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The CDT research project started in 2016 and has developed over the past few years through grant opportunities, conferences and research creation.


Shifting Values: Parametrized Object Representations of Experience

Greg Sims, I'thandi Munro

Shifting Values investigates the creation of parametrically-designed objects based on data derived from a survey of students regarding their potentially racialized experiences at the post-secondary level. The jewellery ring format is familiar, intimate and has functional aspects that may or may not be impacted by the data set. Facilitated conversations in small groups will serve to answer the initial research questions, and also contribute to a broader discussion of racism and its impacts in post-secondary education. As craft practitioners, we have experienced first-hand the ways in which objects can be used to create meaning, and want to engage participants in discussion regarding not only the particularities of their experience, but their views, assumptions, appraisal of the ability of objects to convey personal narrative.


October 2022

Craft and the Digital: Navigating the Folds

Heller, L, T. Crivellaro Grenier, D. Millerson and K. Morris. 

Collected stories from Canadian academics and students on how they perceive and learned to use digital tools, networks and processes has been translated into a VR experience allowing viewers to explore the themes of play, hand, time, loss, and future. The viewer navigates through a virtual Canadian landscape encountering fabrics and structures while listening to a soundscape made up of recorded voices and ambient music.

July 2022

13th Annual Society for Artistic Research (SAR) Conference

Heller, L, T. Crivellaro Grenier, D. Millerson and K. Morris. Thinking/Sinking into the Folds of Craft and the Digital Turn
The 13th Society for Artistic Research (SAR) Conference responded to the Frascati Manual and the Vienna Declaration on Artistic Research: presenting excellent research through means of high-level artistic practice and reflection; an epistemic inquiry, directed towards increasing knowledge, insight, understanding and skills.
Lynne Heller and Tricia Crivellaro Grenier presented “Thinking/Sinking into the Folds of Craft and the Digital Turn” at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany.

July 2022

May 2022

Craft History Workshop

Lynne Heller, Dorie Millerson, and Kathleen Morris’ Craft History Workshop presentation
Shiny New Toys: A History of Digital Technology in Canadian Post-Secondary Craft  speaks specifically about the practices of Downloading Risk and Responsibility from institutions onto individuals; Loss and Opportunity within digital ubiquity; the issue of Shiny New Toys destabilizing traditional craft practices; and the Seismic Shift Online as a response to the threat of the pandemic.

November 2021

Craft, Pedagogy, and the Digital Challenge: A Jewelry Perspective

Heller, Lynne, and Dorie Millerson. 

Craft, Pedagogy, and the Digital Challenge: A Jewelry Perspective has been published in the edited volume Digital Meets Handmade. As digital design, digital model-making, and prototyping have elbowed their way into common practice, they have proven themselves to be both invaluable and disruptive to the jewelry profession. Bringing together the perspectives of artisans, educators, students, mavens from the realm of fine jewelry, renegades from the Wild West of the maker movement, and innovators from the digital engineering sector, Digital Meets Handmade addresses a wide range of topics in jewelry design, delving into the broad conversation around how digital technologies and virtuoso handcraft can coalesce in jewelry as wearable art.

November 2021

September 2021

2021 Indian Ocean Craft Triennial

Presented by Lynne heller and Dorie Millersion,
Futuring Craft discussed embodied pedagogy and digital technology through the lens of precariousness.

May 2020

Sensuality, AR/VR, and the Virtual Sublime

Sensuality, AR/VR, and the Virtual Sublime
has been published in the edited volume Virtual Reality and Its Application in Education. The article investigates the body, embodiment, augmented, virtual reality (AR/VR) and the virtual sublime. This article proposes that the heightened sensations of an AR/VR encounter lend themselves to the sublime. However, the deficit of AR/VR sensuality due to truncated sensorial input leads to feelings of disaffection and disconnection. The residual effect translates into a longing for a heightened engagement and becomes a yearning for the sensual input of physicality.

