Posts Tagged ‘design’

Visionaire Periodical Collection & Design Annuals in the Learning Zone

Visionaire: 46 Uncensored, Mario Testino

The Learning Zone Visionaire periodical collection keeps on expanding with two new additions, Issue No. 46: Uncensored by Mario Testino and Issue No. 51: Harmony Black.

Issue No. 46: Uncensored curated by photographer Mario Testino, features many contemporary artists including photographs by Testino himself. Uncensored is a provoking magazine about sex in the contemporary world.

Issue No. 51: Harmony Black is an interactive publication featuring six 25-piece puzzles from leading artists—Maurizio Cattelan, Robert Wilson, Yayoi Kusama, Vik Muniz, Massiom Vitali and Richard Misrach. Stretch your imagination with each puzzle by combining the pieces to create other unique images – on your own or collaboratively.

Visionaire: 51 Harmony

Visionaire is not a traditional art magazine but a contemporary art and fashion publication. Showcasing art, fashion and design using guest curators including prominent artists, designers and photographers. Each issue is unique in format, themes and experience.

Visionaire 62 Rio

Learning Zone is also host to many Design Annuals including American Illustration, Art Directors Annual, Europe’s Best Advertising, and Art Basel.

Design Annuals


04 2015

Student Profile: Che-Chi Liu

Che-Chi Liu, grOCAD Windowfarm

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the art that you create?

I’m in Industrial Design, 2nd year. I would like to explore social issues but I find that I do not have the time to address with my school schedule. I like to look at things really in depth and create solutions not just cosmetic solutions to problems but changing the way we think, the way we see problems and the way we look at the world. There is so much technology in our world to make anything we want but that does not mean we should.

What influenced your decision to major in Industrial Design?

I was always good at working with my hands so after working in the restaurant business, I had the chance to help my friend design the interior of a restaurant and  because finance was tight I needed to come up with creative solutions in order to design something nice without using costly materials. It was really interesting working in that process, it got me into looking through many design magazines.

Designing is fun — it’s almost like a game to come up with a design. When I see a design I try to re-adapt it, create new perimeters and mix-up their methods using new materials, it’s my way of being creative — I don’t see the necessity to be a hundred percent original, it’s a fallacy to think that we can own an original idea.

Where does your inspiration come from? Do you have a current project that you can tell us about?

I really bogged myself down with details, trying to organize things using a systematic approach to design. It’s like what I said before about original ideas, why come up with original ideas that someone else had already had come up with — why waste time and energy, it’s like re-introducing the wheel. I do a lot of background research onto a problem and try to identify the core problem not the perceived problem.

I’m not really working on a lot of design projects right now since I’ve started looking into activism such as the Zeitgeist movement. It’s a movement pushing for sustainable resource based economy, a radical nature of problem solving, for example the Toronto Tool Library and a new program called Toronto Time Bank Project. The Toronto Tool Library is a library where you can rent out tools and the Toronto Time Bank Project, where you essentially can barter your skills for other peoples’ skills and do away with the need of currency.

It’s also a world wide activist movement which I like to bring to the attention of Design Faculty and students — a lot of these things are brought up in the Think Tank classes at OCAD. Being in school does not allow you enough time to really learn about these issues in depth.

Do you have favourite tools to work with?

Wood planes. I just love the feeling of a sharp plane skid across wood.

Where are you most productive? Tell us a bit about your creative space.

I like being around creative people.

What is your work process?

I like to bounce off ideas with other people. I don’t think that anybody can work well in a vacuum. It’s interesting to work in a group even though it could be a drag sometimes, but I think that it’s necessary to train yourself to appreciate, negotiate, compromise with other people, it helps you to take other peoples’ critiques of your work which improves your work. We can all benefit from group learning.

Che-Chi Liu and Tom Doughty

What are the most useful skills you have learned at school?

Communication. You can learn other things in school but the most attractive thing and the main reason that I came back to school after working in a restaurant career was that I wanted to learn from people, being with friends and working on a project together really helps with communication skills.

What do you enjoy most about your studies?

Working with my hands, it’s the part I’m good at, spending time in the shop, having the freedom to try things and experiment with materials in the shop it’s like a communal workshop, seeing what people are working on and getting inspired by each other.

What’s your favourite book right now?

The Zeitgeist Movement Defined.

Where is our favourite place to eat around OCAD?

Free lunch every Thursday, which I co-ordinate.

What would be your ideal project?

Building an eco-village with Tom.

Recently, a New York based design group, Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology) led a series of events at Onsite [at] OCAD U. You were involved with grOCAD hosting the Terrarium Workshop; Bees, Pollinators; Insect Wonders and Regrow your Kitchen scraps Workshop. Tell me about your experience while working on those projects.

