be on exhibit Friday, May 8, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., Toronto.


OCAD University Illustration students in the spotlight

Illustration of a girl wrapped in a scarf called Isolation, by Cornelia Li’s
Illustration by Long Hui Wang’s called Constructing Future Generations
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 7:45pm

The North American illustration industry has recognized OCAD University students with a plethora of awards in recent weeks.

New York’s Society of Illustrators awarded fourth-year student Cornelia Li a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Nancy Cheadle for her piece Isolation. Fourth-year student Long Hui Wang was awarded a $500 scholarship in memory of Helen Wohlberg Lambert and Herman Lambert for his piece Constructing Future Generations, which also won a prized spot in Communication Arts Illustration Annual. In addition to these prestigious scholarships, Cornelia Li, Long Hui Wang and fellow fourth-year student Paige Clark will be exhibiting their pieces at the Museum of American Illustration, opening Friday, May 8.

Meanwhile, an international jury of creative directors at American Illustration chose two pieces by fourth-year student Deshi Deng and one by Miranda Ly to appear on their website, while Creative Quarterly 39 chose as runners-up third-year students Jonathan Godfrey and Koko Lee, and fourth-year students Paige Clark, Justus Buenaflor, Janny Woo and Alejandra Paton. The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) also recognized work by Alejandra Paton and two works by third-year student Sienna Cho, among their Rodeo 7 runners-up. An Awards Gala in Toronto will be announced by CAPIC shortly.

OCAD U graduate students receive prestigious national awards

Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 4:00am

The OCAD University community congratulates the students – from five different master’s programs – who have been awarded Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC):

  • Ryan A. Church – Strategic Foresight and Innovation
  • Jason P. King – Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design
  • David Lawson – Inclusive Design
  • Katherine Meyer – Digital Futures
  • Jennifer Snider – Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

“These talented emerging researchers are at the forefront of their respective disciplines,” says Helmut Reichenbächer, dean of graduate studies. “We are all deeply proud of their achievements. They are an inspiration to both their fellow OCAD U students as well as to their professors.”

The CGS scholarships offer valuable support to the recipients, furthering their ability to engage in leading-edge research.OCAD U’s Office of Graduate Studies has created a video that opens a window onto four of those projects.

CGS is part of SSHRC’s Talent Program. Its goal is to develop the next generation of researchers and leaders across society, both within academia and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Environmental Design students take top awards at Design Haus competition

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:45pm

Aspiring architects and design students from all over North America were given the opportunity to design a suite at a soon-to-be-built condominium in Toronto. Fourth-year OCAD U Environmental Design students took two of the top three prizes.

Chieng Luphuyong won the first prize of $10,000 and a team made up of Orod Tajdaran, Pouria Amidi and Yalda Bakhtiari won the third prize of $3,000.

Participants were asked to design one of two apartments ranging in size from 500 to 900 sq. ft. for a chance to earn cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000.

The jury consisted of industry and academic leaders in design and architecture:

  • David Lieberman, associate professor, University of Toronto
  • Colleen Reid, associate dean, Faculty of Design, OCAD University
  • Filiz Klassen, associate chair, School of Interior Design, Ryerson University
  • Pietro Ferrari, School of Architectural Studies, George Brown College
  • Clifford Korman, principal, KirKor Architects
  • Kelly Cray, principal, Union31

The Design Haus building on College Street east of Spadina will be 17 storeys high with approximately 116 condominium suites and 26 rental suites.


Ryan Church nominated for Design Management Europe award

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 5:00am

Strategic Foresight & Innovation MDes candidate Ryan Church is celebrating the nomination of his company, BiomeDesign, for a Design Management Europe (DME) award. The DME award is the only international award dedicated to the management of design in private or public sector organisations. Church’s company was in the micro category, with nine employees or less.

The DME award recognizes the ongoing processes, business decisions and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively designed products, services, communications, environments and brands providing organizational success. From preparing a design brief for an external design consultancy to the complete integration of design in the business model; all such practices are different for every organisation but require appropriate design management to be successful.

