Team

Current Members

Dr. Sara Diamond
Dr. Sara Diamond Director

Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada’s “university of the imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computer Science and degrees in new media theory and practice, social history and communications. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists. While retaining OCAD University's traditional strengths in art and design, Diamond has guided the university in becoming a leader in digital media, design research and curriculum through the Digital Futures Initiative, new research in Inclusive Design, health and design, as well as in sustainable technologies and design. She also played a leading role in OCAD University's establishment of the unique Aboriginal Visual Culture Program. These initiatives have built strong partnerships for OCAD University with science, business and communities, in Ontario and abroad. Currently, she serves on the Ontario Ministry of Culture’s Advisory Council on Arts & Culture, ORION (Ontario’s high-speed network), SHARCNET, IO (Interactive Ontario), Canadian Women in Communications; i-Canada; is Chair of the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto Advisory Committee. Diamond serves the larger university community through her membership on the Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR) of the Association of Universities and Colleges and as Chair of the Standing Committee on Relationships with Other Postsecondary Institutions for the Council of Ontario Universities. Diamond is a member of the Council of the Canadian Academies’ expert panel on the State of Science & Technology in Canada.

She is a data visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist and designer. She developedwww.codezebra.net, a social media software and performance and responsive fashion environment. Diamond is founding Chair of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre and current co-chair (with RBC). She is co-principal investigator on the Centre for Information Visualization/Data Driven Design, an OCAD U/York University major initiative and sits on the board of the National Centre of Excellence GRAND. Diamond continues to write and lecture on the subjects of digital media history, digital media, strategic foresight; mobility and design strategy for peer-reviewed journals and acts as a reviewer and evaluator for IEEE and ACM conferences and journals; SSHRC, CFI and the Canada Research Chair programs. Her artwork is held by prestigious collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, NYC and the National Gallery of Canada.

Diamond was the Artistic Director of Media and Visual Art and Director of Research at the Banff Centre, where she created the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led it until 2005. In this role she assisted with the development, incubation and support of many of Canada's leading new media companies. Diamond created and was the Editor-in-Chief of www.horizonzero.ca, an online showcase for new media art and design in collaboration with Heritage Canada and The Banff Centre. At the Banff Centre she created international think tanks and collaborations in ICT, digital media and science research with artists, designers and scientists from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Central and Western Europe and the U.S.A., as well as Canada. Her book (with Sarah Cook) Euphoria & Dystopia: The Banff New Media Dialogues, a history of the boom, bust and reset years of the first wave of digital media is currently available; published by Banff Centre Press and Riverdale Architectural Press, University of Waterloo.

Photo of Isabel Meirelles
Isabel Meirelles Principal Investigator

Isabel Meirelles is a designer and educator whose intellectual curiosity lies in the relationships between visual thinking and visual representation. Isabel is a Professor in the Faculty of Design and a Researcher in the Visual Analytics Lab (VAL) at OCAD University, Toronto, Canada. At VAL, Meirelles is currently a researcher in two ORF-RE Projects: iCity: Urban Informatics for Sustainable Metropolitan Growth, and the Big Data Research, Analytics, and Information Network (BRAIN) Alliance. Prior to her current academic appointment that began in January 2015, Meirelles taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Art + Design department at Northeastern University, Boston (2003–14), and was a core faculty member at Northeastern’s Center for Digital Humanities and Computational Social Sciences (2012–14). Isabel’s research focuses on the theoretical and experimental examination of the fundamentals underlying how information is structured, represented, and communicated in different media. Meirelles is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences dealing with information design, motion graphics, and design education. Besides numerous refereed articles and book chapters, Meirelles is the author of “Design for Information: An introduction to the histories, theories, and best practices behind effective information visualizations” (Rockport Publishers, 2013). Meirelles frequently collaborates with colleagues in the sciences and the humanities in interdisciplinary projects involving visualization of information. In addition, she has continued a creative design practice focused on print publications and interactive applications devised in collaboration with artists and art curators.

