KMDI Year in Review


KMDI has had a busy year, as usual! Here’s a recap of what happened in the 2016-2017 academic year.


Fall 2016 poster session

The 7th bi-annual KMDI poster session took place on Dec. 12th in Hart House. Poster sessions began in Dec. 2013 so that Knowledge Media Design  students could showcase user design solutions based on the techniques cultivated in their KMD classes. The winners were “Opening Doors to Data: Using Design Thinking to Improve Data Literacy” from KMD 2002 and “Cycle Toronto – A Knowledge Media Design Solution for Toronto Cyclists” from KMD 1001.


Fall 2016 poster session celebration and photo gallery

Spring 2017 Poster Sessions

The 8th bi-annual poster session was held on April 8th in the renovated Inforum. Allen Li won for his poster “Data Traces of the Self on Social Media.” The team made up of Abeera Ali, Daipayan Guha, Hendrik Ophardt, David Gafni, Mayan Murray and Carly Warren also won for their work “Surgeon Attitudes Towards AR in NSI Procedures.”


Spring ’17 Poster Session: New Applications in Knowledge Media


Professor Chignell & Brain Awareness Week

KMDI’s chair Professor Mark Chignell was asked to visit the University of Regina to speak  during Brain Awareness Week about his research on treatment for dementia patients. Chignell spoke about the effects of custom content and games on patients’ dementia progression. He also wrote about his first radio interview and the nerves that came with it.


“That afternoon, with some amazing technical support, I gave a demo of our Centivizer system for managing behaviour in dementia. I introduced the concept of Ambient Activity Technologies now being marketed by a new company of the same name led by industrial partner Marc Kanik.”


A Trip out West for Brain Awareness Week




KMDI’s YouTube Channel

KMDI launched a YouTube channel that features recordings of the KMDI speaker series, student seminar presentations and many other KMDI events! Check it out below!


Throughout the year, KMDI hosted exceptional speakers that shared their experiences with our students.  On KMDI’s YouTube channel, you can find their recorded presentations!

In the fall semester we had:

Brad Cantrell, Associate Professor of Landscape Architectural Technology, Harvard University spoke under the theme of: “Responsive Landscapes. Curated Complexity.”

Professor Hideki Koike, Tokyo Institute of Technology led: “Using Vision Sensors for Innovative HCI”

Yan Xiao, Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Arlington and Director for Human Factors and Patient Safety Science led: “From Features to Patient Safety: Opportunities for Human Factors”

In the winter semester we had:

Jacob Gaboury, Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Visual Culture at Stony Brook University led:  “Grab, Dump, Capture: Screenshot Genealogies.”

Professor Gillian Hayes, University of California, Irvine led: “Computational Kids: Research, Intervention, and Practice for Child Development in a Digital World.”

Professor Jeff Caird from the University of Calgary led: “Design Constraints of Driving: Communication and Entertainment vs Distraction and Mortality.”

KMDI Coffee Club & PhD Research Presentation

PhD candidate Heather Birch spoke about data collection in a talk titled:  “Participatory design research for collaborative music learning: Challenges with participant engagement and technology.”

KMDI Coffee Club | PhD Seminar – Participatory Design research for collaborative music learning: Challenges with participant engagement and technology

Interview with Nina Czegledy

U of T fellow Nina Czegledy spoke with KMDI writer Raquel Russell about her recent work at KMDI and her life-long pursuit of academic intersectionality between art and science.

“Now social sciences are just as much part, if not a bigger part. Environmental sciences, activism by artists.  All of this is now much more prevalent.”


U of T fellow on the intersection of science and art technology

KMDI guest lectures

KMDI hosted some interesting guest lectures during the past year. There were eight speakers in total who lectured on various topics.

Dr. Clarance Tan spoke about his experience with exponential technologies and organizations. Tan is a technologist, academician, entrepreneur, innovator, inventor, investor, researcher, financial trader, knowledge seeker and writer, but, would really like to be a Chinese comedian!


The second seminar focused on place oriented services for guides, tour and culture. This seminar was led by Professor Katsuhiko Ogawa, Ph.D candidate Ayaka Ito and masters candidate Ni Zhang from Keio University in Japan.

New faces at KMDI

KMDI welcomed to the team Olivier St-Cyr . St-Cyr completed his PhD at U of T and has specialized in research on Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction.  His research interests include: human-computer interaction, ecological interface design, cognitive engineering and much more.  In Fall 2016 and Winter 2017, Dr. St-Cyr taught KMD 1001H: Theory and Methods in Knowledge Media. We asked Dr. St-Cyr a few questions to help our wide collaborative institution to get to know him.

“First and foremost, I’m looking forward to meeting the students. Learning at the graduate level is a shared responsibility. Yes, the students will learn a lot from my courses, but I’m looking forward to learning just as much from them.”

Introducing Dr. Olivier St-Cyr

Ambient Activities for Patients with Dementia.

Proffesor Chignell also hosted a workshop titled “Ambient Activities for Long-Term Care Environments: ‘Journeys to Engagement,’” that displayed a non-pharmaceutical approach to manage responsive behaviours in patients with dementia.

KMDI Workshop – Ambient Activities for Long-Term Care Environments: “Journeys to Engagement”


Follow KMDI on Twitter at @kmdi, like us on Facebook at KMDI Toronto for updates about the program and subscribe to our YouTube channel for seminars