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RUBIX 2022

Bringing Together Brilliant Minds

RUBIX is an annual exhibition and showcase event that celebrates the scholarly, research, and creative (SRC) activities within The Creative School at Ryerson University. Every year, RUBIX brings together brilliant minds from across the fields of media, design, and creative industries to explore, innovate, and impact the world we live in.

See you on January 27, 2022

The Program

Opening Remarks

January 27 | 9:00am-9:15am

Join us for opening remarks from the university's Research and Innovation leadership, as well as Charles Falzon (Dean, The Creative School) and Natalie Alvarez (Associate Dean, Scholarly Research and Creative Activities).



How are SRC activities across The Creative School addressing urgent research questions of the moment? These roundtable discussions gather researchers together to learn how they are attempting to answer a shared research question from radically different disciplinary perspectives, practices, and vantage points. Each roundtable session will focus on a central research question.

Timeslot #1 | January 27 | 9:30am-10:30am


  • Lorena Escandon | Assistant Professor, Creative Industries
  • Osmud Rahman | Associate Professor, Fashion
  • Kristopher Alexander | Assistant Professor, RTA School of Media



  • Paola Poletto | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • Jorge Ayala | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • Michelle Cochrane | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation

  • Cheryl Thompson | Assistant Professor, Performance 
  • Katty Alhayek | Assistant Professor, Professional Communication
  • Alexandra Bal | Associate Professor, RTA School of Media
  • Michael Doxtater | Associate Professor, Creative Industries
  • Henry Navarro | Associate Professor, Fashion



  • Andrew Lochhead | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • David McFarlane | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • Justine Woods | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation

  • April Lindgren | Professor, Journalism
  • Lisa Cox | Assistant Professor, Performance
  • Nicole Blanchett | Associate Professor, Journalism



  • Sonya Fatah | Assistant Professor, Journalism

Timeslot #2 | January 27 | 10:35am-11:35am


  • Debashis Sinha | Assistant Professor, Performance
  • Michael F. Bergmann | Assistant Professor, Performance
  • Robert Clapperton | Assistant Professor, Professional Communication
  • Richard Lachman | Director of Zone Learning, Associate Professor, RTA School of Media



  • Stuart Duncan | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • Finlay Braithwaite | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation
  • Daniella Kalinda | PhD Student, Media and Design Innovation

  • Joe Recupero| Assistant Professor, RTA Media
  • Rebecca Halliday | Assistant Professor, Professional Communication



  • Lisa Cox | Assistant Professor, Performance

  • Jay Park | Assistant Professor, Graphic Communications Management
  • Filiz Klassen | Professor, Interior Design
  • Anika Kozlowski | Assistant Professor, Fashion



  • Lloyd Alter | Lecturer, Interior Design



January 27 | 1pm-2pm

During the demos, presenters will invite audience members into their “rehearsal” space of creative development to share ideas or projects at the testing stage or “in progress.” This is an interactive format where presenters actively demonstrate their projects at work; immerse viewers in design renderings, plans or environments; or lead audience members through their creative research process. In short, The Demo actively demonstrates research-in-action, and showcases creative making and doing.

Few educational institutions talk about successful online instruction. In a world where most institutions highlight achievements, online instruction is a strange digital elephant in the room when it comes to promotion. How can you engage students online, which has portable skill sets to reinvigorate your classroom instruction? How is it possible that interactive 3D technology can excite your curriculum and teaching practice? With online teaching gaining massive traction, there are a myriad of approaches to creating engaging online instruction including, free production software (like OBS) down to free virtual environment creation tools and software (Unreal Engine & Faceware Technologies). This presentation focuses on engaging classroom instruction creation, by showing how interactive 3D technologies can be used as a Canvas, Tool, and Playground for engaging online instruction.


Remember This, external link is an app and podcast that is dedicated to capturing memories that deserve to live forever. The app allows users to simply record memories and then with the click of a button mixes it down with music and narration to make a podcast episode. At the end, they can choose to submit it to the podcast or just save it for themselves. The podcast is made up of user-generated stories and original stories captured and edited by Amanda Cupido and Michael Allen. The Remember This app launched in May 2021 and received a full-page feature in the Toronto Star, external link.

