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Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

CADN 6B01 Methods and Theory in Art History
This course charts out the range of methodological strategies used by art historians to analyze, interpret and critique works of art. While formal, stylistic and iconographic methods are traditionally central to art historical practice, diverse theoretical perspectives and specialized terminologies have been developed in recent decades that complexify the art historical enterprise. Approaches to be discussed include Marxism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, cultural studies, feminism and post-colonialism. One objective of this course is to assist students in identifying theories and methods that are pertinent to their own research interests.

CADN 6B02 Contemporary Art Theory
This course focuses on the major theories and issues that have shaped the analysis of contemporary art since the 1980s. Examining key writings by theorists and historians of the last 25 years, discussions will cover the debates and shifts in perception that have contributed to recent developments in art theory and praxis.

CADN 6B05 Contemporary Indigenous Art, Design and New Media Art History
This course will survey pioneering and contemporary work by Aboriginal artists, new media art practitioners, or architects/designers. The rich heritage of First Nations' culture continues as artists and designers translate traditional values and approaches into modern and postmodern contexts. Such work serves multiple functions: asserting Aboriginal voices and methodologies, critiquing Western aesthetics and politics, and forging alternative theories and cultural analyses.

CADN 6C01 Writing and Professional Practices
This seminar is designed to assist students during the writing of their MRP or thesis. Discussions will cover the structure and format of MRPs and theses, research practices, and guidelines for good writing. Other topics include writing grant applications, presenting at conferences, and publishing in academic venues. The course will also oversee the organization of the CADN Graduate Student Conference.

CADN 6C02 MRP/Thesis Research
This is a directed study course to pursue research and reading in connection with the individual student's major research paper or thesis project.

Notes: Restricted to CADN Graduate Studies students.

CADN 6D01 Major Research Paper Writing
Under the guidance of the Principal Advisor, students will work on and complete their major research paper.

Notes: Restricted to CADN Graduate Studies students.

CADN 6E01 Thesis Writing
Under the guidance of the Principal Advisor, students will work on and complete their thesis.

Notes: Restricted to CADN Graduate Studies students.


Criticism & Curatorial Practice

CRCP 6B02 Criticism and Critical Writing
The subject of this course is critical writing in a broad sense. Critical writing can be seen as a large and flexible form that accompanies art and design's production and public reception. This broad view will enable the seminar to examine many types of texts that deal with art and design theory, criticism, ficto-criticism, curatorial statements and texts as artworks, as well as interviews (which though spoken, routinely appear in print). A central question for the seminar will be the study of whether (or how) different positions in the field of art, design, curator, critic, artist, designer, etc. create different kinds of writing.

CRCP 6B05 Issues in Criticism and Curatorial Studies
This seminar examines the ongoing debates circulating within, and pertinent to, contemporary criticism and curating. The course addresses the implications for criticism and curatorial practice through analysis of the theoretical formations and shifting context of prominent issues (e.g., representation, gender, sexuality, difference, institutional power, censorship, globalization and media culture).

CRCP 6B06 Introduction to Criticism and Curatorial Studies
This introductory seminar, through readings and discussions, will introduce students to the major critical texts, theories and debates in the burgeoning international field of contemporary curatorial studies and criticism. Simultaneously throughout the seminar, students will attend public exhibitions, screenings, lectures, performances and events in Toronto's visual art and design worlds. This ongoing examination of contemporary art and design practices within public culture will provide students with an eclectic and critical mapping of the layers and intersections of the visual arts, media and design in relation to their varied publics, audiences, markets, the mass media and the scholarly community.

CRCP 6B07 Thesis Workshop
This course is offered as a series of thesis workshops. Students will convene as a group to present, review, and discuss their thesis work as a form of peer review. The workshops will be scheduled in January/February. The course is pass/fail.

Notes: Restricted to CRCP Graduate Studies students.

CRCP 6B08 Issues in Exhibitions, Theory and Practice
This seminar will explore various aspects of exhibition practices and theory, while focusing on a particular aspect of contemporary exhibitionary practices. Potential topics range from curatorial interventions within the gallery and institutions of art; exhibition practices related to new media, digital and electronic arts; photography and its contemporary manifestations; and the experiences of working in the public realm outside of traditional galleries and museums, such as public art, social-relational aesthetics, and community art practices. The seminar will include lectures, readings, case studies and student presentations that are intended to raise issues and engage debate about contemporary exhibition practices and account for theoretical perspectives and historical context.

CRCP 6C01 Individual Research and Reading
This is a directed study course to pursue research and reading in connection with each student's thesis project or critical essay, working with their Principal Advisor.