May 2020

4-8 March, 2020

Canadian Craft Federation Conference

CCFC Poster

We are pleased to be invited to speak on the panel Digitial Fluence & Influence at The 14th National CCF/FCMA Conference: Ten Digit Technology, Understanding Virtual & Material Technologies Held in Sakatoon, Saskatchewan. Kathleen Morris and Hélène Day Fraser will be representing our team.

February, 2020

Historical Timeline Survey

We are pleased to annouce that our historical timeline survey is now Live! We would like to record all knowledge of the history involving digital technology in the craft-orientated spaces of institutions. If you would like to participate in this research, here is the link to our CDT Timeline Survey

February, 2020

January, 2020

The CDT Team Expands

A full complement of research assistants are now on board. In addition to Stephanie Cloutier from OCAD University, we welcomed I'thandi Munro from NSCAD University, Shiemara Hogarth from Alberta University of the Arts, Annika Dixon-Reusz and Richard Kennedy both from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The CDT team is now connected across Canada.

Fall 2019

Historical Timeline Survey Ethics Approval

Our application to OCAD University for research ethics approval for our initial cross-Canada survey was approved. We are now able to apply for approval from our partner institutions, followed by sending our the survey itself. In this survey we are gathering a history of digital tools, processes, and networks as they have evolved in Canadian post-secondary craft programs and labs. We will collect the histories of how digital technology entered into the institutional space and curriculum.

Fall 2019

22–24 November, 2019

Arts, Culture, and Digital Transformation Summit

CDT poster at Banff conference
Special thanks to David Maggs for organizing poster participation for our project at the Arts, Cuture and Digital Transformation Summit at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity. The summit was billed as "Re-imagining the place of the artist in a digital world". Thanks also to our team member Mackenzie Frere who attended the weekend long gathering, representing us and the work we are doing.

Summer 2019

Research Assistance and New Initiatives

jewelry students working at their benchesResearch Assistant Stephanie Cloutier joins the team in order to facilitate new iniatiatives for the project. Our website went live and the team is in the process of developing specific action items, themes and tags in order to manage the next three years of work.

Summer 2019

7 April, 2019

AERA Conference Presentation

Freeman, T., L. Heller and D. Millerson. Educational research at the intersection of art and design: A site-specific panel session at OCAD University in downtown Toronto, American Educational Research Association (AREA) Annual Meeting, Leveraging Education Research in a “Post-Truth” Era:Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence,Toronto, 2019

This session was a site visit to OCAD University, Canada’s largest art and design university, a series of linked presentations from the fields of Material Art and Design, Design History and Drawing, bringing traditional academic and emerging practice-based research projects from diverse art and design disciplines into conversation with one another. All presentations took up student learning artifacts – for example, visual work, sketchbook assignments and writing assignments – as both a source of evidence and a space of critical inquiry into pedagogical questions and concerns that engage, affirm and intervene in wider scholarly debates and practices of knowledge production.


Spring 2019

SSHRC Insight Grant

Our research initiative was awarded a Social Studies and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant for project Thinking through craft and the digital turn: studio practice, technology, and pedagogy within Canadian art and design universities. We have three years of funding to further our objective of connecting craft based departments in universities and colleges across Canada through surveys, innovative digital solutions such as augmented reality and research creation. We renamed the project Thinking Through Craft and The Digital Turn.

Spring 2019

25 January, 2019

Teaching Expo

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Dipietro, C., L. Heller and D. Millerson. Craft, Pedagogy and Discourse Analysis, 5th Annual Teaching Expo, OCAD University, 2019

Cary Dipietro, Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson participated in OCAD U's 5th Annual Teaching Expo by developing a session which evolved from the two OCAD U pilot studies which surveyed students, faculty, technicians and administrators who facilitate and use both traditional craft processes and digital tools. Session attendees looked at samples of student work and used discourse analysis to further understanding of the results of the pilot projects. The presentation began with a review of discourse analysis, followed by an interactive exercise with practical examples. The participants were asked to consider what discourse analysis can mean within an art and design university context.


