Current Members

Image of Paula Gardner
Paula Gardner Co-Director, Faculty

Paula Gardner, PhD., is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Ontario. My work binds around an interest in the relationship between discourses (visual and textual), identity, new technologies and practices of citizenship. I investigate these interests through a range of subject matter and mediums, including Critical Psychiatry studies, Science and Technology Studies, Mobile Experience Design, and Documentary Video Production.

I am in production on a new mobile experience project entitled “Biomapping: mobile interventions in self-computation and spatial aesthetics.” It will allow participants to think through and adopt a range of characteristics (perspective data, biological data, etc) to create 2-D and 3-D maps of their selves. This project is generously funded by SSHRC Research Creation Grant. See projects or, for more information.

I am also completing production on a documentary film entitled “Eyes That Don’t See, Hearts that Don’t Feel,” examining the impact of American asylum and immigration policy, since 9/11, on individuals fleeing torture and persecution experiences abroad.

I was a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economic’s BIOS center for the study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, July-Dec 2009. During that time I was working on my book project entitled “Recovery Inc.; Personal Security, Risk Management and Democracy.”

Photo of Geoffrey Shea
Geoffrey Shea Co-Director, Principal Investigator

Geoffrey Shea, MFA, is a Canadian media artist whose work highlights the intersections and opportunities between technological systems, belief systems and identity. His productions incorporate interactive programming, site-specific installation, mobile phones, a philosophical twist and a critical voice.

Shea is an Associate Professor at OCAD University in the Faculty of Art as well as in the Inclusive Design and the Interdisciplinary Art Media & Design graduate programs.

Working primarily in video and installation, Shea has demonstrated the effects of scale on depictions of subjectivity, from tiny poetic artworks to large public projections of ambient playspaces. His work has examined how democratic politics, organized religion and art practice itself create tensions between individual isolation and community responsibility. Current research/creation includes experimental film, a wireless streetscape mesh network to support audio installations, and the intersections between art and disability. His artwork has been exhibited widely and was featured at two recent Nuits Blanches in Toronto and the exhibition “Talk to Me” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Patricio Davila Co-Director

Patricio Davila is a designer, artist, researcher and educator. He is currently an Assistant Professor at OCAD University (Faculty of Design) and member of the OCADU Mobile Media Lab. He is also completing a doctoral degree in the Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities with a focus on Critical Approaches to Design and Data Visualization. As an educator he has taught Interactive Design, Data Visualization, Typography, Research Methodologies, Thesis and Core Studio.

As a researcher, Patricio has been involved in a variety of projects that incorporate design research, interactive and time-based media, including: Biomapping (investigating the representation of biometric data, movement and space through the creation of 2D visualizations and 3D objects); Information Design for Chemotherapy (field study with OCADU students and the University Health Network Healthcare Human Factors Group); Access For All (working with the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCADU and the Ministry of Government Services on eLearning strategies).

As an artist he has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been awarded Toronto and Ontario Arts Council grants supporting his work. He has also created mobile, locative and new media installations including: E Tower (Nuit Blanche Installation with the CN Tower and Rogers Communication); System for Forgetting and Remembering (Leona Drive Project interactive video installation). As a professional designer and creative director he has worked on branding, communication design and interactive projects for Bell Canada, Telus, CIBC, the Marshall McLuhan Festival, VISA, Toronto International Film Festival, and Japan's Public Broadcaster NHK.


Photo of Scott Nason Scott Nason Research Assistant

I make human solutions for technological problems. My background spans design, programming, and cultural practices. I have studied at Ryerson University and OCADU University.

While at the Mobile Experience Lab at OCAD University, I've been working on a project titled,Hyper-Migration since winter 2015. Using a praxis-based approach, the project examines issues of trauma therapy with non-linear story-telling. My contributions include design and programming. 

Photo of Andrew Hicks Andrew Hicks Research Assistant

I have spent the early part of my career in producing, directing and animating independent live action and experimental animated short films. My work has been featured around the world, including Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival and Cleveland International Film Festival just to name a few. Having worked with IMAX SANDDE (Stereoscopic Animation Drawing Device) in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada’s Hothouse Program in 2011, my focus on immersive and interactive storytelling led to the creation of experimental works featured on Intel and Vice Magazine’sThe Creators Project: Technology and the Brightest Young Minds in Music, Art, Film and Design. A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Film Academy ‘10, my involvement with NSCAD University's, Cineflux, began soon after my degree, leading the development of a geocaching video app titled, Narratives App to be released in late 2016.

