Digital Media Research + Innovation Institute (DMRII)

OCAD University is a recipient of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) ARC fund. This funding has contributed to applied research and commercialization projects. Please visit our FedDev projects here.

Ambient Experience Lab

Ambient Experience LabThe Ambient Experience Lab, established in December 2010 under the directorship of Professor Job Rutgers, functions as a centre for various research projects undertaken with partners.

Ambient experience design is based on a deep understanding of the values, needs and cultures of end users and integrates ambient technologies (image, light, technology, scent, sound) into architectural environments. Currently, architects and planners use different methods to define and detail the required program of space and functionality. Some architects use 3D visualizations to define the optimal flow of people and goods in public places such as train stations, offices and the like. Although these tools are efficient and inspirational and often lead to interesting new architecture, they lack the integration of more subjective “data” on people’s experiences and emotions; their observations or information related to their cultural backgrounds.

Ambient experience design research is an emerging field of spatial design that aims to address this gap by using research tools and processes borrowed from the fields of industrial design, interaction design and branding. For example, in ambient experience design, tools such as “personas” and “experience journey mapping” or “identity and personality traits” are used to identify more “subjective” experience requirements for space design and interior elements like furniture, layout, signage and lighting.

Art Research Lab

Art Research CentreArt Research Lab is an impetus-studio facility that supports and promotes innovative and interdisciplinary art explorations and collaborative research by faculty and graduate students. The lab supports Faculty of Art funded projects as well as a Digital Atelier, an artist-in-residence program for national/international artists who work in collaborative projects with graduate students within the field of digital media. Currently funded research projects focus on explorations with 3D rendering, prototyping technologies and holography.

Black Box Facility (Accessible Performance Lab)
The Digital Media Black Box Facility (named the Accessible Performance Lab, or APL) is a signature research environment for OCAD U. It is a shared, flexible research and presentation facility and is designed to support:

Digital Drawing & Painting Lab (DDPL)
The Digital Drawing & Painting Lab (DDPL) has transformed a traditional drawing and painting studio with the installation of workstations and smart screens to expand the physical canvas with digital tools. This transformation allows art creation to flow between the analogue and digital, to extend traditional processes into relevant new territory. The resulting digital drawings and paintings are both actual and virtual, often redefining conventional relationships to existing space. The digital allows for altered forms of dissemination of drawing and painting into new interfaces that have far-reaching implications.

The DDPL supports leading contemporary art practices that engage experimentation in photogenic painting, contemporary abstraction, digital projection painting and the digital manipulation of imagery that resides in popular culture. These research fields influence new animation technologies, and sketching and painting techniques in product design as well as applications in architecture, interior design and virtual interface design.

These laboratories also support pedagogical research and experimentation — new curricular developments that build undergraduate and graduate research capacity as well as research initiatives in animation and figurative studies. The Digital Drawing & Painting Lab consists of a graduate/faculty research facility and a digital studio.

Digital Technology Lab 
Currently in the planning stages, Digital Technology Lab explores ubiquitous and tangible interfaces for collaboration and experience. It will address the collision of our digital and physical worlds — something which profoundly impacts the way we work, play, learn and live together — while exploring how interaction with the digital will occur through the physical tools and spaces that surround us. The Digital Technology Lab will adopt a human-centric perspective and advance the role of art and design in human-centric computing (HCC) research.

e_MOTION Lab (Data Visualization Lab)
The e_MOTION lab supports research in the domain of affective computing, which involves the use of computational means to quantify emotions. The e_MOTION lab creates a unique opportunity for artistic practice to play a major role in empathy and emotion research and embodies art-led practice-based interdisciplinary. The e_MOTION lab is at the leading edge of integrating art and science into affective computing research.

game:play Lab
The game:play lab explores (through play), critique (through theory) and expand (through practice) the nature of the gaming experience.

In addition to the research component of the lab, the game:play lab will also host a residency program with start-up game developers. This will function as an incubator to accelerate the transfer between research and market solutions. It will also provide potential employment opportunities for students and be synergetic for research faculty.

Imagination Catalyst
The Imagination Catalyst is a student and alumni-centred entrepreneurship incubator designed to aggregate OCAD U's innovation research activities and expands industry collaboration in applied research and commercialization.

Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)

The Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC), formerly the ATRC, relocated to OCAD U campus at 205 Richmond St. W. in August 2010. It conducts research into adaptive technologies of emerging information and communication systems and practices. The IDRC, under the direction of Professor Jutta Treviranus, also brings together academic researchers, students, government, community and private-sector partners from around the world to respond to legislative commitments and market demands, and to uphold regional, provincial and national values of inclusion and diversity.

The IDRC is a self-funded research centre, supported by public and private funding from provincial, national and international funding sources.

Inclusive Design Institute (IDI)

IDRC imageThe IDRC leads the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI), a research institute, supported by both the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation with eight postsecondary institutions as core partners: OCAD U, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Sheridan, George Brown College and Seneca College.

The IDI is a regional institute of expertise, providing leadership in addressing the following critical and timely question: How do we design and develop our information and communication technology systems such that they are inclusive of people with varying abilities, languages and cultural preferences?

Mobile Experience Lab

Mobile Experience LabThe Mobile Experience Lab was established in 2006 under the directorship of associate professors Paula Gardner and Geoffrey Shea. The Mobile Experience Lab supports research in the fields of platform design, content delivery, multimedia interfaces, context-aware applications, sensor interfaces, multi-screen connectivity, mobile gaming, wayfinding, and augmented reality.

A broad range of applied use art installation, mobile applications, mobile augmentation and multimedia art for interaction within our environment.

The Mobile Lab has initiated numerous ongoing research projects with external partners including the Canadian Film Centre, Bravo!FACT, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital, Concordia University, the University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, Simon Fraser University, York University, Ryerson University and UC Davis, among others.

Outcomes of research from the Mobile Lab have been highlighted in peer-reviewed publications and presented at events including: Media City in Weimar, Germany; the Festival du nouveau cinéma, Montreal; Mobifest and the Museum of Image and Sound, Sao Paulo, Brazil; the 2010 Olympics; and at events at the Museum of Modern Art as well as numerous national and international academic conferences.

Physical Hybrid Computing (PHC) Lab
The Physical Hybrid Computing (PHC) Lab is a nexus prototyping studio for all DMRII laboratories supporting electronics and robotics development projects, including interactive sculpture, multi-touch sensors, smart materials, lighting and wearables technologies. It houses and supports coding and programming electronics, embedded computer development stations, fabrication of objects with materials using cloth, plastics, wood and metals, and has assembly work stations to connect, test circuits and devices.

Through the possibilities of embedding information into physical objects, faculty researchers and their students explore questions of contemporary embodiment and new possibilities for human/human, human/machine and real and virtual relationships.

SMAC (Social Media + Collaboration) Laboratory
The Social Media and Collaboration (SMAC) Lab is an interdisciplinary production pipeline and test bed for social media and collaboration structures. It is a dedicated research facility for artists, designers, students and external researchers who create social media and collaboration systems and prototypes through iterative and collaborative processes engaging a range of media.

The researchers at the SMAC Lab will encourage existing collaborations with Baycrest, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ryerson University, the Subtle Technologies Festival, the Container Project in Jamaica, the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, and the AMAUTA Centre in Cuzco, Peru.

Social Body Lab

Social Body LabThe Social Body Lab was set up in early 2010 under the leadership of Assistant Professor Kate Hartman. The Social Body Lab takes the human body as a starting point from which to consider how humans interface with and relate to the world around them. Beyond the basic functionality of incorporating technology into clothing, the Social Body Lab focuses on meaningful and provocative interactions, questioning the relationship between humans and technology through working prototypes and fully manifested projects.

The research portfolio includes the exploration of the integration of electronics components — including sensors, microcontrollers and actuators — into clothing through construction and material strategies, including the use of conductive textiles and inks.

Smart Materials + Lighting Laboratory
The Smart Materials and Lighting Lab consists of a research and teaching space for materials investigation initiatives and courses, including smart and sustainable materials research and a new signature interdisciplinary courses.

The lighting lab is a working photo shoot lab where a wide range of light sources and luminaires have been used to investigate light and colour properties of new materials.

