Posts Tagged ‘design’

Self Portrait Design Project Exhibition

Self Portrait Design Project 2019

The Learning Zone Gallery presents a striking collection of self-portrait compositions created by OCAD U First Year Faculty Of Design GDES 1022: Colour and Two-Dimensional Design Project: Self Portrait.

Students were asked to create a self-portrait composition using their favourite colours then replicate it using their least favourite colours. Students explored colour palettes, with the application of 7 colours utilizing tints, tones and shades, working with separate colour and value ranges.

Self Portrait Design Project 2019Self Portrait Design Project 2019

Instructor Ramona Pavilionis’ class project will be up until December 18.



11 2019

Student Profile: Aicha Niazy

Aicha Niazy

In April, we had a chance to speak with 4th year Graphic Design student Aicha Niazy who was busy putting final touches on her thesis project.

Aicha’s personal style has been very much influenced by her culture, religion and background stemming from her wanting to know more about these things

I would not say art school is what influenced my style but it’s other factors that influenced my artwork and graphic design style, like my culture, my religion, my background. I wanted to know more about these things about my culture and my background and questions in life in general so looking into these things has in a way suddenly or indirectly directed the type of work I do. For example, if you look at my thesis it’s all related to that, my culture, background and history.

LZ: Hi Aicha, it’s nice to meet with you again. Our last interview was in 2015, you were in your first year at OCAD University. This year you are graduating from the university with a BDes in Graphic Design.

AN: Yes, I am, hopefully

What did you enjoy most about studying graphic design at OCAD University?

I enjoyed some of the approaches that some of my profs had. Some of the courses were very interesting because I probably had a different expectation of what the course was going to look like, but then it was very different from what I was thinking. It was something new so, I enjoyed that although I can’t say it for all the courses. When I look back from first year to now, I see the progress and even those profs also see my progress.

 Is there another medium you would like to work with?

Yes, textiles. I think in my first interview I mentioned that small business that my mom, my sister and I started. That is what I want to focus on when I graduate. It’s mostly in textiles but I also have to do a lot of graphic design in branding and corporate identity work related to that but it’s very nice to merge the two together. I like creating pattern design, this is something I’m interested in, and surface design whether it’s for textiles, wall paper, or it could be for anything really.

Have you seen an evolution of your design practice from first year at OCAD U to present?

I feel like there is definitely, like I said before from first year to now, I have learned so much but even say that not just since the first year at OCAD but the first year at UTM. I went in not knowing how to use any of the software but that is what I learned and when I came into OCAD, it was even further into the practice itself, it was learning more about graphic design, but it was not like oh here this how you have to design something—it goes here and goes there—no it was not like any of this so it was a very good exploration and direction from the profs so you end up developing your own style in your work that is different from someone else but you are both learning but everyone ends up doing something—the style differs based on a lot of other things—everyone has their own influences—things whether they are aware of or not influence their work the way they are thinking so I absolutely do see a progression first year to now.

You have an assuredness in what you are doing and are very confident, you are open to learn more…

Absolutely, I’m open to learn more, always, forever—also that confidence comes after the very, very end after I’ve done my research, I begin with lots of questions, lots of confusion, lots of, I don’t know where I’m going a lot of my projects are hugely very open at the beginning, very broad, where do I  even begin, then slowly when I’m done, not done, its not ever done when I do a lot research and look into everything, then I’m okay, I know what I’m doing.

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

I enjoyed my time at OCAD!



06 2018

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

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