So you are faced with the hundreds of programs offered by universities, but are not entirely sure what you want to do besides something related to design.  Explore Design is a chance for you to ...
read more »

What goes on at ED?

Explore Design will have seminars, workshops, guest speakers and exhibits by educational institutions, associations and professional groups over the course of two more »


The tickets include access to all of the exhibits, seminars and keynote speakers. Online registration will begin in August.


Make sure you register to find out about the latest ED news and to hear about awesome contests and promotions.


Did you come to the show, but still can’t enough of the world of design? Didn’t make it to the show and want to see what you missed? Either way the ED podcast has a little something for all you designophiles.

Podcast #1 now available!

Art and Design

ValentinoJulia in Vintage ValentinoValentino revealed his swansong couture collection in Paris this past week.  Haute couture week in Paris is often associated with outlandish and wild creations - and is perhaps the finest line between art and fashion.  There is a constantly shifting boundary between art and design that both artist and designers deal with on a daily basis.  This is not to say that they are the same thing, they are in fact fairly distinct from each other, but do have a tremendous influence on each other.  Design doesn’t happen in a vaccuum and designers are constantly on the hunt for something new.  Valentino, although he has signatue pieces, is constanly recreating them and adding something new.  This is part of the reason he has survived the industry for so long.  Even if you are not interested in fashion design, it can still be an inspiration to the field of design that you do work in.  Looking at the colours, lines and shapes on the runway can be inspiring to other areas of design.  After all it never hurts to think outside the box.

ED Podcast - Episode #3

HGTV’s Designer Guys

Matt, Allen and Anwar talk about life after graduation, starting their own studio and design on television.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more podcasts of our wonderful keynote speakers . . .

Listen now:

Or, right-click to download the mp3 file here:

Subscribe to our feed using your preferred application:

Explore Design on Youtube

If audio isn’t good enough for you then check out the Explore Design Youtube channel. akaSubliminal is the first of the speakers to debut. He has a little bit of something for everyone.

Check him out:

Part 1:
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

ED Podcast - Episode #2

aka Subliminal

Sound might not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to design, but that is what this UofT architecture grad has turned his design talents to.  If you missed his keynote at Explore Design this is your chance to check him out . . . or listen again.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for more podcasts of our wonderful keynote speakers . . .

Listen now:

Or, right-click to download the mp3 file here:

Subscribe to our feed using your preferred application:

ED Podcast – Episode 1

Welcome to the ED Podcast. If you love design than you are going love this. First up is an interview with Ron Wakkary of Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Art _ Technology. Tune in and find out about the world of interaction design . . .

Subscribe to our feed using your preferred application:

Or, grab the Episode 1 mp3 file here:

Did you visit ED?

What was cool about ED?  I think it was all pretty cool, but would love to hear from my fellow ED attendees.  Email (  or comment and let me know what you thought.  Which booth was the best, which seminar the most informative and fun?  Send me pictures if you have them.  If you have any questions  - shoot . . . .

(Roberta is much better rested after the weekend and looking forward to hearing from you all)

Welcome to Design School (part 2 of 5)

So you are on your way to design school and about to find out just how different post secondary education is. So I have a few words of advice for you . . . as a former teacher of design students.


0neProfessors like it when you ask questions. This doesn’t mean that lectures are the perfect time to have a private conversation with your prof. More often than not your prof will appreciate your questions as it lets them know what is being understood or not understood. It also sets you apart from the class. It is never bad if a professor knows your name. General question rules - one question per lecture if, provided that the prof provides an option for it. Don’t just interrupt. In a seminar, lab or tutorial I suggest that you up the number to 3 or 4. If everyone in the room starts to role their eyes when you raise your hand, take a little question break.


Don’t ever tell any of your profs that you couldn’t finish a project because you had other more important assignments due, for classes that you actually like. All teachers know that there are circumstances that will stop you from getting a project in on time. Be proactive - tell one of your profs that you have X amount of projects due and can you have a day extension. This will work better than “I just didn’t get to it”. Chances are that one prof will have some sympathy for you and give you an extra day or two.

threeSome are going to be easy markers (new) and some are going to be tough (have heard all the stories before). No matter which one you get, understand that the grade you receive was given for a reason. You should understand why and if you don’t than you need to book an appointment to talk to you TA or Prof about the grade. Don’t be confrontational. Just go it with an open mind, and listen and apply on the next project. If you are really sure that they were not fair you talk to the prof or the dean. There is a procedure for this, make sure you know what that is. Just in general know what your rights are, you are paying good money for the education.

Profs are no mystery, they are human just like everyone else. Be nice and polite and try to do your readings at least 75% of the time. Ohh - and spellcheck and for the love of all that is holy please read your papers through for grammar.

Next Week: Welcome to Design School (part 3 of 5) Creative Block

Welcome to Design School (part 1 of 5)

So you are on your way to design school and about to find out just how different post secondary education is. So I have a few words of advice for you . . . as a former teacher of design students.


