Archive for the ‘Core PI’ Category

EDGELab’s Adaptive Design Project Awarded Grand Challenges Canada Funding

January 29th, 2015

Sae’s Painting of the Autism Rocker Design.

Ryerson researcher Dr. Jason Nolan is breaking down barriers for children with special needs. He has recently been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Stars in Global Health program through Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, to fund his pilot project entitled “Adaptive Design International.” His project focuses on the creation of customized adaptations for children with special needs.

Dr. Nolan is Assistant Professor at the School of Early Childhood Studies and Director of the Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) Lab. The EDGE lab is home to the Adaptive Design Studio, where Dr. Nolan and his colleagues work directly with children with special needs to create custom adaptable designs, working towards a goal of improving their well-being. Dr. Nolan uses accessible materials such as cardboard to create objects such as rockers that encourage self-stimulatory behaviour in autistic children.

The first step of the project is to set up a teaching and learning collaboration with partners to co-develop a training program and establish an adaptive design lab in Bolivia. Then Dr. Nolan will develop an online knowledge mobilization network linked to these international community partners.

Grand Challenge Canada’s Stars in Global Health program supports scientific/technical, social, and business innovation. Successful projects seek to create affordable health solutions that can be assimilated into cultural practices worldwide, with the capacity to affect positive change in low-to-middle-income countries.

“This collaboration will build on our shared strengths to form a solid foundation from which to share our social innovation with our neighbours and all around the world,” says Dr. Nolan. The long term goal of the project is to scale-up through additional industry and public partnerships, eventually becoming a template used in emerging communities worldwide.

Originally posted in Innovation: Ryerson University Research & Innovation Newsletter, Issue 13: January 2015

Cardboard Creations from the EDGE Lab

June 6th, 2014

The Canada Foundation for Innovation / Fondation canadienne pour l’innovation published this video about some of the projects going on in the lab last winter.

Jason Nolan, director of Ryerson University’s EDGE Lab in Toronto, designs and builds objects out of cardboard that allow kids with special needs to play freely and independently. Nolan showcased his work as CFI’s guest at the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s “Cool Science Saturday” event in Ottawa on February 15.

Photos courtesy of Jason Nolan and The Adaptive Design Association of New York

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Dr Jason Nolan and Melanie McBride present “Embodied Semiosis: Autistic Stimming as Sensory Praxis at AERA”

May 8th, 2013


Dr Jason Nolan and EDGE-lab researcher Melanie McBride presented “Embodied Semiosis: Autistic “Stimming” as Sensory Praxis,” based on their forthcoming chapter for the International Handbook of Semiotics (Springer, 2014) as part of “ Do-It-Yourself Media and Youth Engagement: Repurposing Media for Play, Resistance, and Learning” at this year’s American Educational Research Association annual conference. The panel also featured:

  • Megan Boler (University of Toronto), “From Apathy to Occupy Wall Street to 4th Wave Feminism: Youth Practices of Social Media and Participatory Democracy”
  • Suzanne de Castell (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), “Mirror Images: Avatar Aesthetics and Self-Representation in Digital Games.”
  • Jennifer Jenson (York University) “Raising the Bar on “Voice” in a Troubled Community: Student Media Projects,” DIY (Do It Yourself)
  • Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania) & Kylie A. Peppler (Indiana University – Bloomington) “Beyond the Screen: Creative, Critical, and Connected Making With E-Textiles.”

From the AERA program abstract:

The emergence of online and offline do-it-yourself (DIY) communities of practice invites educational researchers to revisit critical pedagogy and informal learning at a moment of unprecedented poverty and rapidly shifting paradigms of education, labour, creativity and social space. We explore DIY culture a contested yet vital location of identity and self-representation for children, youth and marginalized individuals varied social, cultural and ideological sites of creativity and struggle. Our panel brings together transdisciplinary research exploring the impact of DIY culture with risk students and communities, children with disabilities, and women exploring STEM to locate commonalities, differences and paths of resistance.

2013 Admissions Handbook for Ryerson

October 4th, 2012

If you are thinking about attending Ryerson or are just curious about what programs are offered, check out the 2013 handbook.

Here’s a link to the Faculty of Community Services programs and the Early Childhood Studies page featuring EDGE Lab Director, Jason Nolan.


Pulse: heath research and innovation at Ryerson university

August 17th, 2012

Lab director, Jason Nolan, is featured in the Pulse: heath research and innovation at Ryerson university (page 33).
Jason in PULSE magazine


Deb Fels at #icchp2012

July 12th, 2012

@EDGElab researcher Deb Fels #icchp2012 regarding young #a11y researchers.

AoIR2011 digital natives presentation

October 17th, 2011

New Design at the Adaptive Design Association

March 24th, 2011

It has been great to work with everyone at the ADA and to talk with Alex about policy, Lille about procedures for working with parents and families. Antoinette and Kenia have been teaching me techniques. I was able to show them some techniques for doing some custom freehand cutting with a dremel tool, though I couldn’t find the perfect attachment at the two home depot stores in manhattan, even though the web site says they’re in stock. (fail)

They made up a little blog post on the visit.
Which links to this video on flickr of me describing the chair prototype that I’m building for a child in Ryerson’s Early Learning Centre.

Adaptive design studio at the Edge Lab

February 21st, 2011

Adaptive design studio at the Edge Lab

Originally uploaded by jasonnolan

On family day. With Noah, Agata, Karen and Yuka. We’re building an toboggan and other small things. This is the first day we’ve been in there as a group working.

Richard Lachman

October 15th, 2010

Richard Lachman is Assistant Professor, Digital Media in the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University, and a Technology and Creative Consultant for entertainment and software-development projects.  Richard has a Bachelors in computer-science graduate of MIT, holds a masters degree from the MIT Media Lab’s “Interactive Cinema” group, and is completing a doctorate in Computer Science at the University of New England in Australia. Lachman often makes his research an experimental collaboration with industry, and his projects have been honoured by the Gemini awards, Canadian New Media Awards and the Webbys. Prior to his time at Ryerson, Lachman worked on some of the top new media/broadcast projects in the country, and with many of the major networks in the country, as well as publishing and presenting his works around the world.  Prior to returning to Canada, Lachman served as Lead Designer and Lead Engineer for the US “Petz” product line: entertainment software shipping 3 million units worldwide, and which garnered awards from ID Magazine, Communications Arts, and Invision Children’s Entertainment, was featured in the New York Times, USA Today and Time Magazine, and was part of an exhibition at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York.  His research interests include transmedia storytelling, digital documentaries, applied gaming, and locative media.

At the EDGE Lab, with partners the Royal Ontario Museum and Kensington Communication, Richard’s team is developing methods of using documentary content and augmented reality techniques in the museum context.  Edgelab will also host DocSHIFT, a partnership with DocToronto, the NFB, the CFC Media Lab and HotDocs around digital media and documentary.