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Research Excellence

York is committed to excellence in research and scholarship in all its forms. Informed by a strong commitment to shared values, including the promotion of social justice, diversity, and the public good, we aspire through our research to better understand the human condition and the world around us and to employ the knowledge we gain in the service of society.

Research Labs

There are a number of research labs and facilities directed by researchers affiliated with the Digital Media Program. The labs provide our graduate students with access to equipment and expertise, as well as opportunities for networking and to work as research assistants.

The Alice Lab

Director: Dr. Graham Wakefield

Description: The Alice Lab's program of interdisciplinary research-creation applies a deep commitment to the open-endedness of computation—as an art material—toward technologies of artificial intelligence within immersive mixed reality. The research and training program will result in new software for artists to co-create immersive worlds—as art installations—from within the worlds themselves. As collaborative improvisations are enacted with the whole body, this will radically change how we sculpt complex forms and behaviours. Moreover, these worlds will be more responsive, playful, and curious. Disseminated in public venues, they will share a different conception of the cohabitation of human and artificial beings.


n-D :: StudioLab

Director: Dr. Mark David Hosale

Description: The n-D::StudioLab is an adaptable space for research-creation-based theoretical discourse, methodological development, and the production of works in the areas of Art and Science, Computational Art, and Interactive Architecture. There is an added emphasis on methodological development in the integration of software development, digital fabrication, electronics hardware development, and sound and vision research with the goal of creating eversive works that blur the divide between the virtual and the real.


DisPerSion Lab

Director: Dr. Doug Van Nort

Description: The DIStributed PERformance and Sensorial ImmersION Lab is dedicated to research-creation work at the intersection of digitally mediated performance, electroacoustic and computer music, sonic arts, improvisation and computational creativity.


Practices in Enabling Technologies (PiET) Lab

Director: Dr. Melanie Baljko

Description: The PiET Lab is a place for research-creation initiatives and advanced training in value-based digital media and digital technology design, with a focus on inclusion and social belonging. Current projects include Accessibility in Educational Placement for Students with Disabilities (AcTinSite), ENAbling MEdia for braille Literacy (ENAMEL), Fabrication Lab-in-a-Kit (FLiK): DIY Assistive Technology for Children with Disabilities in Kenya, and Deliberately Slow Interfaces.


Sensorium: The Centre for Arts and Digital Technologies

Director: Laura Levin

Description: Sensorium is a research centre for creative inquiry and experimentation at the intersection of the media arts, performance, and digital culture. As a site for co-creation and shared critical reflection, Sensorium serves as a catalyst for examining how diverse media platforms enable multi-sensory perception and embodied experience, along with new modes of social engagement. Bridging disciplines and diverse communities, Sensorium researchers, artists, and scientists explore networked connections between people, sentient environments, and ecologies of place.


SLOlab: Sympoietic Living Ontologies lab

Director: Jane Tingley

Description: The SLOlab is an interdisciplinary research-creation laboratory that supports the creation of artworks, creative probes, and critical technological investigations that draw attention to the complexity and the interconnections found in and around (non) human engagement within the world. Through the mattering of (complex) systems, research in the lab investigates the sympoietic and slippery relationships that weave together and form living ecologies. Creative projects at SLOlab seek out the hidden dependencies within systems and pluck at the cultural, ecological, political, and philosophical threads that contribute to, and make up, the fabric of the world that we participate in.


Social and Technological Systems (SaTS) Lab

Director: Dr. Shital Desai

Description: The SaTS Lab's research program aims to identify ways to improve the Quality of Life (QoL) of people and the planet using Life Centred Design approaches. The lab focuses on understanding the role of technology such as Mixed Reality, AI and Conversation Assistants, as a tool to address UN Sustainable Development Goals pertaining to health and well-being, ageing, global health and Education. The lab brings together researchers and students from different disciplines in knowledge sharing, tackling wicked problems in healthcare and ageing and identifying sustainable interventions and solutions for the problems. The lab works closely with industry and community partners, in project planning, execution knowledge mobilization and translation efforts, with the lab elders leading the direction of the projects in the lab. Research outcomes from the lab are informing publications and design and development of services and technologies. The knowledge generated through interdisciplinary projects on Dementia and QoL is informing the peer review process for the WHO Global Dementia Observatory Knowledge Exchange Platform.

Training students in empathetic computing and accessible human-centred design methods is at the centre of the lab’s mandate. Students gain opportunities to learn state-of-the-art methods to conduct mixed methods research and how to design and develop technological solutions that are accessible and inclusive. The lab is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Ontario Research Fund(ORF). The projects in the lab have received funding from NSERC, SSHRC, UK-Research and Innovation, Longitude Dementia and the Australian Research Council (ARC).


Learn More

The Graduate Program in Digital Media at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.