Full Time Faculty

David Cabianca

Associate Professor
MArch Princeton University, USA
MFA Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA
MA Typeface Design, University of Reading, UK
MA Design Writing Criticism London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, UK

David Cabianca joined the department in 2005. He has taught typography, history and theory at California Institute of the Arts, Cranbrook Academy of Art, OCAD and both architecture studio and theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba and the University of Michigan. At Michigan he was the 1997–98 William Muschenheim Fellow and received the Donna M. Salzer Award for excellence in teaching. His research and scholarship interests have to date focused on typeface design, contemporary graphic design, issues of representation and disciplinary conflict.

Initially designed while attending the University of Reading, his typeface Cardea was released by the Emigre Font Foundry in 2014, www.emigre.com/Fonts/Cardea. In 2012, he was one of the organizers of the AIGA Design Educators Conference, “Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now.” His writing has appeared in Emigre, Idea, Design & Culture, Journal of Design History and Design Observer. He is currently working on a book about Ed Fella’s image archive (Unit Editions, forthcoming) funded in part by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. web: yorku.academia.edu/DavidCabianca

email: David Cabianca

Shital Desai

Assistant Professor
PhD, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Shital Desai joined the department in 2019. She is an interaction designer, human centred designer and an electronics engineer with experience working in robotics, the health industry, communications technology and non-destructive testing since 1995. She has experience commercializing products, having released four products to the market. She has taught courses in the areas of interactive product design, culture and design, capstone studio, and research methods at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia.

Her research involves developing inclusive design solutions in engineering and healthcare for children and people with accessibility needs including older adults and persons with cognitive impairments. She was an AGE-WELL (Toronto) research fellow from 2017 to 2019 where her research focussed on developing technology-based interventions for older adults and people with dementia. She develops novel participatory human-centred design methodologies and techniques for working with varied user groups such as children and older adults. She is a recipient of several awards and grants including AGE-WELL Innovator of the Future, AGE-WELL Catalyst Grant, Design Research Society (DRS) Bursary, Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and QUT Excellence Award.

web:  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shital_Desai3 


Sandra Gabriele

Graduate Program Director
MDes University of Alberta, Canada

Sandra Gabriele has been practicing and teaching design for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, the Schule für Gestaltung Basel, and holds a MDes in Visual Communication Design from the University of Alberta. In professional practice, she has designed communications materials for a variety of clients: government organizations, corporations, small businesses and non-profit organizations, in both print and digital media. Her research interests are in the area of typography (legibility and the digital representation of large text collections) and information design (specifically, patient safety initiatives involving graphic design).

email: Sandra Gabriele

David Gelb

Chair Department of Design
MEd University of Toronto, Canada

David Gelb's research is focused on both design and education. His work explores the potential of technology-enhanced learning and interactive design education within a graphic design context. His publications include the chapter "Course Co-Creation vs. Course Management: Wikis as a Potential Alternative to Traditional Learning Management Systems", in Wired for Learning (2009). He continues to present his scholarly work on collaborative technologies and participatory learning at international design conferences and workshops.

His practice includes information architecture, user-centered research methods and mobile interface design. He has created a variety of professional and creative projects, including mobile applications, social media strategies and interactive installations. His current teaching includes a range of interactive design and time-based communication courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prior to joining York University, he taught at Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art & Design.

email: David Gelb

Jan Hadlaw

Associate Professor
PhD Simon Fraser University, Canada
MA Concordia University, Canada

Jan Hadlaw's research interests focus on design and everyday life, especially graphic design as cultural communication, advertising and consumer culture, and the history and design of modern technology. She was awarded both a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and an FCar Doctoral Research Grant in support of her historical study of the design and representation of the modern telephone. In 1999, she was a Smithsonian Fellow-in-Residence at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in New York and at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Prior to joining the department, she taught at the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and in the Department of Design at Concordia University in Montreal. She is a graphic designer who has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Alcan, the National Film Board, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, La Museo del Bel Arte Mexico, as well as many independent galleries and artists across Canada.

Her current research includes a study of role played by design in the construction of Canadian national identity in the 1960s and 70s. She has also received a SSHRC Small Grant to undertake the pilot study for a research project on vernacular design and architecture in rural British Colombia.

email: Jan Hadlaw

Angela Norwood

MGD North Carolina State University, USA

Angela Norwood is a recipient of the Faculty of Fine Arts Dean's Junior Faculty Teaching Award and teaches across the Design curriculum, from first year foundation courses through masters thesis supervision, with an emphasis on information design. Her current research interests include examining the role of design in indigenous communities through social, cultural and cognitive aspects of wayfinding and signage systems, advertising, and design pedagogy. She has conducted workshops on this topic in Ladakh, India. She is a former professional graphic designer having worked in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC. Currently, Professor Norwood is a designer and consultant on the global marketing team for Democrats Abroad, an organization that empowers US citizens in 71 countries to participate in US elections. Her work has been published in design journals such as Visual Communication and Design & Culture, and recognized by several organizations and publications including the Type Directors Club, Graphis and Communication Arts magazines. Her work is included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) National Design Archive.

