York/Sheridan design students splice together a spectacular send-off show

Talented young designers from the York University/Sheridan Institute Joint Program in Design showcase their best work in Splice – stranded together, their graduation exhibition on view April 13-17, in the Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s historic Distillery District.

Ranging from typography to interactivity and from packaging to book design, Splice ties together diverse communication design media, styles and ideas from the 99 members of the 2008 graduating class. The group curated their own works, collaborated on the show concept and marketing, arranged sponsorship and installed the show.

Left: Melissa Gonzales’ Festival of Words poster

"This graduation show is a testament to the achievements of our students and of the York/Sheridan design program itself," said Wendy Wong, Chair of York’s Design Department. "Since the program started in 1999, our graduates have established an excellent reputation in the design industry. Last year, more than 400 industry professionals attended, along with many hundreds of visitors from the general public. We look forward to welcoming even more visitors this year."

The graduating students echo Wong’s enthusiasm in the exhibition and the program.

"We decided on the theme of Splice because this show is the product of interweaving strands of passion, dedication, creativity and innovation that we have cultivated in the past four years of studies," said Jensen Lee.

Right: Lisa Wu’s Tokyo Fever poster

Lee’s classmate, Cassandra Gonzales, said: "This program has been a great experience. Not only has my education provided me with theory and practical knowledge to take into the future, but I’ve also developed wonderful friendships with my peers and professors."

Splice presents their definitions of good design. Many of the student exhibitors elaborate on their approach to, and understanding of, the meaning and contributions of design on the exhibition Web site splicetogether.ca, which also presents examples of the works on display.

"Design turns simple and common pieces of information into unique and memorable bits of our culture," said Victoria Pratt. Ashley Choi noted: "Good design interacts with the audience. It attracts people to look, read, feel, and eventually engage in changing their thoughts and behaviours."

Left: Sarah Danahy’s Book Design

For the graduating students, poised on the brink of their professional careers, a highlight of the event is the Industry Night on Tuesday, April 15 that features retail strategy master Don Watt as a guest speaker. The founder of Watt International, one of North America’s largest strategic planning design firms, Watt is now the chairman and CEO of DW+Partners, a Toronto-based branding firm whose client list has included Coca-Cola Canada, Wal-Mart USA, Holt Renfrew and the Government of Canada.

The York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design was established in 1999 as Ontario’s first Bachelor of Design degree program. It is offered jointly by York University in Toronto and Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning in Oakville, with students taking courses at both institutions. Building on the joint program, York University launched a Master of Design program in 2005.

Right: Carine Paratian’s No Name Syrup Packaging

Splice – stranded together, the York/Sheridan Joint Program in Design graduation show, will be on display April 13 to 17 at the Distillery District, located at 55 Mill Street, Toronto. For more information and for hours, visit the Splice Web site or call ext. 55888.