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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. As 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 University 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 Arts & Sciences courses provide a critical comprehension of historical, social, cultural and environmental contexts that broaden the students’ perspective of their chosen disciplines, as well as key human and societal issues, which are critical for informing the design process.

In addition to the many prominent practicing professionals who make up our faculty, students benefit from the participation of a number of distinguished guest speakers.

The requirements of the professional programs (Environmental Design, Industrial Design, Advertising, Graphic Design and Illustration) are rigorous and provide 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 counselling, do not hesitate to contact the Advising Office.

On behalf of the faculty and staff, we welcome you to OCAD University.

Dr. Gayle Nicoll
Dean, Faculty of Design

Colleen Reid
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, Faculty of Design

Associate Dean, Faculty of Design 

Last Modified:5/15/2014 10:39:27 AM