Bachelor of Design

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Thesis Projects 2014

Michael Fan

Wanderland:Exploring Experimentation in Design Theory to Find New Ways of Working, Understanding and Interpreting Process and Outcomes

This project examines the nature of experimentation in graphic design in order to understand how a designer might uncover new ways of working apart from the conventional solution-based approach in professional practice. It is informed by practices in graphic design, animated films, and art. Particular attention is focused on alternative design experimentation. The thesis opens up a debate about the relationship of process and professionalism in design practice. ! In contemporary practice, designers learn to embrace the mistakes which occur during the design process. These mistakes or ‘failures’ have guided designers to definite solutions using effective and efficient strategies and techniques, and have also offered spaces for alternative approaches to emerge when a designer emphasizes his own creative purposes. The paper proposes failure and an adaptation of ideas by theorist Judith Halberstam, for designers to consider as a new approach to creative design that provides not only a new methodology, but also a new way of understanding how experimentation works. Halberstam’s treatise, The Queer Art of Failure, examines the traditional concept of failure as a way to explore, detour, and ‘lose oneself’ in order to offer more creative ways of being in the world.

Sandra Gabriele, Supervisor
David Gelb, Advisor

 

Marie-Noëlle Hébert

Re-envisioning Graphic Design as a Dialogic Practice: An Investigation into the Constructive Potential of Disruption within Aesthetic Practices

The aesthetic dimension of graphic design is often considered an “added-value” to the content, which determines the importance of the piece. As a result, the critical potential of form is often overlooked and involvement in content production and selection serves as the primary way to engage in critical discourse. This thesis however highlights the dialogic dimension of aesthetics and the craft of design by focusing on disruption as a constructive tool for critical disciplinary enquiry. More precisely, it uses disruptions to the conventional norms of professional practice as a way to reconcile design’s critical potential and its commercial reality. Form-making is considered a form of disciplinary research as well as a form of écriture with the capability to initiate both disciplinary and socio-cultural discourse. Semiotic theory is used as a framework for investigation. As such, the thesis includes an analysis of the effect of disruption to the pragmatic, syntactic and semantic dimensions of design works, including discussions of examples from the field as well as the results of personal visual exploration.

Sandra Gabriele, Supervisor
David Cabianca, Advisor

 

Bahar Nasirzadeh

Negotiations in the Third Space: Visualization of the Complexity of an Iranian Woman’s Identity

Iranian female identity is typically represented as static and fixed, either portraying women as ‘modern’ or ‘victims’ (from the Western perspective) or ‘Westoxified’ or ‘modest’ (from the Islamic state’s perspective). Utilizing Foucault’s theorization of subjectivity and disciplinary power and Bhabha’s Third Space theory, I draw attention to the disciplinary institutions, such as family, school, urban space, government, and national and foreign media, and the ways that Iranian women resist and challenge these regimes of ‘regularization.’ I propose that through these contestations, ‘hybrid’ forms of Iranian gendered identity emerge as a result of creative borrowing and blending of Islamic, Iranian, and Western paradigms as the three dominant paradigms of modern Iran. My thesis project is a visual autobiography, titled Bahar's Story: Negotiations in the Third Space, which examines my experiences of being a female during my growing up in Iran, in order to visualize the complexity of Iranian women's gendered identities.

Jan Hadlaw, Supervisor
Elizabeth Hobart, Advisor

 

Malika Soin

Seeking the Magic in Design:  An inquiry into defamiliarizing the everyday

This thesis project explores the application of the artistic and literary genre of magical realism to graphic design. The goal is to use the genre’s ability to defamiliarize everyday Indian cultural objects in order to reveal the magical in the mundane. Apart from a discourse on design and its role in the everyday, the research also focuses on making an audience conscious of their habitual responses to quotidian life through graphic design. Using magical realist graphic design, everyday Indian cultural objects are morphed into objects worthy of notice and appreciation. These transformed objects challenge an audience to recognize the ideologies perpetuated in a culture through everyday objects. The objects are chosen as a result of the author’s nostalgia experienced due to a displaced cultural context from India to Canada. The projects made during this thesis, “Pigment,” “Paper Cones” and “Clay” constitute an away- from-home “survival kit.”

David Cabianca, Supervisor
Angela Norwood, Advisor

 

Saskia Van Kampen

Handcraft as a Rhetorical Prop:  An investigation into What Handcraft Techniques Offer the Discipline of Graphic Design

This thesis paper examines how handcraft (making an item by analog means using specific materials) can be a compelling rhetorical tool for graphic designers to harness. Contrasting handcraft techniques with computer graphics software “unsettles” rote graphic design practices. The meaning that lies in the physical act of making, the materials that are used and the contexts with which particular handcrafts are associated can support, as well as carry, visual rhetoric in design works.

An analysis of the unconventional handcraft work produced by Stefan Sagmeister (USA), Mathias Augustyniak and Michaël Amzalag of M/M (Paris) (France), Marian Bantjes (Canada), and by this author (specifically, a design book produced in tandem with this paper) is used to demonstrate how complex meanings contained within handcrafts can be revealed and used in graphic design. The combination of handcraft and digital techniques enables designers to interweave the disparate social, physical and material qualities of the two processes into their work. In this way the work engages in disciplinary and societal discourse.

David Cabianca, Supervisor
Sandra Gabriele, Advisor

MDes Student Experience

In addition to its roots in professional practice, graphic design is a reflection of a broadly defined social, historical and cultural context. The York University Master of Design Program is committed to providing students with a rigorous graduate experience that includes opportunities to interact with visiting designers and critics who offer varied models for practice and criticism. These experiences seek to actively introduce students to an expanded realm of discourse in the greater design world.


Workshop with Dutch graphic designer Harmen Liemburg, 2010

As a reflection of our commitment to enhancing the graduate experience, the York Department of Design and MDes Program have jointly subsidized the group cost of student travel to Montreal (2008), Cranbrook Academy of Art (2006, 2009); Norfolk, Virginia (2013); New York City (2010); Chicago (2011); and Raleigh, North Carolina (2010, 2014). These excursions have allowed students to visit design offices, museums and galleries, and other graduate design programs to expand their understanding of design’s diverse culture.

In recognizing that many graduate students may one day enter the education profession, our MDes students traveled to Norfolk VA to take part in Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now, a design educators conference sponsored by AIGA and Adobe Systems and co-organized by faculty member David Cabianca. And in January 2014, graduate students will again be participating in the North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Design Biennial Graduate Symposium, this season titled, “Improversion.” This is the sixth NCSU biennial, and the second invitation extended to the York University MDes students. The trip to North Carolina will also include a tour of Graphic Design: Now in Production, the current stop for a nationally touring exhibition of contemporary graphic design that originated at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center in 2011.


MDes visit to Cranbrook Academy of the Arts, 2009

In addition to student travel opportunities, the Master of Design Program provides graduate students with a range of workshop experiences with nationally and internationally renowned designers. These workshops are intended to provoke, inspire, and expand a student’s working methods while ultimately forging his or her own unique contribution to the discipline of graphic design. A partial list of individuals who have conducted workshops include,

Sean Donahue, (US) graphic designer
Elliott Earls, (US) graphic designer
Paul Elliman, (UK) graphic designer and artist
Rob Giampietro, (US) graphic designer
Maggie Fost, (US) graphic designer
Paul Kelly, (CA) Adobe Certified Software Instructor
Harmen Liemburg, (NL) graphic designer
Isabel Meirelles (US/BR)) information designer
Fraser Muggeridge, (UK) graphic designer

Numerous speakers have been invited to lecture as part of our MDes Colloquium course, including,

Majid Abbasi, (CA/IR) graphic designer and publisher
Alex Alter, (CA) graphic designer and artist
Reg Beatty, (CA) book artist
Michael Bierut, (US) graphic designer
Elgin Cleckley, (CA) exhibition designer and architect
Sameer Farooq, (CA) graphic designer
Ed Fella, (US) graphic designer
Cyrus Highsmith, (US) typeface designer
Mary Louise Lobsinger, (CA) historian and critic
Colin Ripley, (CA) architect
Gary Thomas and Jo-ann Cook/Crush, (CA) motion designers
Massimo Vignelli, (US) graphic designer
Scott Zukowski, (US) graphic designer


Master of Design students visit New York City, 2010

An application to the Master of Design program includes several components. Before starting the application process, please review all of the requirements for formally applying to the Faculty of Graduate Studies including specific requirements of the MDes program: http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/graduate/

A complete description of the application requirements and procedures, an electronic Application for Admission, as well as other necessary forms to be included in your application package can be accessed at http://www.yorku.ca/web/futurestudents/graduate/programs/Design/

Apply Now

Thesis Projects 2010

Brian Banton

Hybrid Mythologies:An Investigation of Mixed-Race Representation
Through Body-Type

David Scadding, Supervisor

This thesis investigates the representation of racial hybridity and other manifestations of hybridity, in representational forms such as print advertising and film in non-fiction, fiction and mythology in order to understand how the concept is constructed and deployed in contemporary society. The resulting theoretical and historical investigation is used to inform the production of a visual artifact that consists of three typefaces, each presented in the context of a presentation piece i.e. book or video. The production of the artifact incorporates a range of materials and processes including static two-dimensional, three-dimensional and timebase video objects. The final artifact reflects three sentiments that dominate the representation of racial hybridity: fear, hope and confusion. This thesis functions to open up further debate about the nature and representation of identity. It also offers a model by which designers can engage with complex theoretical and social idea in order to inform their creative production.

 

Oleg Portnoy

Engaging Stereotypes Through Graphic Commentary

David Scadding, Supervisor
Jan Hadlaw, Advisor

My project explores the potential for using graphic commentary to explore, critique and challenge essentialist and stereotypical representations of Jewish Israeli identities found in contemporary political cartoons. The thesis support paper will examine the historic development ofthese political cartoons, concentrating on the shifts in rhetorical and representational strategies in the context of changing political, social and economic situations following the establishment ofthe State of Israel in 1948 leading up to our present time. I will address the capabilities of current mass media and the implications for the dissemination and proliferation ofJewish and Israeli identity representation in the contemporary public, cultural sphere. By posting my own graphic commentary online my thesis project seeks to challenge homogenous and essentialist representations by exploring and presenting alternative perspectives on Jewish and Israeli identity

Yeunsil Lee

The VIisualization of Pro-American Discourse in South Korean Elementary School Textbooks From 1951 to 1955

Jan Hadlaw, Supervisor
Angela Iarocci, Advisor

This study investigates how images in government sanctioned sixth and fifth grade social studies textbook between 1951 and 1955 portrayed Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and Japan. My findings reveal the images reflect pro- American ideology that served the political goals of South Korean government and the aspirations of the United States to create a new pro-democratic and pro-capitalist Korean society. My book project demonstrates and visualizes how complex social issues were represented and argues for the importance of "reading" images so as to reveal the way in which myth functions to make ideology appear as an obvious and commonsense understanding. The purpose of my study is to help educators reflect on images in pedagogical text so as to make conscious and critical choices about the textbooks they use by understanding the significant role representation plays in how children's "image" of the world is shaped. 

Portfolio FAQs - Distance

Applicants living a distance greater than 400km from York University

No. Domestic and international applicants living a distance greater than 400km are not required to attend a portfolio interview. Instead, we ask these applicants to submit their work to DecisionDesk, an online portfolio site and include a greater number of portfolio images.

Your portfolio should contain samples of your original work that demonstrate a wide range of ideas and competency with different media and tools. In addition to the types of work listed below, four or five images from a sketchbook or concept/idea book are required. At least three pieces in your portfolio should include an example of word(s) and image(s) that communicate a message. Knowledge of computer software is an asset but not required.

  1. Typically, an applicant's portfolio contains their best work from at least 3 of the following areas: Areas 1 to 5 are highly recommended for inclusion in the portfolio.
  2. Two-dimensional design work, e.g. designs for posters, logos, letterheads, book/magazine covers and interior page spreads, CD/DVD inserts.
  3. Typography, e.g. typeface designs, expressive lettering.
  4. Interactive media, e.g. web site design and/or other interactive work.
  5. Motion graphics, e.g. time-based video and/or animation.
  6. Sketchbook or concept/idea book, e.g. studies and examples of your media/tools experiments, process explorations.
  7. Drawing & Illustration, e.g. direct observational, figure drawing, still life in pen & ink, charcoal, pastel; coloured pencil, marker pen and/or collage illustrations.
  8. Photography, e.g. B & W prints, colour prints, hand-tinted prints, digitally manipulated.
  9. Painting, e.g. representative and/or non-representative in oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache.
  10. 3D Design/Sculpture, e.g. scale models from plan drawings, craft and fiber experiments.

The sketchbook or concept/idea book is a very important component in your portfolio. It should contain a variety of studies and examples of your media/tools experiments and demonstrate an exploration of visual and annotated ideas, comments and critiques. It should represent the ongoing variety of the things that interest you and the development of your thoughts and ideas.
Generally a maximum of 15 – 20 pieces that show your best strengths. Four or five of these pieces should be supported by scanned pages from a sketchbook or concept/idea book that represent research, sketches and alternative ideas that you developed and/or modified to get to the final solution.
Typically, the applicant selects their pieces to show in their portfolio from school assigned projects, personal interest projects (e.g. a book cover you designed on your own for your favourite novel), ideas (sketchbook, concept/idea book, etc.), development/variations of ideas (design process documentation), extra curricular art/design classes and professional work where appropriate.
During your portfolio review, the faculty will be looking for the following:
  1. The breadth and quality of investigation in your work (as demonstrated in the selected pieces shown, your idea/concept books, and your design process documentation),
  2. Evidence of the various creative thinking processes employed in your work,
  3. Demonstrated visual abilities in your work (typography, colour, composition, perspective, drawing),
  4. Technical skill in a diverse range of media and tools used,
  5. Communication skills as demonstrated by your ability to discuss your work and thought processes at the interview, and
  6. Care in the selection and presentation of your work.

Your portfolio score is based upon a 100 point system as follows:
  1. Quality of the work: 60 points
  2. Ability to embrace process: 40 points
Show only work which reflects your strengths – both creative and technical. After you upload your image or video file, you will be given the opportunity to add a title to the image. Please limit your titles to a maximum of thirty (30) characters.
 
