The Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) is a multidisciplinary research institute based out of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. It is dedicated to exploring the complex relationships between information, technology and society, with the aim of advancing social justice through human-centered design.
The KMDI was first founded in 1996 by Ron Baecker and Gale Moore as a virtual institute, and one of the first to promote a multidisciplinary approach to human-centred design. Over the years, it has benefitted from the contributions and insights of faculty, students, and alumni from 11 faculties and 25 departments at the University of Toronto. In 2009 the KMDI joined the Faculty of Information, and in 2018 it merged with the Semaphore Research Cluster, providing administrative, technical and knowledge mobilization support to the Cluster’s multiple research Labs. The KMDI offers a Collaborative Specialization in Knowledge Media Design, which University of Toronto graduate students can pursue in addition to their regular departmental degree program.
Today, the KMDI’s research portfolio includes action research projects, cross-sector collaborations, and community outreach initiatives. Our affiliated Labs and projects explore the various social, cultural, ethical, and political implications of technological artifacts and systems, from 3D printers and game consoles, to social media platforms and environmental data infrastructures.