CRCP 6C02 Inside Curatorial Practice
This course interrogates contemporary Canadian curatorial practices. As much concerned with critical methodologies as with practical realities, the course will introduce students to institutional and independent curatorial environments. Students will meet with staff and conduct independent research within large and small-scale institutions, university art galleries, private collections, artist-run, independent, and commercial galleries. The emphasis will be on critical original research realized through one or more public events.

CRCP 6E01 Thesis: Exhibition and Critical Essay
Students in the curatorial stream will be required to conceptualize and curate a public project and write a curatorial essay, which should be of publishable quality, and complete an internal exhibition report. The curatorial project may be in the form of an exhibition, a public installation, a public event, a performance, a website, etc. In addition, students may wish to produce a catalogue that includes the curatorial essay, list of works, illustrations, etc. to accompany the curatorial project.

Notes: Restricted to CRCP Graduate Studies students.

CRCP 6E02 Thesis: Criticism Thesis
Students in the criticism stream will produce a criticism thesis in the form of one long sustained essay with chapters on a particular subject, or three shorter essays on a theme of a similar combined length. The essay(s) should include a critical literature overview, a chapter on methodology and a bibliography. The criticism essay(s) should demonstrate sustained research and critical argument, as well as an awareness of the larger field of critical inquiry. The essay(s) should indicate some level of primary research and investigation either through interviews, exhibition visits, site visits, studio visits, etc. The critical essay(s) can focus on art, design or media criticism as a subject in its own right or as a critical analysis of an art object, design object, event, performance, website, etc.

Notes: Restricted to CRCP Graduate Studies students.

Digital Futures

DIGF 5B90 Special Topics in Digital Futures: Dialogues in Feminism and Technology
"Dialogues in Feminism and Technology" offers the opportunity to engage with key feminist theoretical and methodological research in science, technology and media that, despite its formative role in scholarship, is rarely considered as a coherent collection.  Uniquely, the course offers recently created dialogues of key feminist scholars in conversation on key topics in the areas of science, media and technology study, including difference, identity, race, sexuality, archives, labour, and more. As one of 15 course sections being taught internationally, this course invites students to participate in an international learning community of others studying the same content during the term. 

DIGF 6A03 eGlobal
Digital industries are truly global and this course is an opportunity to work collaboratively on a project in another country.  The approach is tailored each year to a particular collaboration with institutional or industry partners in a relevant field.  Themes of social and cultural difference are critical, alongside developing a better understanding of how to work productively in a radically different context. A component of this course is based in a host country – developing or developed. Whether it is a mobile phone user surfing the web in sub-saharan Africa, or the latest high-tech eatery in Tokyo, the course will help you to embrace global challenges.
DIGF 6A04 Ubiquitous Computing
The ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing says that "Ubicomp is an interdisciplinary field of research and development that utilizes and integrates pervasive, wireless, embedded, wearable, and/or mobile technologies to bridge the gaps between the digital and physical worlds." From mesh networks to the internet of things, the recent affordability and availability of microcontrollers has spawned an era in which ordinary objects have become "smart," networked, and synced. Building on the skills developed in Creation and Computation, students engage in explorations that examine how computing is embedded into our everyday lives.

DIGF 6A07 Affect and Emotion in Practice
The course presents an exciting evolution of past work done on studies of emotion and affect in digital media and artistic practice.  It considers emotional concepts within interdisciplinary practice. The course examines emotion as digital process and output, how a creative concept is developed and influenced by an individual: how does excitement, arousal, feelings of competition, defeat, insight, etc. play into both process and production for creatives? How can emotion be measured in a speculative, artistic, and experimental format? Can an artist construct a transference of affect in the engagement of the work by the viewer?

DIGF 6A08 Digital Games 1
Digital games are an increasingly significant cultural force. This course connects contemporary game design and the practice of game-making with the ambition of building functional innovative game design concepts. Students iteratively design, visualize, develop and test unique game concepts to a final proof of concept stage. This course provides a foundation in game design both within and beyond gaming arts and culture, and the digital game industry.

DIGF 6A09 Digital Games 2
Moving forward to an advanced game development practice this course builds on game design and development knowledge acquired in earlier electives to design and build a digital game. Students will develop skills from paper prototyping, game modelling and game level design, through to storyboarding, asset creation, character design and animation and game authoring. This course blends game design innovation with a theoretical grounding to produce game demos that engage with contemporary debate.

DIGF 6A10 Mobile and Social Media 
Smart phones, tablets, and lightweight computers have become increasingly common. Social media applications have also experienced a rapid uptake. This course explores social and mobile media, both from a technical and social perspective. Topics include apps, platforms, location-based services, accessibility, privacy, environmental impact, and interoperability. Students will explore current issues, emerging opportunities, and ideas for what is to come in the future of social and mobile media.

