Full-time Faculty

York University 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
(on sabbatical 2017/18)

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, Canada

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, Canada
(on sabbatical 2017/18)

Interactive, 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 and workshops. 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.  As the eLearning leader for AMPD, 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  co-organized an AIGA Design Educator’s Conference titled Spaces of Learning: Inside/Outside Graphic Design Education held spring 2015 at York University.

David’s design practice includes information architecture, user-centered research and mobile interface design.  His teaching includes interactive 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, Canada

Interactive, 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.


Professors Emeriti

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

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.

Sheridan College Faculty

Renée Alleyn
MA York University, Canada

Typography, Visual Communication
Renée Alleyn is a Professor in the York/Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Design program where she teaches undergraduate courses in typography, type making, editorial design, and visual identity. She has over ten years of experience as an editorial and communications designer, with a focus on developing typographic identity systems. Renée is a graduate of the OCAD University Bachelor of Design program and has a Bachelor degree in gender and race studies from the University of Victoria. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Culture studies from York University where her research investigated the historical social and political positioning of magazines in Canada. Renée’s current interests explore the intersection of typography, digitized objects/space and the design needs posed by increasing global flows of people, information, and products.


Myles Bartlett
MFA University of Windsor, Canada

Motion, Interactivity
Myles Bartlett is an artist, designer and educator who has spent over 10 years teaching in various post-secondary institutions in the areas of Digital Art, Interactivity Design, Broadcast Design, Video/Film Production, and Art/Design Fundamentals. Professionally Myles was Art Director at TELETOON Studios Inc. where he directed the art department responsible for Promax BDA award winning Broadcast, Print and Interactive design in support of the 8 unique TELETOON Inc. brands over 3 national and 2 regional cable networks, including the TELETOON, TELETOON Retro and Cartoon Network properties. His research interests include interactive digital storytelling and contemporary practice in broadcast design.


Brian Donnelly
PhD Queen’s University, Canada

History, Theory, Criticism
Brian Donnelly has a background in fine art, a fifteen year career as a graphic designer, and for the past ten years has been studying and teaching the history and theory of design and visual culture. His particular research focus is on graphic design history in Canada. The pursuit of this little-known history has taken him across Canada, and resulted in the award of several grants. He has been an invited speaker at conferences from Vancouver to Halifax, and last spring at an international visual studies conference in Madrid. As well as at York, he has taught at The Ontario College of Art & Design, Queen’s University, and Sheridan College.


Angela Iarocci
M.Arch University of Toronto, Canada BID

Information, Professional Practice
Angela Iarocci is a Professor in the York/Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Design program where she teaches undergraduate courses in information design, design fundamentals and professional practice. Her research investigations are concentrated in information visualization, mapping, diagramming, art and design installations and collaborative practice. She has a Bachelor degree in industrial design and is a graduate of the University of Toronto Master of Architecture program. Her professional experience is concentrated in environmental graphic design, specifically wayfinding, exhibits, and interpretive installations. Currently she is engaged in developing art and design projects which combine craft, information design and education centered on the environmental and social themes.


Claire Ironside
M. Arch University of Toronto, Canada
MES York University, Canada

Professional Practice
Claire Ironside is a designer, artist and educator who’s academic focus – information visualization, analysis and design; conceptual process; sustainable design; and 3D design – draw on her diverse history and practice in environmental, spatial and communication design. Specializations within her core area include visualizing data/information as a form of story telling, parametric and systems based design, and advancing sustainability and entrepreneurship through curriculum design and community involvement and collaboration. Her creative practice focuses on the design of objects, installations, experiences and processes which co-exist at the intersection of design, art, craft – for the purpose of engaging in new and emerging forms of trans-disciplinary cultural production and partnership. Specific areas of inquiry include viewing and activating the city tableaux as a platform for social innovation and advocacy. Prior to teaching she worked professionally as an urban designer and landscape architect in both the public and private sector.


James March
MDes York University, Canada
MSc Memorial University, Canada

Interactivity, Visual Communication
James March is an interdisciplinary designer and educator who creates printed matter, identities, custom lettering, front-end interfaces and interactive projects. He finds satisfaction in an unspecialized practice, taking on a wide range of projects for clients of all sizes. Over the past eight years March has taught interactivity design, typography, statistics and health psychology and has been a speaker at conferences in Canada, the USA and the UnitedKingdom. March’s graphic design has appeared in several books and magazines both nationally and globally including Applied Arts, FRAME and Communication Arts. His publications also extend to the scientific community, with recent journal articles on contrast and congruence effects in affective priming of words and melodies being published in the journal Psychology of Language and Communication. March’s current research focuses on metaphysical accounts of memory systems and multidimensional visualizations of storage mediums.


Heidi Overhill
Visual Communication