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OCAD University is hosting an event to celebrate the outcomes of UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Lab, June 27 to 29, 2019 at its waterfront campus (130 Queens Quay East). The event will feature the work of students, faculty and community members, looking to uncover our biases towards the future.

The event will include an exhibition by students from OCAD U’s Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) program. Launched in 2009, students have been making their mark in the community ever since, as change makers, innovators and entrepreneurs, bringing the unique combination of systems thinking, foresight and design to a variety of challenges.

Students, graduates and alumni of the SFI program will be on hand to host walk-throughs, demonstrate and speak to their work in the following areas: experiential futures, system maps and synthesis maps, group projects on social challenges, design games and workshops and major research projects.

Schedule:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

  • 5 to 6:30 p.m.: Executive Workshop with special guest Riel Miller from UNESCO, on Transforming Futures and the Future Literacy Lab.
    • This portion will have limited spaces, first come first served.
  • 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.: Gather and network.
    • There will be a cash bar and opportunity to meet current and former SFI members, as well as other members of the community.
  • 7 to 8:00 p.m.: Guided walkthrough and demonstration of Experiential Futures displays.
    • Guides will help immerse you in pockets of the future they have created.
  • 8 to 10:00 p.m.: Mingle, network, and view.
    • Enjoy our cash bar, light snacks and see the work that our students, graduates and alumni have to offer.

Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29: displays may be viewed noon to 6 p.m.

Tickets for June 27 event:

  • $100 for the evening, including a complimentary beverage (free of charge for friends and family of OCAD U SFI students, OCAD U students and faculty)
    • Additional $50 for the Executive Workshop (5 to 6:30 p.m.).
    • RSVP at Michele Mastroeni, Graduate Program Director MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation.

Friday and Saturday displays: free of charge.

Location: OCAD U Co, 130 Queens Quay East, East Tower, Floor 4R, Toronto, ON

Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI)
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OCAD U SFI students
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On June 21, OCAD University will join the City of Richmond Hill and eCampusOntario at this year’s Collision Conference to showcase how the newly launched Centre for Local Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC) is providing companies with innovative opportunities to improve their business and tap into new markets. 

CLIC engages local businesses with specialized expertise from City business advisors and OCAD U researchers, including faculty, students, and recent alumni of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Master of Design program. Together, the group helps establish a platform for knowledge exchange, design review, individualized consultation, and advocacy.  

“This partnership exemplifies how strategic innovation design, human-centred processes and creativity are critical to business growth. We are excited to support the Richmond Hill business community with this unique collaboration that will generate new products, services as well as new partnerships,” says OCAD U President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano, one of the speakers at the Collision Conference. 

Speakers will also include David West, Mayor of Richmond Hill, Ana Serrano, President of OCAD University, Robert Luke, CEO of eCampus Ontario, and Dr. Walid Mowaswes, CLIC participant and owner of PharmaGuide, a Richmond Hill based pharmaceutical software business.  

Collision is one of the world’s largest tech conferences, bringing together the world’s best speakers, tech’s leading companies and leaders of all industries touched by tech. 
 
York Region is hosting the #YRtech Pavilion at this year’s Collision Conference, in collaboration with its nine cities and towns, to share the amazing stories of innovation, partnership and business expansions occurring within the Region’s tech ecosystem. 

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OCAD U President Ana Serrano will be among the speakers at the 2022 Collision Conference to share how this new initiative is generating new products, services and partnerships.
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Interested in applying for CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and/or an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)? This session will provide students with further information about competitions, timelines and best practices. These are prestigious awards, and all full-time graduate students are encouraged to apply.

For further details about scholarships and funding please see our website here

This session will be held two times in October:

  • October 7, 2020 - 9:00AM to 10:30AM, Eastern (Toronto) time
  • October 9, 2020 - 1:30PM to 3:00PM, Eastern (Toronto) time

The information sessions will be held on Microsoft Teams. To sign up to participate, follow this link to the registration page, then select the date and select the time. Fill in your name and OCAD U 365 email address and submit.