DIGF 6A11 Information Visualization 
Visualization can tell stories, reduce complexity, help decision-making as well as deceive, misguide and confuse. As we increasingly rely on visual communication of knowledge in engineering, science, education, medicine, humanities and social sciences it is becoming essential for designers to know the capacities, applications and techniques of this powerful cognitive tool. Through case studies, a hands-on project and critical reflection, students will develop an understanding of data and information visualization, the role of computation, the use of data sources and develop of skills in design for visual cognition.

DIGF 6A13 Bio Articulation: Machines that Interrogate
Biology and biometric machines speak narrative languages that reduce complexity to constrained data.  Bioarticulation asks students to collect biodetritus and develop a composite network of digital, material, and biological computation.  Using a variety of sensing technologies, students will create new types of information protocols that allow real time interrogation of the biological data. This connection will function as a biobattery that drives the response and behaviour of the digital machines.

DIGF 6A14 Body-Centric Technologies 
An increasing number of technologies orbit the human form new devices and computing capabilities that live in, on, and around the body. Designers, artists, and technologists increasingly need to consider what should live in the near bodyspace and why. When technology inhabits our most intimate spaces do we become superhuman or slaves to the machine? This is a hands-on research through prototyping course in which the class will act as a pop-up research and development team. The course also reviews the most recent trends in emerging body-centric technologies.

DIGF 6B01 Creative Techniques 
This course surveys the wide range of design and creation methods for digital media. It explores techniques for creative elicitation, lateral thinking and group cohesion. It also explores the effect of various techniques to move a broad concept into specific project ideas. This course is designed to enhance the level of cross-disciplinary understanding of the field and prepare students for work on their projects and prototypes.

DIGF 6B03 Discovery
This course explores how to create provocative designs by visioning futures that do not yet exist. Themes within the course include the challenges of personal atomization, integration and hybridization as the evolving digital age relentlessly outpaces human evolution. Working in groups, students will take a discovery-based approach to their studies, learning from fiction and film media, leading to service design and product mockups or experimental design investigations that reflect on the future. The course segues into prototyping through the subsequent course DIGF 6C01.

DIGF 6B04 Business and Leadership 
This course examines business creation, project management, and leadership, alongside intellectual property (IP) issues and best practices within the context of digital media and IT. Unifying discourses, including design thinking, use case modeling, and user scenarios have evolved to provide common, user-centred perspectives for multifaceted team-based work. The course introduces strategies and practical tools, methods and perspectives for cultivating awareness of working styles, catalyzing team interactions, and effective project outcomes.

DIGF 6B12 Digital Theory 
This course commences with an examination and mapping of the historical precedents of digital media, taking into consideration the social, cultural and political contexts of its emergence. Students will identify major significant movements which rapidly coincided with the shift from analog to digital culture. In digital media, conceptual and theoretical trends tend to respond to technical developments. Accordingly this course covers topics of digital reality, simulation and virtuality; interactivity and agency; media archaeology and migration; subjectivity, race, gender, and online identity; the politics of cyberculture; indigenous interventions; globalization and the political economy of digital media.

DIGF 6B22 Interactive Exhibition
The purpose of this course is to work in a single class team to curate and execute an interactive exhibition that hosts selected work by Diploma students as well as the final thesis projects by Masters students. Participants will gain valuable experience in coordinating a complex digital event that has a significant public presence. The interactive exhibition concept is developed by the group and includes marketing and digital platform components, physical exhibits, and overall narrative.

DIGF 6C04 MDes/MFA Thesis Stage 2: Experimentation and Development 
DIGF 6C07 MA Thesis Stage 2: Experimentation and Development
The purpose of this stage is to frame and undertake experimental work to test, amend and reinforce the thesis project work. This course is supported by studio classes, supervisors, visiting academics and industry partners. In addition to providing feedback on students' project work, help is provided to orientate and prepare students to achieve a significant thesis result. Written components of the thesis are also initiated during this stage.

DIGF 6K04 Transmedia/ Creation and Computation (2-year Diploma)

Creation and Computation (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to current and emerging prototyping and development tools in the realm of digital technology. It employs a hands-on, skills-based approach in a project context. Students gain a strong foundation in the basics of programming, physical computing, visual or screen-based computation, networking and connectivity. Specific topics are tailored to current issues. Students will leave with the technical literacy required to embark on more sophisticated projects and subsequent works in creative digital media.

Transmedia (1.5 credits)
An introductory two week immersion in which students work collectively on a transmedia project based in Toronto. A project is rapidly conceived, prototyped and showcased. The course initiates a "learning through practice" experience for new students and builds the sense of graduate community. During the course students are also introduced to the philosophy and practice of the Digital Futures program, the work of the faculty, and the previous year's student cohort.