Dr. Steve Szigeti
Dr. Steve Szigeti Principal Investigator

Dr. Steve Szigeti currently holds a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Visual Analytics Lab (VAL) at OCAD University. His research interests include information visualization, research methodology and the design process. His dissertation (University of Toronto, 2011) explored the interpretation and efficacy of design guidelines as a means to bridge the gap between interface design and evidence based design guidelines. Steve has published research emerging from VAL at IEEE InfoVis 2014, CHI2014, Urban Ecologies 2013 and GRAND AGM 2013. He has developed and delivered courses at the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, and OCAD University. Steve has served as the VP of UX and Product Management at Kaypok, Inc. (a start-up focusing on analyzing unstructured text through visual analysis) and as Director, Interactive for TELETOON (during which time teletoon.com won numerous awards and became one of the most successful Canadian websites for kids, averaging over 1.8 million user sessions per month).

 

Photo of Dr. Ana Jofre
Dr. Ana Jofre Principal Investigator

Dr. Ana Jofre is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Visual Analytics Lab at OCAD University, and a visual artist. Her interdisciplinary practice is grounded in a diverse academic background, which includes a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto, and an MFA from OCAD University. She 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. Her publications and conference presentations cover a wide range of intellectual interests, from physics to cultural studies, and she has exhibited her artwork extensively. Dr. Jofre's current creative and research interests include figurative sculpture, the uncanny, puppetry, robotics, tangible interfaces, and data visualization.  

Martha Ladly
Dr. Martha Ladly Principal Investigator

Dr. Martha Ladly is a Professor of Design and Graduate Studies at OCAD University. She specializes in experience design, and interactive media, art and technology research; she is a founding researcher with the Mobile Experience Lab and was a principal network investigator with the GRAND Canadian National Centre of Excellence. She is currently undertaking research in the Centre for Innovation in Data Visualization and Data-Driven Design (CIV-DDD) with Dr. Gerald Penn, investigating gesture and keyword driven browsing, search and display, within a large 24-year CBC news data corpus. Martha is the author of numerous articles on digital technology and entertainment and has shown her work internationally, most recently at ISEA 2014 in Dubai, UAE. In the 1990s Martha was the Head of Design with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Group in the U.K. She had a prominent international career as a performer, writer, and recording artist in the 1980s. Martha completed her PhD on Eros, Women, and Technology in 2013, in the Communication and Culture Program at York University, and continued her research as a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in 2014

Photo of Dr. Fanny Chevalier
Dr. Fanny Chevalier Principal Investigator

Between 2012-2014, Fanny Chevalier was a post-doctoral researcher at OCAD U, and the DGP lab, at U of T where she conducted research on Interactive Visual Interfaces. Before coming to Canada, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Aviz team of INRIA Saclay, where she was part of the Microsoft Research INRIA Joint Centre in the REACTIVITY project. Fanny Chevalier previously worked at the LABRI as a member of the team GRAVITE of INRIA Bordeaux, where she prepared her PhD in Computer Science focused on graph comparison. Fanny Chevalier's research vision is to help users of interactive visual interfaces effectively explore data and communicate information. She does so by providing appropriate visual data representations coupled with natural and rich interaction. Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Information Visualization and Visual Design, with a specific focus on interactive interfaces where direct manipulation and animated transitions aim to facilitate data exploration and knowledge discovery.

 

Dr. Bhuvaneswari Arunachalan Principal Investigator

Between 2013-2015, Dr. Bhuvaneswari Arunachalan was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Visual Analytics Lab (VAL) at OCAD University. Her research was mainly focused on mobile technology, analytical algorithms, natural user interface design, multimodal interactions, and interactive visualizations. She completed PhD in Computer Science at University of New Brunswick, Canada. Her research contribution includes a mobile middleware for electronic patient-care record (e-PCR) system that operates in handheld devices to support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulatory section, NB, Canada. In 2005 and 2008, she has been a delegate in ICT Going Global Team that visited India and France. As a faculty of Department of Computer Science (1995 – 2005) at Avinashilingam University, India, she has developed and conducted several graduate and undergraduate courses, and supervised more than 10 graduate thesis and undergraduate projects. She has more than 15 publications in peer reviewed journals, conferences, and seminars, delivered several invited talks and workshops. 

