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Image: Detail from the brand storytelling deck for the project Escape by OCAD U 2021 Advertising graduates Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng.
 

Faculty of Design students receive national graphic design awards

Nine OCAD University current students and recent graduates from the Faculty of Design are among the 2021 recipients of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) Student Awards. 

The juried program received more than 850 entries from students across Canada. Launched in 1998, the awards program annually brings together emerging and established design professionals to promote excellence in the industry and to support the next generation of graphic designers in the country.  

As Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD U remarked, “The RGD Student Awards help the wider design communities recognize how the worlds of design are changing. The projects that won this year are not the same ones that would have won 10 years ago. Graphic Design is changing and the students’ who are being recognized this year are leading that change.” 

The award-winning work by OCAD U students represents a range of categories including typography, branding, logo development and digital design. Dr. Tunstall continued, “Respectful design is what makes OCAD U’s design students remarkable. In all the winning and honorary mention projects, you see our design students using their creative skills to celebrate culture and different ways of being with approaches that are inclusive, empathetic, and, basically, respectful.” 
 

OCAD U’s RGD Student Awards Winners 2021


Adel Bechara 

won the Premise Award for Strategic Design with the project Localizing Brands with support from Faculty of Design professor Isabel Meirelles. This project also earned Adel an Honourable mention in the Award for Social Good Design Category. Localizing Brands was Adel's thesis project in the Graphic Design program at OCAD U, in which he investigated and developed strategies (including custom typefaces) to make global brands culturally specific.  

Large Arabic letters stylized to resemble Google's brand identity with their signature blue, yellow, red, green colour palette.Image: A screen capture of Adel Bechara's award-winning project, Localizing Brands.


Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng 

are the recipients of the Forge Media + Design Award for Logo Design with their collaborative project Escape with support from Associate Professor Nick Goso and Assistant Professor Dr. Sugandha Gaur. Escape is a Canadian digital music platform that aims to amplify diverse local artists while encouraging listeners' musical exploration.

A woman holding a microphone performs in a dark music venue with moody purple lighting. The word Escape is overlaid on the photograph.Image: Escape logo design by Sydney Mia Gittens, Nat Smith and Alvin Zheng.
 

Maham Momin 

won the Context Creative Award for Storytelling Design with the project A Crooked Line, with support from Faculty of Design professor Keith Rushton. Her project also earned an honourable mention in the 52 Pick-up Award for Typography category.  A Crooked Line is a collective that Momin developed as part of her work at OCAD U in the Graphic Design program, that focuses on South Asian diaspora. For the RGD Awards she submitted a zine that uses typography to visually reflect displacement and fragmentation.  

A grid of images that show each page of Maham Momin's zine project. Images include black and white photos of people in South Asia overlaid with red dots and lines, accompanied by text laid out in a non-linear style.
Image: Spreads from Maham Momin's zine project, A Crooked Line. 
 

Honourable Mentions


Eldrin Banares 

received honourable mention in the Quake Award for Creative Innovation category for the project Draw Your Loneliness with support from Faculty of Design professor Isabel Meirelles. This project was Eldrin’s 2021 undergraduate thesis in the Graphic Design program at OCAD U and is a digital drawing platform that enables visitors to express feelings of isolation through creativity.  

A screen capture of a website with a digital drawing of two hands reaching towards each other.
 Image: An image submission to Eldrin Banares's Draw Your Loneliness website project.
 

Emily Lauren Gomes, Lily Hewitt and Jasmin Zhang

received honourable mention in the Entro Award for Placemaking Design category for their project Wear Your KRWN with support from Dean of Faculty of Design, Dr. Dori Tunstall and Professor Ann Urban.  For this project the design team developed a digital branding concept for KRWN, a female-led, Black-owned jewelry brand and virtual design studio which specializes in custom jewelry. Of the success of the project Gomes noted on behalf of her team, "We would like to give a big thank you for the generous time and dedication Ann Urban put into mentoring us alongside and into the completion of this project. Without her guidance none of this would have been possible."


Photo documentation of a poster campaign featuring portraits of young women. Image: Wear Your KRWN brand concept by Emily Lauren Gomes, Lily Hewitt and Jasmin Zhang.
 

Alvin Zheng 

received an honourable mention in the Award for Editorial Design category for the project Typography is Hard with support from Faculty of Design Associate Professor Richard Hunt. The project is an updated take on a conventional typography textbook, designed with an aesthetic that references risograph printing, a format that is known for its eco-consciousness and affordability.  
Images of pages from typography textbook designed by OCAD U student Alvin Zheng.
Image: Documentation of Typography is Hard, a typography textbook designed by Alvin Zheng. 