DIGF 6L01 Transmedia/Creation and Computation (Master's and 1-year Diploma)

Creation and Computation (6 credits)
This course provides an introduction to current and emerging prototyping and development tools in the realm of digital technology. It employs a hands-on, skills-based approach in a project context. Students gain a strong foundation in the basics of programming, physical computing, visual or screen-based computation, networking and connectivity. Specific topics are tailored to current issues. Students will leave with the technical literacy required to embark on more sophisticated projects and subsequent works in creative digital media.

Transmedia (1.5 credits)
An introductory two week immersion in which students work collectively on a transmedia project based in Toronto. A project is rapidly conceived, prototyped and showcased. The course initiates a "learning through practice" experience for new students and builds the sense of graduate community. During the course students are also introduced to the philosophy and practice of the Digital Futures program, the work of the faculty, and the previous year's student cohort.

General Graduate Studies Courses

GGRA 6B01 Contemporary Research Methods
A wide variety of methods inform research that takes as its object art, design or visual studies. This range expands further when it includes studio practice as well as scholarship. Moreover, a given method is inflected by the discipline within which it is applied. To sort through this array, this course surveys contemporary art and design research methods with reference to social sciences, humanities and cultural studies, and then uses this knowledge to focus on the unique issues facing students in critical, curating and interdisciplinary practices.

GGRA 6B03 Critical Theory Seminar
Based on a survey of critical theory, this graduate seminar provides a venue for the analysis of texts, issues and discourses that inform contemporary visual culture. Emphasis is placed on examining the role of critical theory in contemporary art, design, criticism and curating.

Interdisciplinary in Art, Media & Design

IAMD 6A01 Thesis Proposal
This course will support the research and the formulation of the thesis proposal. Thesis proposals are formulated over the summer term in consultation with the student's Principal Advisor, and are due September 1. The workshops over the summer will focus on the coming together of practice and theory. Particular emphasis will be given to the interdisciplinary nature of work in progress.

IAMD 6A02 Research Creation and Colloquia
This course will support the preparations for the thesis colloquia presentations in the fall. The Autumn Colloquium serves as a milestone for clarification of thesis background, research questions, objectives, theoretical frameworks and methodologies. Workshop meetings and discussions over the fall will culminate in two distinct outcomes: the thesis colloquia presentation and a reflective report. The reflective discussion of the colloquia presentations will give students an opportunity to reflect upon the experience and its affect on their thesis work, and will provide appropriate strategies for addressing the thesis project as it progresses.

IAMD 6B02 Directed Interdisciplinary Studio/Academic Study II
Students will continue to the acquire skill sets and produce work in their chosen secondary art, media, or design discipline through a combination of directed work in the OCAD U studios and peer meetings within the context of the directed studio. Students may also continue to audit appropriate 200-400 level studio courses. The program of study for the Secondary Studio is determined and arranged by the individual student with the advice of their Principal Advisor. In addition, students interact weekly with their peers in formal and informal critique presentations.

IAMD 6B06 Special Focus: Research & Innovation Lab
Students meet weekly for guided discussions on the theoretical and practical issues surrounding a common theme/interest. In this advanced graduate lab, students develop a methodological framework and context appropriate for their work. The course structures students' research and production as an iterative and discursive process, supplemented by the analysis of relevant texts, visits from guest lecturers, class critiques and hands-on workshops.

IAMD 6B07 Graduate Seminar
During the final semester, students primarily work independently on completing their theses. The Graduate Seminar provides a weekly opportunity for students to meet for guided discussion of their work.

IAMD 6B08 Issues in Critical Theory
This course engages with core and visiting faculty's interests and current research, practices and debates in critical theory, according to the instructor's specialization.

IAMD 6B10 Special Focus: Practice-Research Translations
Closely aligned with ongoing studio work, students develop critical facility and methods that integrate creative practice with research. An initial theme "New Networks" emphasizes mimetic exchanges between electronic and material forms of media. Each student analyzes appropriate case studies in relation to the theme. These findings are extended through a variety of studio pursuits that use individual thesis goals as criteria for interpretive activity. The studio/seminar reconciles critical theory and thesis research with studio/post-studio art production: material projects and fabrication are examined for their research potential  as the instruments, sites, and subjects of research  as well as its tangible expression.


IAMD 6C01 MFA/MDes Individual Studio
Participants pursue self-directed studio work in their primary area of concentration in consultation with their Principal Advisor. Students are expected to attend periodic lectures by visiting artists, designers, theorists and cultural critics, as well as to meet individually for studio critiques with the invited lecturers. Regular interactions and critiques with the student's Principal Advisor and invited lecturers will be an important part of this course.