Email: Angela Norwood

Paul Sych

Associate Professor

Over the past two decades Paul Sych has had a curiosity for the relationship between art and music. This interplay began while studying at the Ontario College of Art and Design and York University's prestigious jazz program in Toronto, Canada. In the fall of 1990, Paul launched his design firm, Faith, as a platform for continued experimentation. Paul has challenged both clients and peers alike to enter his world of unique and sometimes flamboyant use of type and imagery. In addition to being commissioned by legendary designers, art directors, educators and forums on typography internationally, his work has been widely published in North America, Europe and Asia. Paul continues to explore visual and typographic works in print, branding, public art, motion graphics and broadcast design.

Quoting the late design historian Philip B. Meggs, "Sych's pulled and twisted letterforms, densely layered and imploding into complex masses teeming with perpetual energy, lose their identity as alphabetic glyphs. His work raises the question: Where does typography cease to be typography and become, perhaps, art?"

email: Paul Sych

Wendy Wong

Director, Graduate Program in Design
PhD & MA  Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Professor Wong published extensively on Chinese and Hong Kong visual culture and history. She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua. She has published 4 books for Chinese readers funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Wong's articles appeared in Design Issues, Journal of Design History, Journal of Popular Culture, International Journal of Comic Art, Journal of Gender Studies, Mass Communication and Society, and Graphis Magazine.

She served as a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1999 to 2000, and was the 2000 Lubalin Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Union School of Art, where she curated an exhibit entitled "Chinese Graphic Design towards the International Sphere." She has taught both traditional creative print and digital interactive media full-time since 1997 in North America and Hong Kong.


email: Wendy Wong

Part Time / Affiliate Faculty

Michael Longford

Associate Professor, York University
MFA Rutgers University, USA

Professor Longford creative work and research activities reside at the intersection of photography, graphic design and digital media. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator for the Mobile Digital Commons Network (MDCN), a national research network developing technology and media rich content for mobile devices. The MDCN is a joint research project launched by Concordia University and the Banff New Media Institute. He is a founding member of Hexagram: Institute for Research and Creation in Media Arts and Technologies and served for three years as the Director for the Advanced Digital Imaging and 3D Rapid Prototyping Group. He has exhibited and presented his work at national and international exhibitions and conferences.


email: Micheal Longford

Borzu Talaie

MDes OCAD University, Canada

Borzu Talaie is an award-winning designer and educator who has worked in the field since 1993. His area of practice ranges from branding and print design to interaction design, information design and interactive installations. He received his Master of Design degree in data visualization and visual analytics in 2014 from the Digital Futures program at OCAD University.

Borzu is the founder of Borxu Design, a multi-disciplinary studio where entrepreneurs, designers and programmers constantly examine the intersection of business and communication design to deliver distinctive solutions to their data-driven projects. Borxu Design clientele include large-scale construction companies, media companies and startups based in the Greater Toronto Area.

email: Borzu Talaie

Faculty Emeritus

Wojtek E. Janczak

Chair, Department of Design, 2009 to 2012
Graduate Program Director, 2006 to 2008
MFA Academy of Fine Arts, Poznan, Poland

Professor Janczak's multidisciplinary professional practice, research and teaching include interactive media, exhibitions and signage systems design. Since the inception of the Internet he has specialized in developing and evaluating interaction design, information architecture, interface design and interactive information technologies in online education. His current research focuses on investigating the theories, practices and technologies involving intelligent physical environments, information spaces, interface design and time-based visual communication.


Don Newgren

PhD Syracuse University, USA
MA University of Illinois, USA

Don Newgren's research interests focus upon user participation, either active or passive, during the inventory and planning part of the design process. These interests emerged from his development and implementation of unobtrusive data collection methodology for planning exhibitions while being the Director of Design at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. His professional design work in graphic design and exhibition design for firms such as IBM, US Steel, Eastman Kodak, Union Carbide, Bell Labs, United Airlines, General Motors, and Shell Oil has won numerous awards in North America. He has over 30 years of teaching experience, and has lectured in Japan, Europe, and the United States. In addition, he has 16 years of administrative experience at York University

David Scadding

MVA University of Alberta, Canada

Professor Scadding is a professional Registered Graphic Designer who, by love & training, focuses his teaching & research in the field of typography - its history, development and contemporary practices. He has over 30 years of experience in print-oriented and new media visual communication design. His professional work has been exhibited and published in Canada, the United States, France, China, and England. He has been an invited speaker, seminar/workshop leader at numerous national and international conferences on design, new media and typography. He has received over 30 awards for his professional work and for his teaching - the most recent being the Dean's Teaching Award from York University.

Andrew M. Tomcik

MFA Design, Yale University, USA

Professor Tomcik has worked as a designer in Canada and the US. His work has been published or exhibited in Canada, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland and China. As well he has participated in numerous conferences on design education and design history. He also received the Ontario Federation of University Faculty Associations award for excellence in teaching.