Human Factor: Design Education Pecha Kucha and World Café Round Table

In welcoming the International Council of Design (ico-D) 28th General Assembly to Vancouver, the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) is hosting an inspiring line-up of events at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD).
NOVEMBER 29, 2019

In welcoming the International Council of Design (ico-D) 28th General Assembly to Vancouver, the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) is hosting an inspiring line-up of events at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD).


Design Education Pecha Kucha and World Café Round Table

For more information or submit topics for Pecha Kucha

Event Partner: Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD)

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Casey Hrynkow Shewchuk, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Vancouver, Canada, Design Strategist

Why can't we make eye contact with someone who is homeless? 

Maple Ridge, British Columbia is a divided community when it comes to addressing the growing national issue of homelessness. Stigma — even hate —fuelled by misunderstanding and lack of empathy is notable in this community. Research methods used in the field of design often involve collaboration and co-creation in novel ways that can spark and build empathy. This project has looked at design-driven community intervention as a way to address the stigma of homelessness.


Jon Hannan,
Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Assistant Professor of Communication Design

Perspectives: Engaging Communication Design Students with Residents of Long-term Care Homes

For the past two years at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Communication Design students and residents living in long-term care homes have come together to co-design and co-write publications focused on residents’ life experiences, in the belief that intergenerational knowledge and skills exchange could have a number of benefits for both the person in long-term care, and the student. The resulting program, Perspectives, engages residents - many of whom are suffering from dementia - in meaningful activity and creates opportunities for emotional and creative expression through storytelling. It also offers students the opportunity to hone their skills in publication design, co-design, participatory design research and teaches them the importance of designing with empathy.


Michael Cober, Wilson School of Design @KPU (Kwantlen Polytechnic University), Designer / Educator

The Ghosts Return

In the fall of 2019, third year Graphic Design for Marketing students at the Wilson School of Design were given a brief to research, design, and develop an infographic on the topic of Canada’s Residential Schools. Emphasis was placed on the significant considerations that must be given to indigenous peoples, the research required, and the artifacts that would be produced. Mark Rutledge (Ojibwe, CGD, President of The Graphic Designers of Canada), acting as indigenous consult on the project, spent time with the class providing context, and answering initial questions. The goal is for students to develop the skills necessary to design with inclusiveness and respect, with the intent of effecting positive change.


Judy Snaydon, IDEA School of Design, Capilano University, North Vancouver, Canada, Instructor

How can we become Indigenous allies in the classroom?

How can Canadian Design Institutions address the 94 Calls to Action in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report? How can we decolonize our curriculum and support reconciliation in our teaching practice? Using workshops and personal research, IDEA’s 2nd-Year Indigenous awareness project asks students to “Choose something they have learned about Indigenous life, and design a tool to communicate it to others.” Now in its 4th year, the project seems to resonate with students and produces some outstanding projects every year. 


Darinka Aguirre, LaSalle College Vancouver, Graphic Design Instructor

Sustainable Design Education as a Catalyst for Change

Graphic design is more than concepts, typography, and layouts. From the packaging that lures us to buy mass-produced goods to social media campaigns that mobilize nations, in the era of climate change educators have the responsibility to encourage students to use design as a catalyst for change. This presentation will address how Darinka and the GD students at LaSalle College are embracing Green Design as a mantra throughout the design process along with the challenges this entails. Case studies in packaging, information design, and social campaigns will be discussed, along with resources to share with fellow educators.


Desna Whaanga-Schollum, M.Sci-Comm Otago Uni (Distinction), B.Design Unitec.