IAMD 6C04 MA Individual Academic Study
Students undertake directed study in their primary academic discipline with their Principal Advisor, integrating elements of their secondary discipline in the formulation of an interdisciplinary academic practice.

IAMD 6C05 Advanced Interdisciplinary Studio/Research
Students pursue self-directed work on the culminating creative project and or thesis research. Biweekly meetings with the Principal Advisor are required.

IAMD 6C06 Directed Interdisciplinary Studio/Academic Study I 
Students acquire the skill sets of a secondary art, media, design and/or academic discipline through a combination of directed work, guest lectures, peer meetings and critiques within the context of this directed studio seminar. The course introduces collaborative issues inherent in interdisciplinary methods, technologies, and practices. An incoming portfolio show, artist/designer/academic statement, and a proposal for ongoing interdisciplinary studio/academic study and research are outcomes of this course.

IAMD 6E01 MFA/MDes Thesis
This is the culminating work of the Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Art, Media and Design. The Master's thesis for the MFA or MDes is comprised of two important components. The central component is a body of visual work that clearly demonstrates the student's advanced ability to integrate elements of two disciplines toward the achievement of a stated goal or solution. The supporting paper or written thesis: a) elaborates in some depth the theoretical underpinnings of the project; b) articulates clearly and lucidly the objectives (problem to be solved) and the process undertaken (including false starts, unproductive tangents, and lessons learned); and c) explains in detail the end result or creative solution.

Notes: Restricted to IAMD Graduate Studies students.

IAMD 6E02 MA Thesis
This is the culminating work of the Interdisciplinary Master's Program in Art, Media and Design. The Master's thesis for the MA degree comprises the same two important elements as for the MFA or MDes degrees, but in reverse order of importance. The central element of the MA thesis is the written thesis that demonstrates substantial research and explication of an original creative idea or solution. The thesis is based on a strong, well-articulated theoretical perspective or methodology that highlights the interdisciplinary of the project (this should also include some discussion of the process involved in developing the critical framework or methodology, challenges and benefits). An original creative work accompanies and supports or illustrates the written thesis.

Notes: Restricted to IAMD Graduate Studies students.

Inclusive Design

INCD 6B02 Foundational Seminar in Inclusive Design
This seminar course will provide an introduction to the inclusive design of information and communication technologies and practices. The course will cover the theoretical background, advanced computational theory, critical analysis, underpinning social and economic motivations, design methods employed, controversies, as well as the major challenges or problems to be addressed. Students will engage in both a review and analysis of relevant research and the current state of the field combined with more experiential problem solving and the application of inclusive design ICT theory and methods introduced during the course. The course will equip students to engage in well-informed, in-depth critical analysis of inclusive design of information systems and services and to apply rudimentary inclusive design methods.

INCD 6B03 Inclusive Research Methods
Students will be engaged in a critical review of common research methods and statistical analysis techniques as they relate to the research challenges of inclusive design. Students will apply a variety of research methods to representative research problems. The course will include research methods that enable analysis beyond the norm and allow scrutiny of outliers and results at the margin. The role of the research participants, inclusive research practices involving human users, and constructive critique of research conclusions will also be covered. Students will gain skills and knowledge in designing inclusive research methods. The course will prepare students to plan and design the research methods to be applied in their major project.

INCD 6B04 Effecting Cultural Change
This online seminar will situate inclusive design in relation to social justice theory and related cultural movements, as well as economic and social impact analysis instruments. The course will explore: instruments and processes of cultural change with respect to institutions, communities and larger societies; legislation, policy, and international standards along with the development processes and factors that affect compliance; institutional cultures, societal structures, ecosystems relevant to ICT development and implementation with an eye to how to design cultures of inclusion within institutional frameworks;"top-down," "bottom-up" and viral effects and mechanisms; and diverse market models in relation to inclusive design including open source and open access. Students will practice developing business cases that integrate inclusive design.

INCD 6B05 Creating Inclusive Communities Online
Supporting the needs and preferences of a diversity of users online is dependent on communities of production, crowd sourcing and social networks. The tools, architectures, practices and conventions of online networks help to determine the functioning and accessibility of these communities. A major challenge is to invite and nurture diversity while at the same time supporting community cohesion. In this online seminar and workshop students will critically examine social networks and how they support or undermine inclusion and diversity. Students will examine phenomena such as the popularity echo-chamber and explore the impact of specific actions and technical tools or metrics on online social networks and design and develop social networks that are supportive of diversity while sustaining a sense of community and cohesion.