I found it interesting to engage with people on a different scale, running a workshop it’s not like talking to one person but a group of people – it was an interesting learning process. It’s a lot like doing a presentation to a group of people, but with a lot to organize, so you need a good team that work and prioritize well together.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us, any final thoughts?

I really like the quote “be the change you want to see in the world” I think we should all go out there and actively change the world for the better!


04 2014

OCAD U Library is having a book sale October 15 – 18


Book sale

OCAD U Dorothy H. Hoover Library is having a used book sale!

Looking for amazing art and design books? Drop by the Lobby at 100 McCaul Street, October 15 – 18th between 9 – 5 pm.

Buy a book and support the OCAD U Library!



10 2013

Student Profile: Dennis Bartel – Graphic Design

Learning Zone: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?And the art you create?

Dennis Bartel: I’m in 4th year Graphic Design. I enjoy designing interactive forms like websites and PDF.

What influenced your decision to major in Graphic Design?

When I was working, designing was a way of relieving stress. Plus, I scored high in an aptitude test.

What inspires you?

Sports. Being a designer is like being an athlete; practicing and designing are the same because you are repeating a process over and over as it becomes more developed.

What is your creative process?

It depends on what I am designing. When designing typeface, I would research, do sketches and look at other work.

What is the best art tip you ever received?

Work in layers, start light and build up on it.

What two graphic design tools could you not live without?

Computer and pencil.

You have embraced social media as a material in your work. Why?

Because that’s the way people connect, to be part of things happening, I need to be connected.

Is there another medium you would like to work in?

Screenprinting, it’s a hands-on process.



How would you describe yourself as a graphic designer?

Conservative, but daring.

How do you promote yourself?

I promote myself using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook.

What do you enjoy most about studying graphic design?

Learning from failures.

What should potential graphic design students look for in an art school or art institute?

A place that has a good reputation in producing quality student work.

You opted for the graphic design thesis for your final year at OCAD, what was your project? Do you think that was the right path for your goals?

My thesis was on text message language and the creation of meaning. It was theory based, more about self-directed education than making a project. Not knowing the outcome and working through the process. I wish I had more time to produce more things.

What are your plans when you graduate?

Freelance, start a studio with other freelancers, and sleep.

What is your dream job?

Working identity design for a bowling centre.

What do you do to relax?

I go to movies and enjoy listening to the CBC comedy sketch show, The Irrelevant Show.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Getting my degree.

Is there anything else you want to share with us, any final thoughts?

No matter what the teaching style is, don’t let that stop you from learning.


04 2013

Student Profile: Tiffany Pang

LEARNING ZONE: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

TIFFANY PANG: I’m in industrial design, finishing 2nd year.

What do you enjoy most about your program?

I enjoy the materials aspect of this program, being able to learn about different materials and techniques in order to use them.

How long have you been interested in art? How long have you known that this is something you wanted to pursue as a career?

I’ve been drawing since I can remember, my parents persuaded me away from studying art as a career. I tried engineering first but I knew that was not for me, so I went to study architecture. After completing my architectural technician diploma at Sheridan, I decided to come here, OCAD. I hated it at first but I’ve learned that it’s where I needed to be.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from people with the mastery of their craft. On a personal level, I am impressed with the shop technician’s knowledge and expertise. I aspire to like them one day.

Do you have a best time of the day to work on your projects?

Usually late at night or early in the morning, when the shops are quiet.

What are your favourite tools to work with?

Hammers, lathes and milling machines.

What excites you most about the material you work with? Is there another medium you would like to work in?

I like hard materials like metals and plastics. I like them because they each have their own personalities and depending on what you do with them, they can respond differently; I like mastering how to understand them. I would also love to work with Tungsten.

Which project has given you the most satisfaction?

It was a failed project. We were briefed to make a tealight holder, so I tried to make a Stirling engine. I wanted the flame to power the engine — that was much too ambitious to complete in 2 weeks and having never lathed anything.

What two art supplies could you not live without?

Calipers and a square.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I usually read technical books on how to do something. Do picture books count?

Is there any designer from the past you appreciate a lot?

Adam Savage. I admire his obsessiveness and dedication to his craft.

What are three likes and three dislikes of yours?

Likes: dogs, weaponry, watches; Dislikes: ginger, lack of integrity in work, the studio hours this term

Do you have a favourite place to eat around OCAD?

OCAD U free lunch!

What is your favourite thing about studying in Toronto?

I can bike everywhere.

Since you are involved in function and form in industrial design, you will appreciate the critical balance and its effectiveness in design. Do you think that these considerations map itself into your life or artwork?

I’ve always been interested in efficiency and practicality, but I’m not sure if aesthetics is a huge part of my life. I have been trying to embrace it.


03 2013

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