Still image files may be sent in jpg, png, or gif formats. Each still image file should be no larger than 5 MB. Do not include more than one work per file.
Videos will be accepted in mpg, mp4, mov, avi, wmv, m4v or vob formats. Video files should be no longer than two minutes in length and the size of each video upload is limited to 60 MB. Please note that videos are considered part of your selection of twenty files and should not be used as a method of showing examples of additional still images

York Technical Staff

Loris Dotto

Technician/Demonstrator
ldotto@yorku.ca
416-736-2100, ext: 77410
Loris has been providing technical support for the Faculty of Fine Arts since 1992 and for the Department of Design since 1998. As a Technician/Demonstrator he is responsible for the general operation and maintenance of the studio facilities as well as providing technical support for both students and faculty on a more personal level. Being an alumnus of the undergraduate program, Loris understands the technical challenges students face and is always willing to help out whenever and wherever possible.


Richard Miziolek

Technician/Demonstrator
richm@yorku.ca
416-736-2100, ext: 77415
Rich has been with the Department of Design since 1999 as a Technician/Demonstrator. His main duties include providing technical assistance and support to faculty and students, along with hardware and software setup and maintenance. Before joining the Department of Design, Rich worked for several design and multimedia companies. If you have any technical questions or concerns regarding the Department of Design , Rich would be happy to help.
 

Administrative Staff

Andrea DiFlorio-Sgro

Graduate Program Assistant
diflorio@yorku.ca
416 736-2100 ext. 20353

As the Graduate Program Assistant, Andrea is responsible for the administration of the Graduate Program in Design from initial enquiries through applications, admissions, advising, registration and enrollment for new and continuing MDes students.  She is a liaison between the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Department of Design, and a resource person for the Graduate Program Director, Design faculty and graduate students.

Part-Time Faculty

Michèle Champagne

Master of Design, Sandberg Instituut at Rietveld Academie, 2011

Michèle Champagne is a designer and writer who works in visual identity and editorial across media. Her projects focus on open source dynamics that foster conversation—from crowdsourcing for dialogue in That New Design Smell magazine, to branding for Mediamatic Travel, a social network pinned to an open source platform. Michèle recently spent four years in Holland with Sandberg Institute, Droog, Metahaven, Strelka Institute, Mediamatic, and VPRO, a Dutch public broadcaster. Michèle is published with Print in New York City, Volume in Amsterdam and OpenCity Projects in Toronto. In 2012, she was awarded Best in Show from Coupe magazine's International Design + Image Competition.
michelechampagne.com

Maggie Fost

MFA, California College of the Arts, 2004

Maggie Fost is an independent designer and educator in Toronto. She received a BA in Studio Art from Bowdoin College in 1996 and an MFA in Design from California College of the Arts in 2004. Prior to that, she managed content strategy for Shockwave.com, an early dotcom gaming and entertainment site; and designed exhibit graphics for the Exploratorium, a museum of science, art, and human perception located on San Francisco Bay. In 2004, she was the Designer in Residence at the College of Design at North Carolina State University. The following year, she established the in-house art department for indie record label Merge Records. Since 2005, she has overseen the label's packaging and visual presence, in addition to designing books, posters, and other materials for culture-oriented and academic clients and collaborators.
artdepartment.tumblr.com

MDes Fulltime Faculty

David Cabianca AIGA

Associate Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor, York University
MArch Princeton University, USA
MFA Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA
MA Typeface Design, University of Reading, UK
MA Design Writing Criticism London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK
 
Prior to joining the department in 2005, David Cabianca taught typography, history and theory at CalArts, OCAD and both architecture studio and theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba and the University of Michigan. At Michigan he was the 1997-98 William Muschenheim Fellow and received the Donna M. Salzer Award for excellence in teaching. His writing has appeared in Emigre, Design Issues, Dimensions, ACSA Proceedings and :output. His research and scholarship interests have to date focused on typeface design, contemporary graphic design, issues of representation and disciplinary conflict.
 
He is currently completing a text typeface, Cardea, scheduled for public release by the Emigre Font Foundry, and recently co-organized with Kenneth FitzGerald and Jiwon Lee, an AIGA Design Educator's Conference titled, "Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now" held spring 2013 at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA.


Sandra Gabriele

Associate Professor, York University
MDes University of Alberta, Canada
 
Sandra Gabriele has been practicing and teaching design for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, and holds a MDes in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta. In professional practice, she has designed communications materials for a variety of clients: government organizations, corporations, small businesses and non-profit organizations, in both print and digital media. Her research interests are in the area of typography (legibility and the digital representation of large text collections) and information design (specifically, patient safety initiatives involving graphic design).


David Gelb AIGA

Director, Graduate Program in Design
Assistant Professor, York University
MEd University of Toronto, Canada
 

David Gelb's research is focused on both design and education. His work explores the potential of technology-enhanced learning and interactive design education within a graphic design context. His publications include the chapter "Course Co-Creation vs. Course Management: Wikis as a Potential Alternative to Traditional Learning Management Systems", in Wired for Learning (2009). He continues to present his scholarly work on collaborative technologies and participatory learning at international design conferences and workshops.

His practice includes information architecture, user-centered research methods and mobile interface design. He has created a variety of professional and creative projects, including mobile applications, social media strategies and interactive installations. His current teaching includes a range of interactive design courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prior to joining York University, he taught at Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art & Design.


Jan Hadlaw

Associate Professor, York University
PhD Simon Fraser University, Canada
MA Concordia University, Canada
 

Jan Hadlaw's research interests focus on design and everyday life, especially graphic design as cultural communication, advertising and consumer culture, and the history and design of modern technology. She was awarded both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and an FCar Doctoral Research Grant in support of her historical study of the design and representation of the modern telephone. In 1999, she was a Smithsonian Fellow-in-Residence at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York and at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Prior to joining the department, she taught at the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and in the Department of Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is a graphic designer who has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Alcan, the National Film Board, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, La Museo del Bel Arte Mexico, as well as many independent galleries and artists across Canada.

Her current research includes a study of role played by design in the construction of Canadian national identity in the 1960s and 70s. She has also received a SSHRC Small Grant to undertake the pilot study for a research project on vernacular design and architecture in rural British Colombia.


Angela Norwood, AIGA

Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor, York University
MGD North Carolina State University, USA

Angela Norwood is the 2006/07 recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean's Junior Faculty Teaching Award. Her current research interests include examining the role of design in Ladakh, India through social, cultural and cognitive aspects of wayfinding and signage systems. She is also interested in analyzing structural devices in advertising. A former professional designer in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC, she has over 15 years experience in practice. Her professional work has been recognized by several organizations and publications including the Type Directors Club, Graphis and Communication Arts Magazine. Her work is also included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts National Design Archive.


Paul Sych, R.G.D.

Assistant Professor, York University

Over the past two decades Paul Sych has had a curiosity for the relationship between art and music. This interplay began while studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University's prestigious jazz program in Toronto, Canada. In the fall of 1990, Paul launched his design firm, Faith, as a platform for continued experimentation. Paul has challenged both clients and peers alike to enter his world of unique and sometimes flamboyant use of type and imagery. In addition to being commissioned by legendary designers, art directors, educators and forums on typography internationally, his work has been widely published in North America, Europe and Asia. Paul continues to explore visual and typographic works in print, branding, public art, motion graphics and broadcast design.

Quoting the late design historian Philip B. Meggs, "Sych's pulled and twisted letterforms, densely layered and imploding into complex masses teeming with perpetual energy, lose their identity as alphabetic glyphs. His work raises the question: Where does typography cease to be typography and become, perhaps, art?"


Wendy Wong

Associate Professor, York University
PhD MA Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professor Wong published extensively on Chinese and Hong Kong visual culture and history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. She has published 4 books for Chinese readers funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Wong's articles appeared in Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Journal of Popular Culture, International Journal of Comic Art, Journal of Gender Studies, Mass Communication and Society, and Graphis Magazine.

She served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1999 to 2000, and was the 2000 Lubalin Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Union School of Art, where she curated an exhibit entitled "Chinese Graphic Design towards the International Sphere." She has taught both traditional creative print and digital interactive media full-time since 1997 in North America and Hong Kong.
http://www.yorku.ca/wsywong/homepage/personal.htm

 

Professors Emeriti

Wojtek E. Janczak

Chair, Department of Design, 2009 to 2012
Graduate Program Director, 2006 to 2008
MFA Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan, Poland

Professor Janczak's multidisciplinary professional practice, research and teaching include interactive media, exhibitions and signage systems design. Since the inception of the Internet he has specialized in developing and evaluating interaction design, information architecture, interface design and interactive information technologies in online education. His current research focuses on investigating the theories, practices and technologies involving intelligent physical environments, information spaces, interface design and time-based visual communication.
http://www.yorku.ca/janczak/


Don Newgren

PhD Syracuse University, USA
MA University of Illinois, USA

Don Newgren's research interests focus upon user participation, either active or passive, during the inventory and planning part of the design process. These interests emerged from his development and implementation of unobtrusive data collection methodology for planning exhibitions while being the Director of Design at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His professional design work in graphic design and exhibition design for firms such as IBM, US Steel, Eastman Kodak, Union Carbide, Bell Labs, United Airlines, General Motors, and Shell Oil has won numerous awards in North America. He has over 30 years of teaching experience, and has lectured in Japan, Europe, and the United States. In addition, he has 16 years of administrative experience at York University


David Scadding

MVA University of Alberta, Canada

Professor Scadding is a professional Registered Graphic Designer who, by love & training, focuses his teaching & research in the field of typography - its history, development and contemporary practices. He has over 30 years of experience in print-oriented and new media visual communication design. His professional work has been exhibited and published in Canada, the United States, France, China, and England. He has been an invited speaker, seminar/workshop leader at numerous national and international conferences on design, new media and typography. He has received over 30 awards for his professional work and for his teaching - the most recent being the Dean's Teaching Award from York University.


Andrew M. Tomcik

MFA Design, Yale University, USA

Professor Tomcik has worked as a designer in Canada and the US. His work has been published or exhibited in Canada, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and China. As well he has participated in numerous conferences on design education and design history. He also received the Ontario Federation of University Faculty Associations award for excellence in teaching.


MDes Appointed Faculty

Elizabeth Hobart

Sessional Assistant Professor
MFA Design - Nova Scotia College of Art

Zab Hobart holds a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication and an MFA in Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art. Since 1988, Professor Hobart has owned and operated Zab Design & Typography Inc. The firm specializes in book design for museums, galleries, and artists across Canada and internationally. Her clients include Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, Canadian Centre for Architecture, The Banff Centre, The Salgo Trust for Education in New York, Pedlar Press, and Gallery 44 in Toronto. As Zab Design?s principal, Professor Hobart is an accredited member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD). Prof. Hobart has received numerous awards from the Alcuin Citation for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, the Blue Sky Best of Show Award and Blue Sky Judge's Choice Award in 2004 from Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Manitoba. Her teaching experience at York spans a range of courses specializing in typography, typeface design and book design. Some of Prof. Hobart?s art publications include Valerie Blass (Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, 2012), Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity, and Contemporary Art (McGill-Queen's University Press 2007), Bill Burns: Safety Gear for Small Animals (Tom Thomson Art Gallery et al, 2005), Traces of India (Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2004), Godless at the Workbench: Soviet Illustrated Humoristic Antireligious Propaganda (Dunlop Art Gallery, 2003) and A Day in the Life of a Bulldyke (Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, 1995). Zab is art director for the Toronto literary press Pedlar Press and the Feminist History Society's series documenting the second wave of feminism in Canada. In January 2012 Zab launched The Parkdale Wallpaper Company, specializing in typography-based wallpaper designs.

zab@yorku.ca


Angela Iarocci

Professor, Sheridan College
MArch University of Toronto, Canada

Angela Iarocci has a diverse design background that builds on her academic training in industrial design and architecture. Angela is a professional designer with experience in both the public and private sector, specializing in environmental graphic design, architecture and urban design. She has been involved in numerous large-scale projects developing signage and wayfinding programs, exhibits, web sites, monuments and interpretive installations.

As an instructor at Sheridan, her teaching and research interests stem from an inter-disciplinary approach that seeks to encompass both visual communications and the built environment with specific focus on design and mapping.


Michael Longford

Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts
Associate Professor, York University
MFA Rutgers University, USA

Professor Longford creative work and research activities reside at the intersection of photography, graphic design and digital media. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator for the Mobile Digital Commons Network (MDCN), a national research network developing technology and media rich content for mobile devices. The MDCN is a joint research project launched by Concordia University and the Banff New Media Institute. He is a founding member of Hexagram: Institute for Research and Creation in Media Arts and Technologies and served for three years as the Director for the Advanced Digital Imaging and 3D Rapid Prototyping Group. He has exhibited and presented his work at national and international exhibitions and conferences.
http://www.michaellongford.com/

Thesis Projects 2013

Franziska Erlebach

The Creative Process in Graphic Design: Breaking Out of Established Work Modes Through Modularity

Angela Norwood, Supervisor
Sandra Gabriele, Advisor

The field of graphic design is influenced by rapid technological and social changes, challenging us to redefine how we think about the creative design process. In this thesis, the well-known concept of modularity will be investigated from a contemporary perspective as a way to break out of established work modes which rely on a linear design process. Six types of modularity, as defined for use in product design,create the framework for a series of visual explorations. The underlying method is an iterative design process of graphic prototyping and modeling, followed by a critical review of the visual outcome. These explorations demonstrate how modularity can encourage creativity in the graphic design process. The benefit of a modular approach to the creative process is supported by research from the fields of psychology and design.

 

Jillian Ditner

Visualizing Bird Migration: Highlighting the Relationship Between Birds and the Toronto Region Through Graphic Design Practice

Angela Norwood, Supervisor

Bird migration phenomenon takes place many thousands of meters above the ground and between distant locales and therefore remains largely invisible to human observers. The goal of this thesis project is to bring migration into focus by using environmental graphic design installations that highlight Toronto’s role as a stopover site for migratory birds and activating a site on the city’s waterfront. The final design artifact is composed of three site-specific elements. The first is a wall-mounted graphic work that functions like a sundial to reveal the cyclical nature of seasonal migration. The second is a boardwalk installation that measures the distances travelled by birds migrating from Central and South America to Toronto. The final component is a map of the primary avian stopover sites in Toronto (hot spots), which encourages visitors to explore the city’s natural habitats.This thesis offers examples of how graphic design can go beyond traditional awareness campaign tactics to call attention to natural processes in the environment in order to create meaningful connections between citizens and the natural world. Therefore the role of design in facilitating human connection to natural cycles is of paramount importance.

