Full-time Faculty

David Cabianca, AIGA
Associate Professor, York University
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
Prior to joining the department in 2005, David Cabianca taught typography, history and theory at CalArts, 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 writing has appeared in Emigre, Design Issues, Dimensions, ACSA Proceedings and :output. His research and scholarship interests have to date focused on typeface design, contemporary graphic design, issues of representation and disciplinary conflict.

He is currently completing a text typeface, Cardea, scheduled for public release by the Emigre Font Foundry, and is co-organizing with Kenneth FitzGerald and Jiwon Lee, an AIGA Design Educator’s Conference titled, “Blunt: Explicit and Graphic Design Criticism Now” to be held spring 2013 at Old Dominion University, Norfolk VA.


Sandra Gabriele
Associate Professor
MDes, University of Alberta

Visual Communication, Information, 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
Associate Professor
MEd, University of Toronto

Interaction, Motion
David Gelb’s research is focused on the potential of technology enabled pedagogies and design education. He is an active scholar who frequently presents his work on collaborative projects, pedagogical experimentation and  interactive design at international design conferences. 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.  David 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-centered experimentation and collaboration for arts-based teaching and learning. He recently co-chaired  Edge Effects: Digitally Engaged Learning conference held fall 2018 at York University.

David’s design practice includes user-centered research,  design for mobile technologies and information design for interactive platforms. His teaching includes interaction design studio and studies, motion design and design research methods at the undergraduate and graduate level.


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

History, Theory, Criticism
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.


Angela Norwood, AIGA
Chair, Department of Design
Associate Professor
MGD (Masters of Graphic Design) North Carolina State University, USA

Information, Visual Communication
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.


Paul Sych
Associate Professor, York University

Visual Communication, Typography, Motion
Paul Sych is the founder of creative design agency, Faith. As a typographer, designer, and art director with an expanse of diverse experience, Paul’s core sensibilities and vision are built upon pillars of discovery, innovation, and imagination – cultivating Faith into both a think tank and a platform for boundary-pushing, neoteric design on multiple digital and tangible channels.

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 widely celebrated over the course of his career – leading to over 100 international design, art direction, and typography awards and accolades. These include a prolific feature in design journal Graphis from New York, a panel position at the New York Type Directors Club to judge international typographic design, an honourary title as a Research Leader at York University in Toronto, as well as a wealth of acclaimed collaborative work with some of the world’s best artists.

Paul’s latest personal project, Fshnunlimited Magazine (F.U.) is a print spectacle of art, fashion, design, and the profound creativity of vibrant Canadian artists. Still in its infancy, F.U. has already been awarded the Canadian National Magazine Award for best art direction of an entire issue, the Platinum Award for design and direction from Graphis in New York and best in show from the Society of Typographic Arts – cementing Paul’s influence, presence, and vision as an acute force in the design community.


Borzu Talaie
Assistant Professor (CLA)
MDes, OCAD University

Interaction, Information
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.


Wendy Wong
Director, Graduate Program in Design
Associate Professor
PhD Hong Kong Polytechnic University

History, Theory, Criticism, Visual Communication
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.