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Interested in applying for CGS-M (SSHRC, NSERC) and/or an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS)? This session will provide students with further information about competitions, timelines and best practices. These are prestigious awards, and all full-time graduate students are encouraged to apply.

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Sarah Tranum and Alia Weston
Top: Sarah Tranum, Associate Professor, Social Innovation Design, Faculty of Design; Bottom: Dr. Alia Weston, Associate Professor, Creative and Business Enterprise Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

OCAD University’s shift towards remote education as a result of COVID-19 is not only helping to sustain teaching and learning in creative and collaborative ways, it’s also empowering students to be pandemic problem-solvers.

An experiential learning opportunity in the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) program is providing opportunities for students to help local organizations navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus. SFI courses Business Design and Leading Innovation are two closely intertwined courses that are part of the Business Innovation Initiative (BII), which pairs student teams with local organizations. Through the BII, 22 graduate students are supporting local organizations in responding to pandemic-triggered economic downturn.

“COVID-19 has impacted everyone quite significantly, and that is changing the way people consume products and services, so there is a lot of uncertainty for organizations,” says Dr. Alia Weston, Associate Professor, Creative and Business Enterprise Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies, who co-teaches the course with Sarah Tranum, Associate Professor, Social Innovation Design, Faculty of Design. “We have supported the students to understand the perspectives and experiences of these organizations and collaborate with them to face these challenges.”

Real-world business consulting projects have long been a component of these cooperative courses, but this new pandemic response aspect makes the learning especially topical. Groups of students have been assigned to work with a business startup or a non-profit, in sectors such as online retail, culture and food and hospitality, to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on their operations, and co-develop with the client, design strategies and tactics for more effectively conducting sales and engaging with customers.

“The focus was on, what is the big fear these organizations are facing, and how do they move past it to see opportunity? How can our students use their training and research to help them stay afloat and thrive and find ways to pivot?” says Tranum.

Tranum and Weston were themselves challenged by the pandemic to pivot quickly into remote, asynchronous teaching. They typically taught their respective courses concurrently, with much overlap and cooperation between the students. To offer a more seamless experience to students already facing hardships during the pandemic, they decided to create one integrated course. With support from IT Services, they developed a single space for the course materials in Canvas, OCAD U’s learning management system. In collaboration with the IT team, a series of wayfinding icons were developed to help the students easily navigate the course site.

“In the context of the pandemic, where it’s easy to feel online fatigue, going back and forth between two different online course sites would have been confusing and cumbersome,” says Tranum. “We created this shared space for all the learning to happen to make things more convenient for students.”

At the same time, Tranum and Weston invested in developing and adding fresh course content from week to week to keep the learning relevant to our fast-changing times. They introduced research articles and examples that could help shed light on the impact of the pandemic-led crisis on business design and innovation. Both faculty members brought their individual and collective research into the courses. Weston pulled in insights from her own research on the role of creativity in addressing business adversity. Tranum brought insights from her work on alternative economies.

“In the course, we are approaching design from a perspective of being iterative, flexible, collaborative, empathetic and relevant to the current social moment,” says Weston. “We asked: How can human-centred design be useful in these precarious times?”

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Screenshot of the course wayfinding icons developed in collaboration with IT. Credit/Stephanie Bailey.
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OCAD University’s shift towards remote education as a result of COVID-19 is not only helping to sustain teaching and learning in creative and collaborative ways, it’s also empowering students to be pandemic problem-solvers.

