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Image: OCAD U students participate in the DESIGNwith workshop. 

Designers reimagine uses for plastic waste at incubator 

DESIGNwith, OCAD University’s new design incubator in partnership with Cadillac Fairview, is changing the way we think about waste.  

In a multi-part workshop series, currently under way as part of the incubator’s programming, participants are embracing sustainable design and production principles by transforming plastic waste gleaned from CF Toronto Eaton Centre’s food court into bespoke lighting fixtures. 

With guidance from Melissa Ciardullo, Project Leader for Circular Product Development at IKEA and a donation from the Swedish furniture retailer, workshop attendees are learning about the linear economy and the urgent need for a shift towards a circular one.  
The values of a circular economy can be understood on a production and personal level and emphasize reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling. It’s an industrial system that is restorative and regenerative by design, reuses natural resources as efficiently as possible and finds value throughout a product’s lifecycle. This framework disrupts the current approach that is defined by a take-make-dispose sensibility that sees products end up in landfills. 

“A recent article states that less than 9 per cent of plastic is recycled in Canada,” explains workshop instructor Ciardullo.  

“Researchers have been telling us that we don’t have the resources to keep consuming the amount that we do at the rate that we do. The circular economy will enable materials and parts to be reused while contributing positively to the earth’s natural systems,” she continues.  

During the series’ first half, which was held in August at the DESIGNwith studio located on Level 2 of the Eaton Centre, participants engaged in formal experimentation using plastic bottles and containers to create unique shapes that serve as the light fixtures. prototypes for   

With support from OCAD U alum and TD Bank Lead Service Designer Claire Orange, and Faculty of Design professor and founder of DESIGNwith Ranee Lee, OCAD U students attending the workshop reimagined discarded materials through cutting, bending, hanging and gluing.  

Fourth-year Industrial Design student Ryan Carney shares, “By participating in this workshop I took away a deeper understanding of our global economies and the ecological effects caused by the products and systems we as a human species create and consume.” 

“This workshop was a proof of concept that by bringing people together to share ideas and skill sets, we can find ways to close the loop on waste, without it ever having to leave its original location,” notes Orange, who graduated from OCAD U’s Industrial Design program. 

“What I enjoyed most about the process was that the waste itself was what inspired people to design imaginative new products and experiences,” she continues.  

The second part of the workshop will take place in the fall and invites Cadillac Fairview employees to participate in making large lighting fixtures using the material explorations from the first workshop. 

The lighting design is anchored by IKEA’s STRÅLA set, a simple cord with a light socket at the end that allows for participants’ creativity to takeover. The result of the workshop series will be a lighting display installed at the Eaton Centre.  

News Summary
Participants in DESIGNwith workshop are learning how to make light fixtures using plastic waste from the CF Eaton Centre food court.
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A composite photo with images of a group of students sitting on benches watching a monitor, a close-up plastic water bottles and a group of students standing beside a plastic bag with empty plastic bottles.

OCAD University is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021-22 Teaching Awards
Annually, the University celebrates outstanding faculty, instructors and teaching assistants who employ diverse, inclusive and evidence-informed methods to provide exceptional learning experiences for their students. This year, the winners are also applauded for demonstrating remarkable leadership in action. 
Nominations for the annual awards are accepted from the OCAD U community including students, staff, faculty and alums. The categories include institutional and faculty level recognition, as well as the School of Continuing Studies and Teaching Assistant awards.  
A committee composed of members from across the University, adjudicates the awards and is struck by the Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost with support from the Faculty & Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC). Read about the award winners below!

Institutional Level Teaching Awards
JJ Lee
Associate Professor, Faculty of Art 

Recipient of the Price Award for Leadership in Teaching, which is presented to tenured and tenure-track faculty in honour of JH and Mamie Price

A woman smiling with glasses

Since 1999 Professor Lee has shared her passion for art with students at OCAD U. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia to parents who immigrated from China and Hong Kong, Lee explores the hyphens between identities that result from colonization, immigration and its subsequent generations in the classroom and studio. 

“I believe that art can initiate social change by impacting the way people see and think. I prioritize connection, caring and compassion, to create a sense of community and inclusion even across a digital divide,” Lee notes.  

Reconstructing the intersections of Chinese and Western cultures, she combines appropriated images from diverse sources to produce reinvented and hybrid identities in her own creative practice. Lee builds positive relationships with her students by connecting with their personal lived experiences and responding to their individual needs in a culturally sensitive way. 

“I view teaching as an integral part of my art practice. I believe that art making (my own or my students’) affects how we engage with the world around us. As a woman of colour, I hope that I can be a mentor and guide for our students who also identify this way,” Lee explains. 

Lee is lauded by students for her ability to create community even in remote teaching circumstances. She is praised for her authenticity, warmth and encouragement.  

“She taught us how to participate in critique and give feedback in a respectful, positive and constructive manner, which became a cornerstone of our learning experience. Throughout it all, she met us where we were and helped us elevate our expectations of ourselves despite pandemic challenges, leaving us believing “we can do this,” a former student describes. 