Expanded gamut printing involves expanding the number of process colours by Orange, Green and Violet colours to create many spot colours with the new fixed CMYK-OGV ink set and eliminating the need to use spot colours, since they can be achieved through the combination of CMYK-OGV. This study focuses on evaluating flexographic expanded gamut printing on a narrow web flexographic label press located at Ryerson University. Esko Equinox and GMG OpenColor expanded gamut software solutions were used, where each system was tested with its own proprietary characterization test chart. The Idealliance ECG small v1 (2019) test target was also used in this study. A verification test chart was created, with selected Pantone spot colours. The test chart was then processed using the characterization data from the proprietary and non-proprietary characterization press runs. The build/composition of the selected Pantone colours was analyzed and the CIEDE2000 colour difference was calculated. Both software solutions did better in regards to colour accuracy with their proprietary characterization targets than using the data gathered from the Idealliance ECG small chart.



January 27 | 4pm-7pm

Japanese for “chit chat”, the PechaKucha is a presentation style developed in 2003 by Tokyo-based architects as an evening social event that has since spread to many different disciplines across the world. The format is meant to encourage presenters to share their ideas in a dynamic, concise, and visually compelling way. Presenters will tell the story of their research in just 400 seconds.

Podcast host and producer, Diana Varma, will share her creative process of collecting, cataloguing and connecting others’ creative processes. Intersection is an 18-episode audio series conceived in August 2021 and launched in November 2021 via Talk Paper Scissors, a podcast about creativity in graphic communications. Intersection is a series of conversations with female artists spanning five countries to uncover themes and ideas that unite us as artists in a multidisciplinary creative world.

While each of the artists is a master within their specific discipline (ex: watercolour, realist painting, animation, woodworking, LEGO artist), Diana’s aim was to find the interdisciplinary intersections between the artists that speak to larger themes about creative processes and practices.

After recording all of the conversations, Diana carefully dissected each one and catalogued the main ideas, creative processes and underlying motivations that unite the artists. She then represented them visually through a series of overlapping circles that speak to the interwoven relationships between seemingly disparate individuals.

The entire process was a puzzle that consisted of 17 artists, 10+ hours of audio and a blank screen ready to be transformed into captivating visuals. Intersection kept Diana awake many nights, fascinated by how to solve this giant puzzle.

Secret of the Source Code is an online course designed for 7-12 year olds, where a foundational understanding of computer programming is delivered through a story-driven adventure game. Built for Chromebooks, browsers, and other low-end devices - this project aims to engage young minds in digital creativity in a self-guided manner, using progression techniques often employed by the best video games of our generation.

Many parents are faced with a challenging dilemma: balancing their child’s screen time between educational and entertaining content. This balance is easier with linear media, but when it comes to video games it can be difficult to find an appropriate option. A similar dilemma occurs when a child shows interest in coding or robotics to a parent who doesn’t know where to begin with either of those subjects. Mentor-ship in the form of in-person classes or clubs is a great option, but can be a huge obstacle for some families.

Secret of the Source Code aims to provide an option for both of these scenarios. It uses rich storytelling to deliver a foundational coding curriculum via a universally-accessible distribution platform — the web.

Biodegradable polymers are a class of polymeric materials that undergo a decomposition process in landfills to break down into natural by-products. Nearly 140 million tons of plastics are annually used in the global packaging industry. In Canada, 87% of this plastic waste ends up in landfills while only 13% of this waste is recycled. Recently, there has been a growing interest in using 3D printing to fabricate complex shapes of package prototypes. Among different kinds of Advanced Manufacturing processes, Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is the most common method that is widely used for polymers.

To obtain a quality end product, designers need to find an optimized value for nozzle temperature, bed temperature and printing speed. While these parameters have been well studied for conventional polymers, there is limited data in the literature that addresses the processing challenges of biodegradable polymers, such as polylactic-acid (PLA) and polyhydroxy-alkenoates (PHA) in the FFF process.

