Skip to main content

OCAD U announces new Black Studies Design & Art minor

OCAD U image

This fall, OCAD University is offering an important new minor program: The Black Studies Design & Art (Minor), making it the first Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) school in Canada to offer this program.

“Black and African diasporic influences on design have been historically underexplored and Black voices underrepresented and dismissed in design generally,” says Dr. Kathy Moscou, Interim Dean, Faculty of Design. “This Black Studies minor will empower students to connect their cultural histories to creative practice and academic studies, applying a critical design lens.”

The new minor is a multidisciplinary suite of courses, comprised of courses in Black design and art practices, culture, history and critical theory to enrich exploration of decolonized futures by bringing in the voices of Black designers and artists.

Courses will apply a critical design lens using African diasporic frameworks such as Nguzo Saba and Ubuntu to conceptualize Black futures in design and to better understand the intersection of anti-Black racism, decolonization, and African, Black and Caribbean studies.

“The Black Studies Design & Art (minor) is not only important to the students of the African diaspora but all students at OCAD U, contributing to the University’s transformational journey in decolonizing curriculum thereby leading to artists, designers and scholars that co-design equitable futures and advance access, justice and sustainability,” continues Dr. Moscou.

OCAD U’s new minor is aligned with its priorities to drive positive impactcentre the student journey and decolonize and indigenize art and design education and advance equity, as outlined in the University’s Academic and Strategic Plan.

The Black Studies Design & Art (minor) also supports the principles of the Scarborough Charter, which OCAD U signed in 2021.

“All OCAD U students will benefit by expanding their breadth of knowledge fostering their ability to effectively work within diverse environments,” says Dr. Moscou.

The Black Studies Design & Art minor was approved at the Senate Undergraduate Studies Committee on Dec. 7, 2023, and presented to Senate on Jan. 29, 2024.