Tribal Affiliations: Rongomaiwahine, Kahungunu, Pāhauwera

Chairperson & Founding Member: Ngā Aho Māori Design Professionals (NZ), Chairperson: Artspace Aotearoa (NZ), Ambassador: Landscape Foundation (NZ)


Ngā Aho - Māori Design Professionals

Ngā Aho is a network of Māori and Indigenous Design Professionals. This is a presentation regarding the development of an Indigenous response to the Academy and therefore sits outside of traditional academic institutes. Whilst Masters Level Courses and papers have been developed and delivered within the Academic institute by members of this network, our Indigenous progress has been largely made from outside the colonial / settler culture educational structures. The presentation discusses the intent, strategy, and objectives, of Ngā Aho as an Indigenous design movement. Sharing examples of Indigenous design gatherings as learning events that have supported the educational, political, and well-being of Indigenous design communities.


Rick Heywood, University of the Fraser Valley, Educator + Partner, Heywood and Beaudry Creative

Friendship as a Cornerstone of Creative Learning

Developing meaningful interpersonal relationships with students facilitates effective learning. Positive, & genuine engagement promotes a better learning environment for developing creative thinking. This is not a new idea. But even with the best intentions, limited time and large class sizes can present challenges for educators. As a professional Artist + Designer, new to education I am committed to learning how to build these meaningful relationships with all my students. I would like to present my reflections and learned insights in an effort to strike up a dialog that will inform myself and others how best to involve “Friendship" as a cornerstone to effective and memorable creative learning and mentorship.


Frida Larios, University of the District of Columbia, Adjunct Professor

From Ancestral Seed to New Life

The artifacts of a culture are transient. Codices burn. Buildings decay. Language can be lost. But a narrative once told lives forever. I am from El Salvador (of Mestiza and Pipil heritage), the smallest country in Central America with the deepest ethnic and social identity crisis derived from centuries of colonial oppression and genocide, a total expropriation of native land and decimation of our language. In 2004, these overwhelming historical tensions inspired me to found a cultural movement called New Maya Language, and while creating it, to find my own indigeneity. The New Maya Language unique system re-codifies a small part of the Maya mythic narrative giving ancestral oral tradition new graphic form. The methodology intends to speak from and with today’s indigenous communities, by borrowing directly from the logo-graphic principles of ancestral precolonial scribes. For nearly 15 years I have facilitated and dialogued these blood memory lines with children, youth, and designers, and most recently, disrupting the curriculum in my design foundations class at the University of the District of Columbia, composed of a 99% students of color population.


Carolina Becerra, Vancouver Community College, Educator + Creative Director

 Mental Health in the Classroom

A couple of months ago, my students seemed overwhelmed and uninterested. A good group, so I decided to have a chat with them. Started the conversation on thoughts about their social cause project, which was the perfect segue to find out what was going on. The conversation turned out to be way more open and honest that I ever expected, and what the students shared – feeling despondent, disillusioned, scared of the world, the different levels of social and performance anxiety, depression, loneliness, and a general feel of “what's the point” left me somewhat speechless. I want to explore these very human emotions and how they play a role in how we, as educators, engage with our students and what are we supposed to do with that kind of information.


Carin Wilson, Unitec School of Architecture, Auckland, New Zealand

A Cultural Lens on Education

Te Hononga is a unit that runs autonomously within the School of Architecture at Unitec Institute of Technology. The programme delivers real-time, location-based design and build projects that are initiated through a co-creative dialogue with Māori communities throughout New Zealand. Traditional Māori protocols and an emphasis on traditional indigenous patterns of learning inform the pedagogic approach. A priority goal is to capture knowledge and practices associated with design and architecture from senior members of the indigenous community, but the programme is also experimental in adapting modern materials to traditional processes. Early attempts to encourage design training among Māori and Polynesian students are considered to have failed because early New Zealand educational administrators deferred to exotic scholarship in their initial attempts to establish tertiary design qualifications. This strategy created programme content and a delivery style that proved to be misaligned with two important foundations of learning in the Polynesian society, the Tuakana-Teina relationship - similar in form to the Master-Apprentice model - and a group dynamic. The presentation will trace the origins of the studio and offer some examples of projects undertaken.