Dr. Adam Lauder
Instructor, Faculty of Arts & Science 

Recipient of the Non-Tenured Award for Leadership in Teaching, which is presented to sessional faculty, or faculty that are Teaching-Intensive Stream, Continuing or Contractually Limited Term Appointment (CLTA) 

A person with a short haircut
Since January 2017, Dr. Lauder has been celebrated by students at OCAD U for connecting art historical teachings to real-world activities by integrating in-person art viewing opportunities into his curriculum. He is generous in his reflections on student assignments and artworks while cultivating a student-centred, inclusive learning environment. He specializes in modern and contemporary as well as media art histories in courses that include Conceptual Art Practices and Canadian Art: The Modern Era. 

“I’m interested in rewriting familiar narratives and exposing marginalized stories and protagonists. I want to engage students in processes of careful reading and critical research-creation," Dr. Lauder says of his pedagogical approach. 

Students remark on his commitment to accessibility. Throughout the year he ensures all lectures are recorded and includes a transcript that support students in following along while viewing course material.  

“Dr. Lauder’s thorough and constructive feedback shows how much he cares about our academic success. He genuinely takes the time to share insightful comments on our projects, proposing additional theories or artists we could explore to further develop our contemporary art and art historical perspectives,” reflects a recent student. 

One of his recent undergraduate students notes, “Dr. Lauder skillfully bolsters student learning by balancing high expectations and extensive personal support. His lectures are well-organized and clearly articulated. By his own example he demonstrates how the use of elevated vocabulary and well-structured arguments can add nuance and depth to the understanding of critical art history." 

Faculty Level Teaching Awards

Meera Margaret Singh
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Art

Recipient of the Faculty of Art Teaching Award 
A photo of Meera Margaret Singh
Meera Margaret Singh began teaching at OCAD U in 2010 as a Sessional Instructor. Building on her formal training as a photographer, she teaches courses across faculties including International Art Collaborations (INTAC) in the Faculty of Art and Photo For Communication in the Faculty of Design. Students describe a particular fondness for her course Reconsidering Documentary Photography, which explores the ethical implications of documentary practices, consent and power dynamics. 

For Singh reciprocity, respect, wellness and care are central to learning.  

She describes her approach: “Creating a socially conscious classroom environment begins with an instructor who has an investment and a passion for diversity and equity, a well as a true passion for the subject matter that they teach. Students garner a far richer academic experience if they are confident in sharing their ideas and feel that they are active participants in an exchange of information.” 

Students celebrate Singh’s attention and responsiveness, making them feel counted and valued. Her approach in the classroom and commitment to mental health supports students’ general sense of wellbeing. “I want learners to know the power and possibilities of their unique voice and those of their peers. I aim to create a classroom of trust where students are comfortable asking questions and having open dialogue with their professor and peers,” she explains.  

“As a student with disabilities, there are various barriers faced in my pursuit of an undergraduate degree. Professor Singh has always made it a point to establish a learning environment that supports the individual needs of her students. Through her consistent communication, patience and accommodative practices, she never fails to ensure academic success for every student she meets,” notes a recent student. 

Bruce Hinds
Associate Professor, Faculty of Design

Recipient of the Faculty of Design Teaching Award 

A black and white photo of Bruce Hinds
For the last 20 years Professor Hinds has taught at OCAD University, contributing to the vision of several core courses. He served as Chair of the Environmental Design from 2010 to 2019, sharing his expertise and imbuing his values around sustainability into the program throughout his tenure. Today, Hinds teaches across undergraduate and graduate programs including thesis students in Environmental Design and graduate students in Design For Health.  

Hinds has built numerous partnerships with organizations and institutions to broaden engagement in his courses and provide meaningful, real-world experiences for students as they develop their unique design practices. Past partnerships include major organizations such as, Herman Miller, St. Joesph’s Health Centre, SickKids and Arizona State University. 

“Professor Hinds has been a positive influence in both my academic and professional career as an advisor, professor and friend. I truly admire his leadership and wish many more faculty members were as dedicated as he is to his students,” remarks a former student. 

Trained as an architect, Hinds has centralized sustainability in his practice for decades. After being inspired by the book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (1997) by Janine M. Benyus he introduced two courses on the topic at OCAD U, which continue to influence much of the Environmental Design undergraduate curriculum as well as the Design for Health graduate program. Many of the projects undertaken in the upper year courses of Environmental Design focus on issues of water, energy, food, transportation and regenerative architecture, and are united by a desire to re-establish the relationship between human needs in cities and the needs of nature. 

Dr. Dot Tuer
Professor, Faculty of Arts & Science

Recipient of the Faculty of Arts & Science Teaching Award 
A photo a person wearing a mask.

