Current Student Research

Tejas Jagannathan Ambarani

Visual Communication Design
ambarani@ualberta.ca 


Suzana Awal

Visual Communication Design
awal@ualberta.ca


Elio Baradarijomehri

Industrial Design
baradari@ualberta.ca 


Muhammad Ali Butt

Visual Communication Design
mbutt1@ualberta.ca 

The fodder that a creative's mind feeds upon is very much a result of their surroundings, but to what extent? How far do circumstances drive the mind's creative production? Is a person riddled with hindrances all the more productive because of them? Would a very happy person be less creative because he may not have as strong an incentive? These are questions that I seek answers to. Being in an alert state of mind, I began to notice the people around myself in a new light. Seeing injustice bothers me greatly, and the streets of my country have proven there is a lot to bother about. This closed mindedness of society has been my trigger for some time. Here is where I feel foreign academic training could really help me because, having been taught by some faculty members with foreign degrees, I noticed that their way of teaching and understanding design was very different than anything I had experienced previously. Since then, I have a wish to gain a similar level of insight into design, by making the most use of a foreign qualification, studying among students and teachers from all sorts of diverse backgrounds and intellects, and learning and practicing design through a new, fresh perspective.

The Master of Visual Communication Design course in the University of Alberta's postgraduate programs seems to be designed keeping the global shifts and trends of design in mind, which is a great plus point, and this being a degree that would be recognized globally, make applying here a sensible decision. The two year duration of the program, coupled with the industry knowledge and experience that I have collected over the past two years of my working as a professional, should help me become more centered to my work.

Canada, being a completely new terrain for me, provides me with a host of learning possibilities and opportunities. In the way that I have observed injustices and limitations in my own society, it will be intriguing to explore and find out what my interest would latch onto in a more accepting environment, and how I would design my work around it. The sort of characteristics I would notice in a society that is known to be a peaceful, polite, and tolerant, and how my creative instinct gets affected by this culture shock, where every person is free to express themselves and live as they wish to, will be an enlightening experience.

But the most important thing to wonder is how this experience could potentially change me as a person. Would I become ignorant to the issues that plagued me back home if my own issues were resolved, culminating into a personal strife, or will it make me more resistant, tougher and confident enough to become part of the select few who are trying to change the rhetoric.


Raheel Malkan

Visual Communication Design
malkan@ualberta.ca 

Data requires to be complex and extensive but the process of its comprehension does not. Information is so omnipresent and easily available to us today, we no longer are concerned about its accessibility. Our need rather has evolved to seek increased comprehension of any information in a short span of time. Visualizing data sets, rich with meaning and nuance has helped me address this need beautifully.

My work stems at the intersection of Data & Design. How does one re-create a tangible narrative derived out of the complexities of maps, graphs, tables and the like? In my sophomore year of undergraduate studies an installation I built for the Mathematics of Planet Earth, visualized the exponential spread of the epidemic SARS from China to the rest of the world. The structure built of glass, string and light accurately mapped the exact number of cases in all affected countries.

Data sets can be overwhelming however when re-imagined in a visual / tangible form, can reveal narratives that the reader would have missed otherwise. My interest lies in the creation of these visual narratives and in the process to expose myself to a new piece of information, idea, story with each passing project.


Michael Peel

Industrial Design
mpeel@ualberta.ca

I am a multidisciplinary designer currently exploring research related to design for human health, wellness, and longevity. Within this area of research I am specifically drawn to the interrelated themes of body image & body dysmorphia, disordered eating behaviours, nutrition & supplementation, addiction prevention & treatment, physical strength development, athletic performance, cognitive performance, meditation & mindfulness, sleep & recovery, and stress management. These themes are united by a common objective to empower people, both mentally and physically, and to remove accessibility, equality, and inclusion barriers as they interact with their community and their environment.

My role as a designer within this area of research is to facilitate, and to participate in the creation of thoughtful products, systems, and services which promote and enhance physical and mental health. My desire is to work directly with individuals in need and to deliver tangible interventions which could improve their quality of living. These research interests are driven by a deep personal motivation to assist individuals who express a need for help, and who identify a desire to improve the conditions of their lives.

 

Todd Pruden

Industrial Design
tpruden@ualberta.ca


Stephanie Rossi

Industrial Design
bilson@ualberta.ca


Ruochan (Daniel) Li

Industrial Design
ruochan1@ualberta.ca 


Mehrnoush Zeidabadi

Visual Communication Design
zeidabad@ualberta.ca 


Zhiying (Peaches) Zheng

Industrial Design
zhiying@ualberta.ca