In celebration of the awarded students Dr. Tunstall notes, "Proud too poorly defines the depth of the feeling that I have about the creative contributions that you are making in the world. I admire how you are co-creating a place in design where your diverse histories and stories matter. You are the ones leading the decolonization of design."

Professor Isabel Meirelles added, "I am delighted to see the broader graphic design community recognizing the amazing work that OCAD U students are creating. I want to congratulate each and every one and wish them a most happy and fulfilling life as designers. I cannot wait to see what they will design next!"
 

More About the 2021 Recipients

Adel Bechara graduated from OCAD U in 2021 from the Graphic Design program and is interested in branding, typography and motion design. 

Eldrin Banares graduated from OCAD University’s Graphic Design program in 2021 and has a passion for producing creative coding experiences, publications, motion graphics and kinetic typography. 
 
Sydney Mia Gittens is a Toronto-based artistic director and designer whose work focuses on amplifying BIPOC voices. Sydney graduated from the Advertising program at OCAD U and was a 2021 OCAD U Medal Winner. 

Emily Lauren Gomes graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising program in 2021 and is a multi-disciplinary freelance art director and graphic designer. 

Lily Hewitt is currently studying Advertising at OCAD University and specializes in art direction and creative strategy. 

Maham Momin is a fourth year Graphic Design student at OCAD U, whose work focuses on design activism, typography and packaging. 

Nat Smith graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising program in 2021. Their work as a creative strategist supports underrepresented communities and empowers emerging artists. 

Jasmin Zhang is a fourth year Advertising student at OCAD U with an interest in graphic design, advertising and social media. 

Alvin Zheng is a Toronto-based designer and art director who graduated from OCAD U’s Advertising Program in 2021.  

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Nine current students and recent graduates from OCAD U’s Faculty of Design honoured with RGD Student Awards for graphic design.
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A streetscape, with the wall of a building cover in 4 posters promoting music events.
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We would like to announce the exciting news that a group of students from the Industrial Design and Environmental Design programs have been selected as finalists in the 2021 international Student Service Design Challenge! These students have worked very hard for 5 months to produce a service solution that answered this year’s brief: to design a service that addressed current reverse logistic/circularity issues while actively and willingly engaging the users of that service.  Congratulations to Jennifer An (INDS), Scott Do (INDS), Mary Chauvin (INDS), Rachel Morris (ENVR), and Samira Nassiri (INDS)! You can read more about the competition hereand see the OCAD U team featured here.

The winners announcement event will take place as part of the Barcelona Design Week on Friday June 11th from 11:00am-12:30pm EDT. The event will feature a keynote by Chris Grantham, Executive Director Circular Economy at IDEO, as well as a discussion with all the members of the jury, followed by the announcement of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and a virtual chat between them and Robert Metzke, Head of Sustainability at Philips.

Please register for the event here and show your support for our students!

Best Wishes,

The Design Office 

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Faculty of Design Professor Doug Panton's Pandemic Brain Series pieces entitled "Say What" and "Introvert-Extrovert" were accepted as winners in the most recent Creative Quarterly 63, New York.

Congratulations Doug!

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The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts is an honourary organization of over 700 established professional artists and designers from all regions of Canada. Members practice in more than thirty visual arts disciplines including but not limited to painting, print-making, architecture, sculpture, design, photography, ceramics, film, video, and digital art.

With members nominated and elected by their peers the RCA has, since 1880, come to represent many of Canada’s most distinguished visual artists and designers. The objectives of the RCA are to encourage, improve, promote, support and cultivate the visual arts through its many activities.

The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts is incorporated federally as a non-profit corporation and has a charitable designation as a national arts organization.

Congratulations Doug!

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Opportunity Description

Design4 is an externally funded initiative that introduces principles of experiential learning into the realm of paid professional opportunities for upper year students in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, at both the Undergraduate (BDES) and Masters (MDES) levels. Students will be selected to participate in Design4 and placed in a small multidisciplinary team of 4. 

Founded in Vancouver, Canada, TEALEAVES is one of the very few master tea blenders left in the entire world. Each one of their blends is hand-blended, carefully sourced, and curated to create the perfect cup of tea. The philosophy behind their work has always been design focused with a commitment to art, beauty, design, sustainability, inclusivity and innovation. 

Projects include: 

  • Creating a product using biomimicry

  • Opportunity to apply biomimetic design principles
  • Designing for mobile 
  • Redesigning 

Expected Outcomes 

Deep industry insight and the chance to build meaningful creative professional relationships that will enhance future employment outcomes. The opportunity to put discipline-specific design skills into practice and reflect on the portfolio-worthy work that gets produced.

