Queen’s Park Event Showcases OCAD U’s Contribution to Ontario

By OCAD University Modified on May 10, 2024
Tags : Arts & Culture | Campus Life | News | Politics

Through interactive exhibitions, faculty and students highlighted OCAD U’s pivotal role in solving the province's key challenges.

 Queen’s Part Event Showcases OCAD U’s Contribution to Ontario

Queen’s Park buzzed with activity, as MPPs, Ministers, officials, and staff explored a wide array of captivating projects and exhibits created by OCAD University’s students and faculty. The interactive exhibitions offered government officials an opportunity to see how OCAD U drives economic impact and builds capacity for the province, in a multitude of sectors.

In her opening remarks at the March 27 event, OCAD U President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano stressed that 94% of the university’s graduates are employed, and they contribute to every sector of the economy — including the automotive industry, health care system and finance and retail sectors.

“The Queen’s Park event was a vibrant showcase of OCAD U’s diverse talent and impact on Ontario,” said Miriam Kramer, Executive Director, Government & Community Relations and Public Policy. “MPPs, Ministers, and political staff experienced firsthand how OCAD U is shaping the future of Ontario. Through interactive exhibitions, we highlighted OCAD U’s pivotal role in solving the province’s key challenges in health and long-term care and in supporting capacity building in the creative industries.”

Ministers in attendance at the event included Hon. Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care; Hon. Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Hon. Charmaine A. Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity; and Hon. Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business. MPPs Logan Kanapathi, Peter Tabuns and Mary-Margaret McMahon came out to the event specifically to meet participating students who were their constituents.

OCAD University looks forward to continuing to work with the Ontario government as we drive economic impact and build capacity for the province,” said President Ana Serrano.

OCAD U organizers are grateful to the faculty members and students who participated in this impressive event:

Light Up the Dark Project in collaboration with the Aga Khan Museum and AVA Animation

Light Up the Dark is a collaboration between OCAD U's Experimental Animation program, the Aga Khan Museum, and AVA Animation, where students are annually commissioned to produce a two-minute animated video projection-mapped onto the facade of the Aga Khan Museum. Students are paid as they learn to manage a real-world project with a public presentation of the results at the end.

Faculty: Philippe Blanchard, Chair, Experimental Animation, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art

OCAD U Alumni: Peter Rahul, Vladimir Kanic


OCAD U LiVE is a student-run, on-demand streaming service that offers a wide variety of programming while preparing students for the film and media industry by offering practical experiences, training, and networking opportunities. With an open format encompassing short films, game shows, chat shows and more, OCAD U LiVE provides students with a platform to showcase their talents and keep their intellectual property, all while earning income for their contributions. Our in-house production house focuses on paid professional experiences.

OCAD U staff: Leo Dell’Anno, OCAD U Live Executive Producer, Rebecca Van Fraassen, Production Coordinator

Students: Chris Markland, Lotus

Housing Futures: No Place Like Home

Focused on aging and community in Hamilton, this exhibition creates visual materials representing the housing instabilities experienced by low-income older adults. The project engaged participants through art-based methods, mailing out art kits containing instructional materials and creative tools. These kits encouraged participants to visually map their living environments, fostering self-expression and enabling them to shape solutions. The project aims to elevate the voices of low-income aging adults in Hamilton and inform the development of more inclusive and supportive housing and policy solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Faculty: Dr. Michelle Wyndham-West, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Design

Student: Helen Bae

Industrial Design Showcase

DESIGNwith lab

The DESIGNwith lab incubates ideas and explores innovative approaches to design waste for the circular economy and social innovation. Founded by Associate Professor Ranee Lee, DESIGNwith is a partnership with OCAD U and Cadillac Fairview (CF) that fosters collaboration amongst designers, students, and community members to explore the impact of design in everyday life. The lab empowers participants to create livelihood opportunities through sustainable practices, preparing students for careers in sustainable design and social innovation.

Faculty: Ranee Lee, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design

Students: Andrew Ball, Maxwell Sims

Digital Futures Showcase

Hand Made: VR Tools for Creation with MasterpieceVR

Funded by eCampus Ontario and led by Dr. Emma Westecott in collaboration with MasterpieceVR, Hand Made: VR Tools for Creation is a pioneering initiative aimed at integrating Virtual Reality (VR) technology into art and design education. The initiative equips students with essential skills in utilizing cutting-edge tools, positioning them at the forefront of technological advancements in the creative industries and contributing to the future evolution of digital tools while supporting an Ontario-based tech company.

Faculty: Dr. Emma Westecott, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts & Science

Students: Tamika Yamamoto, Luke D’Alfonsi

Fetal Surgical Simulators

Bridging together art and medical science, this exhibition showcases the important role that artists play in preparing doctors and medical researchers for high-risk surgeries that are eradicating deadly and devastating birth defects like spina bifida and vascular abnormalities. The showcased simulators, meticulously crafted by a team collaborating with medical researchers, serve as crucial training tools for fetal surgeons worldwide, allowing them to hone their skills in performing intricate procedures using advanced instruments like laparoscopes, ultrasound devices, and robotic systems on unborn babies.

Faculty: Francis LeBouthillier, Associate Professor, Faculty of Art

Accessible Everyday Objects for Adults with Moderate to Severe Dementia | OCAD University x Baycrest

OCAD U’s Industrial Design students, from a Human Centred Design class taught by Associate Professor Ranee Lee and Instructor Nadine Hare, embarked on a research project aimed at enhancing the daily experiences of residents and personal support workers at the Baycrest Terraces Memory Residence. Through immersive research and collaboration with Baycrest, students developed innovative products to support residents and their caregivers in their daily lives. The Brief Art Case aims to enhance accessibility of art therapy for residents with moderate to severe dementia and Sun Fam is an innovative product that provides a source of reassurance and support through stimulated sunlight and gentle warmth.

Faculty: Ranee Lee, Associate Professor, Faculty of Design and Nadine Hare, Instructor, Faculty of Design

Students: Gianni Magarelli, Noemi Pineyro Ormazabal, Fatimah Abubakkar, Mahsa Jalali, Nicky Chung, Gabriel De Guzman

A Roadmap for Change

A Roadmap for Change focuses on the relationship between visual design and AI in aiding addiction recovery. This prototype integrates artificial intelligence algorithms with curated recovery information to create personalized pathways for users, supporting them in their healing journey. Through engaging visual elements and tailored guidance, the project aims to empower individuals to take control of their recovery process. This was a capstone project from a class led by Associate Professor Jules Goss.

Students: Younes Daneshvar, Jen Smith

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