Winter 2018

Student-led Research

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Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson teamed up with fellow faculty member Greg Sims, along with Travis Freeman and Cary DiPietro of the Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre (FCDC) for the project, Craft and the Digital Challenge: student experiences of craft and digital technologies in the studio classroom at OCAD University. The group developed a project that included surveying students, analyzing their work and using critical discourse analysis to look at the data they collected.

Winter 2018

17 May, 2018

Digital Meets Handmade

Heller, L, and D. Millerson. Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge—A Jewelry Perspective. Digital Meets Handmade: Jewelry in the 21st Century, Fashion Institute of Technology, USA, 2018

AT OCAD U our jewelry program has led the way in integrating digital technology into the curriculum but there remains a divide between the ways in which traditional and digital approaches are taught in the studio. This divide is seen in the use of separate classes and spaces for teaching traditional or digital fabrication along with the limited accessibility of 3D printers that tend to be operated by technicians rather than students. At the Digital Meets Handmade conference, Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson presented a paper that detailed the research done to date in both the pilot projects they have undertaken.

22 November, 2017

Research Wednesdays

Heller, L, and D. Millerson. All Hands on Tech: Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge. Research Wednesdays, OCAD University, Toronto, ON, 2017

What does “handmade” mean in the digital age? What is the place of digital craft at OCAD University from the perspectives of faculty, staff and technicians? Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson presented their research for the OCAD U community. Custom Post Format

22 November, 2017

15 September, 2017

All Hands on Tech: Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge

Heller, L, and D. Millerson. Hands on the Tech: Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge. Making Education: The Changing Nature of Teaching Craft, Can Craft? Craft Can! Canadian Craft Biennial Symposium, Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington and OCAD University, Toronto, 2017

Hands on the Tech was scheduled for the session, Making Education: The Changing Nature of Teaching Craft at the Canadian Craft Biennial Symposium which included papers from across the world and was facilitated by team member Dorie Millerson. Heller and Millerson summarized the project's findings through a video, followed by a PowerPoint presentation. 


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Summer 2017

Hybrid Posters

After the interviews, the research team chose a quote from each interview that best represented its participants. Quotes were then incorporated into posters designed by Lynne Heller. The posters were hung in the entrance to OCAD U during Canadian Craft Biennale (CCB) conference proceedings.

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Summer 2017

Spring 2017

Gathering Qualitative Data

One of the first activities undertaken was interviewing faculty, technicians and staff. A list of possible participants was developed and contacted, resulting in eight in-depth interviews conducted over a few weeks time. Ellie Manning filmed the interviews and edited a video providing compelling documentation of the data gathering.

Winter 2017

Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge

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Heller and Millerson gathered a group of research assistants to develop the project. The team included Claire Bartleman (Graduate Research Assistant), Ellie Manning (Undergraduate Research Assistant and Videographer) and Enna Kim (Undergraduate Research Assistant).

Winter 2017

Winter 2018

GradLinks at OCAD U

Gallery Post ImageThe project was awarded a GradLinks grant from OCAD University to enable research assistant Keiko Hart to join the project team to help develop an in-depth literature review. Hart also helped the team revitalize the initial research wall, augment the presentation video and organize for upcoming presentations.

Summer 2017

The Research Wall

In addition to the video, Claire Bartleman and Lynne Heller created a Research Wall in the host lab, the Data Materialization Studio. The Research Wall facilitated a visual and research creation approach to the data collected and the theoretical stances being explored.

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Summer 2017

Fall 2016

OCAD U Research Seed Grant

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Upon receiving an OCAD Research Seed Grant, Lynne Heller and Dorie Millerson developed the project/study titled Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge. It sought to consider the place of teaching and learning digital craft at OCAD University from the perspectives of faculty, staff, and technicians in the teaching environment of the Material Art and Design program, which includes the study of ceramics, jewellery and textiles practices. Research questions included, "What is the relationship between craft making traditions and the advent of advanced digital tools, and what are the pedagogical implications of that confluence"?

© 2024 Craft and the Digital Turn