Show/Hide Images

Student work by 2014 Medal Winner Sanaz Mianji

Environmental Design

Designing ourselves back into the environment by creating expressive interior and architectural experiences that nurture community.

Student work by 2014 Medal Winner Sanaz Mianji.

Environmental Design

The Environmental Design program focuses designing ourselves back into the environment through expressive interior and architectural space. Projects are developed in an interior architectural, environmental and societal context, with thoughtful respect to the surrounding and pre-existing environments. 

Core design studios develop a design methodology of research, analysis, design and presentation, emphasizing conceptual development. Students will learn to transform conceptual ideas into spatial realities and speculations.

Advanced studio projects include commercial, residential, retail, hospitality and institutional design, with a variety of interdisciplinary options.

The fourth-year thesis studio focuses on a more complex project corresponding to your particular values and interests. This core curriculum is supported by a broad base of design theory, material and technology, drawing, computer and graphic presentation, and professional practice course material.

Many continue on to graduate studies in architecture, environmental sciences and sustainability programs, or use their design education to create new opportunities in varied and unique situations.





Places of employment

Our students work in varied spatial design fields and firms; some examples include: Bruce Mau Design; Holt Renfrew (store designer); Starbucks (store design program); Yabu Pushelberg; Cecconi Simone; II BY IV Design; Gluck + (New York); Daniels Corp.; Diamond Schmitt Architects; Harir Pontarini Architects; B+H Architects; Zeidler Partnership Architects; Adamson Architects; Quadrangle Architects; NORR Limited; TIFF (design intern); Scotiabank Canada; Apple.

Many students have entered into master's programs for architecture, utilizing their Environmental Design degrees for their first architectural degrees. Others have gone on to study landscape architecture, theatre design and furniture design.

Acceptance into graduate programs

Schools and programs our graduates are in or have graduated from are:

  • Aalto University, Finland, MArch
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk, Poland, Master of Fine Art
  • Columbia University, New York, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, MArch
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, MArch
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, IIT, Chicago, MArch
  • Lund University, Sweden, Faculty of Engineering, Masters in Urban Design, Sustainable Urban Design
  • McGill University, Montreal, MArch
  • Nordic Five Tech (Alliance of five Universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden), dual Master's in Sustainable Urban Transitions
  • Parsons, New York, MArch
  • Pratt Institute, New York, MArch
  • Ryerson University, Toronto, Diploma in Restoration Architecture
  • UIC  Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, Sustainable Emergency Architecture, MArch
  • University of Birmingham, England, MSc Urban and Regional Planning
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, MArch
  • University of Calgary, MArch
  • University of Manitoba, MArch
  • University of Michigan, MArch
  • University of Toronto, MArch, Master's of Landscape Architecture

Awards and recognition

  • Glenn MacArthur, assistant professor, recently published the third edition of Colour & Two-Dimensional Design, an in-depth colour textbook used at OCAD U in the first-year curriculum.
  • Mark Tholen, assistant professor, mentoring ED students: Sanjana Chokshi, Supreetha Guntur, Nancy Le, Olayide Madamidola, Aruvi Rajasingham, Alejandro Rebollar Heres, Rachel Sau and Jason Wong won the Materialica Award in Munich, Germany for their Beaches Winter Stations installation (Winter 2016) The Steam Canoe. The Steam Canoe was designed for the Design Competition at Woodbine Beach in Toronto March 2016 and then was re-erected at the OMI Sculpture Park in Ghent, New York in October 2016.