 

Sepideh Fallahian

From Roots to Routes: Exploring Motif Design as Representation of Cultural Adjustment Following Immigration Arranged According to the Visual Language of the Persian Rug

Angela Norwood, Supervisor
Paul Sych, Advisor

The path to immigration is associated with cultural adjustment to the new setting as a process of emotional fluctuation over time. The goal of this thesis project is to visualize the experience of cultural adjustment process of a sample group of Persian immigrants in Canada according to the visual language of the Persian rug. Since the Persian rug, as a cultural object, has the potential to narrate peoples’ lives, feelings and experiences, it is an appropriate information system through which to visualize the experience of immigration. The outcomes of this study would be innovative forms of the Persian rug as a visual representation of a sign system which enables viewers to observe the visual narrative of the emotional life of Persian immigrants in Canada as semiotic phenomena. In this study, emotional reactions of sample participants throughout their cultural adjustment process were examined through a questionnaire. Subsequently, the data gathered was visualized to create a motif for each participant through a specific system. The motifs were arranged according to the traditional set-structure of Persian rug design. Three modalities of data visualization were chosen for the outcomes of this study: sculpture, animation, and sound.

Thesis Projects 2012

James March

Meditations on the Connections Between Memory and Graphic Design

Paul Sych, Supervisor
Angela Iarocci, Advisor

Since the adoption of memory an an investigative area within the social sciences in the twentieth century, the act og the memorization has been examined largely within categorical, rationalized expressions. Central issues currently exist in memory research: 1) the difficulty of visually depicting the active process of memorizing; and 2) the limitation of assessing memory as a categorized entity rather than a multidimensional, polarized system. In simplifying highly complex imagery, graphic design has made significant contributions to contemporary visual aesthetics, positioning itself as a mediator between a wide a variety of comparable disciplines. This thesis examines the active process of memory through graphic design practices. By applying design principles and composing visual metaphors of sorting information alongside techniques dating from the ancient and medieval ages, graphic design as a methodological practice endeavours to bridge the disconnect between contemporary memory models by generating a visual lexicon of an abstract mental process.   


Kaila Jacques

Addressing Executive Functioning Concerns in Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome Through Graphic Design Practice

Sandra Gabriele, Supervisor
Michael Longford, Advisor
Adrienne Perry, Advisor

This study demonstrates how graphic design can be utilized to facilitate communication in the development of tangible aids through participatory approach that targets adults with Asperger's syndrome (AS). It served to investigate and develop visual design strategies that might support executive functioning. The specific executive functions that were addressed include: planning, attention, initiation, multi-tasking, flexibility and working memory.

The study involved expert interviews with healthcare professionals, participant interviews, camera documentation by the participants, and participatory design sessions. Participants were recruited via flyers posted at The Redpath Centre in Toronto. All those who responded were previously diagnosed with AS and ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old. Each stage of the study demonstrated that individuals with AS have issues with executive functioning tasks. These issues impact emotions and their ability to function independently in society. Although these individuals shared to common diagnosis, Asperger's syndrome, the study indicated clearly that each was unique and needed to be respected as such. Using visual materials in a ll stages of the process enhanced communication.

An iPhone application was designed to address issues from previous research and as voiced by participants in this study. It includes features that assist with facilitating executive functioning to address the specific need of individuals with AS. A participatory design approach enriched the process of developing this application by exploring the unique challenges experienced by individuals with AS.

Monika Krupa

Secrets of Magic School: Emergent Learning Through the Design Process in a Kindergarten Classroom

Angela Norwood & Carol Anne Wien, Co-Supervisors

The thesis asks how do kindergarten children engage with the design process? The thesis looks at community, collaboration and creativity in relation to the design process. It is rooted in ideas from design-based learning approaches and Regio Emilia- inspired pedagogical documentation. The study introduced kindergarten children at a public school in Toronto to the design process. the design process is a creative process, where concepts and insights are researched, developed and clarified. The final design artifact- a book- is a collection of shared operation that made the community collaboration and creativity in the class room evident. However, the complex interdependece among these factors mad them impossible to separate. the focus on the process allowed children to build upon existing strengths and knowledge and to engage the project in ways that they found meaningful.  

Angela Noussis

The Mechaics of Gaming & Learning: Intersecting Paradigms Through Design

Angela Norwood, Supervisor
Jennifer Jenson, Advisor

The well-supported claim that play makes a significant contribution to social and intellectual development has led to a shift in pedagogical approaches which increasingly have been adapted to include many of the principles that are found within  good games. the goal of this thesis is to understand the role of design in these merging paradigms, and to design tools in order to direct the kind of learning that research tell us is happening in games.

Three approaches were utilized to extend the use of games as educational tools. A design-based challenge involving the 'gamification' of a learning module examined students' ability to extend their understanding of academic concepts. The creation of a digital, physics-based game prototype works works to introduce specific scientific concepts into academic curriculum and the design of an interactive website maps connection between gameplay mechanics and academic curricula.

Thesis Projects 2011

Hester Barnard
Readymade Design: A Critical Response to Discourse and Convention

David Cabianca, Supervisor

This thesis responds to institutional limits on graphic design by exploring the parameters of convention and expectation. Graphic design exists within a culture of conventions: It recycles knowledge, affirms pre-determined processes, and conforms to de facto rules. This thesis brings these practices to the surface and problematizes their latent pervasiveness. This thesis attempts to make visible and tangible the institutional conventions which are guided by social, political and legal mores of graphic design practice. The significance of the exploratory work of this thesis is dependent on an understanding of current graphic design discourse. The work functions as a "ready-made" that acts as a conceptual snapshot of conventional practice.

 

 

Bianca DiPietro

Bianca DiPietro
Do You See What I'm Saying?: Investigating the Arbitrariness of Letterforms through Typeface Design

David Cabianca, Supervisor

Modern linguistic theory suggests that letterforms are arbitrary and that the relationship between the signifier and the signified has no discernible pattern. This thesis investigates the arbitrary relationship between spoken sounds and graphemes and extends that relationship to letterform design. While graphic design rarely intersects with the field of linguistics, a culturally pivotal relationship with great potential for investigation exists between the two. In this thesis, graphic design is used as a medium to explore the arbitrary nature of written signs and draws attention to this importance in visual communication.

A theoretical and historical investigation informs the production of visual artifacts: a book specimen relating speech to written form, as well as a typeface that investigates the arbitrary design of letterforms while also demonstrating existing multiple connotative implications within letterforms. This thesis demonstrates that similar to letterforms having multiple speech sound associations, a typeface can have multiple connotative associations.

 

Kevin Paolozzi

Kevin Paolozzi
"What Goes Around, Doesn't Come Back Round": A Look into the Disruptive Influence of Basel School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art

David Cabianca, Supervisor

This thesis examines the contributions of the Basel School of Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art by outlining their respective philosophies and pedagogical approaches. These two schools helped educate and train a number of the most prominent graphic designers of the twentieth century. Following a brief historical examination of the Bauhaus' influence on design education, the early teachings of Emil Ruder and Armin Hofmann at the Basel School of Design are discussed within the context of their influence on post-modern graphic designer Wolfgang Weingart. This paper also examines the concurrent shift in graphic design that was happening in the United States at Cranbrook Academy of Art under the tutelage of Swiss-trained designer Katherine McCoy, and prominent Cranbrook alumni responsible for redefining graphic design as both a professional practice and academicdiscipline.

 

Hyuna Park

Hyuna Park
Remembring the Starry Night (SkyAct): Using Smartphones and Social Networking to Raise Community Awareness to Light Pollution

Michael Longford, Supervisor

Although design has traditionally been understood by society as studies of visual form, the process of design can be utilizd to resolve larger socially oriented issues. This research explores the way in which design can be an active mediator in organizing various stakeholders in the orchestration of innovative directions to support sustainable ways of living. At the center of the project is the develoment of SkyAct, a web-based smartphone application with the foremost goal of raising users' awareness to the issue of light pollution. By pairing smartphone technology with social networking platforms, SkyAct provided a user-oriented sustainable system, which aims to encourage the public, individually and collectively to take action to reduce light pollution.

Furthermore, this research highlights the contemporary role of designers working in an interdisciplinary manner, engaging direct involvement of diverse stakeholders seeking alternative solutions tha faciliate sustainable ways of luving.

Sky Act

Kate Peer

Kate Peer
Making and Thinking: Between the Boundaries of Craft and Design

Paul Sych, Supervisor

Recent changes in the interrelated disciplines of craft and graphic design have led to an espousal of interdisciplinary approaches. As such, this design thesis explores the possilibty of a post-disciplinary practice that situates itself between the boundaries of graphic design and craft practice. This thesis begins with an investigation into relationships between craft and graphic design, through a weaving of cultural theory and personal material explorations. Art, craft and design are approached from the academic position of cultural studies, revealing how meanings in visual culture are created, constructed and upheld. Following that, the focus turns to textiles, analyzing the genre for both its implications, possibilities and necessity of a crafts-based design practice. through harnessing textiles as a way of making and thinking, craft-based design comes to be understood as dialogical practice that questions the ideological boundaries of genre.

Brad Tober

Brad Tober
New Tools of the Trade: An Exploration of Interactive Computational Graphic Design Processes

Wojtek Janczak, Supervisor

This thesis investigates the context, development, and implications of Gwigglerbooth, an interactive, experiential, and real-time social media form creation tool. The main objectives in developing Gwigglerbooth were to explore interactive computational graphic design processes and to explore the role of emerging technologies, such as the Xbox Kinect® sensor and the Processing programming environment for the Android® smartphone platform, in design practice. The use of technology in design has long been a contentious issue, as a designer incorporating technology into his or her practice is often seen as surrendering a degree of control over his or her work. The context of this thesis establishes a framework for exercising control over computational graphic design, while reflection on the project asserts the relevance of computational graphic design to the overall discipline, points to the designer's role as a mediator, and urges design to embrace the integration of emerging technology into its practice.

 

Design Facilities

York's Department of Design offers a technology-enriched environment for studio learning. Our computers labs and print services are supported by full-time technicians and are state-of-the-art design education facilties.

The fabrication lab is equipped with current design technologies -  laser cutters, large format printers, colour laser printers, vinyl cutter/printers, binding machines, fabric printers, 3-D printer and letterpresses. Our inventory of professional equipment for digital production includes DSLR cameras, audio mics and recorders, video cameras and accessories, and an in-house photo studio. 

Master of Design at York

The York University Master of Design program is a practice-based graduate degree for students looking to challenge the conventions of their graphic design experience. Our program fosters critical thinking, develops design skills and shapes the student’s creative capacity for an informed studio practice to define and nurture emerging talents who will challenge the limits of the discipline. 

The Master of Design program provides an increased awareness and knowledge for an advanced design profession while granting a terminal degree for those students wishing to be educators in the studio areas of graphic design.

Bachelor of Design Studio Classes

At the heart of our success, is the belief in the value of an intimate, student-centered learning environment. All Bachelor of Design studio courses have significantly smaller numbers of students than at other institutions. 

All studio classes are 4 hours in length, creating an opportunity to be fully immersed in a lively creative environment amongst peers and professors. Studio classes are held at both York and Sheridan campuses. All liberal arts courses, whether humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences are taken at York University.

Hello

Hello

Fourth Year

Type in Motion

FA/YSDN 4002 3.0
Explores the storytelling abilities of motion design for broadcast and cinema using the temporal and sequential aspects of typography, image and sound. Work is created using both analog and digital methods, and is deliberately focused on using experimental techniques and graphic means to make graphic communication.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3003 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Interactive System Design

FA/YSDN 4003 3.0
An advanced investigation into systems ®¢ intuitive and learned ®¢ that support human activities via interactive communication and distribution networks. An understanding of these communication/ distribution methods working in reciprocal fashion from users to the computer and back, is presented.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3005 3.0 and FA/YSDN 3102 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Design Workshop

FA/YSDN 4004 6.0
Students develop a series of self-directed projects using a multidisciplined approach in solving two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and interactive digital design problems. The student proposal is adjudicated by a departmental committee.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: All required Practicum and Studies courses or permission of the Department of Design.

Book Design

FA/YSDN 4005 3.0
This advanced level practicum course explores the structuring of bound, print-oriented long text information documents. The history, anatomy, structural dynamics and an investigation of the contemporary private and commercial press/publishing process of the printed book is examined.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3004 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Corporate Identity Design

FA/YSDN 4007 3.0
This course will focus on the design of a corporate identity system for an organization. The system will involve the design of graphic identifiers, typography, selected applications and supporting documents.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3004 3.0 and FA/YSDN 3003 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design

Design Management

FA/YSDN 4102 3.0
This course examines the theories and practice of design management in contemporary organizations. Through case studies and presentations by visiting speakers, students learn to construct practical working models of management systems. Projects require students to demonstrate investigative, analytical, organizational and business-oriented communication skills.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3102 3.0 and FA/YSDN 3103 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Advanced Package Design

FA/YSDN 4010 3.0
A continued in-depth examination of the conceptualization and creation of effective package structures and graphics in relation to contemporary society and the realities of professional practive.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3103 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Independent Studies: Design Practicum

FA/YSDN 4900 6.0
An individualized study programme for highly motivated students in their final year of study who wish to pursue specific and intensive independent practicum projects under the supervision of a faculty member on topics not available in other courses in the department. No more than one independent study course may be taken in any given year.

PREREQUISITES: A 4000-level studio Practicum in the media area being proposed, an overall major average of B+, and permission of the Department of Design.

Applications are available in the spring for the following academic session. Applications must include written support of faculty supervisor prior to submission to the Department of Design for approval.

Independent Studies: Design Studies

FA/YSDN 4901 6.0
An identification and examination of the various roles that design and designers play in the solving of visual and cultural problems in todayÕs rapidly changing society.

PREREQUISITES: Completion of at least 18 credits in Design Studies, an overall major average of B+, and permission of the Department of Design.

Applications are available in the spring for the following academic session. Applications must include written support of faculty supervisor prior to submission to the department for approval. Note: Courses taught at Sheridan Institute are open only to students in the B.Des program.

Professional Aspects of Design

FA/YSDN 4104 3.0
The areas of professional responsibility, accreditation, presentation techniques, portfolio preparation, branding and promotion will culminate in the planning and mounting of a graduation exhibition.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 4004 6.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Sustainable Design

FA/YSDN 4006 3.0
Explores current and emerging sustainable design principles and strategies with specific focus on graphic design practice. The social, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability are examined through practicum projects engaging students in systems thinking to address complex communication issues.

PREREQUISITES: Third or Fourth year standing in the BDes program or permission of the Department of Design.