The lab houses material samples representing a wide range of stat of the art research into energy efficient processes for fabrication; digital and interactive capacities and properties of materials and sustainable, ecological and healthy materials for consideration in the built environment.

sLAB (Strategic Innovation Laboratory)
sLab ImagesLAB investigates the intersections of human behaviour, new technologies and organizational capacities. It develops and applies strategic foresight, design research, visualization and prototyping methodologies in order to clarify and feed the front end of the innovation process. 

Super Ordinary Lab

The Super Ordinary Lab looks at near-to-market or just-in market technologies to understand their social significance and possibilities. Research projects track broad-based trends and deploy ethnographic methods to understand the originating (and exploratory) cultures of production, as well as potential users of specific products and/or technologies. Case studies are generated as results to understand and discern meaningful innovation in future technologies.

Visual Analytics Lab (VAL)
The Centre for Information Visualization and Data Driven Design (CIV-DDD) project, led by York University in partnership with OCAD U, is a research initiative envisioned to develop the next generation of data discovery, design, and visualization techniques through the development of new computational tools, representational strategies, and interfaces. It is evolving as a preeminent research hub for innovation and training in information and scientific visualization in Ontario.

The $11.5 million, five-year project brings together a unique multidisciplinary team of more than 50 researchers from York U, OCAD U, the University of Toronto, 14 industry partners and significant international collaborators. Sara Diamond, Visualization Design researcher and President of OCAD U, will lead OCAD's team of 12 researchers, from both art and design disciplines.

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (formerly MRI), has provided over $3.8 million in funding through the Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Program: industry partners will contribute over $3.8 million, with the remaining $4.1million coming from the project's institutional partners.

CIV-DDD's industry partners highlight its wide applicability across sectors, including: mass media and communications studies, ethnography, and cultural studies - The Globe and Mail: enterprise and knowledge management businesses - Open Text: technology service providers - IBM/COGNOS, Orion, and SharcNet; physics - Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics; sustainable, intelligent systems, and green technology - Zerofootprint; computer and communication technologies - AMD, IBM, entertainment and web-related industries - Autodesk, Side Effects Software, Inc., and Open Text; research and innovative presentation - Design Exchange; business intelligence work - RBC and IBM: mobile technology and applications developers - medicine and bioinformatics - U of T's Biomedical Simulation Laboratory, the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research, and McMaster University's School of Biomedical Engineering. 

CIV-DDD will also support Ontario's economy by producing innovative technology for commercialization, such as new: data-mining algorithms; 3D-vision and 3D-modelling technologies; data-display tools and protocols; visualization-design methods and techniques; data-inquiry paradigms and user-friendly interfaces. 

Zero Lab
The Zero Lab is a research hub for undergraduate and graduate students. Equipped with state of the art tools and technology in support of information visualization research and data-driven design. The Zero Lab focuses on applied academic research and commercialization of environmental and clean/green technologies to affect behaviour and reduce carbon footprint.

DMRII Virtual Lab
[Description to come.]

Last Modified:7/25/2013 1:38:43 PM


ARC Fund & FedDev Ontario

 Projects 2011/12

Project 1  - Haptic Holography
Project 2  - Extend
Project 3  - With You
Project 4  - Tecla for MyVoice
Project 5  - Mantiro
Project 6  - Visible Campus
Project 7  - MyToshi
Project 8  - InfoViz for social media
Project 9  - Surprise, Wonder and Delight
Project 10  - Neutral Carbon Product
Project 11  - Alarm X
Project 12  - Sousveiller

 Projects 2012/13

Project 1  - Hot Wood
Project 2  - We Touch
Project 3  - Holo Mobile
Project 4  - LIFEbike
Project 5  - Heal.X
Project 6  - Thinking Differently
Project 7  - LMS for ALL
Project 8  - Wearable Sound
Project 9  - Surgical Training Fetus Model
Project 10  - Shift/Craft
Project 11  - Digital Easel
Project 12  - Nudgeables
Project 13  -
Vega X Wearable Lights
Project 14  -
Project 15  -
Project 16  -
Project 17  -
Innovation Concierge
Project 18  -
Inclusive Home Automation Kit
Project 19  -
Project 20  -

Ontario College of Art & Design 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1 Canada Tel. 416.977.6000 Fax. 416.977.6000 © OCAD 2007