BiomeDesign integrates sustainability and innovation with human centred design, foresight and biomimetic design in three areas of focus: energy, healthcare and society. Having recently successfully defended his major research paper at OCAD U, Church is hoping to pursue his PhD at MIT, and is currently working at the Design Innovation Group (DIG) in Amsterdam.

Experiencing Perspectives: Art and Business Find Common Ground

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 5:30pm

(Mississauga—November 11, 2014) Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada today announced the 2014-2015 installation of its sixth annual Experiencing Perspectives art exhibition, featuring artwork from students, faculty and alumni of OCAD University. The installation is the company’s largest to date and represents a partnership between art, education and business that remains the only one of its kind with the largest and most comprehensive art, design and media institution in Canada. The exhibition was celebrated at the company’s community art reception in its national headquarters in Mississauga on Monday evening. Attendees included: Stefan Karrenbauer, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Canada; Natalie Waldburger, Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, Faculty of Art, OCAD U; and Anda Kubis, Associate Dean, Outreach, OCAD U.

“Our unique partnership with OCAD U has enriched our work environment and enabled us to support emerging and established artists working and studying in our community for six years,” said Karrenbauer. “This is our largest exhibition to date, featuring nearly 100 pieces of contemporary art. As the program has grown, so has our ability to develop meaningful connections between business and the arts.”

In addition to the art exhibitions, the program offers employees interesting opportunities to engage in art tours, visual thinking discussions and community events. Art has also been used as a creative tool in the workplace, empowering employees to give visual meaning to key business themes and topics.

Another signature element of the company’s partnership with OCAD U is a $2,000 annual award given to a graduating student and a $1,000 annual scholarship awarded to a current student. The purpose of the awards is to recognize talented emerging artists working and studying in the greater Toronto area.

“These scholarships build confidence in students while providing much-needed financial support,” said Waldburger. “In addition, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is giving graduating students opportunities to exhibit, see their work in publications and experience the momentum of a professional event as they transition into their own professional practices.”

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Experiencing Perspectives program includes several creative partnerships that bring rotating exhibitions of artwork into Mercedes-Benz Financial Services facilities in the U.S. and Canada. The program began in 2001, when the company partnered with the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. In 2008, the program expanded to the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, Business Center through partnerships with the art schools of SMU and TCU. In 2009, it expanded to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services’ Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, through a partnership with OCAD U.

“Through our partnership with OCAD U, art has become a foundation that bridges community and workplace culture together,” added Karrenbauer. “Some may wonder if it adds value in a business environment. I would say it has absolutely played a valuable role in expanding perspectives, inspiring creative thought and cultivating innovative ideas.”



Student Marvin Luvualu Antonio featured in AGO exhibition

Photograph by OCAD U student Marvin Luvualu Antonio on display at AGO
Marvin Luvualu Antonio flanked by Aimia AGO scholarship recipients
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 7:00pm

OCAD U Photography student Marvin Luvualu Antonio is one of three recipients of the Aimia | AGO Photography scholarship currently exhibiting at the AGO. Antonio’s work will be on display in the Weston Family Learning Centre Community Gallery through the end of January 2015

Part of the prestigious Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, this inaugural $7,000 scholarship will be applied towards tuition for Antonio's final year of undergraduate studies at OCAD U. He is joined by Kristiane Church from the University of Manitoba and Paige Lindsay of Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts.


Photo credit: Art Gallery of Ontario

Bottom photo from left to right:

Sophie Hackett, Associate Curator of Photography, AGO; Alden Hadwen, Director of Community Engagement, AIMIA; Paige Lindsay, Recipient Scholarship, Ryerson University; Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Recipient Scholarship, OCAD University; Kristiane Church, Recipient Scholarship, University of Winnipeg; Kevin O’Brien, Chief Commercial Officer, Aimia ;Judy Koke, Chief, Public Programming and Learning, AGO.

MAAD student and alumni win Craft Ontario awards

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 4:00am

Material Art & Design (MAAD) alumni Joanna Schleimer (2011) and Joe Han Lee (2012), and third-year MAAD student Shuang Feng have been recognized with awards from Craft Ontario this autumn.