Information Design 4

FA/YSDN 4008 3.0
Explores the affordances of both print and digital media for the application of Information Design principles and methodologies introduced and developed in earlier courses. This course will take an intra-disciplinary (print, interactivity, time-based, environmental) approach to researching and developing a comprehensive presentation of a site to be determined by each section.

PRE/CO-REQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2008 3.0 (previously FA/YSDN 3007 3.0) and FA/YSDN 3008 3.0 or FA/YSDN 3012 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Third Year

Typeface Design

FA/YSDN 3003 3.0
This course furthers the students knowledge of the typographic principles initiated in Typography 3. The investigation of typography in various media to communicate with impact on the audience is emphasized through font creation and type in motion.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2007 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Information Design 2

FA/YSDN 3008 3.0
A further and extended investigation into the relevant theories and methodologies which allow the designer to prioritize, simplify, and creatively visualize a wide range of complex textual and visual information.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3007 3.0 or FA/YSDN 2008 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Communication Design 2

FA/YSDN 3004 3.0
A continued investigation into two dimensional print-oriented design problems. Various communication and learning theories are integrated into the design process assisting students to develop a multi-disciplined approach to design.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2004 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Design & Systems

FA/YSDN 3005 3.0
A continued investigation into complex problem solving which emphasizes the application of systemic design methods. Individual and team problem-solving techniques are utilized to identify and analyze problems, develop content, specify functions, evaluate solutions and produce prototypes at the system level.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3006 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Interactivity Design 3

FA/YSDN 3006 3.0
Students broaden their knowledge and understanding of the conceptual principles of organizational structures and methodologies involved in the presentation of information in virtual environments. In a series of projects, students explore various types of data and structural organization models of information.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2005 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Time-based Communication

FA/FA/YSDN 3009 3.0
This course focuses upon the visual grammar and language syntax of time-based communication and motion graphics and explores concepts and techniques involved in the integration of images, typography, digital video and audio into vibrant and persuasive communication environments.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1006 3.0 and FA/YSDN 2005 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Package Design

FA/YSDN 3010 3.0
This specialized practicum course focuses on the principles, vocabulary and contemporary production of package design. An historical overview and current design strategies in the context of the retail environment will be investigated.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1003 and FA/YSDN 3004 or permission of the Department of Design.

Editorial Design

FA/YSDN 3011 3.0
This course will focus on the design of print and electronic editorial documents. Students will investigate the relationship between type, illustration, photo and graphic imagery.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3003 3.0 and FA/YSDN 3004 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Contemporary Problems in Design

FA/YSDN 3102 3.0
An identification and examination of the various roles that design and designers play in the solving of visual and cultural problems in todayÕs rapidly changing society.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2103 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Design for Public Awareness

FA/YSDN 3104 3.0
This Design Studies course focuses upon the contribution of design to public awareness of social issues. Students learn that responsible designers also have social responsibilities, and have the opportunity to be of service to marginalized populations. Students will be introduced to the role(s) of graphic agitation, interventions, major and alternative modes of public address, and culture jamming.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1101 3.0 and FA/YSDN 2102 6.0 and FA/YSDN 2103 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Self, Society & Design

FA/YSDN 3105 3.0
Examines the practices, images, and objects of graphic design in relation to issues of personal agency and wider social structure, and so places visual and material culture in the context of concerns which are central to the social sciences of (primarily) anthropology, sociology, and social psychology.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2103 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Image and Influence

FA/YSDN 3106 3.0
Explores the relationships between graphic design and art in the 20th century, with particular attention to the associations between pictorial Modernism and the use of image and text in graphic design.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 6.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Design Internship

FA/YSDN 3111 3.0
Lectures introduce students to current design business practices, legal requirements and ethics. Full-time participation is required for three weeks in an approved professional design environment. Required course for design major.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: Third year standing in the Joint Program in Design or permission of the Department of Design.

Information Design 3

FA/YSDN 3012 3.0
Builds on principles and methodologies introduced in earlier Information Design courses with a specific focus on visualization through mapping practices, ranging from conceptual approaches to practical applications using print/digital media.

Prerequisite: FA/YSDN 2008 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Time-based Communication 2

FA/YSDN 3013 3.0
Extends the curriculum of Time-based Communication. It enables students to acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of the visual grammar and language syntax of time-based communications. Through the analysis and construction of meaningful messages and the development of communication strategies, students develop projects through the application of design process.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 3009 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Environmental Graphic Design

FA/FA/YSDN 3014 3.0
Examines visual communication within the built and natural environment including wayfinding systems, signage, exhibition design, interpretive installations and themed sites. Through projects and field research, students will build knowledge of spatial design, typography, materials, construction, and designing for human interaction.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2008 3.0 Information Design 1 or FA/YSDN 3007 3.0 Information Design 1 or FA/YSDN 2010 3.0 3D Design or FA/YSDN 1003 3.0 3D Design

Typography for Information Design

FA/YSDN 3015 3.0
Explores the typographic issues specific to three areas of information design: print, screen and environmental applications. Students will examine how legibility and readability of text information that is crucial to understanding can affect communication through maps, diagrams and instructions, large text collections and navigation systems in real and virtual environments.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2008 3.0 Information Design 1 or FA/YSDN 3007 Information Design 1 and FA/YSDN 2003 3.0 Typography 2.

Archetypes in Science, Nature and Design

FA/YSDN 3107 3.0
Offers an exploration of nature and science through the designer's eye in order to both consciously compare the universe's creative processes to our own and also to understand how form is a graphic expression of forces of cosmic energy. This course will be a synthesis of these ideas from science and nature made accessible and usable for designers.

PREREQUISITES: none. Open to non-majors.

Building a Discipline

FA/YSDN 3109 3.0
Examines graphic design as a number of themes. It does not use writings on graphic design for study, but rather uses primary sources to enter territories conventionally reserved for literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, cultural studies and linguistics.

PREREQUISITES: none. Open to non-majors.

First Year

Visual Language

FA/YSDN 1001 3.0
The elements and principles of design comprising our visual language are examined and explored on the two-dimensional level through various exercises and projects. This operational form language is developed via tactile and computer application processes.

Required course for design major.

Typography 1

FA/YSDN 1005 3.0
An introduction to the history and development of letters, letterforms and the typographic system as practical in contemporary print and electronic design. The typographic vocabulary, system of measurement, prioritization of information and issues of readability and legibility are introduced.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or the permission of the Department of Design.

Design & Image

FA/YSDN 1002 3.0
The processes of creating representational, graphic and abstract images in the context of visual communication design are examined. Different methods of generating and manipulating images are investigated with consideration given to form and content of images as well as to their potential for the communication of ideas.

Required course for design major.

Design & Colour

FA/YSDN 1004 3.0
Colour perception, systems or classification and the nature of light, pigment and colour materials are studied through a series of tactile and computer exercises and projects. The creative use of colour using a variety of materials and processes, and the use of colour in various periods is investigated.

Critical Issues in Design

FA/YSDN 1101 3.0
An introduction to the cultural, practical, technological and contextual issues facing designers today by examining works and readings from our day in the various fields of Design.

Required course for design major.

3D Design

FA/YSDN 2010 3.0
The elements and principles of three-dimensional design are examined and applied though various exericses and projects. Communication of three-dimensional concepts through two-dimensional representations and three-dimensional prototypes is introduced and developed.

Communications in the Urban Environment

FA/YSDN 1110 3.0
This course will focus on the urban environment as a resource for developing and reinforcing a critical design vocabulary and awareness of visual and behavioral structural diversity - formal, stylistic and functional effects will be addressed.

This course counts as a free elective for BDes majors.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Introduction to Design: Practice & Appreciation (For Non-Majors)

FA/YSDN 1010 3.0
This fully online introductory course is designed for non-majors who are interested in design. It provides students a basic understanding of design practice as a profession and an appreciation of design in business and society through both hands-on projects and writing assignments.

Note: This course is design for Non-majors. No transfer credit is provided towards the YSDN Bachelor of Design degree.

Interactivity Design 1

FA/YSDN 1006 3.0
The forms of interactivity are examined and explored through designing visual representations of the human computer interface based on the introduction of the developing theories and models of interaction.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design. For students no in the BDes program, compulsory and voluntary supplementary fees apply.

Second Year

Communication Design 1

FA/YSDN 2004 3.0
This practicum course concentrates on building skills in two-dimensional visual communication design. Various communication and learning theories are integrated into the design process assisting students to develop a multi-disciplined approach to design.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0, FA/YSDN 1002 3.0, FA/YSDN 1005 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Typography 2

FA/YSDN 2003 3.0
A further investigation into the history, principles and application of contemporary typographic systems and issues of readability and legibility in print and electronic communication design.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1005 3.0 (formerly FA/YSDN 2002 3.0) or permission of the Department of Design

Design & Perception

FA/YSDN 2006 3.0
An examination of the perception of visual information and communication of three distinct levels: Representational, symbolic and abstract. Visual concepts of proximity, similarity, and figure/ground relationships are examined. Introduction to basic communication models, preception theories and semiotics provide a theoretical foundation for the studio problems.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 and FA/YSDN 1002 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design

Research in Design

FA/YSDN 2103 3.0
An identification and examination of the various aspects of conducting original survey research in support of the problem-solving process utilized in contemporary visual communication design.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1101 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Interactivity Design 2

FA/YSDN 2005 3.0
The introduction of a general system model to provide a theoretical foundation for systematic solving of design problems is developed. Research, analysis, synthesis and evaluation processes with related methods are employed to develop electronic-based communications.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0FA/YSDN 1002 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Design Thinking: Creative and Critical Pathways

FA/YSDN 2104 3.0
This is a Design Studies course which examines the differences and similarities between creative and critical thinking. For the purposes of this course, creative thinking includes cognitive activities which are divergent, lateral, and/or imaginative.

Critical thinking covers activities which are convergent, logical and analytical. Both types of thinking are required in the design process. This course provides the student with the theory and operational skills necessary to improve their design process and problem-solving abilities.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1101 3.0 or FA/VISA 1040 3.0

Typography 3

FA/YSDN 2007 3.0
A continued in-depth investigation into contemporary explorations and applications of typographic principles, information theories, history and various approaches to solving visual communication problems. Letterpress printing and digital processes are investigated.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1005 3.0 and FA/YSDN 2003 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Information Design 1

FA/YSDN 2008 3.0
The relevant theories and methodologies which allow the designer to prioritize, simplify, and creatively visualize a wide range of complex textural and visual information are examined and applied.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: Second year standing in the Department of Design.

History of Design

FA/YSDN 2102 6.0
Functional objects, past and present, and their relationship to the process of design, conditions of the time, the problems met, important influences and the importance to our time are examined. The primary focus is from the industrial revolution to today with required reading and much critical looking at our own environment.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1101 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Visualization Methods

FA/YSDN 2011 3.0
This course offers an in-depth study of graphic visualization systems, mechanical drawing devices and visual theory. Supervised studio time will strengthen student's observation, rapid sketching and visualizing abilities.

History of Media in Graphic Design

FA/YSDN 2105 3.0
Analyses various media practices as related to graphic design in the West since 1750. Explores advertising, illustration, photography, film, scientific representation, fashion, and digital imagery in the context of how they have shaped, and been shaped by, graphic design.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 History of Design or permission of the Department of Design. Open to non-majors.

Graphic Design in Canada

FA/YSDN 2106 3.0
Examines graphic design in Canada, from books and posters to advertising, magazines, typefaces, and information design. Traces developments from the First Nations to British colonial administration and contemporary digital practices. Locates design in its social context, as a visual culture, and as an aesthetic technology.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 History of Design or permission of the Department of Design. Open to non-majors.

History & Development of Typography

FA/YSDN 2107 3.0 (formerly FA/YSDN 3101A 3.0)
Explores the historic development of typographic form � the origins of the alphabet from 3000 bc to the present. This includes the study of historical/cultural periods, typographic classifications and exploration of contemporary typography.

PRE/CO-REQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 History of Design or permission of the Department of Design.

Evolution of Information Design

FA/YSDN 2108 3.0
Examines the origin and development of designed artifacts to provide clarity and enable understanding of complex data, processes, and environments. It considers influencing factors of social, technological and historical developments in the representation of information.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 History of Design or permission of the Department of Design. Open to non-majors.

History and Culture of Interaction Design

FA/YSDN 2109 3.0
Introduces students to the development of interaction design as an emerging field of practice and research as it relates to the discipline of graphic design. Grounded in historical advancements, the role of interaction design as a cultural and technological practice will be explored. Using a blended course model, classes alternate between face-to-face and online meetings.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 2102 3.0/6.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Drawing for Design

FA/YSDN 2012 3.0
Develops a visual vocabulary for the representation of objects and ideas for communication in design applications. Ideas and concepts will be explored and translated into literal, abstract and symbolic form for use in graphic representations, pictograms, symbols and letterforms in order to help communicate with impact.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 Visual Language and FA/YSDN 1002 3.0 Design & Image and FA/YSDN 1005 3.0 Typography 1 or permission of the Department of Design.

First Year

Visual Language

FA/YSDN 1001 3.0
The elements and principles of design comprising our visual language are examined and explored on the two-dimensional level through various exercises and projects. This operational form language is developed via tactile and computer application processes.

Required course for design major.

Typography 1

FA/YSDN 1005 3.0
An introduction to the history and development of letters, letterforms and the typographic system as practical in contemporary print and electronic design. The typographic vocabulary, system of measurement, prioritization of information and issues of readability and legibility are introduced.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or the permission of the Department of Design.

Design & Image

FA/YSDN 1002 3.0
The processes of creating representational, graphic and abstract images in the context of visual communication design are examined. Different methods of generating and manipulating images are investigated with consideration given to form and content of images as well as to their potential for the communication of ideas.

Required course for design major.

Design & Colour

FA/YSDN 1004 3.0
Colour perception, systems or classification and the nature of light, pigment and colour materials are studied through a series of tactile and computer exercises and projects. The creative use of colour using a variety of materials and processes, and the use of colour in various periods is investigated.

Critical Issues in Design

FA/YSDN 1101 3.0
An introduction to the cultural, practical, technological and contextual issues facing designers today by examining works and readings from our day in the various fields of Design.

Required course for design major.

3D Design

FA/YSDN 2010 3.0
The elements and principles of three-dimensional design are examined and applied though various exericses and projects. Communication of three-dimensional concepts through two-dimensional representations and three-dimensional prototypes is introduced and developed.

Communications in the Urban Environment

FA/YSDN 1110 3.0
This course will focus on the urban environment as a resource for developing and reinforcing a critical design vocabulary and awareness of visual and behavioral structural diversity - formal, stylistic and functional effects will be addressed.