As a professor of visual culture for over 20 years, Dr. Tuer has advocated for and designed courses that reach beyond traditional art history to encompass global perspectives and decolonial art practices. She was central to the development of the Visual and Critical Studies undergraduate program as its Founding Chair, and has taught courses on Latin American art, modern and contemporary art theory; postcolonial theory and visual culture; art and revolution; the history of photography; and the history of new media art. Her Latin American courses were the first and until very recently the only art history courses on Latin America to be offered at a Canadian university.

Dr. Tuer describes her primary goal as an educator as, “providing students with cultural, social and historical frameworks for the making of and thinking about art and design that are decolonial, accessible and critically engaged with global and local contexts.” 

Dr. Tuer’s own writings on visual culture similarly engage with global and local contexts, ranging from the study of Canadian video, new media and performance art to Latin American photography and colonial history. Her current scholarly and creative work explores artistic practices of memorialization and visual storytelling in the Americas and incorporates her long-standing research interest in the decolonial agency of hybrid spiritual and ritual practices.

“Professor Tuer's welcoming energy and positive attitude towards teaching creates a rewarding learning environment. The passion for the topics Professor Tuer teaches encourages students, like myself, to become interested in art histories and curatorial styles beyond the Western canon that are rarely discussed in other spaces,” a recent OCAD U graduate notes. 

“Dr. Tuer’s wealth of knowledge on the art and history of Latin America apply decolonizing contexts and critical analysis of Canadian and European art by challenging grand narratives. Dr. Tuer's research in the field and life experiences are vital as a professor of art history. Dr. Tuer's storytelling abilities are unrivalled,” a student reflects. 

The author of Mining the Media Archive (2005) and numerous museum catalogue, book anthology and journal essays, Dr. Tuer also has an active curatorial practice. In 2012, she curated the major retrospective, Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario. 

Maya Mahgoub-Desai
Associate Professor, Faculty of Design
Chair, Environmental Design 

Recipient of the School of Graduate Studies Teaching Award 

A black and white photo of someone wearing a black shirt.

Professor Mahgoub-Desai is a researcher and practitioner whose research investigates themes related to human-environment behaviour, public health and public realm design, addressing equity in design education (with a focus on disability) and inclusive pedagogies. 

"I've been lucky to have Maya as my teacher, instructor and mentor. She encouraged my class to think outside the box and to view projects and ideas with an acute eye for detail, ethics, professionalism and profound honesty,” a mature student in the Design for Health graduate program notes. 

Mahgoub-Desai brings a range of professional design experiences to the classroom. As the Senior Urban Designer for Moriyama Teshima Architects, Mahgoub-Desai led urban campus, community and municipal plans that focused on sustainability, cultural resilience and collaborative community engagement processes. She shares with her students lessons learned from past projects, which include, serving as a subject matter expert for Waterfront Toronto, developing master plans for Qatar's Education City, Surrey City Development Corporation and the Town of Whitby; and campus plans for the University of Lethbridge, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. 

“Associate Professor Mahgoub-Desai's mentorship has been essential to my career. Throughout my Major Research Project (MRP), she consistently inspired me to look further, to learn to unlearn, to be a better listener and to become a better designer. She challenged me to think purposefully and holistically about not only my academic work, but the influence of design overall,” reflects a recent graduate.  

Kalina Nedelcheva 
Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Arts & Science

Recipient of the Teaching Assistant Award, which is presented to a TA from any of the four faculties 
Photo of Kalina Nedelcheva

Kalina Nedelcheva joined the OCAD U community in September 2020 as a graduate student in the Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice. In February 2021 Nedelcheva began supporting students as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate course, Professional Practices. They have also TAed the core courses Contemporary Art & Design, as well as Global Visual & Material Culture: 1800 to Present. 

Nedelcheva is a multi-media artist, researcher, illustrator, curator and musician. In their medal-winning MFA thesis Nedelcheva explored the ways human consciousness engages in processes of meaning-making. With a passion for writing, film and experimental mapping as mediums for theoretical storytelling, they channel the potential of chaos and montage to challenge dominant ideological practices.  

Nedelcheva brings compassion to the classroom where they engage in knowledge-sharing and productive dialogue with others, facilitating critical and safe learning environments where knowledge can be expanded on and contested.  

“My teaching philosophy centres on an awareness of positionality, both my own and that of my students. While I approach education in an organized manner with optimism and humour, I also emphasize responsibility in teaching, learning and unlearning,” Nedelcheva remarks.  

Heather Gentleman
Instructor, School of Continuing Studies  

The School of Continuing Studies Teaching Award  
A photo of Heather Gentleman
Heather Gentleman is a painter whose work, which is inspired by literature, anthology and mythology, has appeared in exhibitions internationally. Her experience as a gallerist and internationally collected artist informs her classes, where she teaches drawing skills, watercolour painting, figurative painting, portraiture and drawing for seniors in the School of Continuing Studies. 

With training from OCAD University, the University of Guelph and Chelsea College of Arts and recent exhibitions in South Korean, England and France, Gentleman brings an international perspective to her art and teaching. 

