Examining the Exhibit:

You and Me are the Other ‘17

A mock-up exhibition at OCAD University Graduate Gallery
In collaboration with Inclusive Design graduate students
An exhibition at OCAD U

Exhibition Design, Curation, Experience design, strategy development, Design Research, Inclusive Design, 

Multisensory Design, Wayfinding, Visual Design, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator

My Role:
I served as a Design Researcher and worked on planning,  and conducting the research. I planned and managed the mock-up and final exhibition.

OCADU Supervisors: Dr. Peter Coppin, Cheryl Giraudy, Beverly Dywan


Art and cultural spaces rely heavily on visual representation of artworks. As a result, individuals with diverse needs can be excluded from engaging with artworks in such spaces. For instance, people who are blind or partially sighted as well as individuals with different learning styles such as tactile and auditory are challenged by the absence of accessible artworks and spaces. 


A multi-sensory exhibition, where presented works do not rely on only visual presentation and have tactile, auditory and olfactory aspect. 


Research Methods
Rationale for the Method

Literature scan

Environmental scan


Current Exhibition Practices

Multimodal and Multi-sensory Practices

Compatibility with Disability Aesthetics

Compatibility with Indigenous Methods and Ways of Knowing 

Focus Group

16 OCAD U graduate students (inclusive design program)

Define barriers, needs, goals

Define inclusive exhibition criteria


Iterative Prototyping Cycle

16 OCAD U grad students 

translate gathered data into concepts, 

Iterative design process 

Feedback loops

Feedback Sessions

3 OCAD U Inclusive Design program Professors

Validated gathered data 

Tested the prototypes


Pilot Exhibition

open to public

Gathered feedback from and diverse individuals as visitors and experts of the field of inclusive design 

Data Analysis

  • data analysis was an ongoing process and gathered data was synthesized and analyzed during each stage of the research


Open and thematic coding were used to analyze qualitative methods' data and find themes


16 OCAD U grad students 

Developed and refined prototypes based on the feedback 

Developed new concepts and prototypes based on the feedbacks


Exhibition at OCAD U

open to public

To apply research insights and practice inclusive exhibition

To include and engage a larger population in exhibition 

To move forward in program goal of access for all


Literature Scan 

Literature scan focus was on exploring current and emerging multi-sensory, and multimodal exhibition and tools. Also literature was reviewed to look into growing movements on inclusion and accessibility, as well as alignment of the project with indigenous methods and ways of knowing.

In this phase we investigated existing models to understand how to measure achievements of the exhibition to be able to  define success metrics.

Beaded Curtains Exhibition, Museum of Fine Art, Boston  

Touching a Replica, Louvre, Paris

Louvre Touch Gallery, Paris


Candy Installation, MoMA, New York

Environmental Scan

ROM | Photo by: Cathy He

AGO | Photo by: Cathy He

Empathize & Define

Focus Group

A group consisted of 16 OCAD U graduate students gathered to ideate and brainstorm. The ideation and communication was ongoing.


OCAD U | Photos by: Cathy He


In prototyping phase we translated data to meaningful insights and based on the insights worked on the exhibition layout, way-finding, concepts and curation plan as well as individual installation piece.


OCAD U | Photos by: Cathy He


Mock-up Exhibition

The mock-up exhibition was based on the emerged themes from the research and each OCAD U grad students had their own individual installation piece.


Exhibition Layout| Graphic by: Ahmed 

OCAD U | Photo by: Cathy He

Individual Installation

My installation has several different components, including a visual translation of my research in form of a  poster. I presented the methods that I would be using for my Major Research Project  (Create a Memory-Friendly Restaurant Through Sensory Experience Design). Another piece of my installation was a restaurant setting including a table, a chair, an ipod, a pair of earphones, photos depicting Mediterranean diet. Last part of my work were hanging bottles containing leaves and spice to smell and trigger memories. The following image shows my individual installation at the moch-up Exhibition.

OCAD U | Photo by: Cathy He

Set of a table, a chair, an ipod, a pair of earphones, photos depicting food, and three bottles of leaves and spice to smell is presented for visitors to experience dining ambient in the exhibition and interact with it. This piece is presented to see how experience design can enhance dining experience.

Poster is a visual tool for visitors to navigate through the MRP process as the researcher predicts. 

MRP Poster.png

Poster Designed by: Rezvan Boostani



Main themes emerged through secondary and primary research as well as design research became a base for the final exhibition. Main themes emerged include:


  • Inclusive Wayfinding, navigation

    • get to the exhibition

    • graphic standards

    • display of information

  • Simplicity in use of multimodality

  • Unified theme

  • Feedback channel

I planned and designed the final exhibition as part of a group work. I also designed a booklet for the exhibition.

Individual Installation

My work was combination of infographic posters and an interactive installation.

POSTER-second final-002.png

Poster Designed by: Rezvan Boostani

My installation depicted the impact of noise, as a sensory design element, on the dining experience. There was an image of food projected on the plate, however, when the noise levels in the environment were elevated the image disappeared. 

The setting was based on my own preference about acceptable levels of noise on the day that I was setting up the installation. However, convenient level of noise is subject to change between diverse individuals and in different contexts.

IMG_20180430_005755 (1).jpg

Poster Designed by: Rezvan Boostani

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