0neMac. Get one. I don’t say this because I love the heck out of my mac, but rather because they are the industry standard. Nothing is worse then a pc walking into a room full of macs. Either way you are going to have to learn how to use one eventually, so you might as well bite the bullet now. You will learn to love it. Trust me. (also do what you have to do to make sure that it is fully loaded with the programs you will need)

twoDigital Camera. There will come a time when you will need a digital camera, either to document your work, or to do your school projects. Your camera phone will not do, and having your own camera will save you lab rental fees for equipment. Even if it is not the fanciest of all the cameras you will at some point be very glad that you have one. (also get a tripod with it. and perhaps a bag for the tripod)

threeTravel mug. You are going to need coffee. I know you may not like the idea, but you are going to have late nights and days without sleep. Caffine will help you. But, you should try to be kind to the environment. This and if you are working in labs a lot they won’t let you bring the coffee close to the computers. So if it is in a travel mug and left at the front while you are working there is a great chance it will be warm when you come back to it.

fourCool Clothes. I know, I know . . . you already have cool clothes, but it is now time to step up your game. Now I can’t really suggest particular items, but I have always found that sweat pants with words across the butt popular (especially with matching hoodie and funky slippers). Boys - well I would avoid the above, but there are plenty of other options.

fiveEndless supply of pencils, and a sketch book. It is often important to start out by storyboarding ideas, and the aforementioned is needed for this. Get as many as you can. In different sizes and with different tips. If you don’t think that you can get a wide variety of pencils, take a trip to your local arts store and you will be amazed.

Next Week: Welcome to Design School (part 2 of 5) Professors

Movie Monsters Don’t Make Themselves Slimey

I have been watching a lot of films lately since the Toronto International Film Festival is in full force.  Although I love many films in the festival my favourite program is the Midnight Madness films.  2007 is the 20th anniversary of the program, and over the years (as programmer Colin Geddes says) we have seen some really sick and disgusting stuff.  What does all this have to do with design you may ask?  Well horror films tend to have a lot of special effects and are a great way to discuss motion graphics.


Now, the first time someone said motion graphics I was a little confused.  But a few wikipedia pages later I think I have it.  It comes in two forms a) the title sequences for films and b) the digital special effects for films.  The title sequence is our introduction into a movie – and although we may not think about it – it really sets the mood for the movie. Casino Royale I can still remember watching the titles for Seven – they were shaking and sketchy.   Have a look on YouTube hereWhen it comes to title sequences though you just can’t beat James Bond.  There is a constant evolution of one image to another, and the transitions are slick and fun.  Take a look at the opening of Casino Royale.  It sets the scene for the movie with its quirky retro feel and shadowy guns moving across the screen.


So what else have I got for you?  How about all those gapping wounds that we are used to seeing.  Most monsters now are half real and half motion graphics.  This means that often our favourite actors are running away from a creature that won’t be added until long after shooting finishes.  I for one love the things that they have done with monsters!  How can we fault a area of design that brings us Freddy Krugger and Gollum?  By using programs like Cinema 4D or 3D studio Max motion graphics designers are able to bring a directors dreams or nightmares to life on the screne.

Freddy Kruger   



(Roberta has a striking resemblance to one of the above photos, but won’t say which one.  She has been locked in movie theatre all week and has lost any sense of reality.)


Fashion Can Be Friendly

Toronto Fashion WeekI am the kind of girl who feels way more comfortable around my computer than around fashionable clothing.  I like to think of myself as geek chic, if you know what I mean.  But my love for html aside, there is still a warm place in my heart for cool shoes, funky jackets and vegan bags.  I like to think that I, at the very least, fit in with the crowd.  Many of my friends are way more fashion friendly than I, and they are in many ways an inspiration to my fashion sense. One such friend of mine actually has a job where she has been asked to put a dress code book together – to make sure that the staff is both suitably and fashionably dressed.  One day was dedicated just to shoes.  Jealous?  Let’s just say that a copy of that book is soon to be sitting next to my wardrobe.

Rosa CostanzoFashion is very simple in many ways, it is not always the most ornate clothing that gets the most praise.  Like any other art form clothing is a form of expression, and what we wear speaks volumes about our personality.  We rely on fashion designers to provide us with the language to visually communicate with the world around us.  In Canada we do have a good fashion design industry, but it is very different from the world of New York and Milan.  Ultimately that is something that only Canadian’s can change by supporting Canadian designers.  Of course that is just my opinion – if you want the opinion of someone who knows about fashion than you can check out Joeffer Caoc and Rosa Costanzo in the Fashion Design Dialogue at Explore Design.

Joeffer Caoc(Roberta is feeling a little retro and wearing a 70’s style pink blouse with embroidering, classic cut medium blue faded jeans and the cutest wedge heal jean sneakers with embroidered flowers and sequins.  Not my best outfit, but it is a Monday)