INCD 6B06 The Difference
This course will introduce advanced computing theory and practice that supports inclusion. The online seminar and workshop will explore both the impact of diversity/inclusion on design and development on the one hand, and specific strategies/practices for designing for diversity on the other. Students will also explore design and development strategies that support diversity with a special focus on personalization, mass-customization, modularity and flexible ICT structures. Software architectures, coding practices, project management practices, network design and processes of data federation will be explored with an emphasis on how to support inclusive design. The impact on and interaction with security and privacy will also be covered.

INCD 6B08 Major Project Proposal
Students will be supported in formulating a major research proposal that includes the articulation of background knowledge, research questions, objectives, theoretical frameworks, research methods, the project plan and research partnerships. The course will include a literature review on the chosen major research project topic. The outcome of the course will be a project proposal and a presentation of the plan.

Notes: Restricted to INCD Graduate Studies students.

INCD 6C01 Inclusive Design User Experience Lab
Designing for diversity requires a reframing and retooling of traditional user experience, interaction and user interface design and usability evaluation practices. In this online lab students will: critically examine traditional practices in these fields and how they impact on inclusion and diversity; explore common uses of personas, scenarios, storyboards, design patterns, wire frames, walk-throughs and other design tools; explore user interface design research metrics and associated assumptions in the context of designing for diversity; study and implement inclusive participatory design; individually and collaboratively formulate inclusive design practices while addressing real world design challenges. Students will be introduced to and practice usability and accessibility evaluation methods that support diversity and inclusion.

INCD 6C02 Experiential Research Lab
The Inclusive Design Research Centre is engaged in leading and participating in many multi-sector, national and international research networks. These research networks address inclusive design challenges in education, culture, civic engagement, health, policy, legislation, financial inclusion and ICT application design and development. Students will participate as a research team member in an open source project in a role of their choice. Students will be exposed to the entire project life cycle and the functioning of a successful research and development team. Students will be exposed to research partners around the world and from the full range of sectors. Students will be provided with opportunities to critically reflect upon the research team and its processes, and their role in the network.

INCD 6D01 Major Project
This is the culminating work of the Master of Design in Inclusive Design. It synthesizes the knowledge and skills learned throughout the program and applies them in the development of a major project. Students will develop innovative approaches and implementation strategies for defined inclusive design challenges in the private, public or voluntary sectors. Students will be mentored by a Principal Advisor and critiqued and evaluated by the Principal Advisor, plus one additional committee member. Students will have an opportunity to present their work to the research community and industry participants at the Culminating Festival and Graduate Symposium.

Notes: Restricted to INCD Graduate Studies students.

Strategic Foresight and Innovation

SFIN 6A04 Leading Innovation 1
Prerequisites: SFIN 6C02 Foresight Studio

This studio-seminar focuses on the development of skills in analyzing and communicating the need for change within communities and organizations. Students will study models of change and leadership choices, as well as explore communication and provocation tools for stimulating new thinking. Key concepts covered include: understanding frameworks for change within systems and structures, understanding leadership models and principles within contexts and envisioning change through tangible future modeling.

SFIN 6A06 Strategy Development 1
A Foundation of Critical Thinking: Students will develop a better understanding of the increasing need and the inherent challenges of developing coherent strategic solutions that drive effective organizations and brands. This course reveals the purpose and power of a strategy, gives direction on how to lead strategy development within an organization, and utilizes purpose as a sustainable competitive advantage.  Strategy Development 1 will emphasize critical thinking. We will explore frameworks and models to engage stakeholders and shape the strategic conversation. Students will learn to facilitate teams to think through the whole problem, uncover issues and barriers, challenge assumptions, build from facts, and reframe the opportunity.

SFIN 6A07 Business Model Innovation 1
A key instrument for enterprise success is the business model. Business model innovation is now considered a major innovation field, equal to or more significant than product and service innovation. A good understanding of business modeling is therefore critical for making change. Students will be introduced to the essential components of an effective business model and will learn to use a visual tool for analyzing existing business models, developing alternative ones and evaluating them. They will apply a design-thinking approach in the development of a business model implementation plan.

SFIN 6A08 Systemic Design: Systems Fundamentals
Students are introduced to systems theory and methods to understand systemic design interventions for system and business innovations. Students develop knowledge in natural, socio-technical and human-centred systems to better design for system change and to visualize system behaviour. Through systems thinking and the application of system structures and models as well as the development of design tools for expressing system models and mapping, students will understand the basics of system structures and models, systemic behaviour, influences and potential points of intervention and change. The course is taught as a seminar with lecture, discussion, visual modeling, student presentations, case study and studio work.

