OCAD University

The OCAD U Student Press

— by Antonio Lennert and Symon Oliver, OCAD U Student Press Directors


At the book launch for Shift: Conventions. Photo: Emma Novotny.
At the book launch for the Student Press's latest publication, Shift: Conventions. Photo: Emma Novotny.
The OCAD University Student Press was born from a simple idea; get great ideas out of OCAD U. The result was the Shift series, which had been developed to showcase a collaborative collection of Environmental and Industrial Design thesis work. The first book in this series was titled, Shift: Positions, since then the reputation of the Press has grown significantly. We have collaborated with leading members of the art and design fields, including Edward Burtynsky, Christopher Hume, Marian Bantjes and Mark Kingwell. As well as being acknowledged for its content, the two publications have also received design awards having been featured in international design magazines such as Coupe and Applied Arts.

Shift: Conventions From this book the Press was given a voice, a foundation to be built upon. Now, nearly six years later the press has become more than a publisher; it now serves as a platform for students to share their ideas while serving as a network to connect students and broadcast their work to the art and design community. The Press celebrates and cultivates a culture of research and dialogue through publications, workshops, lectures, and other events. We are interested in presenting new ideas, whether they take the form of design solutions, artistic interventions, or simple well-framed questions. Focusing on a broad range of local and global issues, we offer students an opportunity to explore subjects they are passionate about.

One of the main goals as directors of the Press is to reach to the entire school, compiling undergraduate and graduate research from all disciplines in both Design and Art, in the service of a truly cross-disciplinary OCAD U publication.

Shift: Conventions spread. Photo: Emma Novotny.

Spread of Shift: Conventions. Photo: Emma Novotny.

We have recently published the fifth edition of Shift. Our aim was to start a conversation between the disciplines of art and design and show that they are inseparable and complimentary. The exchange is represented throughout the book as pictorial and written content, critical, and personal. This issue exemplifies the malleability of designers and artists, and the diversity of skills that enable us to drift beyond the boundaries of our own disciplines. Art and design are inextricably linked; they share similar processes and yet the outcomes of each differ widely. Everything you will find in this issue of Shift: Conventions represents the remarkable potential of language — both written and pictorial — to inform, excite, and express ideas.

Rivet 1. Photo: Antonio Lennert.

Rivet 1. Photo: Antonio Lennert.

This year, along with the annual publication of the Shift series, we are introducing three new pilot projects, Rivet, Function, and Workshop. Rivet is an experimental publication that showcases excellent work from OCAD U students, alumni and faculty that experiment with interesting concepts, materials, and processes. This additional publication serves as another venue for students to publish their work at the same time that allows other students to gain professional experience at the Press. The first edition of Rivet will be launched at the OCAD U Student Gallery on Thursday, March 15 at the Student Gallery. The event begins at 7 p.m.

The second project, Function, is our Pecha Kucha inspired lecture series. With a foundation in curiosity and aim for inquiry, we have created a forum for discussion about topics that excite us. This is an opportunity for students, faculty and alumni from undergraduate and graduate programs in the art and design fields to talk about something they love. Roughly two graduates, two undergraduates and one faculty member presents at each event. After a successful debut in November, Function is back on March 7 at 7 p.m., for a night of beers, conversations, and networking at the OCAD U Student Gallery. Our speakers for this edition are faculty members Roderick Grant and Jesse Jackson, alumnus Kevin Boothe, graduate student Brittany Wray, and undergraduate students Evi Hui, Elliot Vredenburg and Jacob Prapavessis.

A bookbinding workshop. Photo: Lisa MacDonald.

A bookbinding workshop. Photo: Lisa MacDonald.

Our third initiative — in collaboration with the OCAD U Student Gallery — is, Workshop. It consists of a series of five workshops aimed to develop and enhance the understanding of independent publishing. They are designed to inspire students to explore book arts as a platform for creating, sharing and circulating their work. Through demonstrations of bookbinding techniques students will identify the potential of printed matter and the form of the book. All workshops are free, but sign up is required through our website.

Spread, Shift: Conventions. Photo: Emma Novotny.

Inside Shift: Conventions. Photo: Emma Novotny.

Our books are being sold at the OCAD U Student Gallery, Swipe Books on Advertising, Art Metropole, and Type Books. To find out more about the Press and to stay in the loop visit our website at ocadustudentpress.com, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Antonio Lennert is completing his thesis in Graphic Design. Symon Oliver is a recent graduate from Graphic Design. Together they have been directing the OCAD U Student Press since the summer of 2010.

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