“Decolonization not only underpins my approach to my art making but also my engagement with my students where I see the role of the instructor as mentor. I endeavour to create an environment where students feel heard and safe to express their individuality, are actively supported and encouraged both to explore possibilities and to realize the potential of their ideas, as artists, and as individuals,” Gentleman explains. 

“Heather was engaging, enthusiastic, adaptable, creative and dedicated. I loved her class and learned a lot. I am eager to take another class with her,” remarks a former student. 

News Summary
Annually, OCAD U recognizes educators who have made an incredible impact on their students.
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A yellow ribbon on a blue background.
Remembering faculty member David Alan Wilson

David Alan Wilson had a love for design and typography that led to his 40-year career as a graphic designer, art director and sessional instructor at OCAD University in the Faculty of Design. He passed away on July 15, 2022.  

"I loved his sense of humor and his quick wit. He always had a way with words, the right words at the right time. He was very collegial, loved teaching and truly loved working with students," remembers Faculty of Design Professor Keith Rushton.
After studying design and painting at Sheridan College in Oakville, Wilson apprenticed for several years in traditional graphic design and communications studios in Toronto. His first professional position was as a copy person at the Globe and Mail newspaper. Later, he worked on a wide range of projects including as an art director of magazines, periodicals, photoshoots, posters and advertising material. 
Notably, he headed the art departments at several publications including Canadian House & Home Magazine, The Financial Post Magazine and The Financial Times of Canada. He was the first art director to lead the National Post's Weekend Post and served as an associate art director on Saturday Night Magazine, a general interest publication produced in Toronto until 2005. He also worked as a designer on several other print projects. 
His greatest passion was in the role of poster designer. He had long been involved in the Toronto theatre scene designing posters for productions at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille and The Canadian Stage Company, New York's Mercury Theatre and the Festival International de Mime de Montreal. 
Wilson later taught typography and advertising as a sessional instructor at OCAD University in the Faculty of Design. He was celebrated by students for his generosity with feedback, affable sense of humour and relaxed nature. Students note that Wilson encouraged them to develop their own sense of style and appreciated his real-world design experience a companies across Toronto.  

"He believed in craft, strong conceptual thinking and paying attention to typography," Rushton further reflects.

While teaching he served as a consulting designer, specializing in corporate publication design and corporate social responsibility reports. In his spare time, he found solace at his cottage near Algonquin Park, taking excursions in his vintage canoe accompanied by his dog. 

News Summary
Professor Wilson had an illustrious career as a Toronto-based graphic designer for arts organizations and corporate clients.
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Circular Design 

An exhibition of works by Industrial Design students at OCAD University

DESIGNwith, window installation
220 Yonge St., 2nd Floor
at the north end of the mall between Mark's and St. Patrick Station

July 28 to August 4, 2022

Opening Reception
Thursday, July 28, 2022
5 to 7 p.m. 

Exhibition Description
Featuring works by first year Industrial Design students at OCAD University, this exhibition showcases a circular design model, which positively contributes to the global goals for the climate crisis, and works to disrupt the linear take-make-dispose economic model currently in place. The circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by design, reuses natural resources as efficiently as possible and finds value through products’ life cycles.

Venue & Address
220 Yonge St., 2nd Floor, DESIGNwith Studio

An exhibition of works by 1st year Industrial Design students that focuses on the circular economy. 

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Circular Design
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Hide when event is over
August Long Weekend Closure

OCAD University will be closed on Monday, August 1, 2022 for the August Long Weekend (Simcoe Day). The University will return to regular hours on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

For more information about upcoming holidays and significant dates please consult OCADU 's Dates and Deadlines webpage

News Summary
OCAD University will be closed Monday, August 1, 2022 for the August Long Weekend.
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Image: Faculty of Design Dean Dr. Dori Tunstall presents Professor Emerit Avi Dunkelman with the Emerit designation at OCAD University's 2022 Convocation Ceremony. They are joined on stage with Chancellor Jaime Watt and President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano. 

OCAD U honours faculty for their long service and dedication

OCAD University celebrated its faculty members at a virtual appreciation event on June 24 that honoured long-serving professors, retiring scholars and academic administrators who have completed their terms. 

“I want to thank you all for your incredible work, creativity, flexibility and commitment over the past year – it has continued to be a challenge with the ongoing pandemic, but as a community, you came together to ensure our students received engaging and enriching learning opportunities.,” President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano expressed at the beginning of the event. 