Razieh Niazi Lab Alumni
Photo of Laura Wright Laura Wright Research Assistant

Laura Wright is an artist, producer, writer and interactive designer based in Toronto, ON. She recently completed a Masters of Fine Art in the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University where she is exploring interactive video, app design and digital art installations. As a research assistant at OCAD University, she is developing and testing a program to help Alzheimer’s patients at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute with memory retention. She recently took part in an international exchange with the American College of Greece in Athens where she worked to re-invigorating the 2004 Olympic venues with digital art interventions. She exhibited an interactive art installation called Arduino Disco for Toronto’s 2013 Nuit Blanche. Wright has a Bachelor of Journalism degree with Honours from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. She worked for several years as a news reporter and editor for CBC News, based in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

 

Hudson Pridham Lab Alumni
Image of Fred Frederico Tomé Research Assistant

Frederico Tomé is a 4th year undergraduate student of Media Design. His background and research interests include user research, user experience, game design and design methods. He has worked on past years in different user-centered projects as a design strategist and have a personal interest on games for health and improving users accessibility.

 

Weiwei Sun Lab Alumni
Photo of Lan-Xi Dong Lan-Xi Dong Research Assistant

Lanxi Dong is an undergraduate student in the Industrial Design program at OCAD University. She is interested in experience design, inclusive design, user-centred design, and urban design, as well as exploring research methods in design practice.

Laura Wright Lab Alumni
Harjot Bal Lab Alumni
Pavika Chinatraruck (Pui) Lab Alumni
Martin Dimkovski Lab Alumni
Anna Golinski Lab Alumni
Boris Kurtoukov Lab Alumni
Symon Oliver Lab Alumni
Tatijana Petkovic Lab Alumni
Borzu Talaie Lab Alumni
Peggy Zhou (Pei) Lab Alumni
Cornelia Baptista Lab Alumni
Allie Chiu Lab Alumni
Guia Gali Lab Alumni
John Harvey Lab Alumni
Ambrose Li Lab Alumni
Tea Pajkic Lab Alumni
Gabe Sawhney Lab Alumni
Ruzette Tanyag Lab Alumni
Cathy (Pin-Chun) Chen Lab Alumni
Elnaz Delpisheh Lab Alumni
Alex Gebhardt Lab Alumni
Chris Ivanovs Lab Alumni
John Matyskiel Lab Alumni
Joana Patrasc Lab Alumni
Anne Stevens Lab Alumni
Photo of Bryn A. Ludlow Bryn A. Ludlow Research Assistant

Bryn A. Ludlow is a Ph.D. student at York University in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, York & Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. She holds a BFA in Integrated Media from the Ontario College of Art & Design University (2010) and a MA in Health & Aging from McMaster University (2012). As Graduate Research Assistant at the VA Lab under supervision of Dr. Martha Ladly, Bryn is involved in two projects: ‘The CBC Newsworld Holodeck Project’, which she presented at CHI 2014, and ‘Postcard Memories’, an iPad application geared to older adults with a diagnosis of Early Stage Dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Bryn has presented her research on body mapping at national and international conferences, including at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011). Her 'Body Spaces' vector illustrations are published in 'The Medical Post', and 'Ars Medica: A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities'. 

Rober Tu Lab Alumni
Photo of Jessica Peter Jessica Peter Research Assistant

Jessica Peter is an undergraduate student in the Digital Futures programat OCAD U. Her research interests include data visualization, interaction design, and augmented space.

Chantal Chen Lab Alumni
Photo of David Schnitman David Schnitman Research Assistant

David Schnitman is a Toronto-based graphic designer and artist. He works within data visualization, interface design and software development. He graduated from the graphic design program at OCAD U in 2014. 

Chi Deng Lab Alumni
Photo of Dione Scott Dione Scott Research Assistant

Dione Scott is an OCAD U graduate student completing a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Technology and an MBA from Kaplan University. With 7 years experience as a Computer Science Assistance Lecturer she is interested in the using foresight and strategic development practices to create new models for education delivery and learning. She is interested in using experiential data and data visualization techniques to explore the possibilities education practices and reformation.

Maziar Ghaderi Lab Alumni
Photo of Ha Phuong Vu Ha Phuong Vu Research Assistant

 

Phuong Vu is a graduate student of OCAD University's Digital Futures Program. Currently, he holds M.Sc. in computer science and is working toward his M.Des degree. Before OCAD U Phuong was working in the IT industry for more than three years as software professional. He specializes in several major programming languages like Java, Scala, JavaScript, Go Lang and in building a highly scalable distributed system that can serve millions of users concurrently. At OCAD University, his research interest includes Data Visualization, Big Data, Internet of Things, and Wearables. 
 