This course counts as a free elective for BDes majors.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design.

Introduction to Design: Practice & Appreciation (For Non-Majors)

FA/YSDN 1010 3.0
This fully online introductory course is designed for non-majors who are interested in design. It provides students a basic understanding of design practice as a profession and an appreciation of design in business and society through both hands-on projects and writing assignments.

Note: This course is design for Non-majors. No transfer credit is provided towards the YSDN Bachelor of Design degree.

Interactivity Design 1

FA/YSDN 1006 3.0
The forms of interactivity are examined and explored through designing visual representations of the human computer interface based on the introduction of the developing theories and models of interaction.

Required course for design major.

PREREQUISITES: FA/YSDN 1001 3.0 or permission of the Department of Design. For students no in the BDes program, compulsory and voluntary supplementary fees apply.

Creating a new page or section (Structure)

Navigate to the "Structure" panel located in the main navigation.

Hover over the section that you would like to add a child page to and select "Add Child Page"

Switch to the structure page and select "layout/bdes" under Structure Template. Your section will not show up without doing this! 

To save your changes, hit the submit button on the bottom right.

To review how to style pages on the site view this page.

Posting a Spotlight Entry

To post a spotlight article, first access the control panel located here.

Log in using your digital locker log in details.

================

Once in the control panel, navigate to Content > Publish > News.

Switch to the category panel and check the "Spotlight" category.

Next switch to the publish tab. Here we need to fill in the Title of the article.

The main body of the posting goes in the boxed labeled "Post Content."

A shorter version for search results and front page snippets goes under the "Post Summary" box.
Attach the poster image using the "Add File" option under the "Post Entry Image" heading at the end of the form.

Editing an Existing Page or Section

Navigate to the "Structure" panel located in the main navigation.

Find the section to edit and click the title to begin editing.

To save your changes, hit the submit button on the bottom right.

To review how to style pages on the site view this page.

Posting News/Events

To post a news or event article, first access the control panel located here.

Log in using your digital locker log in details.

================

Once in the control panel, navigate to Content > Publish > News.

 

The first step of any posting should be to define the category. Go to the Categories tab on the publish page.

On the categories page, select the appropriate category.

To post a spotlight article (front page article for the lightbox) check the "Spotlight" category.

Next switch to the publish tab. Here we need to fill in the Title of the article.

The main body of the posting goes in the boxed labeled "Post Content."

A shorter version for search results and front page snippets goes under the "Post Summary" box.

 

Finally if the post is a spotlight article, upload an image to fill the image space using the "add file" dialogue.

This section is dedicated to helping staff and students learn how to use and edit the website. Find the topic that covers what you need to do for a step by step walkthough of how to acomplish the task.

Everyday Tasks

Intermediate Tasks

Advanced Tasks

Developer

This section is dedicated to helping staff and students learn how to use and edit the website. Find the topic that covers what you need to do for a step by step walkthough of how to acomplish the task.

Everyday Tasks

  • Posting a News/Event entry
  • Posting a Spotlight entry
  • Adding work to the gallery

 

Intermediate Tasks

  • Editing an existing page or section

 

Advanced Tasks

  • Creating a new page/section

 

Developer

  • Editing the primary stylesheet
  • How the templates work
  • How to create/implement new channels

York Technical Staff

Loris Dotto

Technician/Demonstrator
Email: ldotto@yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext: 77410
Loris has been providing technical support for the Faculty of Fine Arts since 1992 and for the Department of Design since 1998. As a Technician/Demonstrator he is responsible for the general operation and maintenance of the studio facilities as well as providing technical support for both students and faculty on a more personal level. Being an alumnus of the Program, Loris understands the technical challenges students face and is always willing to help out whenever and wherever possible.


Richard Miziolek

Technician/Demonstrator
Email: richm@yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext: 77415
Rich has been with the Department of Design since 1999 as a Technician/Demonstrator. His main duties include providing technical assistance and support to faculty and students, along with hardware and software setup and maintenance. Before joining the Department of Design, Rich worked for several design and multimedia companies. If you have any technical questions or concerns regarding the YSDN program, Rich would be happy to help.
 

Sheridan Technical Staff

Tom Wilcox, B.Sc.

Technologist
Email: tom.wilcox@sheridanc.on.ca
Phone: 905-845-9430, ext: 8731
Tom has been with Sheridan College since 1998 and has provided continuous technical support for the Joint York Sheridan Design program since 2000. His responsibilities include all aspects of computer maintenance and administration for the computer labs at Sheridan. Tom has background in digital photography and is graduate of the Applied Photography program and Computer Graphics post Graduate program at Sheridan College and holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto with majors in Anthropology and Psychology.

Administrative Staff

Barb Batke

Administrative Assistant
Email: bbatke@yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-5885

Barb has been providing administrative support for York University since 1986 and for the Department of Design since 1999. As Administrative Assistant, Barb coordinates all departmental activities within the Department of Design. She acts as the liaison between the York and Sheridan campuses with regard to activities for the BDes Program. Barb also assists students with all academic concerns in the absence of the department program assistant.

Jane Mester

Secretary/Receptionist
Email: jmester@yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-5885

A friendly and approachable front-line contact for students and the public who fields all general inquiries regarding the Department of Design. Jane is the primary phone contact for the department who provides assistance to all callers and acts as an intermediary between students, faculty and staff. The reception desk is a good starting point resource for initiating inquiries about the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design.

Antonia Schneider

Undergraduate Program Assistant
Email: ysdn@yorku.ca
Phone: 416-736-5885

As the Undergraduate Program Assistant, Antonia is responsible for the administration of the Department of Design's joint undergraduate program in the Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA) with Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning from initial enquiries through applications,admissions, registration, portfolio evaluations, degree requirements and convocation. Antonia provides liaison/coordination/contact with faculty, staff and students at all levels of administration for the program.

Part-Time Faculty

Lyle Fraiman

Visual Communication, Corporate Identity
lyle.fraiman@sheridanc.on.ca


Valerie Fullard

Visual Communication, Typography
typoclass@rogers.com


Aviva Furman

Visual Communication, Typography
aviva.furman@sympatico.ca


Maria Gabriele, R.G.D.

Visual Communication, Typography
mgabriel@yorku.ca


Gary Leroux

Visual Communication, Typography, Identity
gleroux@yorku.ca


James March

Interactive
jamesdavidmarch@gmail.com


Albert Ng, F.R.G.D.

Packaging, Visual Communication
ang123@yorku.ca


Catherine Ishino

Motion, Visual Communication
cishino@yorku.ca


Robert Gill

History, Theory, Criticism
robmgill@yorku.ca


Arlene Gould, R.G.D.

Professional Practice
asgould@yorku.ca

 

Kim Heppler

Professional Practice
kimberley.heppler@sheridanc.on.ca


Andrew Hladkyj

Interactive, Visual Communication
andrew.hladkyj@sheridanc.on.ca


Hans Kleefeld

Corporate Identity, Packaging
hans.kleefeld@sheridanc.on.ca


Katalin Kovats, R.G.D.

Visual Communication
katalin.kovats@sheridanc.on.ca


Monika Krupa

History, Theory, Criticism, Visual Communication
mkrupa@yorku.ca


Mary Traill

Visual Communication
mtraill@yorku.ca


Adam Antoszek-Rallo

Visual Communication, Typography
adam.antoszekrallo1@sheridanc.on.ca


Myles Bartlett

Interactive, Motion
myles.bartlett@sheridanc.on.ca


Borzu Talaie

Interactive
info@borxu.com

York University Faculty

David Cabianca, AIGA

Associate Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor, York University
MArch Princeton University, USA
MFA 2D Design Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA
MA Typeface Design University of Reading, UK
MA Design Writing Criticism London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

Visual Communication, Typography, History, Theory, Criticism
Prior to joining the department in 2005, David Cabianca taught typography, history and theory at CalArts, OCAD and both architecture studio and theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba and the University of Michigan. At Michigan he was the 1997-98 William Muschenheim Fellow and received the Donna M. Salzer Award for excellence in teaching. His writing has appeared in Emigre, Design Issues, Dimensions, ACSA Proceedings and :output. His research and scholarship interests have to date focused on typeface design, contemporary graphic design, issues of representation and disciplinary conflict.

He is currently completing a text typeface, Cardea, scheduled for public release by the Emigre Font Foundry, and is co-organizing with Kenneth FitzGerald and Jiwon Lee, an AIGA Design Educator's Conference titled, "Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now" to be held spring 2013 at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA.

cabianca@yorku.ca
 

Sandra Gabriele

Associate Professor
MDes University of Alberta, Canada

Visual Communication, Information, Typography
Sandra Gabriele has been practicing and teaching design for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, and holds a MDes in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta. In professional practice, she has designed communications materials for a variety of clients: government organizations, corporations, small businesses and non-profit organizations, in both print and digital media. Her research interests are in the area of typography (legibility and the digital representation of large text collections) and information design (specifically, patient safety initiatives involving graphic design).

sandrag@yorku.ca
 

David Gelb, AIGA

Director, Graduate Program in Design
Assistant Professor
MEd, University of Toronto, Canada

Interactive, Motion
David Gelb's research is focused on both design and education. His work explores the potential of technology-enhanced learning and interactive design education within a graphic design context. His publications include the chapter "Course Co-Creation vs. Course Management: Wikis as a Potential Alternative to Traditional Learning Management Systems", in Wired for Learning (2009). He continues to present his scholarly work on collaborative technologies and participatory learning at international design conferences and workshops.

His practice includes information architecture, user-centered research methods and mobile interface design. He has created a variety of professional and creative projects, including mobile applications, social media strategies and interactive installations. His current teaching includes a range of interactive design and time-based communication courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prior to joining York University, he taught at Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art & Design.

dgelb@yorku.ca
 

Jan Hadlaw

Associate Professor
PhD Simon Fraser University, School of Communication

History, Theory, Criticism
Jan Hadlaw's research interests focus on design and everyday life, especially graphic design as cultural communication, advertising and consumer culture, and the history and design of modern technology. She was awarded both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and an FCar Doctoral Research Grant in support of her historical study of the design and representation of the modern telephone. In 1999, she was a Smithsonian Fellow-in-Residence at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York and at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Prior to joining the department, she taught at the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and in the Department of Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is a graphic designer who has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Alcan, the National Film Board, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, La Museo del Bel Arte Mexico, as well as many independent galleries and artists across Canada.

Her current research includes a study of role played by design in the construction of Canadian national identity in the 1960s and 70s. She has also received a SSHRC Small Grant to undertake the pilot study for a research project on vernacular design and architecture in rural British Colombia.

jhadlaw@yorku.ca


Elizabeth Hobart

Sessional Assistant Professor
MFA Design - Nova Scotia College of Art

Zab Hobart holds a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication and an MFA in Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art. Since 1988, Professor Hobart has owned and operated Zab Design & Typography Inc. The firm specializes in book design for museums, galleries, and artists across Canada and internationally. Her clients include Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, Canadian Centre for Architecture, The Banff Centre, The Salgo Trust for Education in New York, Pedlar Press, and Gallery 44 in Toronto. As Zab Design?s principal, Professor Hobart is an accredited member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD). Prof. Hobart has received numerous awards from the Alcuin Citation for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, the Blue Sky Best of Show Award and Blue Sky Judge's Choice Award in 2004 from Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), Manitoba. Her teaching experience at York spans a range of courses specializing in typography, typeface design and book design. Some of Prof. Hobart?s art publications include Valerie Blass (Musee d'art contemporain de Montreal, 2012), Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity, and Contemporary Art (McGill-Queen's University Press 2007), Bill Burns: Safety Gear for Small Animals (Tom Thomson Art Gallery et al, 2005), Traces of India (Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2004), Godless at the Workbench: Soviet Illustrated Humoristic Antireligious Propaganda (Dunlop Art Gallery, 2003) and A Day in the Life of a Bulldyke (Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, 1995). Zab is art director for the Toronto literary press Pedlar Press and the Feminist History Society's series documenting the second wave of feminism in Canada. In January 2012 Zab launched The Parkdale Wallpaper Company, specializing in typography-based wallpaper designs.

zab@yorku.ca

 

Angela Norwood, AIGA

Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor
MGD (Masters of Graphic Design) North Carolina State University, USA

Information, Visual Communication
Angela Norwood is a recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean's Junior Faculty Teaching Award and teaches across the Design curriculum, from first year foundation courses through masters thesis supervision, with an emphasis on information design. Her current research interests include examining the role of design in indigenous communities through social, cultural and cognitive aspects of wayfinding and signage systems, advertising, and design pedagogy. She has conducted workshops on this topic in Ladakh, India. She is a former professional graphic designer having worked in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC. Currently, Professor Norwood is a designer and consultant on the global marketing team for Democrats Abroad, an organization that empowers US citizens in 71 countries to participate in US elections. Her work has been published in design journals such as Visual Communication and Design & Culture, and recognized by several organizations and publications including the Type Directors Club, Graphis and Communication Arts magazines. Her work is included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) National Design Archive.

anorwood@yorku.ca


Paul Sych

Assistant Professor, York University

Visual Communication, Typography, Motion
Over the past two decades Paul Sych has had a curiosity for the relationship between art and music. This interplay began while studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University's prestigious jazz program in Toronto, Canada. In the fall of 1990, Paul launched his design firm, Faith, as a platform for continued experimentation. Paul has challenged both clients and peers alike to enter his world of unique and sometimes flamboyant use of type and imagery. In addition to being commissioned by legendary designers, art directors, educators and forums on typography internationally, his work has been widely published in North America, Europe and Asia. Paul continues to explore visual and typographic works in print, branding, public art, motion graphics and broadcast design.

Quoting the late design historian Philip B. Meggs, "Sych's pulled and twisted letterforms, densely layered and imploding into complex masses teeming with perpetual energy, lose their identity as alphabetic glyphs. His work raises the question: Where does typography cease to be typography and become, perhaps, art?"

paulsych@yorku.ca


Wendy Wong

Associate Professor
PhD Hong Kong Polytechnic University

History, Theory, Criticism, Visual Communication
Professor Wong published extensively on Chinese and Hong Kong visual culture and history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. She has published 4 books for Chinese readers funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Wong's articles appeared in Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Journal of Popular Culture, International Journal of Comic Art, Journal of Gender Studies, Mass Communication and Society, and Graphis Magazine.