Equity and Diversity

OCAD U’s principles of decolonization, diversity & equity, sustainability and health/wellness are guiding considerations for the Design4 program. The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers will be prioritizing support for the Indigenous & Black Youth Design Initiative developed by the Faculty of Design within the context of Design4. 

Expected Start Date: January / February 2021 
Rate: $22/hour. 10 hours a week for a period up to 4 months
Deadline: Jan 21, 2021 at midnight

Qualifications

  • Current upper-year students taking 3rd or 4th-year courses at the Undergraduate level or any year at the Master’s level, enrolled in any discipline in the Faculty of Design at OCAD U 
  • Firm grasp of design fundamentals demonstrated by a strong portfolio of digital products 
  • Meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for typography and visual hierarchy 
  • Funding for this opportunity requires that selected students must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents 

PDF Call

Application Portal: 
http://bit.ly/design4tealeaves
via OCAD U Talent Network ID: 11277

Contact:
Zviko Mhakayakora
Special Project Coordinator
zmhakayakora@ocadu.ca   

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Design4 is an externally funded initiative that introduces principles of experiential learning into the realm of paid professional opportunities for upper year students in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, at both the Undergraduate (BDES) and Masters (MDES) levels. Students will be selected to participate in Design4 and placed in a small multidisciplinary team of 4. 

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The Faculty of Design presents the Perspectives Exhibition in the Great Hall from October 14th to October 25. This exhibition will expose first year students, prospective students and current students to the wide range of program options and work at OCADU.  The exhibition features a variety of faculty and student works from Advertising, Environmental Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Illustration and Material Art & Design.  

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In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art schooland his path to healing.

In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.

While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues. As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity. For more information on the book: https://www.amazon.ca/Bear-Rock-Mountain-Residential-Survivor/dp/1927366801

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OCAD University, 115 McCaul Street, Level 3
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Environmental Design faculty member David Grant-Rubash's architecture/design studio PHAEDRUS Studio recently completed Thor Espresso, a project down the street from OCADU near Umbra. It is a great example of blurring the boundaries between art and design and is both Toronto design destination and a potential staff/student and amenity.  David recently chatted with the owners and they are pleased to offer an OCADU discount.  The project recently won Canadian Interiors Best of Year, Architecture Masterpize and was a finalist for the Architizer A+ Awards for Architecture and Branding Categories.  

https://www.phaedrus.studio/thor

Marketing and Communications Faculty of Art Faculty of Design Faculty of Liberal Studies
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Peter’s editorial titled The Systemic Turn: Leverage for World Changing, served as the theme for the articles comprising the issue.  The issue featured five articles from RSD5 authors, including Jones and Jeremy Bowes’ Rendering Systems Visible for Design: Synthesis Maps as Constructivist Design Narratives. All articles are available free for download at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economics-and-innovation/vol/3/issue/3

 

Peter also edited a second RSD symposium collection, a Springer book in the Translational Systems Science series, one of the series edited by Dr. Kyoichi Kijima of Tokyo Institute of Technology. The book Systemic Design: Theory, Methods and Practice, comprises 10 chapters from the top-selected papers from the RSD4 Symposium, the 2015 RSD conference in Banff. As with the She Ji issue, the chapters were developed in close collaboration with authors form the emerging systemic design community, and were also rigorously peer-reviewed. One of the chief differences in the book collection is that the chapters are widely ranging in length, with some chapters at nearly 50 or 70 pages long. As Springer books are not open access (See the volume at https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9784431556381#otherversion=9784431556381 ) please contact Peter Jones if interested in the articles.

 

The RSD8 Symposium is being held this year at IIT / Institute of Design in Chicago, October 17-19, in the new facilities at ID. SFI students and alumnae have already contributed and are expected to continue to make a strong showing at this continuing program, as it develops from emergence to excellence, as demonstrated in these continuing publication projects now following each conference. See http://rsd8.org for registration (soon) and to submit synthesis maps or posters (the call for papers is closed, but poster sessions will be open through June 14.

Marketing and Communications Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) Alumni Design for Health (DHEA) Digital Futures (DF) Faculty of Design
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This was the team’s end-of-semester project for Happy City, a mini trade show in the classroom that is attended by guest organizations. Instructor, Teresa Ascencao explains, “when visiting their booth, Metrolinx was impressed and invited the students to share their innovation with a dozen of their executives and managers. It was inspiring to experience the students presenting and be taken seriously. I know these moments shape their self-confidence and future success as change-makers and designers.” Presto X-Change Initiative offers rider discounts for their charitable donations. 

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