Current Lab Members

Gabby Resch
Gabby Resch is a PhD student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. His research focuses on human-computer interaction, embodiment, and digital media in learning environments. He has done research on augmented reality, 3D printing, and making engagements in classrooms and museums. He has extensive experience with new media technologies, DIY hacking culture, and the history of computing, and his work applies themes from these respective areas to educational opportunities (both formal and informal). In addition to the Semaphore and Critical Making Labs, he also works with the ENCORE lab at OISE, a research group that investigates new ways of teaching and learning with technology.
His Website
Antonio Gamba Bari
Antonio is a PhD student at the Faculty of Information. His research is grounded in the intersection between Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT), cognitive science, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), information systems design, and education – towards a better understanding of cognitive, social, and ethical ramifications of information artifacts. His studies and work focus on analyzing computational and social challenges involved in the design of open, customizable, and adaptable technologies. Currently, his research is pursuing a methodological and conceptual framework for designing and assessing the use of DIY electronics in fostering children’s socio-technical literacy.
Dan Southwick
Dan Southwick is a PhD student at the Faculty of Information. He has a background in History and Library and Information Science. In previous lives, he has been both a children’s and reference librarian. He draws from this experience in his current research, which explores how 3D technologies (scanning and printing) can be used to understand the digitization of cultural heritage artifacts.
His Twitter
Curtis McCord
Curtis McCord is a Master’s student and moss that grows within the critical making lab. Current research interests include cybernetics and information systems within democratic governance, public internet resources, 3D printing, and ontology.
His Twitter
Joshua Qua Hiansen
Josh is a researcher with a Master’s degree from The University of Western Ontario where he focused on surfactant function and lung injury. He has extensive experience researching disease mechanisms as they affect the body within, but has since shifted focus to better understand problems facing the world without. He is currently working to apply basic scientific principles with 3D printing to develop tools for the developing world to produce energy and clean water.
His Twitter


ginger coons
A recent graduate of the Critical Making Lab, ginger “all-lower-case” coons is a scholar, designer, and all-round trouble maker. Her work is at the intersection of digital fabrication, individuality, mass standards, and labour. Her dissertation fuses Free/Libre and Open Source Software, mass customization, 3D printing and scanning, and the working practices of 19th century dressmakers. In her capacity as a booster of Free/Libre and Open Source art and design, she was one of the founding editors of Libre Graphics magazine. She recently completed a PhD in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where she was a member of the Critcal Making Lab from 2009 to 2015.

Her PhD Thesis (PDF)
Her MI Thesis (PDF)
Her Website
Her Twitter

Isaac Record
Isaac Record is a former Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of Information. His postdoctoral research aimed to answer two questions: how does technology figure into the process of knowledge production, and how is technical knowledge produced during the design process? He investigates how technical knowledge functions in society and how different users—technical and otherwise—encounter technology in their everyday lives. He analyses the conceptual, material, and procedural products of design in terms of “technological possibilities” for bringing about desired states of affairs and the “practices of trust” that enable users to reliably coordinate material and conceptual resources. His research at Semaphore Lab explored the implications of the increasing availability of desktop fabrication equipment such as 3D printers, programmable controllers, and sensor toolkits. Isaac is now at Michigan State University.
His Website
Marie-Eve Belanger
Marie-Eve Belanger is a designer, researcher, and overall creative generalist. She is the coordinator of the ThingTank Lab, a private-academic-public partnership that researches and experiments with post-digital spaces and the Internet of Things. Her current work explores the nature of knowledge transfer in creative and informal communities, the role of DIY, hacker & maker cultures in social innovation, and the ongoing adoption of rapid prototyping and digital fabrication tools. Marie-Eve is a graduate of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto where her work focused on annotative practices, digital textuality, and novel user interfaces for scholarly research.
Her Thesis (PDF)
Her Website
Her Twitter
Patrick MacInnis
Patrick is a tinkerer and a writer, and has a strangely large collection of defunct laptops. He lives in the intersections between schools of thought, working on projects in culture, human rights, intellectual property, and appropriation. His interests are in interactive data visualization, remix/mashup, and investigating the material associations of immaterial labour in the creative industries. He is currently a Master of Information (Critical Information Studies path) student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
Margaret Lam
Margaret is a researcher, writer and designer working on independent and collaborative projects related to the transmission, organization and preservation of music knowledge. Her approach is informed by ethnomusicology’s socio-cultural approach to studying music, critical approaches to studying information, and user-centered design sensibilities. Under the supervision of Prof. Matt Ratto in 2011, along with the support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada through the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program, she completed her master’s thesis entitled “Online Music Knowledge: The Case of the Non-Musician”. She also co-authored a paper with Matt entitled “Designing Music Knowledge Platforms: A User-Centered Framework” which will be published in 2012 by De Gruyter in Indexing and Retrieval of Non-Text Information edited by Diane Neal. She is currently involved in the study and creation of online communities and platforms that facilitate the transmission of music knowledge within different institutional, social and cultural contexts.
Her Thesis (PDF)
Her Website
Her Twitter
Mike Borg
Mike has seven years of web development experience with a focus on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Mike founded Saturday Marketing and has provided design, development and maintenance services to government, corporate, non-profit and educational institutions. He has also participated in large government funded academic research projects on information feedback within the context of home energy monitoring and “Internet of Things” technologies. This research was awarded with a Stanford University Precourt fellowship. Mike has a rare combination of computer science skills and knowledge with an expert understanding of fundamental social science/humanities issues.
His Website
Robert Ree
Robert Ree graduated with a Master of Information from the University of Toronto in 2011, where he was actively involved in the Critical Making Lab. His research synthesized concepts and techniques from his background in architecture with the challenges, problems and opportunities posed by contemporary digital information systems. Robert’s ongoing work has included explorations into ‘tactile’ data visualization using open source hardware and software, programming parametric virtual sculptural forms in Processing, as well as examining the physical and social dimensions of desktop 3D fabrication technologies. Robert is now a faculty member at the School of Animation, Arts and Design at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, where he teaches courses in design drawing and digital media. Based on his experience in the Critical Making Lab, he founded Sheridan Makers, a campus club that encourages students to engage emerging technologies in hands-on creative work.
His Thesis (PDF)
Alejandro Lopez
J. Alejandro Lopez Hernandez is a Toronto-based Designer and Intern Architect who recently graduated from the Masters of Architecture & Knowledge Media Design Collaborative Programs at the University of Toronto. His recent Master of Architecture thesis project is a design speculation on how digitally enhanced environments can support a web application for the exchanging of underused things in cities called the Stuff Cloud. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Power Corporation of Canada Award at the Canadian Centre for Architecture where he completed a Collaborative Research Residency titled Green CCA. His ongoing research and design activities bridge the not so disparate disciplines of Architecture and Interaction Design with a focus on enhancing sustainability and agency in urban environments.
His Website
Other Alums
Jamon Camisso
Brian Harding
Armin Krauss
Colin McCann
Danielle Leighton
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