Equivalency: Both SFIN 6A08 Systemic Design: Systems Fundamentals and SFIN 6A09 Systemic Design: Social Systems are equivalent to SFIN 6B04 Understanding Systems and Systemic Design

SFIN 6A09 Systemic Design: Social Systems
This course guides systems thinking toward socially-desirable design outcomes and innovations expressed as service systems, organizational programs, or information systems. Applying social systems concepts, students will understand and model inter-related causes and systemic effects in the formation and evolution of social systems. Teams will formulate design proposals by developing rich visual maps of a social system (organization, institution, network) using a range of research and design methods. Dialogic and systemic design methods will be learned in a co-creative studio environment.  The course is taught as a seminar with lecture, discussion, simulations, visual modeling, student presentations, case study and in-class studio participation.

Equivalency: Both SFIN 6A08 Systemic Design: Systems Fundamentals and SFIN 6A09 Systemic Design: Social Systems are equivalent to SFIN 6B04 Understanding Systems and Systemic Design

SFIN 6B01 Business and Design Thinking
This course will examine the design ecosystem, describing the way in which design is linked with the disciplines of finance, law, management, marketing, science, and engineering. It will provide an overview and understanding of basic business and finance techniques, in particular those that have proven critical in the successful commercialization of innovation. Intellectual property rights, a critical component in new product development, will be discussed. The course will also demonstrate the importance of design thinking to business success. Students will review business case studies and will discuss and apply design methods through a series of short projects. They will have 'hands on' business and creative experiences through a business simulation and through the creation of an innovation design solution.

SFIN 6B03 The Human Factor
Understanding how people experience, organize, use and share information/tools as part of their everyday activities is key to developing valuable and sustainable innovations. Drawing on research from a variety of settings, students will study fundamental concepts in human factors including human needs, motivations, and cultural and social dimensions of human experience. The course will also explore human factors through the study of examples of  innovation from different contexts –product and service innovation, complex systems and information technologies. The course includes practical training in finding, assessing and synthesizing information from a range of sources as input to the major project proposal.

SFIN 6B04 Understanding Systems and Systemic Design
Students are introduced to systems theory as a method to understand and design complex social systems. Applying systems thinking and design methods, students learn system structures, organizing principles, functions and dynamic behavior of social systems. The perspective of human beings as observers, designers and generators of social systems emphasizes the outcomes of innovation, social systems design and systemic change. Social systems design and mapping methods help identify drivers for change and design interventions. Students participate in learning conversations and group workshops to apply the principles and theories of social systems through case studies, readings, reflection papers and workshop participation.

SFIN 6B05 Business Modeling & Policy Innovation
The key instrument for successfully implementing positive change in a business setting is business model innovation, while in the public sector it is policy innovation. A good understanding of business modelling and policy development is therefore critical for success. Students will be introduced to the essential components of an effective business model and the stakeholders involved as well as a number of implementation tools. They will also be introduced to governance structures in corporate and public organizations, and will learn how various government levels develop policy using conventional as well as innovative policy development processes and how they can engage in these to influence outcomes.

SFIN 6B06 Strategy Development
Students will develop a better understanding of the increasing need and the inherent challenges of developing coherent strategic solutions that drive effective organizations and brands. This course reveals the purpose and power of a strategy, gives direction on how to lead strategy development within an organization, and how to communicate the story effectively. We will explore frameworks and models to engage stakeholders and shape the strategic conversation. Students will learn to refine their thinking into a comprehensive strategy and develop a communication plan that will align organizations from vision to tactic.

Note: Previous course title: Strategy: Creating a Motivating Narrative from Vision to Tactic

SFIN 6B07 Leading Innovation
This studio-seminar focuses on the development of skills in leading and implementing innovation. Students will study models of change and leadership choices. In a convergent process, students will develop innovation blueprints and test and model implementations for the strategic proposals developed in SFIN 6C02 Foresight Studio. Key concepts covered include: understanding types of innovation and frameworks for change, positioning innovation (business entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, innovating inside corporations/institutions, intellectual property), overcoming barriers to change (financial, legislative, structural, attitudinal) and establishing the value proposition.

SFIN 6B09 Design Research Methods
This course instills the fundamentals of design research and the social and interpretive methodologies that employ these methods in an innovation context.  Learners will study and practice research techniques for applications in organizational, business, and social innovation, with a strong emphasis on selecting and adapting appropriate methods for complex problems. Through individual and studio projects, a basic competency in interviewing, observation, and generative design research will be gained and practiced.  OCAD U's Research Ethics Board requirements and process will be discussed in the context of research involving human participants.

