StudentDwellTO: OCAD U, U of T, York, Ryerson take on affordable housing

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The presidents of Toronto’s four universities – OCAD University, the University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University – have teamed up for a new initiative called StudentDwellTO to tackle one of the biggest issues facing post-secondary students in the Greater Toronto area: affordable housing.

The initiative brings together nearly 100 faculty and students from the four universities to take an in-depth look at student housing in the GTA.

This follows a previous collaboration between the four universities: a massive survey of student travel behaviour, called StudentMoveTO, which revealed that long daily commutes for students – many of whom live far away where housing is more affordable – were leading to lower campus engagement and in some cases limiting students’ class choices.

StudentMoveTO and StudentDwellTO are parts of an initiative by the presidents of the four universities aimed at improving the state of the city-region – and, in turn, the experiences for university students in the GTA.

“Student housing is directly connected to the lack of affordable housing for many communities,” says Min Sook Lee, Assistant Professor, Art and Social Change, OCAD U. “This project allows us to bring forward student advocacy on housing issues and link it with the broader movement across this city. We don’t just need research on student housing, we need to mobilize it.”

Professor Jeremy Bowes is running a housing studio at OCAD U in Environmental design, exploring case studies and prototypes of student housing for the project. 

StudentDwellTO will look at housing affordability from a range of perspectives, bringing together disciplines including architecture, art, education, engineering, environmental studies and design, geography, psychology, real estate management and urban development and planning.

The two-year initiative will have heavy research and advocacy components, and the researchers will collect data using a variety of research methods that include:

  • wide-scale focus groups and accompanying surveys to draw out narratives surrounding students’ lived experiences,
  • interactive website and community arts programming and communication tools, and
  • interactive maps to develop affordable housing strategies.

The subject matter will also be incorporated into experiential learning courses, across all four universities and various disciplines, to propose and test solutions to the student housing experience and crisis.

Along the way, researchers will collaborate with government, non-profit, private sector and community partners in the GTA.  Each university will hold public events, including affordable housing charrettes, to get a wide range of input on solutions.

Dr. Ashok Mathur named Dean of Graduate Studies

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

OCAD University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ashok Mathur as Dean of Graduate Studies, effective January 1, 2018. Dr. Mathur recently completed a term as Head of Creative Studies at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia, which began January, 2014.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Mathur join OCAD U,” said Dr. Gillian Siddall, Vice President Academic & Provost. “He brings with him tremendous administrative and teaching experience, as well as a significant record of research and creative practice. He is very well positioned to contribute to advancing the priorities of the academic plan.”

Before joining UBC, Dr. Mathur served as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry, and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada (CiCAC) at Thompson Rivers University. Prior to that, Dr. Mathur served as Head of Critical and Cultural Studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (2001-05).

Dr. Mathur has produced five books and numerous projects, both creative and critical, that focus on and feature the intersections of artistic engagement. His most recent book is a long poem entitled The First Black White Man, which, supported by a Canada Council writing grant, was incorporated into a ‘living arts’ space revolving around one of Kamloops’s early Black immigrants and his role in developing the city. Dr. Mathur is a long-time advocate of critical race theory as it pertains to the postsecondary institution, and works continuously to address radical forms of equity and Indigenous knowledge.

"I am thrilled to join the diverse and progressive environment of OCAD U, and keen to work with students, faculty, and administration to continue to develop excellent graduate level programming in the years to come," said Dr. Mathur.

Dr. Mathur holds a Ph.D. in Postcolonial Literature from the University of Calgary. As Dean, reporting to the Vice-President Academic & Provost, Dr. Mathur will be responsible for the educational and research leadership, development and supervision of Graduate Studies and its alignment with the academic plan and integration into the larger strategic plan of the university.

ROMEO off-line for service update - May 25

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 5:00pm to Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 5:00pm

Dr. Coffey wins 2015/16 award for Early Stage Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity

HCoffey feature photo
Friday, May 5, 2017

Heather Coffey, PhD joined OCAD University in 2013 and received a tenure-track appointment in Medieval and Renaissance Art History in 2015. Prof. Coffey’s research centres on the history of the links between the Islamic World and Europe to provide a context and an understanding for cultural exchange today. Prof. Coffey is admired for her courageousness as a scholar for venturing into the fraught terrain of the history of Islamic/Christian exchanges in the contemporary context of growing fundamentalism across religious traditions. She demonstrates, through her work and writing, the significance of focused research for understanding and reflecting upon the cross‐cultural and global realities in which we live.