    Image of Martha Ladly Martha Ladly Research Associate

    Martha Ladly, PhD is a Professor and the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at OCAD University, where she specializes in design research methods, collaborative design methods, and mobile experience design. She is a researcher in the Mobile Experience Lab, and a PI with the Centre for Innovation in Visualisation and Data Driven Design. Martha led the design and implementation of the new Graduate Program in Digital Futures. She held the Chair of OCAD University’s Research Ethics Board from 2008-2011. 

    Martha is co-editor of the anthology "Mobile Nation: Creating Methodologies for Mobile Platforms", published by Riverside Press in 2008; she was a senior researcher with the Mobile Digital Commons Network (2005-7) and the Principal Investigator and conference leader of the Mobile Nation International Conference at OCADU, for which she won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Award. Her practice and research interests include interdisciplinary art and design research creation, mobile learning, interface and experience design. She is currently finishing her PhD dissertation on the place of women, the female body, and Eros within the philosophy of technology.

    Martha is a Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) and a faculty member with the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab.

    Photo of Stephen Surlin Stephen Surlin Research Assistant

    I am an artist, designer, musician and recent graduate of the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) Program at OCAD University, receiving my Master’s of Design (MDes) Degree. 

    My previous and current research revolves around rapid prototyping (3D printing) and manufacturing, along with sustainable and critical design. This research led me to examine historical forms of communication, communal sharing, consumption, and how these systems can inform current technology to exist in a more ambient and open-source form, especially in a widely internet enabled society.

    My research in the Body Editing project investigates the relationship between a user’s apperceptive experience when using an intuitive gesture controlled wireless interface with their body movement and the ways the user can understand how they are effecting the audio/visual feedback.

    Photo of Hart Reed Hart Reed Research Assistant

    I have a BA in Consciousness Studies from The Evergreen 
    State College and am currently pursuing my Masters in Design at OCAD University. I enjoy building web applications and installations that explore the complex relationship between self and technology. My interests include philosophy of mind, ecology, cybernetics, and game design.

    I am working primarily on the Body Editing project, developing a framework that uses web technologies to allow for rapid prototyping of different kinaesthetic experiences. Past prototypes have focused on using the Kinect to explore bodily motion in abstract, aesthetically pleasing visualizations, as well as networking devices like tablets and smartphones to allow for intergenerational play.

    Past Members

    Image of Dora Poon Dora Poon Research Co-Ordinator

    Dora Poon is a multidisciplinary artist/designer. Dora has been working under the direction of Paula Gardner and Geoffrey Shea, with teams exploring data visualization, play, health and gesture-based research. 

    Photo of Marjan Verstappen Marjan Verstappen Research Assistant

    A sculptor, draughtswoman and installation artist, Marjan Verstappen has recently finished her MFA at OCAD U.  In the Mobile Lab she uses her critical and conceptual skills to help design unique media objects.  She also writes papers about our design methods and presents them regularly at conferences.  In the past 12 months she had spoken about our research at the Culture of Cities conference in Manhattan and the World Social Science Forum in Montreal.  In her own research, Marjan is most interested in how we learn about our environment from visual and observational information. Her questions lead her to study the disciplinary crossovers between art and science.  

    Symon Olivier Research Co-Ordinator
    Photo of Cathy Chen Cathy Chen Research Assistant

    Cathy Chen is passionate about using design thinking and practice to empower socially and cognitively disadvantaged groups. She is a co-founder of DruMeBa Inc, an interactive media and social purpose business developing systems and software to assist children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) with their communication and cognitive skills. During her Master’s degree program in Digital Futures at OCAD University, Cathy designed a system that utilizes a combination of internet, community radio and SMS technologies to encourage collaborative composition across distances among children in rural India.

