Ontario College of Art & Design

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Design and Humanity

The Faculty of Design provides a provocative, diverse and culturally rich environment, guiding the development of critical thinking, innovation and responsiveness in the context of human and environmental needs.

Our primary objective is to enable students to develop their own voice in the formation of ideas and in the expression of these ideas through both verbal and visual language.

Drawing on depth of insight, our emerging designers learn to create alternative responses for changing economic and social realities. Producers of objects, communications and environments, they will define, enhance and transform our cultural heritage.

The Faculty of Design has enhanced the above Mission Statement with the declaration that the philosophical base of all of our programming will be ‘Design and Humanity’. It can be defined as follows:

The goal of Design and Humanity is to create objects, communications, environments and experiences that nurture community, humanize technology, satisfy human needs and empower the individual. Design and Humanity strives to achieve the maximum quality of experience for people for each ecological unit consumed in its creation, production and use.

OCAD is rich in its offerings of related design disciplines. Our programs focus on experiential learning in the studio, where students work closely with instructors developing proficiency in research and strategy development, conceptual thinking, creative problem solving, visual language, project presentation, modeling, and relevant technical instruction. Liberal Studies courses provide a critical comprehension of historical, social, cultural and environmental contexts which broaden the students’ perspective of their chosen disciplines as well as key human and societal issues, and which are therefore critical for informing the design process.

In addition to the many prominent practicing professionals who make up our faculty complement, we have benefited from the participation of a number of distinguished guest speakers. They have included:

Alexander Manu, Designer, Author and Lecturer
Nigel Smith, Graphic Designer
Ingrid Reehill, Industrial Designer
Walter Kehm, Environmental Designer
Joseph Arbuckle, Philosopher and Design Strategist
Karim Rashid, Industrial Designer
Martin Liefhebber, Architect
Bruce Mau, Graphic Designer
Elspeth Lynn, Advertising Art Director
Robin Metcalfe, Writer, Curator
Anita Kunz, Illustrator
Clive Desmond, Music and Sound Designer
Ian Tudhope, Brand Consultant
Peter Busby, Architect
Paul Greenhalgh, President, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design
Diti Katona, Graphic Designer
Brad Holland, Illustrator
William Alsop, Architect
Janet Koplos, Editor, Author and Lecturer in Art & Craft
Douglas Ball, Industrial Designer
Vanessa Eckstein, Graphic Designer
Anne Barros, Silversmith
Brian MacKay-Lyons, Architect
Philippe Garneau, Brand Engineer
Mark Kingwell, Philosopher
Michael Adams, Author and Researcher of Social Trends
Victor Margolin, Author, Lecturer, Educator
Kim Vicente, Author, Lecturer, Educator
Katherine McCoy, Graphic Designer, Author, Educator 
Dayna Baumeister, Biologist, Researcher, Educator
Edward Burtynsky, Artist/Photographer
Bruce Sterling, Design Theorist, Author
Michael Rakowitz, Artist, Designer
Teal Triggs, Graphic Designer 
Katherine Hayles, Author, Educator
Karim Rashid, Industrial Designer
Rusty Smith, Architect, Educator
Rafael Fajardo, Game Designer, Educator
Tali Krakowsky, Experience Designer

The requirements in the professional programs: Environmental Design, Industrial Design, Advertising, Graphic Design and Illustration, are rigorous and the curriculum also provides a number of opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and study.

Material Art & Design, which includes Fibre, Jewellery/Metalsmithing and Ceramics, supports students working from either an art or design perspective. Students are encouraged to structure their course of study to create meaningful learning opportunities and satisfy their personal goals. Studies over the three upper years may cross and combine media, or focus on investigating just one medium.

Please refer to the major and minor program guides for specific course offerings and graduation requirements. For academic counseling, do not hesitate to contact the Faculty of Design office.

Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:06 PM