An experiential learning opportunity in the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) program is providing opportunities for students to help local organizations navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus. SFI courses Business Design and Leading Innovation are two closely intertwined courses that are part of the Business Innovation Initiative (BII), which pairs student teams with local organizations. Through the BII, 22 graduate students are supporting local organizations in responding to pandemic-triggered economic downturn.
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Postcard by OCAD U graduate Kathryn Cramer, part of the Pandemic Post: Retrofuturist Mail Art project

In January, Buffy Childerhose and three classmates in their first year of OCAD U’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation were studying the news and views emerging about a new virus that had besieged Wuhan, China. Working on a course assignment, they examined the wild spread of information and misinformation and how it was affecting the virus’s management by public health authorities.

With each passing week, it became increasingly clear the phenomenon they were studying was about to go global. They pivoted to monitoring the “infodemic” in Toronto, interviewing medical professionals and hospital media relations executives, conducting a public survey on the impact of COVID-19 messaging, scanning popular media, reviewing external sources—all while the situation was changing daily, even hourly.

Among their key research findings: a clear need to boost media literacy.

If you give a person information, they have it for the day,” Childerhose says. “If you teach them how to verify the accuracy of information, they’ll be a more informed citizen who makes better choices.”

“Thinking outside the Zoom box”

While COVID-19 pandemic has amplified online life for most of us, some OCAD U community members are pushing back with an ‘in-real-life initiative’ to spread art—and joy—through the mail.

Four new graduates of OCAD U’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation are collaborating on a mail-art project called Pandemic Post: Retrofuturist Mail Art. Based in the U.S., India and Mexico, the team members are creating and mailing small works of art to family members, friends and others who may be vulnerable during their self-isolation. The idea is that receiving analog gifts will be uplifting at a time when we are so immersed in online life.

“This is partly a pushback against the relentless online life we suddenly find our lives in. We are thinking outside the Zoom box,” says New York-based Kathryn Cramer, who initiated the project. “Receiving a physical object reopens the world to us in a tangible way.”

The team is starting by creating designed 4” x 6” postcards, and plan to expand to making masks and other 3D objects. So far, they’ve made and mailed about 50 postcards. To support their efforts, they have applied for a grant from The Next Fourteen Days, which will provide $1,000 grants to 14 OCAD U community members whose work offers a creative reprieve from our collective isolation.

Participatory design in contact tracing apps

We are hearing a lot lately about contact tracing, referring to how public health agencies track the spread of the coronavirus in communities in order to flatten the curve. While nations worldwide are considering and developing different technologies for this purpose, OCAD U graduate Tania De Gasperis wants to make sure all stakeholders have a say in the process.

A researcher and entrepreneur who recently completed the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation program, De Gasperis says contact-tracing platforms and tools should be developed using participatory design (PD), which includes all stakeholders of an issue, not just end-users - are involved in the design process. It’s an approach that builds trust and cooperation, which will be critical to effectively monitoring the virus and sustaining use of the contact tracing apps.

De Gasperis partnered with Abhishek Gupta, founder of the Montreal AI Ethics Institute—of which she is also a core team member—to advocate for PD in contact-tracing solutions for COVID-19 by producing a well-researched position paper that they are currently circulating to relevant journals.

Says De Gasperis: “PD offers a great way to build trust—involving stakeholders from the very beginning, being highly iterative to keep improving, and building something that is inclusive.”

 

 

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In January, Buffy Childerhose and three classmates in their first year of OCAD U’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation were studying the news and views emerging about a new virus that had besieged Wuhan, China. Working on a course assignment, they examined the wild spread of information and misinformation and how it was affecting the virus’s management by public health authorities.
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connection_found is an online group exhibition organized by feelSpace featuring works by Ronnie Clarke, Taylor Jolin, Leia Kook-Chun, Madeleine Lychek and Paula Tovar, Noelle Wharton-Ayer, and Becca Wijshijer. At times humorous, and other times tender, these meditations illustrate the quirks of navigating intimacy in the digital realm as it inadvertently relates back to the body in the physical world. As the name connection_found implies, the works within this exhibition understand connection and intimacy in broad subsets: a found connection between an individual and their complicated cultural history (Wharton-Ayer), between lovers separated by an ocean (Lychek and Tovar), between strangers online (Kook-Chun), between the corporeal and the digital (Clarke), between where we are and where we’ve never been (Jolin), and with alternate versions of ourselves (Wijshijer). Together, these works trace and re-trace digital intimacy, touch, and the body as it moves and navigates towards the virtual realm.

