Sara Louise Diamond


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Most Recent Affiliation / Department / Job Title:


  • The Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U), President

Past or Other Affiliation / Department / Job Title:


  • University of California Los Angeles, Adjunct Professor
  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Artistic Director
  • Dimon Arts, Inc., President

ISEA Bio(s) Available:


  • ISEA2017

    Dr. Sara Diamond is the President of OCAD University, Canada’s ‘university of the imagination’. She is a computer scientist, digital media artist and historian, and director of the Visual Analytics Lab at OCAD U, with funding from NSERC, SSHRC, Mitacs and the Ontario Research Excellence Fund. She researches and writes about media and other art histories. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. She is the winner of the 2013 GRAND NCE Digital Media Pioneer Award, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. Diamond served on the 2011-2012 Council of the Canadian AcademiesÕ expert panel on the State of Science & Technology in Canada. She sat on the board of the National Centre of Excellence GRAND. Before her tenure at OCAD University she founded and led the Banff New Media Institute, an incubation, digital media research centre and think tank (1995 – 2005).

    ISEA2015

    Dr. Sara Diamond (US/CA) is the President of OCAD University, Canada’s “university of the imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computing, Information Technology and Engineering from the University of East London, a Masters in Digital Media theory from the University of Arts, London and Honours Bachelors of Arts in History and Communications from Simon Fraser University. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Society of Artists and a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. She is the winner of the 2013 GRAND NCE Digital Media Pioneer Award. Her book (with Sarah Cook) Euphoria & Dystopia: The Banff New Media Dialogues, a history of the boom, bust and reset years of the first wave of digital media is currently available; published by Banff Centre Press and Riverdale Architectural Press, University of Waterloo.

    Diamond is a data visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist and designer. She developed codezebra.net, a pioneering social media data visualization and sentiment analysis software. She is co-principal investigator on the Centre for Information Visualization/Data Driven Design, an OCAD U/York University major initiative and is the holder of funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, MITACS, the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Ontario Centres for Excellence. Diamond was the Artistic Director of Media and Visual Art and Director of Research at the Banff Centre, where she created the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led it until 2005.

    ISEA 2011

    Sara Louise Diamond, (b. 1954) is the President of the OCAD University, Canada’s “university of the imagination”. She holds a PhD in Computer Science and degrees in new media theory and practice, social history and communications. While retaining OCAD University’s traditional strengths in art and design, she has led her university to become a leader in digital media and design research and curriculum through the Digital Futures Initiative, towards new research in Inclusive Design and health and design, as well as in sustainable technologies and design. She has also led OCAD University to begin the unique Aboriginal Visual Culture Program.

    She currently serves on the Ontario Ministry of Culture’s Minister’s Advisory Council on Arts & Culture, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Arts Council Foundation and ORANO, Ontario’s high speed network, the board of National Centre of Excellence GRAND and IO (Interactive Ontario) and SACUR with the Association of Universities and University Colleges. She is founding Chair of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre and current co-chair (with RBC). She is a visualization, wearable technology and mobile media researcher, artist and designer. She is co-principle investigator on the Centre for Information Visualization/Data Driven Design, an OCADU/York University major initiative.

    Diamond was the Artistic Director of Media and Visual Art and Director of Research at the Banff Centre, where she created the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led it until 2005. In this role she assisted with the development, incubation and support for many of Canada’s leading new media companies. Diamond created and was Editor-in-Chief of horizonzero.ca, an online showcase for new media art and design, in collaboration with Heritage Canada and The Banff Centre.  At the Banff Centre she created international think tanks and collaborations in ICT, digital media and science research with artists, designers and scientists from Latin America, Africa, Asia, Central and Western Europe and the USA, as well as Canada. She developed codezebra.net, a performance and media art, fashion and software collaboration environment. Diamond continues to write about digital media history, digital media and design strategy for peer reviewed journals and curates for festivals and galleries.

    ISEA2006

    Currently Sara Diamond is President of the Ontario College of Art & Design. She has served as the Artistic Director of Media and Visual Art at the Banff Center, and Director of Research for the entire Banff Centre (2003-2005). She created the renowned Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) in 1995 and led this research and development center for ten years. Diamond created and was Editor-in-Chief of www.horizonzero.ca. Diamond has taught at Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, The California Institute for the Arts and remains Adjunct Professor, University of California, Los Angeles.

    ISEA2004

    Sara Diamond (US/CA) President of OCAD University.

    ISEA2002

    Sara Diamond, BANFF Center, Canada.

    ISEA2000

    Sara Diamond, BANFF Centre for the Arts, Canada.

    ISEA 1995

    Sara Diamond, Canada, is President of Dimon Arts, Inc., a multimedia consultancy to galleries, non-profit art organizations and corporations like Estee Lauder. Her work has progressed over the past twenty years from oils to interactive multimedia paintings and is exhibited extensively. She is co-curator of the digital show “CODE”@ Ricco/Maresca (Soho) opening Fall 1995.


Last Known Location:


  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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