Schleimer received the KingCrafts/Lady Flavelle Scholarship which recognizes a craftsperson who intends to continue their education. Han Lee was awarded the Lacy and Co. LTD. Jewellery Supply Grant to purchase equipment and materials to establish a studio. Feng received the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Undergraduate Scholarship to continue further study. Images of their award-winning work can be viewed at the above respective links.


Maria Soroka at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.

Maria Soroka’s medal award-winning project, Localosity, is a transmedia campaign. Here’s how she describes it:

My thesis explored creative advertising as a method to engage mainstream audiences in the local food narrative and foster greater human connectivity between urban consumers and rural producers. Through a crafted transmedia campaign, with a special focus in modern, user-friendly digital platforms, a unified brand experience unfolded wherein the major obstacles of consuming locally were eliminated and ongoing revenue was generated for local farmers.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

I was feeling discouraged by the prospect of becoming further immersed in an industry that promotes vast levels of waste, deep malnutrition and negligent consumerism. I saw my thesis project as an opportunity to use advertising to build a consumer/product relationship that was inherently meaningful, healthy and positive.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I learned the most from the labyrinthine creative process of configuring a broadly social, economical and environmental initiative into a focused and engaging, consumer-facing platform.

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

I am most proud of the naive thoughts, questions and ideas that were kindled and extinguished in the process of designing my final concept.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work? 

I felt motivated to continue creating work that is both publicly and personally important.

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

My fondest memories are in the relationships I built while completing my degree. I will miss ample and ongoing exposure to ideation, creativity and critique.

What are you planning to do next? 

I’m currently working as an Art Director at Leo Burnett. I plan to pursue a master’s degree, and one day build my own company.

Find out more about Maria Soroka:

LinkedIn Profile


Jenn Seoyoung Kim at Grad Ex 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.
Part of Jenn Seoyong Kim's project, Plant Haiti Campaign. Image by Jenn Seoyoung Kim.

Jenn Seoyoung Kim’s medal award-winning project, Plant Haiti Campaign, is designed to bring much-needed trees to communities in Haiti. Here’s how she describes it:

Haiti, which was once covered in lush green forests, has now decayed into a barren wasteland. An enormous amount of trees were cut down constantly in a matter of decades to produce lumber for mainly industrial use, including charcoal as a domestic cooking fuel. The value of greenery seemed to be forgotten as Haiti was undergoing a vicious cycle, where trees were being planted only to be cut down. Plant Haiti Campaign recalls the potential beauty of Haiti by supporting Haitian communities to grow and maintain Moringa Trees. The miraculous nutritional values of this tree can easily overturn the course of Haiti’s future. When products within the Miracle Moringa Collection, inspired by the artisans of Haiti, are purchased, part of the revenue goes to NGOs in Haiti to help reforest the nation as well as educate Haitians about the importance of trees.

What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?

Last summer, I went to Haiti for two weeks on a mission trip from church and realized how critical living conditions are there. The earthquake in 2010 brought too much sorrow and despair that still lingers in Haitians’ minds and lifestyles. I wanted to provide a long-term solution that could help Haiti to get out of this environmental crisis and eventually stand up on its own.

What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?

I learned the most from researching through various methods and applying those techniques to better enhance my ideas. Especially, our class schedule included weekly presentations that helped me to keep track of my directions. 

What part of the process of creating this project are you the most proud of?

I’m proud of the fact that my project is based on long-term considerations and a result of my own experience. By addressing a real problem for the most needed,Plant Haiti Campaign connects many aspects all together to harmonize and recreate the value of greenery.

How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work? 

I wasn’t expecting a call from OCAD U, so my heart stopped for a second when I heard the word “congratulations.” I cried for three hours. Every time I told my family and friends about the result, I couldn’t stop crying (happy tears).

What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?

I miss the days I spent in woodshop making furniture and other projects with fellow students. Technicians and monitors were friendly to help out and overall I loved its warm atmosphere.

What are you planning to do next? 

My next step is to further enhance my skills and build more experience as a designer. 

Find out more about Jenn Seoyoung Kim:

LinkedIn Profile