SELECTED STUDENT WORK
1. Wide shots of hallway displays from interior courtyard
Directions to different display cases
2. The Public Transport System (Toronto Transit Commission or TTC) vs the Private Bike Lanes
Interactive Screen activated by viewers. This installation depicted mixed video footage that the students documented of their modes of transportation i.e. Public Transport versus those riding their bikes, roller blades or longboards. When a viewer entered their installation space, s/he would trigger and set off their web cam which would intermix the viewer’s movements, so the person would ‘virtually’ and experientially enter the different modes of transportation the students had documented.
4. Dundas Square (Canada’s Time Square) vs Chinatown
Dundas Square simulated by Lego blocks and mirrors reflecting not only the viewer, but the logos of retail stores & items for sale, in a a simulated ‘fun house of mirrors’
Chinatown. The typographic wording and photo display through its elaborate threading maps Chinese Nationals who originally moved into a Toronto neighborhood to build their own community.
5. Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) vs Queen West (independent galleries)
Timeline of Artist’s Fictional Life
Queen West: Simulation of Same ‘Dreamcatcher’ Displayed by a Small, Privately-owned Gallery
Course Description: “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.” – Department of Design website –
In this class we explored the historical context of design, which moved from the periphery as a decorative endeavor at the turn of the 20th century, to a central role mid-century from the 1950s to the 1990s. We then traced how the enterprise of design had returned to its decorative role, by manifestation of the international branding of corporations and its products for global consumption. To ground the latter findings, the class studied Habermas’ notion of the Public and Private Spheres and its contemporary applications and manifestations. After this study, we explored the current role vernacular design played in the Arab Spring and Occupy movements. Then the class conducted field research in various neighborhoods of Toronto which best exemplified the corporate takeover of the Public Sphere, and compared these with the urban spaces that were more reflective of the organic shaping of the Private Spheres by neighborhood communities.
For their final project, six groups of six students each, they created and curated exhibitions of their findings in the Department of Design’s 10 display cases.