Show/Hide Images

Research and innovation

Art, design and digital research and creative practices through a diversity of perspectives, methods and approaches

Photo of the e-Leo exhibit, a collaborative project between OCAD U's DFI program and artist Marina Abramović, 2013. Photo by Christina Gapic.


As Canada's university of the imagination, OCAD U offers a depth and breadth of undergraduate and graduate programs in visual arts and design that combine studio-based learning with critical inquiry. The university engages in art and design research and creative practices through a diversity of perspectives, methods and approaches. Due to OCAD U's pivotal role in maintaining a community of existing artists and designers, as well as training the new generations of artists and designers, it also functions as a cultural institution within the City of Toronto, with influence nationally and internationally.


OCAD U engages in art and design research and creative practice through:

Digital Media, Research + Innovation Institute (DMRII)

The DMRII is OCAD U’s network of multidisciplinary research laboratories, virtual collaborative teams, supporting infrastructure and complementary commercialization support facilities of the Imagination Catalyst. The DMRII supports research excellence and training with a wide range of art creation, applied research investigation and commercialization projects that use human-centred research methods, develop and apply design tools, design thinking processes, combined with the strengths of invention, experimentation and the interpretive qualities of art-making practices.

DMRII Research Labs

Ambient Experience Lab

Art Research Lab

Black Box Facility (Accessible Performance Lab)

Digital Drawing and Painting Lab

Digital Technology Lab

Data Materialization Lab

game:play lab

Imagination Catalyst

IDRC (Inclusive Design Research Centre)

IDI (Inclusive Design Institute)

Mobile Experience Lab

Physical Hybrid Computing Lab

SMAC Lab (Social Media + Collaboration Lab)

Social Body Lab

Smart Materials + Lighting Lab

sLAB (Strategic Innovation Lab)

Super Ordinary Lab

Visual Analytics Lab (VAL)

Zero Lab