Gratitude to academic administrators completing their terms 

The festivities included an acknowledgement of the academic administrators who will be finishing their terms.  
“These faculty members are integral to the running of the University and to student success. I appreciate their contribution and for leading our colleagues through the uncertainties of a second academic year characterized by the pandemic,” said Vice-President, Academic and Provost Dr. Caroline Langill. 
The following faculty members were thanked for their service:

Faculty of Art 
Jason Baerg, Acting Chair, Sculpture and Installation and Integrated Media 
Judith Doyle, Chair, First Year Experience 
Dr. Jana Macalik, Acting Associate Dean, Academic Affairs 
Wrik Mead and Veronika Szkudlarek, Co-Chairs Experimental Animation 
Dr. Dot Tuer, Interim Chair, Criticism & Curatorial Practice 

Faculty of Design 
Dr. Sugandha Gaur, Acting Chair, Advertising 
Dr. Jay Irizawa, Acting Chair, Advertising 
Dr. Kathy Moscou, Interim Associate Dean Academic Affairs

Faculty of Arts and Science 
Nick Puckett, Chair, Digital Futures 
Dr. Alia Weston, Acting Associate Dean 
Dr. Ryan Whyte, Chair, Visual and Critical Studies 

Graduate Studies 
Dr. Andrew Gayed, Graduate Program Director, Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice  
Dr. Ashok Mathur, Dean, Graduate Studies and Vice-President, Research & Innovation 
Dr. Michelle Wyndham-West, Graduate Program Director, Inclusive Design 

Honouring long-serving faculty 

The gathering also featured a celebration of long-serving faculty members who have recently marked a milestone achievement in their roles at the University. The following professors were honoured for their dedication to the community and continuing commitment to art and design education:  

20 years of service  
Bruce Hinds, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design 
Jean-Christian Knaff, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design  

25 years of service 
April Hickox, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art 
30 years of service 
June Lawrason, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design 
35 years of service 
Judith Doyle, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art and Chair, First Year Experience 

Reflecting on the vibrant careers of retiring faculty members 

The event culminated with a show of deep appreciation of seven esteemed faculty members who will be retiring this year including: 

Dr. Doreen Balabanoff, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
Doreen Balabanoff is an artist, designer, educator and administrator who over her years at OCAD University served as Faculty of Design Assistant Dean, First Year Design, Associate Dean, Academic and Faculty and Acting Dean. She has taught in several Graduate Studies programs, Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design, Inclusive Design and Design for Health. 
Frederick Burbach, Faculty of Design Associate Professor 
Professor Frederich Burbach has practiced design internationally for over 30 years. Known for his exacting eye for design and generous feedback for his students, Professor Burbach has taught graphic design, design history, typography and advertising at OCAD University for almost 20 years. 

Avi Dunkelman, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
A graduate of OCAD University (then OCA) in 1980, Professor Dunkelman has expertise in corporate branding and visual identity. After studying design in Switzerland, he went on to found his own design firm Avi Dunkelman Design+Communications Inc. which has served clients internationally.  

Dr. Martha Ladly, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Arts and Science 
Specializing in teaching and practice-based research in design, art, media and technology, Dr. Ladly has taught in the Digital Futures graduate and undergraduate programs and the Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design graduate program (IAMD) at OCAD U. Dr. Ladly is the former Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, former Graduate Program Director of the IAMD program and founding Chair of the Research Ethics Board. 
Dr. Gayle Nicoll, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Design 
A professor in the Environmental Design undergraduate program and Inclusive Design and Design for Health graduate programs at OCAD University, Dr. Nicoll is a trained architect who taught at Ryerson University and was the Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Texas, after leaving her post as partner at Nicoll and Robulack Architects in 1992.   
Dick (Edmond) Rampen, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design  
After graduating from OCAD University (then OCA) in 1980, Professor Rampen has been teaching for almost 40 years on subjects that include industrial design, plastics technology, prototyping and musical instrument design and construction.  

Michèle White, Professor Emerit, Faculty of Art Professor 
Professor White has taught for over 40 years and is well-known for her classes in the Drawing and Painting program. After graduating from OCAD University in 1978 (then OCA), Professor White has exhibited her encaustic paintings internationally, earning numerous grants and teaching awards along the way. She is celebrated for her commitment to equity and justice at OCAD U, championing the hiring of women and BIPOC faculty. 
Congratulations to all honorees! 

News Summary
The Celebration of Faculty Event showcased professors, deans and chairs who have made major contributions to the University.
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People in graduation regalia standing on a stage. A man is presented with a framed document.

Image: Measure of one (2020) by Azza El Siddique. Steel, expanded steel, water, unfired slip clay, slow-drip irrigation system, EPDM pond liner, cement bricks. Installation view at the Gardiner Museum, Toronto. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Azza El Siddique, who graduated from OCAD University’s Material Art and Design program in 2014, is among the the five artists shortlisted for the 2022 Sobey Art Award (SAA) The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada recently announced.

As a member of the shortlist, El Siddique has been awarded $25,000 and is in the running for the grand prize of $100,000 — an amount that places the Sobey among the most valuable honours in the contemporary art world.  
The prestigious list has been whittled down from 25 visual artists from five regions across Canada. That longlist was announced earlier this year and included Stephanie Temma Hier, a 2014 OCAD U Drawing and Painting graduate.  