 

More literally, connection_found also suggests the curatorial alignment of these works in a digital context which, in and of itself, requires finding connection. At the core of the exhibition, connection_found simultaneously expands, individuates, and links the collective experience of existing on the internet.

 

curated by feelSpace

feelSpace is an ad hoc interdisciplinary curatorial collective based in Tkaronto at OCAD University. The collective is interested in the implications and potential of curatorial practice within, through, and around digital spaces.

 

Image credit: Madeleine Lychek & Paula Tovar

Featuring works by: Taylor Jolin, Ronnie Clarke, Becca Wijshijer, Leia Kook-Chun, Noelle Wharton-Ayer, Madeleine Lycheck & Paula Tovar

 

Opening Reception Thursday, December 5th, 6PM-8PM

Graduate Gallery, 205 Richmond St. W. Level G

 

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Free
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Graduate Gallery 205 Richmond St. W. Level G
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Connection_Found: An online exhibition curated by feelSpace
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What is Digital Futures OPEN SHOW?

The Digital Futures OPEN Show is an annual exhibition where we show our best and most interesting work that’s happening RIGHT NOW. The collection of work presented is intended to represent a survey of current ideas, concepts, themes, theories, tools, techniques, and trends being explored by the Digital Futures community. Last year’s inaugural OPEN Show was a big success and we’re excited to do it again.

OPEN comes from the fact that this call is open to our whole community. The show will include works from current Digital Futures undergraduate students, graduate students AND faculty. Works include physical computing prototypes, data visualizations, digital entertainment, games, wearable technology, interactive installations and performances. For anyone who has asked the question “What IS Digital Futures anyway?” - we’re hoping this exhibition will continue to provide some answers.

What is Digital Futures?

Digital Futures is an undergraduate and graduate program at OCAD University that combines creative approaches to emerging technologies and critical thinking to prototype possible futures. Digital Futures faculty and students are world leaders in physical computing, data visualization, digital entertainment, wearable technology, smart materials, music technology and games.

When is it happening?

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 6:00-9:00PM

Where is it happening?

An assortment of rooms on the Ground ("G" on the elevator) and 7th Floor.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Free all welcome!
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OCADU Graduate Gallery & Digital Futures HQ
205 Richmond St. West
Ground Floor & 7th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1V3
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Digital Futures Open Show December 2019
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The form of the book — whether as novel, course text, or art book — draws from traditions that tend toward reflecting a social status quo. But the book and its related productions have tremendous potential to disrupt, disturb, and disentangle colonial legacies and point to new non-hierarchical principles. The course takes the question of the book and encourage these new possibilities, both through an intellectual and making process. Some considerations will include engaging with and responding to the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art; reinterpreting the book through re-use, recycling, and remaking; intellectual/writing/discussion opportunities; theoretical and critical challenges posed by Indigenous, postcolonial, and decolonizing methods; and the production of an exhibition at the Graduate Gallery that reflects the pedagogies of the course.

Opening Reception and Grad Studies end of term celebration: November 29th from 5PM-10PM

Gallery Open Daily from November 29- December 2 from 7:30AM-7:30PM

Exhibitors:

Deborah Barnett

Jason Burke

Natalie Chuck

Jaime Hilditch

Cayden Johnson

Andrew Kostjuk

Ashok Mathur

Claudia McKnight

Victoria Milne

Patricia Pasten

Jevonne Peters

Sheetal Prasad

Katlin Walsh

Danny Walsh

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Free
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gradstudies@ocadu.ca
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Graduate Gallery 205 Richmond St. W.
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Join the Decolonizing the Book grad students for a reception at their Open Circle exhibit and an end of year celebration for gra
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Who:

Pedro Biz is a design researcher from Rio and PhD student at School of Design Esdi / UERJ, researching Community Waste Management in Favelas. His research is part of Arranjo Local Penha, a network of institutions and residents in favela of Penha, Rio de Janeiro, that work towards food sovereignty through urban farming. Pedro is also working on a project on biodesign, researching kombucha's bacterial cellulose.

