Glenn Hibbard, Jessica Lertvilai, Cole Swanson, Michael Massie

Material Curiosity

Sunday, November 15 at 1pm


Co-produced with Craft Ontario

Panelists Glenn Hibbard, Jessica Lertvilai, Cole Swanson and Michael Massie, speak on material curiosity as a creative driver followed by an interactive break-out session moderated by Gordon Thompson.

Glenn Hibbard

Glenn Hibbard is the Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Department at the University of Toronto. He grew up in Edmonton and did an undergraduate degree in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Alberta, graduating in 1997. He moved to Toronto for graduate school, finishing a PhD in 2002 and becoming a faculty member with the MSE Department in 2004. He became Chair of the department in 2019 and is broadly interested in all aspects of how people relate to and learn from the materials around them.

“The three images show examples of materials ‘failure.’ In each case we have designed a type of architectured system that will be able to absorb energy during mechanical collapse. Systems represent: 1) a nanostructured Ni tube, 2) an anodized aluminum alloy microtruss and 3) a nanostructured Ni coated aluminum foam. All images were collected using a scanning electron microscope” – Glenn Hibbard, photographer.

Jessica Lertvilai

Jessica Lertvilai worked at Central Saint Martins College of Art in the UK as a Material Researcher and Educator from 2009 to 2020 supporting the learning and creative practices of UK and international artists and designers across all disciplines, at all levels of study and with all levels of experience. Lertvilai planned and redesigned the college’s Material Collection, sourced and updated all the material samples and literature, and curated the layout and displays of the collection. In addition, Lertvilai organized events, workshops and lectures for students and actively supported the widening of participation initiatives to local school children and seniors. Lertvilai has over 10 years of Fine Arts and Design education and history as a fine art practitioner.

Cole Swanson

Cole Swanson is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. He maintains a studio art practice drawing on sound, photography, video, installation, painting and sculpture to consider interspecies relationships and complex, coevolutionary systems. Swanson has collaborated with ecologists, conservation authorities and community members to challenge mainstream discourses on commonly misunderstood species, and has launched ambitious projects that draw from multidisciplinary methods and research findings. He has exhibited work internationally and is a two-time fellow of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute for his research on the traditional preparation and use of natural materials. Swanson has received support from several public and private agencies, and his educational practice includes faculty postings at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and Humber College.


Michael Massie

“Metal, bone, wood, stone are just a few of the materials I use in my work. As some materials are considered more western or more Inuit and because I consider myself part Inuit and part Scottish, I tend to use different materials to bring the two together. Storytelling has always been a fascination of mine, even as a young boy growing up in the 60s. Having stories read to me let me imagine the story in my mind, and I pass this on to the work I make. Taking stories and seeing them through my mind is how they are presented to the viewer. Shamanism, surrealism, transformation and daily life are among other things that capture my imagination.”

Gordon Thompson

Gordon Thompson is Professor and Program Coordinator of the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College. He works in ceramics and is an educator, teaching primarily in the areas of ceramic practice and craft history. Prior to taking a position at Sheridan, he worked as a Technician in the Ceramics Studio at OCADU, where he also taught in the faculties of Design and Liberal Studies. He works actively in the craft community, having served as President of the Board of Directors of Craft Ontario (2012-2014), and working with the Advocacy Committee of the Canadian Craft Federation. He is an advisor to the Craft & Design Studios at Harbourfront Centre and sits on the editorial advisory committee for Studio Magazine.

In partnership with

Craft Ontario

Artist-in-Residence Program Partner