Globally recognized, the Sobey Art Award is a catalyst for the careers and work of Canadian artists. In addition to the monetary prize, shortlisted artists will be featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) in Ottawa from October 28, 2022 until February 2023. The winner of the SAA will be announced at a gala this fall hosted by the National Gallery. In 2019, Integrated Media graduate Stephanie Comilang was announced as the winner of the grand prize.  

Celebrating its 20th year, the awards are adjudicated by an independent jury consisting of curators from Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon, in addition to an international juror, who oversees the selection process for each round of the competition.  

Born in Khartoum, Sudan, El Siddique’s family immigrated to Vancouver when she was four. She later moved to Toronto where she briefly studied fashion design at Toronto Metropolitan University before enrolling at OCAD U. Since then, she has completed graduate studies in Sculpture at Yale University’s School of Art and now splits her time between Connecticut and New York.  

El Siddique is known for her sensual engagement with materials, including vinyl, water, clay, glass and steel. The materials she works with often change once installed in the gallery, evolving throughout a given exhibition.  

“Things are calculated but at the same time it’s important to me for materials to have their own agency,” noted El Siddique in a 2020 Canadian Art Magazine article.  

“I don’t necessarily dictate how that form is going to collapse, where the water is going to penetrate, the way it decides to fall, the way it completely dissolves or the way it’s still standing but is missing a part. Those are the surprises.” 

Through sculpture and installation, she creates environments that often consider and stimulate the senses, beyond the visual. Her work is inspired by a wide range of sources including anthropological texts, mythology and a perennial confrontation of mortality.  

News Summary
OCAD U graduate Azza El Siddique is among the 5 artists in the running for the $100,000 grand prize to be announced this fall.
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A cubic steel structure with white clay vessels on its shelves.

Image: OCAD University's 2022 Medal Winners pictured on stage at the Celebrate Excellence reception on May 11. 

Celebrating OCAD University’s 2022 Medal Winners

On the evening of May 11, President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano announced this year’s OCAD University Medal Winners at the Celebrate Excellence reception, a beautiful outdoor event that recognized 23 top graduating students, held in Butterfield Park. 

Annually, one graduating student from each of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs is recognized with a medal, in honour of their creativity, innovation and technical mastery in their chosen discipline.  

“Tonight is very special – not only because we’re here together in person after two years – but because we’re going to recognize a group of exceptional students who have gone above and beyond expectations in completing their OCAD U degrees – and during a very challenging time,” President Serrano expressed. 

The reception also included a blessing by Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and speeches by medal winners, Emerald Repard-Denniston from the Drawing and Painting undergraduate program and Walter Yim from the Design for Health graduate program. 

“I have so much to be thankful for," remarked Repard-Denniston. "Here at OCAD U we have received a great education thanks to our talented and supportive faculty. We are prepared to move on and to take on whatever challenges and successes come next in our lives,” she continued. 

The bustling party also marked the launch of GradEx 107, OCAD U’s annual graduate exhibition, which showcases the works of over 600 emerging artists, designers and digital media makers across the University’s campus.  

The evening included live art making by three OCAD University undergraduate students, a musical performance by violinist Dr. Draw and his band, a DJ set by OCAD U student Paper Skies and a welcome from Mitch Gillin, Vice-President, Asset Development at Hullmark, representing presenting sponsors Hullmark and BentallGreenOak. 

All this activity took place amidst a crowd of OCAD U community members, many of whom were reconnecting in person for the first time in two years. More than 6,500 visitors attended the opening night festivities.  

The work of all medal recipients are on view during GradEx, May 11 to 15.  

Meet the 2022 OCAD U Medal Winners 
Undergraduate Programs

Maria Naqvi’s South Asian-Canadian background allows her to bridge gaps and think critically when solving issues that address minority communities. Naqvi thrives on challenges and always tries to implement new strategies for communicating stories that go against the status quo. Naqvi believes the future of advertising relies on new perspectives, diversity and inclusion and is excited to be part of it! 

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa is a Nigerian-Canadian writer, curator and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her writing engages Afro-diasporic archives of thought and memory, passed down through oral history, food and acts of care. Her art practice and research centre Afro-diasporic experience to build an understanding of the ways archives of physical and immaterial knowledge are constructed in the Black community through the lenses of care theory, Afro-futurism, and archival studies. Her practice emphasizes community building and support, and her work is often based on her lived experiences as a Black queer woman.  
Cross-Disciplinary Art 
Parastoo Mahmoudi is a Canadian-Iranian visual artist currently living in Toronto. She studied human anatomy and portraits by drawing and sculpting life models and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. Mahmoudi's work is in collections worldwide, including in Tehran, Dubai and Toronto. Currently, she is working on immersive installations, performances, drawings and paintings to explore the relationship between her life experiences and how she became who she is. 
Digital Futures 
Sam Kingston is a designer exploring the relationship between humans and code, building robots that attempt to interpret and imitate thoughtful human interaction. His specialty involves identifying the subtleties in our built environments that are often overlooked during everyday interactions. He uses various 3D printing technologies to build mechanisms that interact with and automate objects which have been designed with people, not robots, as their intended user. 