Our study investigates the effect of material and processing parameters on the quality of printed products made from biodegradable polymers. Our finding showed that in addition to the type of polymer, nozzle temperature, bed temperature and print speed are effective on the quality of the printed products.

Determining the significance and prominence of the gap between journalistic ideals and practice is the focus of the Journalistic Role Performance (JRP) project, a cooperative effort involving 40 countries from the global north and south. This potential gap is being measured by examining journalists’ attitudes (through surveys) and their professional practice (through content analysis), to identify the ways in which different journalistic roles, for example, the watchdog or infotainment roles, are present in the news content of television, radio, print, and online media, and the influence that different media systems might have on the performance of these roles across platforms. In Canada, there are 12 sites of study from English and French media: The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, La Presse,, HuffPost Canada, CBC Radio’s World Report, Radio Canada’s l’heure du monde, CTV National News, CBC’s The National, Global National, and TVA Nouvelles. In this PechaKucha presentation, preliminary findings will be shared, including data that show there could be significant differences in the level of sensationalism displayed in national news in Canada compared to other countries, and that the use of expert sources could be more ingrained in practice here than in other media systems.

The principal investigator of this project is Nicole Blanchett, and the presentation will be led by research assistant, Sama Nemat Allah.

How do creative people adapt and refocus in challenging times, and what lessons can we learn from them?

Creativity is a fundamentally timeless human activity, yet certain periods of time or circumstances do represent a genuinely unprecedented impact on many dimensions of human behaviour, including everyday creativity and how creative people go about their work.

We are currently analyzing this crucial aspect of humanity in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to investigate how creators were affected by the global outbreak, how they adapted when their work dynamics were disrupted, how they navigated their creative self-identity in a moment of unprecedented strain, and how we can be better prepared for similar future crises.

The project is run by the Creativity Everything lab at Ryerson University.

This research has been approved by the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board (REB 2020-460) and is funded by an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and additional funding from Ryerson University.

We live in a world of data and computation. Coupled together, large data sets and computational techniques are transforming our interactions with each other and with information sources across society, gradually reinventing our decision-making and knowledge-building processes. Yet as physical beings, we still rely heavily on material and sensory ways of constructing knowledge in the world. A gradual shift in the cognitive sciences toward embodied paradigms of human cognition can inspire researchers and designers to think about why and how computational media should engage our bodies and minds together. By supporting a close connection between our motor, perceptual and cognitive systems, emerging human-computer interaction techniques can offer powerful opportunities to re-think the way we engage with and construct knowledge in a cyberphysical world. This short presentation will highlight ongoing research and prototype systems from the Synaesthetic Media Lab that explore how tangible and embodied interactions can support and enhance creativity, discovery, and learning across the physical and digital worlds.

The idea to pursue the realization of an anthology of Canadian drama in Croatian translation came from an emotional and a deeply personal imperative but also as a logical desire. I have lived approximately half of my life in Croatia and the other half in Canada. Both in my adopted country and my country of birth I have been engaged fully as a theatre artist. This has resulted in a strong desire to connect my Canadian theatrical experience with my Croatian theatrical roots in a meaningful way. Canadian Drama is virtually unknown in Croatia and is thought of as fairly distant and foreign. An anthology is a step towards changing that perception as it will give a chance to Croatian readers, artists and potential audiences to learn of our shared humanity. Such a volume has a capacity to forge new artistic connections and with it to build cultural bridges between the two nations.

This project is in development with a slated production date roughly around the end of March/early April. It is a live journalism show presented at the Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton and will be the first official stitched! production. Our journalist will present a long-form narrative before an audience, employing multimedia elements and the inclusion of an art form in presenting elements of the narrative before a live audience. The experiment also involves the addition of audience-interactive elements and live sourcing.

