Our program is empowered by a welcoming and diverse community of students with a uniquely global perspective. Together we are making things right for our communities and our future.
When I found out that York University is offering a new one-year Master of Arts degree in Design Research, I saw it as a fine opportunity to level-up my current design skills. Putting the application together wasn’t easy because I graduated from Visual Studies at the University of Toronto in 2012 and spent the last decade in the professional practice of advertising design. Throughout my career I’ve worked on everything from pizza flyers, to architectural proposal materials, to creative direction for a magazine. Luckily, I got accepted to York and can now enjoy this chance for deep conceptual thinking and freedom of experimentation — the two things that are often missing in the everyday grind of commercial work. My research focus for this program is still on promotional design because I do have a lot of passion for it. I find this field to be very democratic (ads are just dreams, and dreaming is free for all!), but very pragmatic as well. So, that’s what I am, really, a pragmatist and a dreamer.
Interesting fact: in elementary school I enjoyed drawing little flip-cartoons in the corners of my notebooks. I distinctly remember one such cartoon of an imaginary shampoo commercial with fun soapy bubbles floating around.
Ashley Richmond is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria with a BFA in Visual Arts. After working as a production artist, she wishes to further her studies in order to hone in on previously developed skills and individual vision. She is currently pursuing her Master of Design degree at York University with interest in exploring packaging design and social media strategies for branding. This avenue of design has always intrigued her, and through this program she wishes to push the limits of her design capabilities.
Emma Hodgson is a GTA-based graphic designer, illustrator and Master of Design student. Currently enamored with packaging and communication design, she enjoys interacting with a wide range of mediums. Emma graduated recently from the York/Sheridan Program in Design (YSDN), where, more than developing hands-on skills, she fell in love with design thinking and research. Emma is passionate about humanistic design, prioritizing the creation of relevant work rooted in empathy.
Emma’s research interests lie somewhere at the intersection of feminism, spirituality and mental health. She is an avid listener of music and podcasts, spending most of her free time thrifting, painting, and venturing out into nature.
Eve-Lareine Dandan is a Toronto-based graphic designer. She recently completed her Bachelor of Design degree in the York Sheridan Program in Design where she focused on branding and identity. She was introduced to design accessibility during her undergraduate studies which has since become a very important aspect of her professional work, and this interest has lead her to continue her studies at the Master’s level. She plans to use her time in the MA program to gain more knowledge and expertise in the realm of accessible design, while refining her skills in UX/UI.
Jessica Kim is a graphic designer and illustrator. A recent graduate from OCAD University, she is pursuing her Master of Design while working in the industry as a Junior Designer. Jessica specializes in package design, brand identity, and illustration. She would like to merge her design practice with her interests in sustainability and biology. Jessica's research explores how to use biomimicry in graphic design for positive gain.
Joey Wong is a Toronto-based designer and a recent graduate of the York Sheridan joint program in Design. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she experimented with a variety of media, ultimately developing an interest in UX/UI and visual communication design. Joey's interests and past experiences have led her to pursue a Master of Design degree at York University where she aims to explore the role design plays in disseminating healthcare information during the education process.
Rupsha Mutsuddi is an Indian-born Canadian graphic designer who has a strong multidisciplinary focus. She combines her education with her experience of living on three different continents to draw inspiration from a wide variety of subject matter. Her work is driven by a strong focus on storytelling and a holistic research methodology. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto with a major in Psychology and minors in Biology and Political Science. She has also completed a Graphic Design Diploma from Conestoga College as of April 2022. Rupsha has worked for clients such as Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region, The Detox Market Canada, Ripple of Change Magazine, and most recently she worked as a junior contract designer at Him & Her. Rupsha is very passionate about volunteering and engaging with the design community, she currently sits on the Association of Registered Graphic Designers’ Board of Directors. Due to her interest in information dissemination in healthcare systems, Rupsha’s research interests focus on health literacy and the ways graphic design can empower and aid the public in making informed healthcare decisions.
The Graduate Program in Design at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Student Program Assistant to learn more.