Ontario College of Art and Design University is said to be the largest and most comprehensive university for design, art, and media in all of Canada. It was founded in 1876 and is dedicated to education, practice, and research of art and design and is devoted to invention and knowledge spread across a wide range of disciplines. The university consistently builds upon its traditional strengths that are based on studio work, while adding novel approaches to learning that promote cross-discipline practices, and collaborate and integrate new emerging technologies. We are in the age of information, and those who attend OCAD U become a unique activator for the next advancements of culture, quality of life, and technology for all of Canada.
The programs and research bring together media and digital design, wellness and health, indigenous cultures, as well as cultural diversity. Students will be engaging in learning that is not only studio based, but technical as well, coupled with critical, scientific, theoretical, and historical methods and knowledge. The location of OCAD U is right in the heart of the nation's capital for art, design, new media, and business—at the center of Toronto, adjacent to the wonderfully historic Grange Park and Art Gallery of Ontario. The growing south campus is just 5 minutes away within the city's booming Arts and Entertainment district. Said to be Canada's university of the imagination, OCAD U strives to produce the best and the brightest minds that will propel society forward with all of the resources at hand.
The MDES program offers graduate students an unparalleled opportunity to become worldwide leaders in this rising field of inclusive design within information and communication technologies and practices. Inclusive Design will advance accessibility and consider the full range of diverse humans including language, ability, gender, culture, and age—it recognizes that not all humans have the same ability. Students will begin to think differently and work to break through barriers in society to address the demand for access as well as inclusion. Students will explore equity and access problems through the scope of design thinking, helped by the application of inclusive design. Graduates can expect to advance to doctoral programs or careers in the healthcare sector, arts and culture, public sector of policy and administration, and design for built environments.
When classes are taken full time, students can expect to graduate in 2 years. This will include 2 weeks of intensive on campus work in the first and second year in the summer terms, highly interactive seminar programs delivered online, a major research project delivered in the second year, a culminating graduate symposium and festival, and a colloquium session that is open to the public. Throughout the program, classes are delivered online and face to face, allowing students to learn on campus or remotely. Students are also able to fulfil research positions and assistantships while they are completing the program, for projects that are both publicly funded and privately funded. All class materials and courses are accessible, while assistance is available for those who require it.
This program is made to combine creative approaches with new technologies plus critical thinking in order to prototype possibilities for the future. Students will have many assignments that are based on working in teams, as the majority of courses will involve industry. When courses are taken full time, students can expect to graduate in 4 years. The first year focuses on all of the essential foundation courses that will set the context for all of the subsequent courses. The 2nd and 3rd year will entail the students working in teams within studios with themes. The final and 4th year will revolve around the student's thesis—which can be done as a group or individually.
Digital jobs are growing fast but they are extremely competitive. This program was built on the foundation of creating the best possible scenarios for students to develop the most applicable skills and stand out among the digital workforce. As the program was created, it brought together some of the best academics, start-ups, and corporations to figure out what the program should look like. The program provides students with the ability to explore the technologies and ideas that are shaping what careers look like now and what they will look like in the future. Students will gain the creative abilities that will propel their career by acquiring experience working with new digital technologies alongside students and staff that have the same type of interest and goals for now and for the future—for research and in practice.