Drawing & Painting 
Emerald Repard-Denniston is a queer Chinese-Canadian contemporary artist. She is committed to anti-colonial, anti-capitalist politics and activist work. Based in Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam/Vancouver and Tkaronto/Toronto, her practice focuses on the diasporic-Canadian experience through drawing, painting and digital media.  

Environmental Design 
Timothy Soribello is a designer who believes that rethinking the already built environment can unlock powerful possibilities in designing solutions. Soribello's thesis criticizes post-industrial ruins as culprits to the devastation of our environment. Rethinking these ruins, he used the abandoned Hearn Generating Station to magnify his argument's credibility. 
Graphic Design 
Maham Momin is a graphic designer and creative from Tkaronto/Toronto, with a specialization in expressive design. She's particularly interested in editorial and publication design that is speculative, critical and experimental. 

Toko Hosoya creates narrative-based images and objects. Originally hailing from Japan, her practice is currently based in Toronto, Canada. 

Indigenous Visual Culture 
Bert Whitecrow is a Two Spirited, multidisciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation. Their work explores methods of storytelling, through preserving and practicing ancestral knowledge. Indigenous futurisms, the belief of the inherent queerness in nature and their relationship to place are points of exploration throughout Whitecrow’s practice. 
Industrial Design  
Max Fine is a Toronto-based industrial designer student who is interested in the connection between sustainable technology and human behaviour. 

Integrated Media 
Marcella Driver-Moliner is a Toronto-based bilingual new media artist who hails from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Driver-Moliner's practice is the joy of investigating the process of creating different visual languages and aesthetics to decipher unclear emotions such as loneliness, belonging, grief, self-depreciation and isolation.

Material Art & Design  
Aleena Derohanian is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the intersection of alien and UFO folklore, pop culture and the sublime. Her style can be identified through her use of bright colours, organic forms and an amalgam of materials. With a background in jewellery and silversmithing, Derohanian expertly incorporates semi-precious metals and stones into her mixed media sculptures. Currently she is exploring lamp and lighting fixture design with her unique aesthetic. 

Tizzi Tan was born in Yunnan, China. Her works are mostly lens-based, but are not confined to any specific medium. She focuses on the subtle perceptions of human activities and explores the meanings of existence under current social conditions.  

Printmaking & Publications 
Laur Flom is a multidisciplinary artist working mainly in printmaking and book arts. Based in Tkaronto/Toronto, their practice is largely conceptual, exploring themes surrounding identity, queerness and trans masculinity. 

Evgenia Mikhaylova is an interdisciplinary artist working in installation, video, sound, drawing and performance. Her work examines the complexities of perception, communication systems, language and epistemology through interdisciplinary research-based practice that investigates parallels between the ways we experience the world through our senses and the ways we interpret the knowledge we acquire. 

Visual & Critical Studies 
Nadia Spaziani is a Toronto-based researcher and writer. Her area of study is Ancient Greek material culture, specializing in building on existing theories of the period with contemporary ideas of psychoanalysis and feminist theories. Spaziani’s practice is based in the mythology of the Greeks and how the characters shaped societal values. 

Graduate Programs  

Contemporary Art, Design & New Media Art 
Maya Burns is an emerging writer and researcher based in Toronto. Her work explores the critical and pedagogical potential of quotation and appropriation in contemporary art.  

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Kalina Nedelcheva is a multimedia artist-researcher, emerging curator and musician, based in Tkaronto/Toronto. She explores the ways in which human consciousness engages in the process of meaning-making and has an interest in writing and film as mediums for theoretical storytelling. 

Design for Health 
Walter Yim has been a practicing dentist in Toronto for more than 30 years. His most recent design work explores how we might innovate healthcare through the lens of compassion, by exploring patient-centred methodologies. 

Digital Futures 
Candide Uyanze is a multimedia, multidisciplinary and multi-hyphenate doer of things based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Anishinābe Akì territory. Her practice explores diasporic storytelling, immersive web experiences, open-source tools, accessible media production, African languages and speech recognition.  

Inclusive Design 
Josephine Guan is a Chinese-Canadian artist that has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and arts instructor. Her thesis research focuses on using arts-based methods like drawing and writing with brain injury survivors. Throughout all of her work, she’s most interested in facilitating conversations and using multiple ways of communicating. 

Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media & Design 
Juka Almeida 

Strategic Foresight & Innovation 
Carly Benson explores new frontiers in disaster risk reduction through human-centered design and foresight 

News Summary
This year, OCAD U celebrated its top graduates with a lively in-person reception in Butterfield Park.
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A group of OCAD University graduates standing on stage outside, smiling.
Congratulations to our graduands!

When more than 700 OCAD University graduands cross the stage to accept their degree on June 17, it will be a cause for celebration says President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano. 

