Expand the boundaries of design, create extraordinary systems of human connection.
Design Students



In our global knowledge economy, ideas flow fast and far, creating extraordinarily elaborate systems of human connection. As designers, we facilitate understanding through devising objects, environments and innovative platforms for interaction.

Design at York students actively explore and expand the boundaries of design in managing and communicating complex bodies of information for meaningful human experiences in our increasingly visual world. Grounded in an understanding of the designer’s specialized knowledge, methods and skills, students learn to recognize complex problems as being comprised of systems of social, cultural and technological networks.

By identifying points of entry for design intervention, students acquire the agency to define their role as inventor, author, curator, entrepreneur, advocate and social innovator in the rapidly expanding world of design opportunities.


Design Fabrication Lab


A Brief History

The Department of Design is founded, becoming the first Bachelor of Design degree offered in Ontario. The program is known as the York University Sheridan College Program in Design (YSDN).
Commencing in 2005, the Master of Design (MDes) program at the York University is the first graduate program in design in Ontario. The program is distinguished by its emphasis on design practice and its interdisciplinary approach to creative and appplied research.
The Department of Design launches a new Bachelor of Design DESN, with an emphasis on human-centred design and systems thinking as a pathway entering professional design practice.


People of Design

Associate Professor

Jan Hadlaw

Contract Faculty

Albert Ng

Associate Professor

Angela Norwood

Associate Professor

David Gelb

Contract Faculty

Robert Gill


Wendy Wong

Associate Professor

David Cabianca

Associate Professor

Sandra Gabriele

Associate Professor

Paul Sych

Assistant Professor

Gabriel Schaffzin


Student Benefits

RGD MembershipRGD

RGD Membership

Complimentary student RGD (Registered Graphic Designers) membership that represents design practitioners, including firm owners, freelancers, managers, educators and students.

Design Software

Design Software

Student licenses for Adobe Creative Cloud 2020 with 20+ desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX and more

Professional Introductions

Professional Introductions

Industry nights with visits from leading design firms, studios and start-ups that actively recruit from our students and alumni for design placements and full-time postions

Studios and Technology24/7

Studios and Technology

Our studios are state-of-the-art and with 24-7 access and a dedicated Fabrication Lab and Photo Studio. Design at York offers the most technology-enriched design education facilities in Canada.

Be Part of A Community

Getting Involved

Design Students Association

The Design Students Association exists to connect students across our the Design program at York University. They host events, workshops and opportunities for students to learn from and engage with Design.

Creative Arts Student Association

Creative Arts Student Association: Representing students in all areas of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, the Creative Arts Student Association (CASA) sponsors events throughout the year, including coffee houses in the Fireside Lounge every Wednesday with free coffee and themed snacks.