SFIN 6B10 Social and Participatory Research
Prerequisite: SFIN 6B09: Design Research Methods

In this module, learners with a basic proficiency continue to develop more advanced social, ethnographic and participatory research methods in both studio and project applications. Working in collaborative teams, learners will plan, trial, perform and critique social research methods for understanding human and social behavior in innovation contexts. Participatory design and action research workshop methods will be explored and developed in the course, providing opportunities to design and lead facilitated co-creative approaches to action research. Collaborative teams will plan and carry out a research project, framing the research question, collecting information, eliciting and synthesizing insights, and analyzing findings in a studio-learning environment. 

SFIN 6C01 Innovation Research Methods
This studio-seminar presents a range of research methods and analysis frameworks for understanding social and human phenomena for innovation and social change. Core research techniques draw largely on ethnographic methods, such as observation and in-depth interviews. Learners are highly encouraged to explore more contested, contemporary and/or experimental ones, including action research, participatory design and sense-making techniques. Working as individuals and in teams, students will explore different methods, collect field data, elicit and synthesize insights and analyze and present findings in a studio-learning environment. As research is contextualized with managing innovation and change, the course emphasizes stakeholder management and facilitation.

Note: Previous course title: Research Methodologies

SFIN 6C02 Foresight Studio
: SFIN 6B10 Social and Participatory Research

This studio course will introduce foresight methods in the development of strategic proposals in the private, public, voluntary or 'for-benefit' sector. Working in teams, students will identify an issue in a specific sector and will begin their exploration and research in a divergent process of signal discovery through methods such as environmental scanning, new technology research, user research, field study, or stakeholder workshops. This phase of work frames the problem. In a convergent process, students will apply methodologies, which include medium- to long-range scenario planning and technology adoption modelling to develop creative insights and implications for action.

SFIN 6D01 Major Project
: SFIN 6B08 MRP Proposal

This is the culminating work of the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation. It synthesizes the knowledge and skills learned throughout the program and applies them in the development of a major project. Students will develop innovative and anticipatory strategies, solutions and/or implementation plans for defined challenges in the private, public or voluntary sectors. Solutions may take the form of strategic roadmaps, communications programs, products and services, or policy frameworks. The final deliverable will be a concise written document and may include art or design elements such as drawing, photography, maps, models, interactive media or performance. Students will be mentored by a Principal Advisor and critiqued and evaluated by the Principal Advisor plus one additional committee member.

Note: Restricted to SFIN Graduate Studies students.

History and Theory of Visual Culture

VISA 6B08 Issues in Art History and Culture
New social contexts, theoretical frameworks, and objects of analysis challenge conventional notions of art historical practice. Potential topics range from developments in art history as it exists within academia (e.g., its relation to post-disciplines, such as Visual Studies or Cultural Studies) to art history in the expanded sense as it relates to the broader cultural landscape, such as literature, performance and cinema.

VISD 6B02 Contemporary Architectural Theory
This course covers canonical and contemporary texts by architectural historians, theoreticians and practitioners. The work, ideas and methodologies presented here will form a conceptually organized foundation for architectural intellectual discourse. Architectural theory, in this context, simultaneously provides a parallel to the precepts of art history and an example of a counter-discourse.

VISD 6B04 Living with Things
Although all human-made and human-altered things (buildings, field stone walls, suburban family rooms and the contents of the Dollar Store) are expressions of culture and operate as texts, the engagement with the material world is difficult and poses interpretive challenges. This course, interested in the roles of objects in everyday life, will investigate both the theory and practice of studying everyday material culture. The categories of ideology, identity, nostalgia, style and stylistic change, class, semiotics, and aesthetics, among others, will be considered.

VISM 6B01 Hybrid Media and Interactivity
As new technologies become ever more enmeshed in art-making practice, they also merge with and assimilate multiple forms of media from the domains of entertainment, mass media, the sciences and elsewhere. Whether this merging is due to integration, convergence or recombination, it demonstrates the dynamic and protean nature of artistic utilization of technology. Such hybridity often involves interactivity and directly solicits participation, shifting the nature of the art audience from viewer to user and maker. Contrary to the purity, autonomy and distance privileged in modernism, this course analyzes the theoretical and aesthetic significance of hybridity, interactivity and engagement.

VISM 6B05 Digital Historiography and Screen Documents
This course focuses on the impact of digital technologies on traditional screen representational regimes. What happens when the universality of digital documentation encounters the infinite mutability of digital documents? The course will examine a range of philosophical approaches to digital screen documents as historical evidence. Contemporary theorists in this emerging field of research to be considered include Peter Sloterdijk, Brian Massumi, Philip Rosen, Alex Galloway, Bruno Latour, and Mark Poster.


Last Modified:11/26/2013 11:35:38 AM