OCAD University

OCAD U’s Faculty of Design Speaker Series continues

with David Small and Neri Oxman

(Toronto — February 9, 2011) OCAD University’s Faculty of Design Speaker Series will conclude this March with two talks by leading designers. David Small, creative director of Small Design Firm, will give his talk “Small Firm on a Boisterous Sea” on Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. Architect and designer Neri Oxman will give her talk “Mediated Matter” on Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m.

David Small: "Small Firm on a Boisterous Sea"
Thursday, March 3, 6:30 p.m.
At the messy intersection of design and technology, there is confusion and frustration, but also great potential. Small Design Firm has been camped in this frontier for some time. In his lecture, founder David Small will recount some of his adventures creating experience with software, electronics and even some typography.

David Small completed his Ph.D. at the MIT Media Laboratory in 1999, where his research focused on the display and manipulation of complex visual information. This was his third degree from MIT. He began his studies of dynamic typography in three dimensional landscapes as a student of Muriel Cooper, founder of the Visible Language Workshop, and later joined the Aesthetics and Computation Group under the direction of John Maeda. His thesis, Rethinking the Book, examined how digital media, in particular the use of three-dimensional and dynamic typography, will change the way designers approach large bodies of information. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Documenta11, the Centre Pompidou, and the Cooper-Hewitt. He is the principal and founder of Small Design Firm.

Neri Oxman: "Mediated Matter"
Thursday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.
How can we contribute to human and environmental good by learning about material and design from nature? Over the last century of design, the creation of artifacts has been characterized by the growing separation of form and material. Materiality is, by tradition, secondary to form. With the exception of a few pioneering cases in contemporary design, the material realm has been humbled from its equal footing, and not without consequences in product and spatial design. Oxman’s presentation concludes with a call to shift the design paradigm of the machine to a paradigm of the organism, by promoting seamless objects that mediate physical behaviour and functional constraints.

Architect and designer Neri Oxman is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her group explores how digital design and fabrication technologies mediate between matter and environment to radically transform the design and construction of objects, buildings, and systems. Oxman’s goal is to enhance the relationship between the built and the natural environments by employing design principles inspired by nature and implementing them in the invention of digital design technologies. Areas of application include product and architectural design, as well as digital fabrication and construction.

Oxman was named to ICON magazine's list of the top 20 most influential architects to shape our future (2009), and was selected as one of the "100 most creative people" by FastCompany (2009). In 2008, she was named "Revolutionary Mind" by SEED magazine. Her work has been exhibited at MoMA (New York) and is part of the museum’s permanent collection; other exhibitions include the Museum of Science (Boston), FRAC Centre Collection (Orleans, France), and the 2010 Beijing Biennale. She has received numerous awards including a Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award, the International Earth Award for Future-Crucial Design, and a Metropolis magazine Next Generation Award. Neri Oxman received her PhD in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT, where she developed the theory and practice of material-based design computation. In this approach, the shaping of material structure is conceived of as a novel form of computation. Prior to MIT, she earned her diploma from the Architectural Association (RIBA 2) after attending the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, and the Department of Medical Sciences at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The Faculty of Design Speaker Series is generously supported by TD Bank Group.

OCAD University
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
416-977-6000 | www.ocad.ca

All are welcome; admission is free. Limited seating available; guests are advised to arrive early.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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