Full-time Faculty

David Cabianca, AIGA
Associate Professor
MArch Princeton University, USA
MFA 2D 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

Visual Communication, Typography, History, Theory & Criticism
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, . 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. yorku.academia.edu/DavidCabianca, cabianca@yorku.ca

Shital Desai
Assistant Professor
PhD, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Interaction Design
Shital Desai joined the department in 2019. She is an interaction designer, human centred designer and 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.
ResearchGate, desais@yorku.ca

Sandra Gabriele
Director, Graduate Program in Design
Associate Professor
MDes, University of Alberta

Visual Communication, Information Design, Typography
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).

David Gelb, AIGA
Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor
MEd, University of Toronto

Interaction Design, History, Theory & Criticism
David Gelb explores the potential of technology and pedagogical experimentation with a focus on ethical interfaces, artifact collaboration, and building design knowledge. David is co-leader of Interactive Art + Design Learning Modules which is supported through the Shared Ontario Course Fund and includes 10 researchers, artists and designers from across the province.  He also co-leads Looking to the Future: Building State-of-the-Art eLearning in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, a multi-year project focused on technology and pedagogical experimentation for arts-based teaching and learning.

David was one of the organizers for  Edge Effects: Digitally Engaged Learning conference held fall 2018 at York University. He recently co-authored (with Angela Norwood) “The Design Process is a Research Process: Students and the Ethics of Inquiry”, Bloomsbury Academic (forthcoming). David teaches across the graduate and undergraduate spectrum with a focus on digital product design, user-centred research methods, and interaction design theory.

Jan Hadlaw
Associate Professor
PhD Simon Fraser University, School of Communication

History, Theory & Criticism
Jan Hadlaw is a historian of design and media. Her research focuses on design and everyday life, especially the design of 20th century technologies, their representation in popular culture, and their roles in advancing modern conceptions of time, space, and identity. Her book Communicating Modernity: Design, Representation, and the Making of the American Telephone (University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming) is a cultural and business history that examines how the telephone was conceived, promoted, and integrated into modern imaginaries and practices of everyday life. She is a co-editor of Theories of the Mobile Internet: Materialities and Imaginaries (New York: Routledge, 2014) and has published articles in such journals as Design Issues, Space & Culture, Technology & Culture, Material Culture Review, and Objet et Communication. Her recent publications include: “Design Nationalism, Technological Pragmatism, and the Performance of Canadian-ness: The Case of the Contempra Telephone” Journal of Design History (forthcoming); “The Modern American Telephone as a Contested Technological Thing,” in Atzmon and Boradkar (eds.), Encountering Things: Design and Thing Theory (Bloomsbury, 2017); and “‘Mysteries of the New Phone Explained’: Introducing Dial Telephones and Automatic Service to Bell Canada Subscribers in the 1920s,” in Imhotep-Jones and Adcock (eds.), Made Modern: Science and Technology in Canadian History (UBC Press, 2018). Dr. Hadlaw is a member of the executive committee of the International Committee on the History of Technology (ICHOTEC), and sits on the editorial board of ICON: International Journal of the History of Technology.

Professor Hadlaw has over seventeen years of professional experience as a designer and has worked with a diverse range of clients including Alcan, the National Film Board, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and independent galleries and artists across Canada. In addition to being a member of the Design Department, she holds appointments in York University’s Graduate Programs of Communications & Culture, Science & Technology Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Art History & Visual Culture.

Angela Norwood, AIGA
Associate Professor (on sabbatical 2019/20)
MGD (Masters of Graphic Design) North Carolina State University, USA

Information Design, Visual Communication
Angela Norwood’s research interests range include exploring the intersection of contemporary design practices and traditional knowledge systems, for devising context-appropriate approaches for environmentally and culturally sustainable outcomes. Additionally, she has conducted research on improving the design of scientific visualizations. Having served two terms as Department Chair and as Graduate Program Director, Professor Norwood teaches across the Design curriculum with an emphasis on information design and visualization. She is the recipient of the Dean’s Junior Faculty Teaching Award. As a former professional graphic designer and art director in Chicago, IL and Raleigh, NC, she worked with a varied range of national and international, corporate and cultural clients. She has served as 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 scholarly work has been published in design journals such as Visual Communication and Design & Culture. Her professional work has been recognized by several organizations and publications including the Type Directors Club, Graphis, and Communication Arts magazines and is included in the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) National Design Archive.

Paul Sych
Associate Professor

Visual Communication, Typography
Creating a new visual literacy fuels professor, designer and typographer Paul Sych’s identity. His work spans over two decades of graphic expression, innovation and exploration. Paul’s creative design agency  Faith was founded as a chrysalis of design discovery producing prolific works in both digital and print spectrums.

Led by a penchant for distinctive typography and hand illustration, Paul’s unique approach to language and imagery has forged brand identities of compelling visual character and bold presence – manipulating the retention of concepts, ideas, and words, as well as refining the vocabulary of design in a company, piece, or publication.

Paul’s work has been published in over 100+ books and publications internationally. Highlights from his career include: winning 100+ design awards since 2010, selected by the New York Type Directors Club to judge the world’s most prestigious typography competition and being featuring by the design journal Graphis which named him one of the Ten Masters of Typography. In 2016, Paul’s work was featured in the book  The Typography Idea Book, Inspiration from 50 Masters by the renowned graphic design journalist, author, and critic Steven Heller. Most recently, Paul was inducted to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and was honoured as a fellow for his contributions to research in design, art direction, and typography.

Wendy Wong
PhD Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Visual Communication, History, Theory & Criticism
Professor Wendy S Wong has established an international reputation as an expert in Chinese graphic design history and Chinese comic art history. She served as Director of the Graduate Program in Design from 2015 to 2018, Chair of the Department of Design from 2006 to 2009, and as Associate Director of the York Centre for Asian Research from 2005 to 2009 at York University in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Wong was a visiting scholar at Harvard University from 1999 to 2000 and the 2000 Lubalin Curatorial Fellow at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York, USA. In 2009 and 2010, she was a visiting research fellow at the Department of Design History, Royal College of Art, and she served as a scholar-in-residence at the Kyoto International Manga Museum.

She is the author of Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua, published by Princeton Architectural Press, a contributor to the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design, and acts as a regional editor of the Greater China region for Bloomsbury Publishing’s Encyclopedia of East Asian Design. Her latest book, The Disappearance of Hong Kong in Comics, Advertising, and Graphic Design, was published by Palgrave Macmillan (2018). In addition, Dr. Wong has served as an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Design History from 2012 to 2017. Currently, she is serving as an associate editor for Design and Culture: The Journal of the Design Studies Forum since 2019.  wsywong@yorku.ca