She served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1999 to 2000, and was the 2000 Lubalin Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Union School of Art, where she curated an exhibit entitled "Chinese Graphic Design towards the International Sphere." She has taught both traditional creative print and digital interactive media full-time since 1997, in North America and Hong Kong.

wsywong@yorku.ca

 

Professors Emeriti

Wojtek E.Janczak

MFA Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan, Poland
Chair, Department of Design, 2009 to 2012
Graduate Program Director, 2006 to 2008

Professor Janczak's multidisciplinary professional practice, research and teaching include interactive media, exhibitions and signage systems design. Since the inception of the Internet he has specialized in developing and evaluating interaction design, information architecture, interface design and interactive information technologies in online education. His current research focuses on investigating the theories, practices and technologies involving intelligent physical environments, information spaces, interface design and time-based visual communication.


Don Newgren

PhD Syracuse University, USA
MA University of Illinois, USA

Don Newgren's research interests focus upon user participation, either active or passive, during the inventory and planning part of the design process. These interests emerged from his development and implementation of unobtrusive data collection methodology for planning exhibitions while being the Director of Design at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His professional design work in graphic design and exhibition design for firms such as IBM, US Steel, Eastman Kodak, Union Carbide, Bell Labs, United Airlines, General Motors, and Shell Oil has won numerous awards in North America. He has over 30 years of teaching experience, and has lectured in Japan, Europe, and the United States. In addition, he has 16 years of administrative experience at York University


David Scadding

MVA University of Alberta, Canada

Professor Scadding is a professional Registered Graphic Designer who, by love & training, focuses his teaching & research in the field of typography - its history, development and contemporary practices. He has over 30 years of experience in print-oriented and new media visual communication design. His professional work has been exhibited and published in Canada, the United States, France, China, and England.

He has been an invited speaker, seminar/workshop leader at numerous national and international conferences on design, new media and typography. He has received over 30 awards for his professional work and for his teaching - the most recent being the Dean's Teaching Award from York University.


Andrew M. Tomcik

MFA Design, Yale University, USA

Professor Tomcik has worked as a designer in Canada and the US. His work has been published or exhibited in Canada, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and China. As well he has participated in numerous conferences on design education and design history. He also received the Ontario Federation of University Faculty Associations award for excellence in teaching.

 

Sheridan College Faculty

Brian Donnelly

Professor
PhD Queen's University, Canada

History, Theory, Criticism
Brian Donnelly has a background in fine art, a fifteen year career as a graphic designer, and for the past ten years has been studying and teaching the history and theory of design and visual culture. His particular research focus is on graphic design history in Canada. The pursuit of this little-known history has taken him across Canada, and resulted in the award of several grants. He has been an invited speaker at conferences from Vancouver to Halifax, and last spring at an international visual studies conference in Madrid. As well as at York, he has taught at The Ontario College of Art & Design, Queen's University, and Sheridan College.

brian.donnelly@sheridanc.on.ca


Angela Iarocci

Professor
M.Arch University of Toronto, Canada BID

Information, Professional Practice
Angela Iarocci is a Professor in the York/Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Design program where she teaches undergraduate courses in information design, design fundamentals and professional practice. Her research investigations are concentrated in information visualization, mapping, diagramming, art and design installations and collaborative practice. She has a Bachelor degree in industrial design and is a graduate of the University of Toronto Master of Architecture program. Her professional experience is concentrated in environmental graphic design, specifically wayfinding, exhibits, and interpretive installations. Currently she is engaged in developing art and design projects which combine craft, information design and education centered on the environmental and social themes.

angela.iarocci@sheridanc.on.ca


Mary Ann Maruska, R.G.D.

Professor
MA Syracuse University, USA

Visual Communication
My experience in art direction, client relations and studio management is rooted in a decade of studio ownership with a focus on the public good with clients in the arts, education, health and the environment. I am proud to have been named a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada for my efforts towards improving the status of design within Canadian society. I have enjoyed sharing the design process with students for many years, and my research interests include learning facilitation, creativity, and metacognition.Currently, I am exploring the new scientific understanding of the unfolding of the universe and humanity's evolving place within it, and am seeking to discover and harness the underlying patterns with which the cosmos expresses itself so as to align with them during the design process.

maryann.maruska@sheridanc.on.ca


Edward Naus

Professor
BFA York University, Canada

Interaction, Motion, Visual Communication
Edward Naus is a professional designer with a variety of expertise in the areas of wayfinding, corporate identity development, and interactive forms of communication. In the last several years his interest has continued to reside in the digital realm. His research interests involve both the contemporary practice of typography and human cultural factors in design, especially with issues involving human interactivity. He is currently a faculty member at Sheridan Institue and has taught at York University and the Toronto Multimedia Summer Institute.

ed.naus@sheridanc.on.ca


Bill Ross

Professor
Coordinator, Bachelor of Design Program, Sheridan
Post Graduate Diploma in Media Studies, Ryerson University, Canada.

Visual Communication, Typography
Professor Ross has twenty years experience as a design practitioner with a focus on publications design and corporate communications. As Creative Director in a communications firm, he was responsible for the strategic planning and creative development of integrated print, radio and TV campaigns for national accounts in the banking, automotive and cultural sectors. He has numerous national and international awards for design. His current research focuses on design theory and its useful application to design education.

bill.ross@sheridanc.on.ca


Brian Tsang, R.G.D.

Professor
MA Syracuse University, USA

Visual Communication, Typography
Brian Tsang is a practicing graphic designer with extensive experience in corporate and system design. His teaching and research interests focus upon the complex relationship between content, form and context of information and human perception.

brian.tsang@sheridanc.on.ca


Douglas Whitton

Professor
MPS New York University, USA

Interaction, Visual Communication
Professor Whitton is an interactive designer with extensive consulting experience in North America. He has designed web based intranet applications, web sites, information architecture, and interactive video installations. His research and teaching interests centre on innovative approaches to experience design and human centred design. Before coming to Sheridan, Professor Whitton taught design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

doug.whitton@sheridanc.on.ca

Core Courses

Design Theory and Criticism

GS/MDES 5101 3.0

This seminar provides an overview of key theories and themes that form the foundation of contemporary critical design studies. Drawing on theories from a broad range of disciplines, it employs close readings of selected texts and works to explore design as a product, a practice, and a mode of social communication. Specific topics may vary with the instructor.

Design Studio 1

GS/MDES 5108 3.0 

This studio course offers students opportunities to explore problems in graphic design, visual communication, information and interaction design. By emphasizing critical inquiry as a primary means for learning we will be setting the groundwork for the graduate thesis. Through making, reflection, collaboration, and critique, we will explore the underlying principles synthesizing theory and practice as necessary partners in design. We will look at the designer's role in the process of revealing and making meaning-as a mediator, and as an author, producer, integrating content and form across projects as visual expressions of the individual thesis investigation.

Prerequisite: Registration in the Graduate Program in Design or permission from the Graduate Program Director.

Design Studio 2

GS/MDES 5109 3.0

This course expands upon the advanced concepts introduced in Design Studio 1 GS/MDES 5108 (3.0) and offers students the opportunity to pursue issues with greater depth with an emphasis on more independently motivated exploration. Students work with a faculty member, producing design work with full supporting process documentation. Projects may be individual and/or collaborative. Students work with a faculty member, producing design work with full supporting process documentation. Projects may be individual and/or collaborative. Students, faculty and invited guests may attend critiques and student presentations. Spaces are open to qualified students not registered in Design.Prerequisite: GS/MDES 5108 (3.0) or permission from the Graduate Program Director.

Design Issues

GS/MDES 5102 3.0

This course examines contextual issues for communication design. Topics include technological innovation, social change, cultural values and behaviour, and business models. The course employs lectures, presentations and extensive readings.

Design Research Methods

GS/MDES 5104 3.0

This course introduces students to a range of methodologies and strategies used to conduct research in graphic design. Students will be exposed to the relationship that exists between research as a practice-based activity and research as scholarly inquiry and will have the opportunity to engage in the research process through studio work, papers and presentations.

Design Colloquium

GS/MDES 5006 0.0

All MDes students in both years of study come together on a regularly scheduled basis to: review and present their work, plan and give presentations on special topics and listen to guest lectures.


Thesis

Thesis

GS/MDES 5002 18.0

The thesis studio project demonstrates mastery of design knowledge and process and is fully documented in a report, presenting the research, analysis, rationale, evaluation and other supporting material. Students pursue their thesis topic with a supervisory committee.


Elective Courses

Type in Motion

GS/MDES 5402 3.0

Explores the storytelling abilities of motion design for broadcast and cinema using the temporal and sequential aspects of typography, image and sound. Work is created using both analog and digital methods, and is deliberately focused on using experimental techniques and graphic means to make graphic communication.

Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4002 3.0

Interactive Systems Design

GS/MDES 5403 3.0

An advanced investigation into systems-intuitive and learned-that support human activities via interactive communication and distribution networks. An understanding of these communication/distribution methods working in reciprocal fashion from users to the computer and back, is presented.

Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4003 3.0.

Book Design

GS/MDES 5405 3.0 

Offers an advanced level practicum course that explores the structuring of bound, print-oriented, long text information documents. The history, anatomy, and structural dynamics of the book are examined and the contemporary private and commercial press/publishing process of the printed book is investigated.

Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4005 3.0.

Corporate Identity Design

GS/MDES 5407 3.0

Focuses on the design of a corporate identity system for an organization. The system will involve the design of graphic identifiers, typography, selected applications and supporting documents.

Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4007 3.0.

Information Design 4

GS/MDES 5408 3.0

Explores the affordances of both print and digital media for the application of information design principles and methodologies introduced and developed in earlier courses. This course will take an intra-disciplinary (print, interactivity, time based, environmental) approach to researching and developing a comprehensive presentation of a site to be determined by each section.

Integrated with undergraduate course YSDN 4008 3.0.

Design Management

GS/MDES 5412 3.0 

Examines the theories and practice of design management in contemporary organizations. Through case studies and presentations by visiting speakers, students learn to construct practical working models of management systems. Projects require students to demonstrate investigative, analytical, organizational and business-oriented communication skills.

Integrated with undergraduate course FA/YSDN 4102 3.0.

Performing Arts and the City

GS/MDES 5601 3.0

This course examines the impact of the performing arts on local communities. Same as Communication & Culture 6112 3.0.

Globalization of Communication and Culture

GS/MDES 5602 3.0

This course focuses on the role and significance of the rapid growth of multinational communication industries in shaping the modern world, with particular emphasis on the relationship between technology and the structures of power and control. Global communication systems, the global economy, and global crises are examined from a critical perspective.

Same as Communication & Culture 6303 3.0

Race and Gender in Digital Technology

GS/MDES 5603 3.0

In recent years corporate leaders, government officials, and media pundits have portrayed the western restructured socioeconomic near-future as a 'digital' one, forefronting the centrality of digital technology and the digitization of information to the social, economic, and political changes currently sweeping Canada, as well as the rest of the OECD. In this course, we will examine the ways in which race and gender manifest in the discourses, policy decisions and representations of digital technology in Canada.

Same as Film 5320H 3.0, Women's Studies 6903 3.0, Communication & Culture 6511 3.0.

Communication & the Socio-Technical: Perspectives, Debates, Applications

GS/MDES 5604 3.0

This reading and seminar course investigates some of the texts in the burgeoning study of society and technology that have inspired its major philosophical perspectives and frameworks of research. Sociocultural inquiry into new communication and information technologies frequently invokes one or another perspective grounded (selectively) in these texts; this course instead focuses on systematic comparison of the several distinct perspectives that characterize this area of study, with particular attention to their deployment in communication and culture research.

Same as Communication & Culture 6523 3.0.

Master of Design Handbook

The 2013-2014 Master of Design Handbook is now avaliable for download.

masters handbook

York University

Graduate Program in Design

York University
4700 Keele Street, 4008 TEL Building
Toronto, Ontario M3J IP3

Phone: 416.736.5885
Fax: 416.736.5450

View this address on Google Maps

 

David Gelb
Director, Graduate Program in Design
416.736.2100 ext. 22831
dgelb@yorku.ca

 

Andrea DiFlorio-Sgro
Graduate Program Assistant
416.736.2100 ext. 20353
mdes@yorku.ca

York Masters Faculty

David Cabianca AIGA

Associate Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor, York University
MArch Princeton University, USA
MFA Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA
MA Typeface Design, University of Reading, UK
 
Prior to joining the department in 2005, David Cabianca taught typography, history and theory at CalArts, OCAD and both architecture studio and theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba and the University of Michigan. At Michigan he was the 1997-98 William Muschenheim Fellow and received the Donna M. Salzer Award for excellence in teaching. His writing has appeared in Emigre, Design Issues, Dimensions, ACSA Proceedings and :output. His research and scholarship interests have to date focused on typeface design, contemporary graphic design, issues of representation and disciplinary conflict.
 
He is currently completing a text typeface, Cardea, scheduled for public release by the Emigre Font Foundry, and recently co-organized with Kenneth FitzGerald and Jiwon Lee, an AIGA Design Educator's Conference titled, "Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now" held spring 2013 at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA.


Sandra Gabriele

Associate Professor, York University
MDes University of Alberta, Canada
 
Sandra Gabriele has been practicing and teaching design for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, and holds a MDes in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta. In professional practice, she has designed communications materials for a variety of clients: government organizations, corporations, small businesses and non-profit organizations, in both print and digital media. Her research interests are in the area of typography (legibility and the digital representation of large text collections) and information design (specifically, patient safety initiatives involving graphic design).


David Gelb AIGA

Director, Graduate Program in Design
Assistant Professor, York University
MEd University of Toronto, Canada
 

David Gelb's research is focused on both design and education. His work explores the potential of technology-enhanced learning and interactive design education within a graphic design context. His publications include the chapter "Course Co-Creation vs. Course Management: Wikis as a Potential Alternative to Traditional Learning Management Systems", in Wired for Learning (2009). He continues to present his scholarly work on collaborative technologies and participatory learning at international design conferences and workshops.

His practice includes information architecture, user-centered research methods and mobile interface design. He has created a variety of professional and creative projects, including mobile applications, social media strategies and interactive installations. His current teaching includes a range of interactive design courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prior to joining York University, he taught at Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Jan Hadlaw

Associate Professor, York University
PhD Simon Fraser University, Canada
MA Concordia University, Canada
 

Jan Hadlaw's research interests focus on design and everyday life, especially graphic design as cultural communication, advertising and consumer culture, and the history and design of modern technology. She was awarded both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and an FCar Doctoral Research Grant in support of her historical study of the design and representation of the modern telephone. In 1999, she was a Smithsonian Fellow-in-Residence at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York and at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Prior to joining the department, she taught at the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and in the Department of Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is a graphic designer who has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Alcan, the National Film Board, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, La Museo del Bel Arte Mexico, as well as many independent galleries and artists across Canada.

