OCAD University

Designer Natalie Jeremijenko to speak at

OCAD’s M.C. McCain Design Speaker Series

TORONTO, January 28, 2009—The Faculty of Design of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) presents a talk by designer Natalie Jeremijenko on Thursday, February 12 at 6:45 p.m. Jeremijenko is the third speaker in the 2008–09 M.C. McCain Design Speaker Series, which has included lectures by CBC Radio One host Terry O’Reilly and IDEO Creative Director Jane Fulton Suri.

Natalie Jeremijenko is Director of the xDesign Environmental Health Clinic at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, where she is associate professor in Art, and affiliated with the Computer Science Department. She is also a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art in London, England and an artist not-in-residence at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. Previously she taught visual arts at the University of California, San Diego and engineering at Yale University.

Jeremijenko, whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering, creates work described as experimental design, as it explores opportunities presented by new technologies for non-violent social change. Her research centres on structures of participation in the production of knowledge and information, and the political and social possibilities (and limitations) of information and emerging technologies — mostly through public experiments. In this vein, her work spans a range of media from statistical indices (such as the Despondency Index, which linked the Dow Jones to the suicide rate at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge) to biological substrates (such as the installations of cloned trees in pairs in various urban micro-climates) to robotics (such as the development of feral robotic dog packs to investigate environmental hazards). Her permanent installation on the roof of the Postmasters Gallery in New York provides infrastructure and facilities for high-density bird cohabitation in an environmental experiment in interaction with the city’s bird population.

Jeremijenko’s work has been exhibited at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. A 1999 Rockefeller Fellow, Jeremijenko was recently named one of the 40 most influential designers by I.D. Magazine and one of the inaugural Top 100 Young Innovators (TR100) by the MIT Technology Review. Jeremijenko is also the winner of the 2008-2009 VAI-SSRC New York Prize Fellowship in Sustainable Cities and the Social Sciences.

M.C. McCain Design Speaker Series presents
Natalie Jeremijenko

Thursday, February 12 at 6:45 p.m.

Ontario College of Art & Design
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Seating is limited; guests are advised to arrive early.

The M.C. McCain Design Speaker Series concludes with a lecture by Jenny Bergström, designer and researcher at the Interactive Institute in Stockholm, on Thursday, March 12 at 6:45 p.m.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD 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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Media Contacts:

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

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