What:

Organic waste management in favelas of Rio de Janeiro: collaborative and sustainable practices through design

The research investigates how collaborative and sustainable practices can contribute to the development of an organic waste management articulated by the community itself, by processing the organic waste inside favela, avoiding accumulation and irregular displacement; also, with potential for improvement in urban garden cultivation and income generation from the commercialization of organic fertilizer.  From  mapping initiatives that already manage waste in favelas and through the experience of implementing a composting unit a favela, I intend to establish a theoretical and practical approach based on codesign and design for sustainability, so that designers can engage with communities specifically in the management of organic waste in Rio de Janeiro's favelas. And finally, verify the implementation of a composting unit in the favela of Penha, as part of a bigger project already in progress that deals with food sovereignty in favelas through urban garden and agroecology called Arranjo Local Penha.

When: Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 from 6PM-8PM

Where: Room 410 (sLab) 205 Richmond St. W.

Free! All welcome! Presented by the SFI Program

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Free
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bjoe@ocadu.ca
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RM 410 (sLab) 205 Richmond St. W.
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You're Invited: Guest Speaker -Pedro Biz (Rio): Studying collaborative and sustainable practices through design
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Call for Works: feelSpace Deadline: Oct 21st, 2019, 11:59pm

feelSpace is an interdisciplinary curatorial collective. We are creating an interactive online environment to engage with artists at all stages of their careers. This co-curated online exhibition explores intimacy in/and/on/through the internet. 

feelSpace is seeking artworks for our inaugural online exhibition that deals with connections and relationships in digital spaces. The exhibition will consider how we perceive, or “feel” the internet.

feelSpace welcomes submissions from a variety of mediums that must be accessible to an online audience without the use of any specialized equipment. We encourage submissions from BIPOC, Queer, and Two-Spirit artists from every nation. A small honourarium will be awarded to exhibiting artists. 

Submission Requirements: Please prepare the following materials for the online application: https://forms.gle/q8F89g4VzeHNkDN36 Label all files in the format: lastname.firstname.title.year  Accepted image formats: PNG, GIF and JPEG (max 144 dpi) Accepted video formats: Vimeo and YouTube links 

  • Artwork description (300 words max)
  • Online installation requirements (200 words max)
  • Artist biography, written in third person (200 words max)
  • 5-10 images (xGB max)
  • CV (3 pages max) (optional)

Keywords: intimacy: for the show we are primarily considered with three different kinds of intimacy; with others (romantic, familial, friendly), with ourselves (leading back to ego, self, persona, identity), and with materiality (with digital devices & spaces, art & art practices/endeavours). All three forms come back to desire -- what leads us to seek out intimacy: in the context of our interests how/where do we seek digital intimacy?

refraction: the fact or phenomenon of light, radio waves, etc. being deflected in passing obliquely through the interface between one medium and another or through a medium of varying density. 

disconnection & reconnection: the internet can lead us to connections that otherwise may not have been possible. It can create disconnections with our physical surroundings, body (persona) and technical disconnections like lost internet connections, broken phones, computers, and whatever else can go wrong with technology! Does technology create a digital extension of the self?  

About: feelSpace is made up of 13 OCAD University MFA candidates. We come from a variety of educational, professional, and artistic backgrounds, making interdisciplinary practices integral to our collaborative practice.  

Cost
FREE
Email
feelspacecuratorial@gmail.com
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https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdncIbWyKn9p66GZSmzI6qXpUmEyTQXQXvh1bp61YHi5fab4g/viewform
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