Her current research includes a study of role played by design in the construction of Canadian national identity in the 1960s and 70s. She has also received a SSHRC Small Grant to undertake the pilot study for a research project on vernacular design and architecture in rural British Colombia.


Wojtek E. Janczak, IXDA

Associate Professor, York University
Chair, Department of Design, 2009 to 2012
Graduate Program Director, 2006 to 2008
MFA Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan, Poland
 
Professor Janczak's multidisciplinary professional practice, research and teaching include interactive media, exhibitions and signage systems design. Since the inception of the Internet he has specialized in developing and evaluating interaction design, information architecture, interface design and interactive information technologies in online education. His current research focuses on investigating the theories, practices and technologies involving intelligent physical environments, information spaces, interface design and time-based visual communication.


Michael Longford

Associate Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts
Associate Professor, York University
MFA Rutgers University, USA

Professor Longford creative work and research activities reside at the intersection of photography, graphic design and digital media. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator for the Mobile Digital Commons Network (MDCN), a national research network developing technology and media rich content for mobile devices. The MDCN is a joint research project launched by Concordia University and the Banff New Media Institute. He is a founding member of Hexagram: Institute for Research and Creation in Media Arts and Technologies and served for three years as the Director for the Advanced Digital Imaging and 3D Rapid Prototyping Group. He has exhibited and presented his work at national and international exhibitions and conferences.
http://www.michaellongford.com/


Angela Norwood, AIGA

Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor, York University
MGD North Carolina State University, USA

Angela Norwood is the 2006/07 recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean's Junior Faculty Teaching Award. Her current research interests include examining the role of design in Ladakh, India through social, cultural and cognitive aspects of wayfinding and signage systems. She is also interested in analyzing structural devices in advertising. A former professional designer in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC, she has over 15 years experience in practice. Her professional work has been recognized by several organizations and publications including the Type Directors Club, Graphis and Communication Arts Magazine. Her work is also included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts National Design Archive.


Paul Sych, R.G.D.

Assistant Professor, York University

Over the past two decades Paul Sych has had a curiosity for the relationship between art and music. This interplay began while studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University's prestigious jazz program in Toronto, Canada. In the fall of 1990, Paul launched his design firm, Faith, as a platform for continued experimentation. Paul has challenged both clients and peers alike to enter his world of unique and sometimes flamboyant use of type and imagery. In addition to being commissioned by legendary designers, art directors, educators and forums on typography internationally, his work has been widely published in North America, Europe and Asia. Paul continues to explore visual and typographic works in print, branding, public art, motion graphics and broadcast design.

Quoting the late design historian Philip B. Meggs, "Sych's pulled and twisted letterforms, densely layered and imploding into complex masses teeming with perpetual energy, lose their identity as alphabetic glyphs. His work raises the question: Where does typography cease to be typography and become, perhaps, art?"


Wendy Wong

Associate Professor, York University
PhD MA Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professor Wong published extensively on Chinese and Hong Kong visual culture and history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. She has published 4 books for Chinese readers funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Wong's articles appeared in Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Journal of Popular Culture, International Journal of Comic Art, Journal of Gender Studies, Mass Communication and Society, and Graphis Magazine.

She served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1999 to 2000, and was the 2000 Lubalin Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Union School of Art, where she curated an exhibit entitled "Chinese Graphic Design towards the International Sphere." She has taught both traditional creative print and digital interactive media full-time since 1997 in North America and Hong Kong.
http://www.yorku.ca/wsywong/homepage/personal.htm

 

Professors Emeriti

Don Newgren

York University
PhD Syracuse University, USA
MA University of Illinois, USA

Don Newgren's research interests focus upon user participation, either active or passive, during the inventory and planning part of the design process. These interests emerged from his development and implementation of unobtrusive data collection methodology for planning exhibitions while being the Director of Design at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His professional design work in graphic design and exhibition design for firms such as IBM, US Steel, Eastman Kodak, Union Carbide, Bell Labs, United Airlines, General Motors, and Shell Oil has won numerous awards in North America.

He has over 30 years of teaching experience, and has lectured in Japan, Europe, and the United States. In addition, he has 16 years of administrative experience at York University


David Scadding

York University
MVA University of Alberta, Canada

Professor Scadding is a professional Registered Graphic Designer who, by love & training, focuses his teaching & research in the field of typography - its history, development and contemporary practices. He has over 30 years of experience in print-oriented and new media visual communication design. His professional work has been exhibited and published in Canada, the United States, France, China, and England.

He has been an invited speaker, seminar/workshop leader at numerous national and international conferences on design, new media and typography. He has received over 30 awards for his professional work and for his teaching - the most recent being the Dean's Teaching Award from York University.


Andrew M. Tomcik

York University
MFA Design, Yale University, USA

Professor Tomcik has worked as a designer in Canada and the US. His work has been published or exhibited in Canada, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and China. As well he has participated in numerous conferences on design education and design history. He also received the Ontario Federation of University Faculty Associations award for excellence in teaching.

Adjunct Faculty

Angela Iarocci

Professor, Sheridan College
MArch University of Toronto, Canada

Angela Iarocci has a diverse design background that builds on her academic training in industrial design and architecture. Angela is a professional designer with experience in both the public and private sector, specializing in environmental graphic design, architecture and urban design. She has been involved in numerous large-scale projects developing signage and wayfinding programs, exhibits, web sites, monuments and interpretive installations.

As an instructor at Sheridan, her teaching and research interests stem from an inter-disciplinary approach that seeks to encompass both visual communications and the built environment with specific focus on design and mapping.

Admission Requirements

The next intake for the Graduate Program in Design is September 2014. The deadline for applications is January 29, 2014.

Eligibility

Eligibility for admission to the MDes Program requires the following:

  1. Four year undergraduate honours degree or equivalent* in visual communication/graphic design.
  2. At least a B (second class) standing
  3. Design Portfolio
    • The portfolio should include between ten and fifteen (10-15) pieces that can be uploaded as a PDF in the portfolio section of your online application (2.5 mb limit). If the portfolio is a URL, this address can uploaded in a PDF file.
    • Include the title, date of completion, medium/technical information, and a short description with each piece.
    • Alternatively, the portfolio can be submitted on a DVD or USB drive and directed to the Graduate Program Assistant in the Department of Design.
    • Please ensure that your portfolio can be viewed using a Mac computer.
  4. A statement of 500-750 words that addresses your interests and reasons for applying to a graduate program at this time and a description of the current direction of your design interests.
  5. Curriculum vitae.
  6. Three letters of recommendation submitted online through the Office of Admission's Application Services.
  7. Two copies of official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended (excluding York University).
  8. Demonstration of English proficiency for students whose first language is not English.
  9. Application fee.

The MDes program requires a four-year honours undergraduate degree or equivalent with at least a B standing in visual communication/graphic design. Applicants that do not meet the above educational requirements but show exceptional promise through their experience, portfolio, and written statement may be recommended for admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Program Curriculum

All students must complete a total of nine courses:

Six Core Courses (completed by the end of second term)

GS/MDES 5101 3.0   Design Theory & Criticism Fall Term
GS/MDES 5108 3.0   Design Studio 1 Fall Term
GS/MDES 5109 3.0   Design Studio 2 Winter Term
GS/MDES 5102 3.0   Design Issues Fall Term
GS/MDES 5104 3.0   Design Research Methods Winter Term
GS/MDES 5106 0.0   Design Colloquium Fall & Winter Terms

Two Elective Courses (normally completed by the end of the fourth term) In order to encourage the development of an individual program of study, each student must select two electives.

Elective requirements are satisfied by courses chosen from among the offerings of other graduate programs at York University (with permission from both programs), or from the list of MDes Elective Courses.

Only one elective may be chosen from: MDES 5402, MDES 5403, MDES 5405, MDES 5407, MDES 5408 or MDES 5412.

About the Master’s Program

York University Master of Design Program aims to produce the next generation of designers: alumni who continue to envision, lead and educate. We are currently seeking adventurous, inquisitive individuals with vision. Individuals who are passionate about what they do, who are open to experimentation and ready to take on the challenges that contribute to innovative and informed design. 


Workshop with visiting graphic designer Elliott Earls, 2012

The York University Master of Design (MDes) was the first graduate program in graphic design established in Ontario and is currently amongst a few select universities to offer the degree in Canada: A two-year, full time program for students looking to challenge the conventions of their graphic design experience.

Our program accepts talented, highly motivated applicants, interested in a challenging, experimental and intellectually rigorous approach to the practice of graphic design. The MDes program immerses students in an intense environment where they develop their individual and creative potential. The two-year experience begins with coursework and culminates in a thesis project that reflects each student's personal direction for design practice.

Our students engage in the discipline of graphic design both in and outside the studio through numerous special opportunities including conference participation, dialogues with accomplished national and international visitors and stimulating field trips.

Each year, the MDes program accepts a select group of students for the two-year program. The majority of these students enter with undergraduate degrees in graphic design but the program does accept a few talented students who have a background in visual work but only limited experience in graphic design.

The Master of Design degree requires five consecutive terms of full-time enrolment. Currently there is no provision for part-time study.

York University

Department of Design

York University
4700 Keele Street, 4008 TEL Building
Toronto, Ontario M3J IP3

Phone: 416.736.5885
Fax: 416.736.5450

ysdn@yorku.ca

 

Graduate Program in Design

York University
4700 Keele Street, 4008 TEL Building
Toronto, Ontario M3J IP3

Phone: 416.736.5885
Fax: 416.736.5450

 

Andrea DiFlorio-Sgro, Graduate Program Assistant
416.736.2100 ext. 20353
mdes@yorku.ca


View this address on Google Maps

Sheridan College

School of Animation, Arts and Design

Sheridan College
1430 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, Ontario L6H 2L1

Phone: 905.845.9430 ext. 2577
Fax: 905.815.4043
 

View this address on Google Maps

Professional Certificate in Digital Design

Students may elect to complete concurrent with the 120 credit Specialized Honours BDes Degree, a Professional Certificate in Digital Design. The Professional Certificate in Digital Design is intended to recognize a unique grouping of courses within this Joint Program that provide skills in a digitally based design. 

Students must successfully complete 36 credits from the approved list of courses as follows:
• 6 credits FA/FACS 2930 6.0 (required course);
• 9 credits in YSDN at any level;
• 18 credits in YSDN at the 3000-4000 level; and
• 3 credits of electives.

List of Approved Courses

Who can take it?

This certificate is only open to currently registered Design students.

How to apply

Application is made to this program at the end of your first year in the York/Sheridan Design program. Students must declare their intention to pursue the Professional Certificate in Digital Design prior to the completion of 10 credits that are applicable to the certificate.

• Students must submit an application with evidence of satisfactory academic standing.
• Applications will be reviewed by a faculty advisor.
• No more than six credits from outside York University will be accepted as transfer credits for this certificate.
• Students must obtain a 5.0 (C+) overall GPA in the 36 required credits.

Certificates will be granted concurrent with the completion of the student’s BDes Honours degree. When you are ready to graduate, in addition to applying to graduate, you will need to submit an application for the awarding of a certificate to Student & Academic Services, Faculty of Fine Arts.

For more information contact the Department of Design.

Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries

For general information check Student Financial Services

Students currently enrolled may be eligible for various scholarships, awards and busaries. To apply for these scholarships and awards, there is one application - Student Financial Profile (SFP).

Current Programs

Scholarship and Awards Program

Only profiles and applications completed before deadline will be assessed and considered.

Note: If you filled out a SFP in a previous session or in the spring , you must fill it out again for the fall/winter in order to be considered for these in-course awards.Student Access Guarantee (SAG) Bursary Program

To receive this Bursary you have to be a YSDN Ontario resident who has been assessed and received OSAP funding. You must submit your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) form by March 7, 2011 to Student Financial Services at York. You will receive your COE when you pickup your OSAP documentation at Sheridan.

If you qualify for one of these awards, you will receive an e-mail and follow-up letter letting you know the name of the scholarship, award or bursary you have received and the value of the award.

Student Access Guarantee (SAG) Bursary Program

York/Sheridan Needs Bursary

To receive this Bursary you have to be a YSDN Ontario resident who has been assessed and received OSAP funding. You must submit your Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) form by deadline to Student Financial Services at York. You will receive your COE when you pickup your OSAP documentation at Sheridan.

Scholarships, Awards & Bursaries Awarded Automatically Based on Academic Performance

If you qualify for one of these awards, you will receive an e-mail and follow-up letter letting you know the name of the scholarship, award or bursary you have received and the value of the award.

Faculty of Fine Arts and Department of Design Scholarships and Awards

Pan-Faculty Awards and Awards Open to Design Department Students

Please notice that for almost all of these awards you have to apply by completing the Student Financial Profile (SFP).

Deadline: Student Financial Profiles and applications must be completed by Monday, October 18, 2010. Only profiles and applications completed before October 18th will be assessed and considered.

Students should apply for awards at the same time that they are completing their Student Financial Profile. This process ensures that all students applying for awards complete the Profile as most awards require that this be done. While they are in that site they will have the option to click on awards and see the Fine Arts Awards as well as the York awards.

Also check Scholarships Canada for additional options.

Events and Workshops

Sheridan Scholarships and Awards

The CIBC OSOTF II Bursary will be made available in the Winter 2011 term.

Degree Requirements

All Design students will complete 120 credits as follows:

  • 18 credits - General Education
  • 12 credits - Fine Arts Electives (non-YSDN)
  • 12 credits - Free electives (can be YSDN)
  • 24 credits - Design Studies
  • 54 credits - Design Practicum

Students interested in making a appointment with the faculty for course advising can send an email to ysdn@yorku.ca. Before doing this however first try downloading the planning worksheet.

First Year Bachelor of Design

First year students must enrol in the following:

  • Visual Language
  • Design & Image
  • Typography 1
  • Interactivity Design 1
  • Critical Issues in Design

Second Year Bachelor of Design

Second year students must enrol in the following:

  • Typography 2
  • Typography 3
  • Communication Design 1
  • Information Design 1
  • Interactivity Design 2
  • History of Design
  • Research in Design
  • plus one of:
  • History of Media in Graphic Design
  • Graphic Design in Canada
  • History and Development of Typography
  • Evolution of Information Design

Third Year Bachelor of Design

Third year students must enrol in the following

  • Design Internship
  • And at least ONE of the following Design Studies courses:
  • Design for Public Awareness
  • Self, Society & Design
  • Image & Influence

Fourth Year Bachelor of Design

Graduating students must enrol in the following:

  • Design Workshop
  • Professional Aspects of Design
  • And at least ONE of the following Design Studies courses:
  • Design for Public Awareness
  • Self, Society & Design
  • Image & Influence
  • Contemporary Problems in Design
  • Design Management

Students will then choose from a range of practicum courses.