    Her role in the CBC Newsworld Holodeck and Postcard Memories OCADU research projects is to help research, envision and build prototypes. For Postcard Memories, Cathy and teammates performed horizon scans to look into various existing applications relating to the core idea of the project: to help senior's memory recall abilities through a touch-based collaborative application. After extensive user experience brainstorming, Cathy and her teammates designed and edited the visual look and feel of the project interface and reviewed the projects with members of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute as well as with Canada Post.

    Cathy's second project involves creating a new interface for information retrieval in an archive of CBC news video clips. As a research assistant, she and other teammates helped brainstorm ways of retrieving data through various interaction methods: gesture, text and voice. Cathy then designed user interface prototypes and performed some HTML/CSS/JavaScript coding for the project mockup.

    Her current role for both projects include refining the user experience and interactivity for future user testing as well as integrating the initial CBC News prototype with Gesturetek’s technology.

    Ana Jofre Research Associate

    Ana Jofre’s interdisciplinary practice is grounded in a diverse academic background, which includes a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto. Ana started pursuing art as a professional practice and exhibiting her work while serving as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Physics at UNC Charlotte, where she conducted and published research in Experimental Biophysics. At this time, she also completed a BFA with a concentration in ceramics at the same University. A romantic at heart, she found herself more motivated to make a cultural contribution to society than to collect and publish additional data. She is currently enrolled in an MFA program at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University in Toronto, Canada, with a degree expected in April 2015. Her current practice integrates knowledge and methodologies from various disciplines to create aesthetic experiences of ‘presence’. 

    Dr. Jofre has been working as a research assistant at OCAD University since August 2013.  She worked with Sara Diamond on the 'Tangible Interfaces and Data Sculpture' project, and is currently working wiht Martha Ladly on the CBC Newsworld Holodeck project, and on the Postcard Memories project.  

    David Green Research Associate
    Ruzette Tanyag Research Assistant
    Photo of Pavika Chintraruck Pavika Chintraruck Research Assistant
    Photo of Jessica Peter Jessica Peter Research Assistant
    Photo of Pei Zhou Pei Zhou Research Assistant
    Ken Leung Research Assistant
    Peter Todd Research Assistant
    Leighanne Pahapill Research Assistant
    Jennie Ziemiannin Research Co-Ordinator
    Alexandra Haagaard Research Assistant
    Tahireh Lal Research Assistant
    Rob King Research Assistant, Developer
    Tim Bettridge Research Assistant
    Yvon Julie Research Assistant
    Serena Lee Research Assistant
    Nell Chitty Research Assistant
    Photo of Lee Jones Lee Jones Research Assistant

    Combining art, science, and technology. During my undergraduate degree I started the publication Art & Science Journal, which has grown under my direction to over 260,000 Tumblr subscribers and been chosen as one of the best blogs by Tumblr under both the categories of Art and Science. 

    Currently I’m a Masters of Design student studying Digital Futures at OCAD University in Toronto. 

    Jennifer Johnson Research Assistant
    Alexei Vella Research Assistant
    Photo of Guillermina Buzio Guillermina Buzio Research Assistant

    Guillermina Buzio is a Toronto-based artist, and holds a BFA from the National University of Fine Arts P. Pueyrredón (Argentina), a Bachelor of Media Arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and an MFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design. As a visual artist she has worked in a diverse range of media, including video installation and performance. Her work focuses on human rights and identity and has been shown at Toronto’s A Space and Xspace Galleries and at the Images Festival; Centro Cultural Recoleta and Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires and Bogotá; and at the Ushuaia Biennale, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Bienal de La Habana, and the Bienal Arte Nuevo Interactiva, among others. During the past few years, Guillermina has been programming for different festivals and venues including: The Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, BIM (Bienal de Arte en Movimiento), Inside Out LGTB Festival, New Toronto Works, The Experimental Media Congress, among others. She teaches Intro to Video Editing at Continuing Studies at OCADU.

    Katherine Laura Meyer Research Assistant

    Katie is a writer, web designer, and graduate student in the Digital Futures program at OCAD U. She first became interested in innovative strategies for art therapy as a ward clerk at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she worked in the Veteran’s wing. After completing her undergraduate degree in English and Film Studies at the University of St. Andrews, Katie went on to work at Sunnybrook and Bell Media as a web communications strategist. In 2014, she began working under Paula Gardner as a research assistant focusing on scholarship around digital art and music therapy for seniors.