Siavash Kazemian Lab Alumni
Photo of Stephen Keller Stephen Keller Research Assistant

Stephen Keller is student in the DFI graduate program at OCAD U, Stephen has a background in mass communication and has worked as a motion designer during the last 5 years in projects for television and web. With a personal interest in art and its relationship to the self and nature, at OCAD he is focused in researching ways of exploring and interacting with data, especially how sonic and physical data representations can convey information and how data can be mapped into these forms of representation.

 

Past Members

Photo of Jessica Peter Jessica Peter Research Assistant

Jessica Peter is an undergraduate student in the Digital Futures programat OCAD U. Her research interests include data visualization, interaction design, and augmented space.

Photo of Laura Wright Laura Wright Research Assistant

Laura Wright is an artist, producer, writer and interactive designer based in Toronto, ON. She recently completed a Masters of Fine Art in the Digital Futures Initiative at OCAD University where she is exploring interactive video, app design and digital art installations. As a research assistant at OCAD University, she is developing and testing a program to help Alzheimer’s patients at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute with memory retention. She recently took part in an international exchange with the American College of Greece in Athens where she worked to re-invigorating the 2004 Olympic venues with digital art interventions. She exhibited an interactive art installation called Arduino Disco for Toronto’s 2013 Nuit Blanche. Wright has a Bachelor of Journalism degree with Honours from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. She worked for several years as a news reporter and editor for CBC News, based in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

 

Photo of Dr. Fanny Chevalier Dr. Fanny Chevalier Principal Investigator

Between 2012-2014, Fanny Chevalier was a post-doctoral researcher at OCAD U, and the DGP lab, at U of T where she conducted research on Interactive Visual Interfaces. Before coming to Canada, she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Aviz team of INRIA Saclay, where she was part of the Microsoft Research INRIA Joint Centre in the REACTIVITY project. Fanny Chevalier previously worked at the LABRI as a member of the team GRAVITE of INRIA Bordeaux, where she prepared her PhD in Computer Science focused on graph comparison. Fanny Chevalier's research vision is to help users of interactive visual interfaces effectively explore data and communicate information. She does so by providing appropriate visual data representations coupled with natural and rich interaction. Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Information Visualization and Visual Design, with a specific focus on interactive interfaces where direct manipulation and animated transitions aim to facilitate data exploration and knowledge discovery.

 

Dr. Bhuvaneswari Arunachalan Principal Investigator

Between 2013-2015, Dr. Bhuvaneswari Arunachalan was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Visual Analytics Lab (VAL) at OCAD University. Her research was mainly focused on mobile technology, analytical algorithms, natural user interface design, multimodal interactions, and interactive visualizations. She completed PhD in Computer Science at University of New Brunswick, Canada. Her research contribution includes a mobile middleware for electronic patient-care record (e-PCR) system that operates in handheld devices to support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulatory section, NB, Canada. In 2005 and 2008, she has been a delegate in ICT Going Global Team that visited India and France. As a faculty of Department of Computer Science (1995 – 2005) at Avinashilingam University, India, she has developed and conducted several graduate and undergraduate courses, and supervised more than 10 graduate thesis and undergraduate projects. She has more than 15 publications in peer reviewed journals, conferences, and seminars, delivered several invited talks and workshops. 

Harjot Bal Lab Alumni
Pavika Chinatraruck (Pui) Lab Alumni
Martin Dimkovski Lab Alumni
Anna Golinski Lab Alumni
Symon Oliver Lab Alumni
Tatijana Petkovic Lab Alumni
Borzu Talaie Lab Alumni
Peggy Zhou (Pei) Lab Alumni
Cornelia Baptista Lab Alumni
Allie Chiu Lab Alumni
Guia Gali Lab Alumni
John Harvey Lab Alumni
Ambrose Li Lab Alumni
Tea Pajkic Lab Alumni
Gabe Sawhney Lab Alumni
Ruzette Tanyag Lab Alumni
Cathy (Pin-Chun) Chen Lab Alumni
Elnaz Delpisheh Lab Alumni
Alex Gebhardt Lab Alumni
Chris Ivanovs Lab Alumni
John Matyskiel Lab Alumni
Joana Patrasc Lab Alumni
Anne Stevens Lab Alumni
Rober Tu Lab Alumni
Chantal Chen Lab Alumni
Chi Deng Lab Alumni
Maziar Ghaderi Lab Alumni
Siavash Kazemian Lab Alumni
Razieh Niazi Lab Alumni
Hudson Pridham Lab Alumni
Weiwei Sun Lab Alumni