NON-YSDN Courses

Students will then choose from a range of practicum courses.

To graduate all students must take:

  • 6 credit Humanities
  • 6 credit Social Science
  • 6 credit Natural Science
  • 12 Credits in Fine Arts Electives, non YSDN (Design) courses.

All Design students pay a flat rate tuition which entitles them to 36 credits per year from Fall-Summer. Materials and book fees are extra.

Course Fees

For students not in the B.Des program, compulsory and voluntary supplementary fees apply. Available to non-majors by permission of the Department of Design. Students should also have basic computer literacy skills as defined by the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Bachelor of Design Handbook

The 2014-2015 Bachelor of Design Handbook is now available for download.

Portfolio FAQs - Local

Applicants living within 400km distance of York University

All domestic and international applicants living within 400km who submit the Supplementary Evaluation and pay the evaluation fee will be invited to book a portfolio interview.

Your portfolio should contain samples of your original work that demonstrate a wide range of ideas and competency with different media and tools. In addition to the types of work listed below, a sketchbook or concept/idea book is required. At least three pieces in your portfolio should include an example of word(s) and image(s) that communicate a message. Knowledge of computer software is an asset but not required. Typically, an applicant's portfolio contains their best work from at least 3 of the following areas: Areas 1 to 5 are highly recommended for inclusion in the portfolio.

  1. Two-dimensional design work, e.g. designs for posters, logos, letterheads, book/magazine covers and interior page spreads, CD/DVD inserts.
  2. Typography, e.g. typeface designs, expressive lettering.
  3. Interactive media, e.g. web site design and/or other interactive work.
  4. Motion graphics, e.g. time-based video and/or animation.
  5. Sketchbook or concept/idea book, e.g. studies and examples of your media/tools experiments, process explorations.
  6. Drawing & Illustration, e.g. direct observational, figure drawing, still life in pen & ink, charcoal, pastel; coloured pencil, marker pen and/or collage illustrations.
  7. Photography, e.g. B & W prints, colour prints, hand-tinted prints, digitally manipulated.
  8. Painting, e.g. representative and/or non-representative in oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache.
  9. 3D Design/Sculpture, e.g. scale models from plan drawings, craft and fiber experiments.

The sketchbook or concept/idea book is a very important component in your portfolio. It should contain a variety of studies and examples of your media/tools experiments and demonstrate an exploration of visual and annotated ideas, comments and critiques. It should represent the ongoing variety of the things that interest you and the development of your thoughts and ideas.
Generally a maximum of 10 – 12 pieces that show your best strengths. Two of these pieces should be supported by your design process documentation, e.g. sketchbook work that displays research, sketches and alternative ideas that you developed and/or modified to get to the final solution.
Typically, the applicant selects their pieces to show in their portfolio from school assigned projects, personal interest projects (e.g. a book cover you designed on your own for your favourite novel), ideas (sketchbook, concept/idea book, etc.), development/variations of ideas (design process documentation), extra curricular art/design classes and professional work where appropriate.
During your portfolio review, the faculty will be looking for the following:
  1. The breadth and quality of investigation in your work (as demonstrated in the selected pieces shown, your idea/concept books, and your design process documentation),
  2. Evidence of the various creative thinking processes employed in your work,
  3. Demonstrated visual abilities in your work (typography, colour, composition, perspective, drawing),
  4. Technical skill in a diverse range of media and tools used,
  5. Communication skills as demonstrated by your ability to discuss your work and thought processes at the interview, and
  6. Care in the selection and presentation of your work.

Typically, pieces are brought in a multi-page portfolio binder not to exceed 16" x 20". Large or cumbersome pieces should be photographed and shown as a print with an indication of size/scale. Computer-based work will be viewed only if you bring your personal laptop computer with the exception of websites that can be viewed on our Apple computers.
Your portfolio score is based upon a 100 point system as follows:
  1. Quality of the work: 50 points,
  2. Ability to embrace process: 20 points,
  3. Ability to articulate the work: 20 points,
  4. Presentation: 10 points.

Show only work which reflects your strengths – both creative and technical. Resolve all issues of technology and ease of presentation before coming to the interview.
  1. Do not include framed pieces in your portfolio – photograph the work.
  2. Do not bring 3D design work to the interview – photograph the work from several different points of view if it is to be included in your portfolio.
  3. Do not bring oversized work to the interview – photograph the work.
  4. Do not include work older than 2 or 3 years – current work best demonstrates your creative and skill level.
  5. Present work flat rather than rolled, mounted or matted.

Application FAQ’s

Application to the Program is a two-part process. First, you formally apply through either OUAC (York University) or through OCAS (Sheridan College) process.

Remember, you only need to apply through one or the other, but not both.

The second part of the process is the submission of the Supplementary Evaluation.

Once you have applied though OUAC or OCAS you will be sent an email from the Institution you applied to with the instructions for completing and submitting the Supplementary Evaluation online. (For a more detailed explanation please check the Application Process.)

Extremely important! Your responses to the Supplementary Evaluation provide us with important information about yourself that we will use to help evaluate your application.

Yes, for applicants living within 400km of York University, you will not be invited for a portfolio interview until the evaluation payment has been received. York applicants must make payment online by credit card (VISA, MC or AMEX). Sheridan applicants must pay with either a CERTIFIED CHEQUE or MONEY ORDER made payable to Sheridan College. Payment is made to the institution you submitted your application to.



For applicants living a distance greater than 400km, your online application will not be reviewed until the evaluation payment has been received.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma OSSD which includes six 4U or 4M courses, including ENG4U, and all Faculty or program specific prerequisites. Francophone applicants may present FRA4U, FEF4U or FIF4U. We accept a combination of U and M courses. We may offer you early conditional admission if you have strong Grade 11 finals and/or interim Grade 12 results.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of both York University and Sheridan College in order to participate in the selection process for final admission. The Joint York/Sheridan Executive Committee may consider applicants not meeting the requirements of both institutions on an individual basis.

The academic requirements for such applicants are the same, however, these applicants are assigned a different applicant category and apply by following the instructions on the York or Sheridan admission website depending on the institution you submit your application.

Yes, a few. Historically we can accept a total of only 5 – 6 students each year into year two. This low number is due to our high retention rate of continuing students – near 90%.

No, never! Applicants must apply to only one institution for the YSDN Program, not both.

All domestic and international applicants living within 400km of York University who submit the Supplementary Evaluation and pay the evaluation fee will be invited to book a portfolio interview.

Domestic and international applicants living a distance greater than 400km, are asked to complete the Supplementary Evaluation and upload images of representative work to DecisionDesk, an online portfolio site.

Grades are very important and comprise 50% of our final decision as to whether we accept an applicant (the in-person portfolio interview or online portfolio score comprises the remaining 50%).

Historically, we have given preference to students with a high school average of 80% or better depending on the quality of the applicant pool.

We are looking for the top students who are both bright and creative. Historically, we interview about 650 applicants and accept 120 students for the new incoming class, plus about 5 students added to second year studies.

2014-15 YSDN Application Process

Applicants living within 400km of York University

Stage One

Domestic and international applicants living within 400km of York University must apply to the YSDN Program through either York University or Sheridan College, but not both. To apply through York University, use the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC), or to apply through Sheridan College, use the Ontario College Application Website (OCAS). If you are applying to York University only and are not a current high school student, you can also apply directly through the online York University Application website.

Stage Two

  1. Once you have submitted an application through OUAC, all applicants to the YSDN program at York will be invited by email to complete an online Supplementary Evaluation. Upon receipt of the email, go to the link provided, complete and submit the Supplementary Evaluation.
  2. A list of questions you will be asked during the online Supplementary Evaluation process can be found here. You may find it useful to print the questions and prepare your responses in advance.An Applicant Profile and Questionnaire can only be filled in online.
  3. In order to complete your Supplementary Evaluation, you will be asked to pay an evaluation fee in Canadian funds by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX).
  4. Please note that the Supplementary Evaluation can only be filled in online.
  5. Once your payment has been approved online, you will automatically be redirected to a portfolio interview booking system. This system allows you to book your portfolio interview date. Please be sure to provide a current email address.
  6. A list of Domestic Application Portfolio frequently asked questions (FAQs) for portfolio interviewees can be found here

Note: The deadline for application through York is February 5, 2014.

If you have any questions regarding the York application process please contact ysdn@yorku.ca


Applicants living a distance greater than 400km from York University

Stage One

Domestic and international applicants living a distance greater than 400km from York University will not be required to attend a portfolio interview but instead, will be asked to upload a portfolio of representative work to an online application site. Applicants must apply to the YSDN Program through either York University or Sheridan College, but not both. To apply through York University, use the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) or to apply through Sheridan College, use the Ontario College Application Website (OCAS). If you are applying to York University only and are not a current high school student, you can also apply directly rhough the online York University Application website.

Stage Two

If you are applying to York follow the directions below:

  1. Once you have submitted an application to York University via OUAC, all applicants living a distance greater than 300km from York University will be invited by email to complete an online Supplementary Evaluation and upload their portfolio of work. Upon receipt of the email, go to the link provided, complete and submit the Supplementary Application with your portfolio images. You can start the online process and save your responses to return to the Supplementary Evaluation as many times as you need. Be sure to write down your login name and password in order to do so.
  2. A list of questions you will be asked during the online Supplementary Evaluation process can be found here. You may find it useful to print the questions and prepare your responses in advance.
  3. In order to complete your Supplementary Evaluation you will be asked to pay an evaluation fee in Canadian funds by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX).
  4. Please note that the Supplementary Evaluation can only be filled in online.
  5. A list of frequently asked question (FAQs) for online portfolio applicants can be found here
  • Note: The deadline for application through York is February 5, 2014.
  • If you have any questions regarding the York application process please contact ysdn@yorku.ca.

Internal York Transfer Students

Internal York University students wanting to transfer to the YSDN Program should contact the department for application information by email to ysdn@yorku.ca. The deadline to submit the Applicant Profile and Questionnaire is February 5, 2014. Internal York applicants need not apply through OUAC, however, you are required to submit a Program Change Request between January 1 and March 1.

Final Selection

Offers of admission to the York/Sheridan Program in Design are made to the top 120 applicants based on their total score in the following two areas:

  • Portfolio interview or online portfolio 0 - 100 points
  • Academic average 0 - 100 points

York/Sheridan Program in Design

This is the first and largest program in Ontario that offers the Bachelor of Design Honours degree, a four-year University degree delivered jointly by two leading institutions for design education in Canada: York University's Department of Design and Sheridan College.

For well over a decade, the program has thrived in the context of a rich multi-disciplined experience within the university environment. We are recognized throughout North America for maintaining academic and professional standards of excellence. Our students demonstrate their talents and dedication by consistently receiving recognition in regional, national and international competitions, and with private and government agencies in Canada, USA and Europe. Our alumni reflect the excellence of the program through their placements into top design firms and agencies worldwide, national and international graduate study programs and their high rate of entrepreneurship. Admission to our program is highly competitive with around 1000 applicants each year for 120 first-year positions. However our retention rate is consistently the highest within the Faculty of Fine Arts at York at around 90%. Incoming student GPAs are consistently in the 80s.

 

This program is presented in the context of a rich multi-disciplined experience within the university environment. Courses in design are taken equally on both the Sheridan and York campuses (a GO express bus is available between the two campuses). All liberal arts courses, whether humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences are taken at York University.

Officially, we are entering the12th year of the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design. The student’s talent and dedication reflects itself at every opportunity. Students have received much recognition in regional, national and international competitions, and with private and government agencies in Canada, the USA and Europe.

Our applicant pool remains strong (1800 applications from around the world for 120 positions in first year) with incoming GPA averages in the mid 80s. Retention is the highest in the university, in the mid 90s. Many students have received multiple offers to the leading graduate programs throughout the world in the fields of Design, Architecture, Business, Law, Environmental Studies and Education.

Faculty

Our faculty members maintain international reputations through design practice, research initiatives and participation in academic and professional conferences and publications. All are active members of affiliated professional organizations and scholarly societies.

Classes

The heart of our success is our belief in the value of intimate, student-centered learning environments. All Joint Program studio courses have significantly smaller enrolments than at other institutions. Students take Design courses equally on both the Sheridan and York campuses. All liberal arts courses, whether humanities, social sciences, or natural sciences are taken at York University.

Facilities

York and Sheridan offer the most technology-enriched design education facilities in Canada. Our computer studios are state-of-the-art for design education and supported by full-time technician/demonstrators. Print production and fabrication equipment support students' pure and applied research and practice outputs.

Fellow Students

York/Sheridan students are fully affiliated with both institutions and share in common the unique structure and culture of our program. The Design Students Association (DSA) welcomes participation from all Design majors. Through student-led academic initiatives and social events, the DSA actively supports students and provides an important social network.

Financial Aid

Every student has full access to all York University Scholarships, Awards and Busaries. Additional awards may be available to YSDN students through Sheridan College.

Students may also qualify for financial support through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Choose “Sheridan College” when prompted for the name of your institution, as OSAP applications for the York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design are processed only through Sheridan’s Financial Aid Office, even though courses are at York. The same applies for the 30% Ontario Tuition Grant.

Mission Statement

The York University/Sheridan College Joint Program in Design (BDes Honours) emphasizes creative, critical and strategic thinking, by synthesizing practice, theory and history to educate the design leaders of tomorrow. We serve a national constituency by offering a comprehensive university experience that addresses the social, cognitive, and technological implications of design practice while preparing our students for work in the profession and/or graduate study.

This program combines the faculty and resources of two leading institutions who are committed to excellence in teaching and to the development of the design discipline by engaging in pure and applied research. Our curriculum focuses upon the practicum areas of visual communication, information design, and interactive multimedia, supported by design studies. Students learn to address contemporary issues through effective design solutions by using relevant methodologies and visual principles of form, imagery, and typography.

Located in Toronto, the third largest center for design in North America, this four-year specialized honours degree program strives to assume a leadership role in design education and maintains strong links with the design profession, international research organizations, the corporate sector, and the professional associations.