Prof. Coffey’s historical scholarship, and the way in which it informs her teaching and her mentoring of students, is of the utmost relevance to OCAD and to the research profile of the university. For example, her article in preparation, “To Inspire and Delight: Demi’s Illustrated Mi’rajnama for Children,” provides a brilliant interpretation of contemporary representations of the Islamic World. The article links the compositions in a popular children’s book to complex and shifting regimes of representation that range from present-day Iran to fourteenth-century century Persia. In other projects, Prof. Coffey has set herself the task of envisioning how representations of Islamic culture in Western texts engender cross‐cultural dialogue and exchange both historically and currently. Her intellectual passion and far‐reaching breadth of inquiry is as evident to her students as it is to her peers in her field, for whom her work is of the utmost merit.

Prof. Coffey has received prestigious awards to undertake her doctoral research from multiple agencies and institutions, such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Max‐Plank‐Gesellschaft, and has published impressive articles in significant books on Islamic and Christian art and cross‐cultural perspectives. Most recently, she was a co-applicant for a SSRHC Connections Grant in support of the interdisciplinary conference Global Reformations: Transforming Early Modern Religions, Societies, and Cultures, at the invitation of Dr. Nicholas Terpstra at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies in September 2017.

Government funds boost OCAD University commitment to research and innovation

VP of Manufacturing, Development and Operations of IBM Canada Patrick Horgan, MP Adam Vaughan, OCAD U Board Chair Dr. John Sempl
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Above, Left to Right: VP of Manufacturing, Development and Operations of IBM Canada Patrick Horgan, MP Adam Vaughan, OCAD U Board Chair Dr. John Semple, OCAD U President Sara Diamond, MPP Han Dong, OCAD U Board Vice-Chair Sharifa Khan and The Daniels Corporation President Mitchell Cohen.

OCAD University has been awarded $4.5 million from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). The Fund is a Government of Canada program that is providing up to $2 billion to accelerate strategic construction, repair and maintenance at universities and colleges across Canada.

The funds will be used by the university to further expand and develop its growth in digital research and innovation, with $2 million to support the research, innovation and environmental sustainability of the Centre for Experiential Learning and $2.5 million allocated for Campus for the Connected World (Phase 1) on Toronto’s Waterfront.

The Centre for Experiential Learning, part of the Creative City Campus, will expand OCAD U’s research and innovation space and nurture the existing campus culture of creativity, collaboration and innovation. The building and its operations will be a model of social and environmental sustainability, incorporating healthy, innovative building materials. The Centre will be located in the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, at the southeast corner of McCaul and Dundas streets. In 2016, OCAD U received a $27-million investment from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Creative City Campus project. In addition, the Centre for Experiential Learning has received a total of $4 M from benefactors Rosalie and Isadore Sharp.

OCAD University’s Campus for the Connected World on Toronto’s Waterfront is a new facility for research and innovation that will house initiatives specific to innovation training, design thinking, Big Data design and accelerator capacity that support commercialization initiatives and bring design skills to emergent companies.

The two-phase revenue-generating project is located at Jarvis and Queens Quay in City of the Arts, a multi-use complex developed by the Daniels Corporation. The new facility will play a dynamic role in building Waterfront Toronto’s environmental, cultural and economic capacities.

“As we continue to renew and expand our campus, we look forward to amplifying OCAD University’s digitally focused learning and research, as well as its connections to industry and community partners, says Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “OCAD University is proud to provide experiential learning that will ensure our grads are members of a highly skilled workforce that supports talent innovation and entrepreneurship, crucial to STEAM + D disciplines.

We are grateful to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support and recognition.”

“Supporting OCAD University’s expansion is not only good for Canada; it’s good for Toronto,” says Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina—Fort York. “OCAD University is at the forefront of delivering new ideas and new leaders for a new economy. Innovation drives Toronto as much as it defines OCAD University, and the federal government is proud to play a role.”

“OCAD U has been a vital part of our community for many years and it has embraced magnificently the imagination and innovation of our young artists and designers. The Creative City Campus will strengthen the foundation of OCAD U, enabling it to further grow and thrive in the 21st century,” says Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament for Trinity—Spadina.

OCAD U’s continuous evolution is based on the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society, and that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives. These latest developments will ensure students and faculty continue to have the ability to leverage the power of art, design and digital innovation to change the world for the better.


