Welcome from the Chair

David Gelb

Welcome to York University’s Department of Design. Here you’ll find information about our programs, faculty and facilities, and you’ll get a clear sense of why aspiring designers continue to make York their destination for design education, year after year.

Of course, it comes as no surprise to us that Design at York is so in demand. As Ontario’s first and foremost baccalaureate design program (founded in 1999) in a research university, the Department of Design has built an outstanding and abiding reputation offering undergraduate and graduate level programs that challenge and stimulate, nurture and support.

Our coursework is rigorous and relevant, providing students with exceptional opportunities to fully explore the practice, theory and history of design while cultivating design excellence. Classes ignite creative passions while opening doors to a vibrant wider creative community and design culture via industry speakers, special workshops and guest critiques.

Our classes are taught by a stellar faculty comprised of diverse design professionals, researchers and scholars with connections to the international design community, all of whom uphold a deep commitment to supporting and mentoring students as they push forward their practice and thinking. What’s more, Design at York students enjoy small class sizes, decidedly student-centric learning environments and secure, 24-7 access to up-to-date, industry-standard design education facilities, powerfully supporting their design work across diverse platforms and media formats. 

Today, the designer’s skills and abilities are in greater demand than ever before, and nowhere is the exceptional quality of York’s design education more evident than in the success of our alumni. Our graduates’ affinity for entrepreneurship has launched numerous award-winning firms and thriving design careers throughout Canada and beyond.

Past alumni have taken positions with a wide range of national and international firms including Facebook, Google, Shopify, IDEO , Bruce Mau Design, LinkedIn and IBM. We are very proud that industry leaders frequently seek out York design students for internships and full-time employment within their companies, often before graduation. (Our well-established three-week work placement after third year frequently leads our students to full-time employment opportunities) Through practice areas including UX/UI, information design and data journalism, motion graphics and broadcast design, all grounded in visual communication, our students are fully equipped to meet the challenges of today’s dynamic, technology-driven, creative environment.

Design at York provides collaborative, multifaceted experiences that interrogate design’s role in society and culture. Our graduates exit the program ready to be design leaders with the capacity and skills necessary to excel in every field in which design plays an integral role.

So please get to know our programs and discover what makes the Department of Design at York University Canada’s leading destination for design education. We hope you’ll join our intellectually creative community and take advantage of the myriad resources and exciting opportunities that the Design at York has to offer.

We look forward to meeting you.

David Gelb,
Associate Professor, Chair
Department of Design