Boyden is pleased to share the appointment news of Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel, a recruitment led by Nick Chambers

Toronto, ON - Apr 3, 2024

OCAD University welcomes Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel as its new Dean of the Faculty of Design on July 1, 2024. Her five-year appointment was approved by the Board of Governors at its March 4 meeting. 

Dr. Noel is well-positioned to lead the Faculty of Design in enhancing studio-based learning, promoting entrepreneurship, securing more industry collaborations and advancing decolonization and equity to enrich the student learning experience. 

Dr. Noel, who has an MBA and a Ph.D. in Design, has served as an industrial design consultant for more than 10 years for export development agencies in Kenya, Guyana, the Caribbean and the International Trade Centre of the World Bank. She also developed products for artisans to market at international trade shows. Her experience in the global south will support the University’s recent partnership-building efforts in the Caribbean and South America. 

Her recent projects in patient-centered outcomes research will support scholars working in health design research across the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

“Dr. Noel is the kind of interdisciplinary design practitioner needed to support our students and faculty now,” says Dr. Caroline Langill, Vice-President, Academic and Provost, who chaired the Decanal Search Committee for the new dean. “We believe she will be inspiring and forward-thinking in her new role as the Dean of the Faculty of Design.”

Reporting to Dr. Caroline Langill, Dr. Noel will be responsible for the educational and research leadership, development and supervision of the Faculty.

“OCAD U is a global leader in educating designers who are equipped with the knowledge and mind-set to offer solutions in addressing some of the issues we face today, including climate change, social inequality as well as emerging issues such as the ethics of new technologies,” says Dr. Noel. “I am excited to join the Faculty of Design and continue the work to transform design education, research and practice.”

Dr. Langill thanked the members of the search committee for their commitment and due diligence: Stephen Foster, Dean of the Faculty of Art; Faculty members Roderick Grant, Dr. Nithikul Nimkulrat, Dr. Jutta Treviranus and Dr. Emma Westecott; student representatives Sanvitti Dalmia and Yara Selman; and Connie Arezes-Reis, the representative from People & Culture.

She also extended a sincere thank you to Dr. Kathy Moscou for taking on the role as interim dean since July 1, 2023.

More About Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel

Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel is a designer, researcher and educator. Her research interests focus on those traditionally excluded from research, design-based learning and design thinking. She practices primarily in social innovation, entrepreneurship, education and public health. In her research, she highlights the work of designers outside Europe and North America. 

She designed The Designer’s Critical Alphabet, a deck of cards to help introduce designers and design students to inclusive design concepts. She also designed Empathy Games for Children, a deck of cards with activities to help children empathize with each other.

She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Pluriversal Design Special Interest Group of the Design Research Society. She is the author of Design Social Change and a co-editor of The Black Experience in Design: Identity, Expression and Reflection.

Dr. Noel has a BA in Industrial Design from the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil and an MBA from the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. She earned her Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University, where she was most recently a faculty member focusing on Design Studies in the Department of Media Arts, Design and Technology.

She has been awarded honorary doctorates for service to the design field by the University of the Arts London (2023) and the Pacific Northwest College of Art (2021). 

Before joining North Carolina State University, she was the Associate Director of Design Thinking for Social Impact at Tulane University. She was also a lecturer at Stanford University and the University of the West Indies.

Original Source: OCAD News

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