Interior Designers and the Future of Humankind

Mediabank Place by HASSELL
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 6:00pm

Interior Designers and the Future of Humankind

*Open to the public

Dr. Agustin Chevez

Senior Researcher at HASSELL and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre For Design Innovation, Swinburne University in Australia.


“Advancing machine intelligence is the most important problem facing the world today”.
Robert Schiller


Fears of a jobless society are not new. Automation has already replaced the human body in various industries. As cognitive computing evolves to replace the human mind, Interior Designers hold the responsibility of designing environments that nurture the last competitive advantages of humans over machines; and with that, they hold the future of humankind.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St, Main Auditorium Room 190
agustin chevez

Research Ethics Board (REB) for Graduate Students

Graduate Thesis//MRP Week logo
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 2:30pm to Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 4:30am

Nancy Snow, Assistant Professor Faculty of Design, (and member of the OCAD University REB) will provide an introduction to the Research Ethics Board (REB) and ROMEO for graduate students at various stages of their thesis/MRP research. As a Graduate Student undertaking a thesis or MRP you need to ask yourself…

•Does the proposed research involve humans as research participants?

•Does the proposed research involve animals?

If the answer is yes, you need to attend this session!

Please follow this link for further details regarding the REB:

ACCESSIBILITY: Accessibility is important to us. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate fully in this event, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Venue & Address: 
Room 701K, at 205 Richmond Street West
416.977.6000 x4367
Grad thesis/MRP week poster

Open Graduate Thesis/MRP Office Hours

Graduate Thesis//MRP Week logo
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 3:00pm to 7:00pm

Drop in for a demo of the Open Research Repository. Look at bound copies of Alumni theses and MRPs, and get your formatting checked. Office of Graduate Studies staff will be in hand to answer any questions you may have abut the graduate thesis/MRP program here at OCAD U including the Final Submission Process.

ACCESSIBILITY: Accessibility is important to us. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate fully in this event, please email us as soon as possible so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Venue & Address: 
The Office of Graduate Studies Room 501, at 205 Richmond Street West
416.977.6000 x4367
Grad thesis/MRP week poster

Mobile Experience Innovation Centre Forum

MEIC launch
Friday, December 5, 2008 - 8:00pm to Saturday, December 6, 2008 - 12:00am

Please join us on December 5, 2008, when the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre at OCAD host a half-day forum to discuss recent research findings into the current state of Ontario’s wireless and mobile industry. There will also be sessions discussing future strategies for the new and exciting changes in the Canadian Wireless Context. Join us for an afternoon of engaging discussion with industry leaders as we look towards creating a new wireless future.

The Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) is a public-private consortium led by the Ontario College of Art & Design, and funded through the Entertainment and Creative Clusters Partnership Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Admission is free, however, please register at
3pm: Opening remarks, Karen Thorne-Stone, CEO and President of the OMDC
3:05pm: Opening Keynote by Gary Schwartz, President, Impact Mobile
3:50pm: MEIC Research Discussion: Michele Perras, MEIC Coordinator; MEIC Working Group Chairs Avi Pollock, Head, RBC Applied Innovation and Gabe Sawhney, Co-Founder, 33 Magnetic and Echo Mobile, with MEIC Research Consultant Ray Newal, Co-Founder, Jigsee, Inc.
4:30pm: Break
5pm: Panel Discussion: The AWS Spectrum Auction - New Strategies for the Canadian Context, with Dominique Sebastien Forest, Director of Digital Content and e-Commerce, Quebecor/, and Anthony Lacavera, CEO, Globalive. Moderated by Thomas Purves, Founder,
5:45pm: Strategy Round Table: Next Steps for a Wireless Canada, with President Sara Diamond, OCAD; Dr Mark Green, UOIT; Diane Williamson, VP Interactive, marblemedia; Karl Vrendenburg, Director of User Centred Design, IBM; and moderated by Sebastien Chorney, Chair, Interactive Ontario’s Mobile Committee and Founder, mypetbrainstorm.
6:15pm: Closing remarks, Networking reception
7pm: Reception Wraps

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

SSHRC Application Deadline of Standard Research Grants

Friday, May 23, 2008 - 12:00pm to Wednesday, October 15, 2008 - 9:00pm

SSHRC application deadline for Standard Research Grant.
Final signatures: VP, Research & Graduate Studies and President