The Explanatory Journalism Impact and Update (XJO) project explores the character and influence of academic explanatory journalism. This project runs under the University of British Columbia's Global Journalism Innovation Lab, funded by a SSHRC Partnership Grant. In our research, we examine The Conversation, an international journalism network where researchers publish explanatory news and current events articles related to their own areas of study. By uncovering what contributes to effective explanation, this research will identify strategies that seem to make The Conversation unique for the future of digital journalism and knowledge translation

The interior has never been given as much attention as it has during waves of lock-downs due to COVID-19. New genres of interiors formed within our traditional interiors, both physical and virtual, and the pandemic made us look inside like we never have before. At the global scale, political borders have abstract boundary lines, yet on the ground, walls and perimeters act as immediate buffers between individuals and neighbours. Even closer, face-masks intimately screen-off those friends and families not in one’s immediate bubble drawing into question where interior ends and exterior begins. During these periods of lockdown, familiar rooms were rearranged to toggle between work and life.

Interior Archipelago–Postcards from Our Islands, is an international project in the form of a website that captures the familiar but transformed interior during this time. Daily routines have been interrupted and with that, our ability to travel at will as we primarily journey from room to room. This collection reflects interiors from lock-downs in the form of postcard-sized works bringing together interior design communities from The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland; the School of Interior Design at X University in Toronto, Canada and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

The consumption of fashion objects is either based on need or want and suggests a dichotomy in sustainability. On one hand, sustainability has become a ubiquitous marketing term for mitigating fast fashion’s socio-economic and environmental impact; on the other hand, sustainability has become a factor of competitive differentiation in fashion design practice.

In theory, sustainable fashion suggests continuous improvements to all stages of a product life cycle. However, in practice, sustainable fashion faces obstacles in an industry driven by ‘selling more stuff to people who neither need nor want it. Those obstacles are often grounded in attitudes by the fashion maker and the fashion consumer.

In The Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute, emerging fashion designers use storytelling in the design approach and execution to highlight their specific strategies in sustainable fashion by focusing on upcycling, downcycling, material innovation, planet positivity, slow fashion, and body positivity.

This presentation will feature the latest work of Taymoore Balbaa's creative practice, AXIA Design, with a focus on the most recent works under construction in the public sector. Projects featured include innovative new social housing projects, as well as new institutional buildings built around pluralism, inclusion, and diversity.

The pandemic’s sudden closure of museums and galleries and the following online art race filling our home screens revealed that alternatives are urgently needed: new ways of doing art, reaching new audiences, and (re)inventing future spaces for the dissemination and enjoyment of the arts. These concerns became particularly relevant for the Emergent collective since its primary goal is to bring different voices together in a sustained dialogue. The unfolding of the pandemic highlighted the need to treat the gallery as an emergent space itself rather than just a venue.

The result was, for our team, a complete rethinking of what the gallery space means and represents: in a disrupted world where the need for safety limits and the need for physical interaction, the following probing questions emerge: How can we imagine alternative formats, new forms of interactions, new safer and more inclusive spaces? Can we take the gallery to the streets and turn it into an emergent space? What new dialogues can a redesign of the gallery as a living, breathing entity foster?

This gallery offers more than the usual gallery experience and typical passive spectator interaction. Instead, the spectator is active, connecting, interacting, and even playing with the artworks, specimens, and documents. The gallery's mobility capabilities act as a new form of discourse for the general public and the art world - the interiority is now outside. The typical museum experience is usurped. The post-pandemic mobile gallery is the new connector between the artworks, the people, and the community.

The project Future Mound documents a massive, $1.28 billion cleanup of radioactive waste in Port Hope, Ontario. The project includes plans to dig up an estimated 75,000 truckloads of radioactive material embedded within the town and to bury it in a seven-story-high mound with a capacity for one million cubic meters of solid radioactive waste. The mound is to be located just south of Highway 401, a monument to all travellers on the country's main transportation artery and a reminder of Canada’s participation in the nuclear era.

To document a cleanup at this scale is an artistic and conceptual challenge. As an artistic investigation, documenting nuclear experience is complicated by the fact that radioactivity is invisible – it can’t really be photographed or filmed. It is also made complex by the way in which radioactivity involves inconceivable time spans. The nuclear materials to be interred in the mound will remain radioactive for eons, with half-lives that span thousands of years. The project documents in photography the environmental evidence of the cleanup and offers speculation on the long-term future of a nuclear mound that will need to remain in-situ, pragmatically forever.