“Our community is so excited to gather together in person to celebrate the tremendous achievements of our graduating students,” says Serrano. “These emerging artists, designers and digital media makers are poised to use their creativity, skills and knowledge to make transformative change in our communities – here and around the world.” 

Convocation returns as an in-person event at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday, June 17 with two ceremonies. The morning ceremony at 10:30 a.m. will confer degrees to graduands in the Faculty of Design while the afternoon ceremony at 3:30 p.m. will celebrate the graduands in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Arts and School of Graduate Studies. 

“Convocation is the highlight of the academic year and represents a significant milestone in the lives of our graduates,” says Serrano. “It will be a delight to share the energy and space with our graduates as they embark on this new chapter in their professional lives.”  

Students who graduated in Fall 2021, Winter 2022 or are graduating in Spring 2022 will participate in this year’s Convocation, which will also be livestreamed. 

Convocation to feature installation of President and Chancellor 

The morning ceremony will feature two installation ceremonies, one for Serrano, and one for incoming Chancellor Jaime Watt. Serrano is the University’s first BIPOC President and Vice-Chancellor and joined the University on July 1, 2020 at the height of the pandemic. 

Watt, who becomes the University’s fifth Chancellor, served as Chair of the University’s Board of Governors for the past four years. Well-known for his service and leadership at OCAD U, Watt has made outstanding contributions to advancing human rights and equality issues, and for supporting the arts and culture sector. As Chancellor, Watt will preside over Convocation and confer degrees. 

“It is a tremendous honour to be selected to serve as OCAD University’s Chancellor, especially as we work to meet the challenges left to us by the pandemic,” says Watt. “I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the University in this new and meaningful way.”  

Honorary doctorate recipients 

Convocation will also include the presentation of five honorary degrees to exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to the fields of arts, design, culture, education and to the ideals of OCAD U. The recipients were nominated by the OCAD U community and will be announced in June 2022. 

Health and safety protocols (updated May 24, 2022)

Wearing masks

  • Guests and graduands are required to wear masks when inside Roy Thomson Hall unless they are eating and drinking.
  • Graduands may remove their masks while crossing the stage during the ceremony (in support of photographs without masks).
  • All guests and graduands are encouraged to wear masks outdoors if physical distancing is not possible.

Additional measures

  • The OCAD University stage party will refrain from hand-shaking and remain physically distanced.
  • Guests and graduands should not attend the ceremony if they are feeling ill.
  • For graduands and guests unable to attend Convocation in person, or who may be immunocompromised, OCAD U is livestreaming the ceremony. Visit the Convocation Information Page on June 13, 2022 for more information.
News Summary
OCAD U is excited to announce that Convocation will be held in person on June 17 at Roy Thomson Hall.
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A woman in the foreground wearing lipstick sits in an auditorium, with many others sitting and clapping.

Image Credit: Palimpsests of Place (2021) by Susan Campbell

Enclosure + Exclusion Exhibition by Susan Campbell

An exhibition featuring work by Faculty of Design Instructor Susan Campbell
Artscape Youngplace, Hallway Galleries
2nd Floor, 180 Shaw St.
July 13 to 31, 2022
Part of DesignTO
In person

Susan Campbell’s exhibition, Enclosure + Exclusion: A Visual Treatise, considers how urban environments are manipulated and shaped. Campbell’s process of apprehending inscriptions and boundary marks found on site explores societal patterns of impermanence and exclusion perpetuated by technological developments in the production of space.

The exhibition explores how urban frameworks engender a provisional landscape—one which, according to contemporary philosopher Bernard Stiegler, is relentlessly manipulated by “technological beings” whose settlement and migration patterns are programmed to deplete the earth’s resources, including the availability of fertile land. Absence of place is a common narrative throughout much of the work, conveying notions of “rationality” in the market, and how urban frameworks, born of capitalism, “seek to make space a blank slate upon which the agents of capital—merchants, industrialists, financiers, real estate agents, corporate executives—can inscribe their plans and desires” (Derek R. Ford).

The uniformity and homogeneity of the gypsum reliefs, molded from granite, asphalt, and concrete surfaces found in various topographic features, represents the turnover and erasure of existing land practices. The process of fabricating such reliefs allows Campbell to envision a series of synthetic topographies where parametric architectures collide and overwhelm the surface. The gypsum reliefs are cast over and over again and arranged into a mass-assembly that conveys the relentless production cycle, colonizing every last square mile of available land and emulating the forces of late capitalism.

For more information, please visit the DesignTO website.

With thanks to Gregory Phillips for 3D printing and consultation.
Susan Campbell acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.
DesignTO Festival

Ontario Arts Council logo

Venue & Address
Artscape Youngplace, Hallway Galleries, 2nd Floor
180 Shaw Street, Toronto

An exhibition featuring work by Faculty of Design Instructor, Enclosure + Exclusion Exhibition by Susan Campbell from July 13 to 31, 2022 at Artscape Youngplace.

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Palimpsests of Place
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