OCAD U to host Studio Summit 2 in October

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 1:30pm

Building on the successful Studio Summit 1 held in Copenhagen in August 2014, the Resilience Design Lab at OCAD University in collaboration with Autodesk is organizing Studio Summit 2. The theme “Moving Studios into the Digital Age” explores the topic of studio pedagogy for business, engineering, and science education. Deadline for application June 5, 2017

Studio Summit 2 will be held on October 12 and 13, 2017 at Autodesk’s new research facilities in Toronto and will bring together about 30 select participants from around the world. They will exchange knowledge and experience about how studio methods can be scaled up using evolved pedagogy and digital technologies.

The Program Committee consists of:

  • Moura Quayle, Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia
  • Stefan Meisiek, Director, Educational Innovation in Business, University of Sydney
  • Fawwaz Habbal, Executive Dean, Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS)
  • Barbara Klinkhammer, Executive Dean, College of Architecture and the Built Environment, Philadelphia University
  • Ramtin Attar, Head of Design & Social impact, Autodesk
  • Angèle Beausoleil, Innovation Strategist, Sauter School of Business, University of British Columbia
  • Nabil Harfoush, Director, Resilience Design Lab, OCAD University
  • Michele Mastroeni, Professor, Strategic Foresight & Innovation, OCAD University

The Summit experience consists of interactive sessions, panels and team-led exercises. To apply for an invitation, applicants are asked to send a half-page to one-page description of their potential contribution to the summit’s theme. Please send your "applications" to nharfoush@faculty.ocadu.ca on or before June 5th, 2017.

Topics of interest may include:

  • Harnessing the power of digital technology for studio pedagogy
  •  What elements of the studio approach are most at risk in a digital environment?
  • Hybrid approaches: the best of both worlds?
  • Reacting to the digital: moving towards or moving away?
  • Creating a more accessible studio environment with digital tools
  • Studio learning at a distance
  • UI/UX for the studio learning environment
  • Building connections: plug-in or unplug?

Studio Summit 2 registration fee is $395. Accepted participants will be provided with a password to access an Eventbrite site, where they can register and pay the fee online.

Organizers are also interested in connecting with technology suppliers, who enable digital studio pedagogy and would like to demonstrate their platforms. 


The Astound Summit’s overarching goal was to provide content producers with opportunities to explore the importance of connecting with their audiences, viewers and users. The presentations, panel discussion and clinics were designed to introduce participants to the best ways to integrate audiences into the design process and leverage these relationships in order to secure financing and investment. The Summit was designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the role of audiences in relation to the development of their projects, as well as tools, frameworks and options to help them grow sustainable businesses.

At the heart of the Summit was a series of clinics designed to provide participants with a hands-on opportunity to play with audience engagement concepts and tools.



These clinics provided participants with an opportunity to explore participatory design techniques (PDT) that can be used throughout the innovation lifecycle. These included: the Design Research Techniques Map, the PDT Card Deck and the concept of participatory design (audience engagement) goals. Participatory Design techniques are a broader category of tool sets that engage multiple stakeholders — including diverse audience sets, various partners (including investors), and internal team members. Design Research techniques typically focus on participatory design techniques that engage audiences in the project lifecycle.

With aids of templates and instructions, content producers were encouraged to consider the techniques that were most useful to their participatory design goals.



This exercise helps content producers explore the ways in which participatory design techniques can help identify, understand and engage audiences or other stakeholders.



What stage in the development of your project are you in? We have organized a project life-cycle in 6 typical stages in 3 main phases: Discover (includes Define), Design (includes Concept), Implement (includes Evaluate). You may, however, use your own terms or designations here. 



WHAT: What is it?; What media-type or platforms are you designing for? 

WHERE: What markets, places or situations is it designed for?

WHEN: When is it being launched; is it designed for a particular time of day, event or activity? WHY: What need does it meet? What job does it perform? 

WHO: Who are your assumed users / customers / audience members?



What goals might using Participatory Design Techniques help you attain? Consider the following examples and try to answer the questions:


  • Identify: Do you want to know who your potential audiences are? DO you want to know what matters?
  • Understand: Are you looking to understand your customers or audience better? Do you how your idea will fit into their lives, solve pain-points, or enchant them?
  • Co-create: Are you trying to co-create with your customers or audiences, ie involve them in the development of your project? 
  • Acquire: Build or expand a base of fan or customers that you can leverage for marketing and promotional purposes? 
  • Retain: Is your audience dropping off? Do they download or access your offering but fail to follow through or return?



Use the grid to sort your PD technique cards against goals and stage of project.



4 smaller images demonstrating interactive content
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:30pm

Intelligent Communities Summit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 4:00am to Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 4:00am

With a presentation by President Dr. Sara Diamond

The Seven Habits of Highly Intelligent Communities Summit, organized by i-Canada, will run from June 3 to 4. Held at George Brown College’s Waterfront campus, this year’s summit will explore why smaller cities like Oulu in Finland, Tallinn in Estonia and Canada’s own Stratford, Ont. made the Intelligent Community Forum’s (ICF) list of the top seven most intelligent cities in the world.

Every year, the forum creates a list of communities that creatively use broadband networks and information and communications technology to improve their citizens’ standard of living. The list starts with 21 of these intelligent communities and is later cut down to a short list of the top seven. Among Canadian contenders, the 2013 short list includes Stratford and Toronto.

Representatives from the top seven cities will be coming to the summit to explain how each of their cities represents one of the seven habits of highly intelligent communities. For example, a representative from Oulu, Finland, will give a presentation about one of the habits – “being open” – through giving its citizens access to free public WiFi throughout the city.

The summit will expand more on the seven habits of intelligent communities, but as a quick preview, these habits include being strategic, open, ubiquitous, fast, analytical, value-focused and collaborative.

Toronto’s contribution was for being fast. With the installation of an ultra high-speed, 1 Gpbs fibre network in Toronto’s East Bayfront and West Don Lands communities, businesses and residents alike will have access to a blazingly fast Internet connection, Gander says.

In a similar vein, Stratford made the list for being value-focused. Stratford, Ont. is home to roughly 31,000 people. Yet despite its size, the city garnered a spot on the top seven because it has developed information and communications technology that supports its thriving arts scene.

Other highlights of the summit include the Lac Carling 3.0 Congress, where Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD University) president Dr. Sara Diamond will present a study on mobile devices and how they affect the relationship between governments and their citizens. Speakers will also look at the open data phenomenon and what that spells for governments looking to shape public policy.

This is the second year that Stratford has made the shortlist of most intelligent communities, while Toronto hasn’t cracked the top seven since 2005. The seven are chosen from a list of 21 cities, with Winnipeg, Man. and Kingston, Ont. also appearing on that list.

Venue & Address: 
George Brown College Waterfront Campus 51 Dockside Drive Toronto, Ontario
Registration required